Kelly Singer in Recital: No Place Like Home

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After two years studying and performing in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music, Kelly Singer returns to Second Presbyterian Church to perform her master’s degree recital.  IT takes place today (Sunday, May 19) at 3pm.

The concert will showcase selections from Kelly’s master’s repertoire as well as favorites from past performances with Praeclara, including works by Mozart, Poulenc, Gilbert & Sullivan, and more.

Admission is free; no tickets are required. Goodwill donations will be accepted to support Praeclara and Wildwood Park for the Arts, two of the arts organizations that were artistic homes to Kelly during her years in Little Rock.

Come out to support Kelly and celebrate her accomplishments in a concert that offers both a retrospective on her past and a preview of the bright future that lies ahead for this talented soprano.

LR Winds celebrates 25th anniversary with concert tonight

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The Little Rock Winds and conductor Israel Getzov present the band’s 25th Anniversary Concert 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25 with a program of musical connections and milestones of the band’s 25-year history.

The concert opens with Camille Saint-Saens’ Marche Militaire Francaise which was also the opener for the Little Rock Winds’ first concert on February 8, 1994.  Also on the program from that first concert is John Philip Sousa’s lesser-known march, Foshay Tower Washington Memorial March. (At the time of 1994 concert, the march had made been available for performance only five years earlier.)

A familiar face, saxophonist Jackie Lamar, who has soloed with the band under each of the previous conductors, will perform a movement from “Radiant Blues”, an alto saxophone concerto composed by former Arkansas resident Charles Booker, Jr. and dedicated to Lamar.  West Mountain Fantasy by William Randall, Jr., is another work on the program by an Arkansas composer.  The piece is dedicated to the Little Rock Winds and Wendell Evanson, conductor, and was premiered by the band in February 1999.  Along with other selections on the program is Percy Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy, a masterwork for wind band all will certainly enjoy.

Second Presbyterian Church, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock.

Tickets are available online at lrwinds.org and are $15 for adults, $12 for adults 65 and over, and free for students.

Program

  • Camille Saint-Saens     Marche Militaire Francaise
  • Howard Hanson           Symphony No. 2 “Romantic”, mvt. II
  • Percy Grainger             Lincolnshire Posy
  • William Randall            West Mountain Fantasy
  • Charles Booker, Jr.       Concerto for Alto Sax, Mvt. 1: Radiant Blues
  • Frank Ticheli                 Blue Shades
  • John Philip Sousa         Foshay Tower Washington Memorial March

Conway native Jackie Lamar, saxophone, has performed all over the United States as well as in Thailand, Iceland, Scotland, France, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bolivia.  She performed at the World Saxophone Congresses in Valencia, Spain, and Montreal, Canada.  She is an active member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, serving as Region 4 director for 15 years.  She is recorded on Music for the Cross Town Trio on Centaur Records.
Lamar is recently retired from the University of Central Arkansas where she was Professor of Saxophone and Jazz for 32 years.  She is one of only four females in the USA to ever be full professors of saxophone.  She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance and Master of Music Education from the University of North Texas and the Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Central Arkansas.  Her principal teachers were Debra Richtmeyer, Jim Riggs, and Homer Brown. This Lamar’s third solo performance with the Little Rock Winds.

Israel Getzov has won wide acclaim for his ability to evoke expressive and enthusiastic performances from his musicians.  He is in demand as conductor in the United States, China, and Bolivia. he is also the music director of the Conway Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Advisor to the Orquesta Filarmónica de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.  In the U.S. Getzov has conducted ensembles in Arkansas, California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, Michigan, and Maine. Since his debut at the International Fuzhou Music Festival in 2005, Getzov has appeared regularly in China in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Fuzhou, and Hangzhou where he is a frequent guest conductor with the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra. He is also an in-demand educator of ensemble techniques and has given clinics at many conservatories in the U.S. and China.

As the Associate Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony from 2001-2008, Getzov led classical subscription, pops, and education concerts as well as numerous outreach concerts around the state. Getzov also hosted his own weekly radio program called “Izzy Investigates” on KLRE Classical 90.5 in Little Rock and has performed live on WFMT and WBEZ in Chicago.

Raised in Chicago, Mr. Getzov’s musical studies began with the violin at age four, and later included percussion, which he played in his schools’ wind ensembles and jazz bands. At sixteen he earned a position in the violin section of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has performed with many renowned conductors including Barenboim, Boulez, Solti, Mehta, Jansons, Spano, and Rostropovich. He was a founding member of the Rockefeller String Quartet, a professional quartet with whom he gave over 200 concerts.

Getzov holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University and a master’s degree in conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music and received additional training at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and the National Conducting Institute with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Little Rock Winds was founded in 1993 to recognize the diverse heritage of the wind band tradition in Arkansas. It is dedicated to providing Arkansas communities live wind band music, including a variety of compositions and transcriptions that inspire audiences, challenge the players, and preserves the wind band tradition. LR Winds is an important outlet for the wind and percussion musicians in the central Arkansas area. The approximately 48 professional and semi-professional musicians are selected by audition and participate for personal development and enjoyment and as a service to the community. Six concerts are performed annually in Little Rock, and the band has performed statewide, from Texarkana to Cherokee Village, Harrison to Wynne.

Little Rock Winds an independent, nonprofit organization.

The Little Rock Wind Symphony Christmas Concert is tonight

‘Tis the season to be jolly and the Little Rock Wind Symphony offers a concert of musical merriment with a twist of folly.

This child-friendly concert includes other holiday favorites featuring the musicians of the Little Rock Wind Symphony joined by Christine Donahue, soprano; McAfferty School of Irish Dance; combined children’s choirs from Roberts Elementary School and Second Presbyterian Church. The concert will conclude with the audience sing-along.  Music Director Israel Getzov conducts.

There will be a silent auction before the concert, offering lots of items to fill those Christmas stockings. The auction opens at 6:30 p.m. and bidding will conclude at the end of the concert intermission.

Tickets are available at the door and are $10 for adults, $8 for adults 65 and over, and free for students.

LR Women’s History Month – Ruth May Wassell Gibb

Ruth-May-Wassell-GibbOn August 27, 1944, Ruth May Wassell shattered a bottle on the hull of a new ship and christened it the U.S.S. Little Rock.  Mrs. Wassell, whose husband was Little Rock alderman Sam Wassell, had been designated as the official sponsor for the City of Little Rock by Mayor Charles Moyer.

Ruth May Wassell was more than the wife of a local political leader.  The daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Wiley Singleton May, she moved from Gurdon to Little Rock with her family and graduated from Little Rock High School. She later graduated from Henderson-Brown College and received a law degree from the University of Arkansas.  In 1932, she was admitted to the Arkansas Bar and later was admitted to practice before the Arkansas Supreme Court, one of the first women to receive this designation.

Mrs. Wassell was active in business, serving as president of the Arkansas Lumber Company  and owner of a citrus farm in Texas.  She was also active in civic affairs through involvement with the Arkansas Democratic Women, Boys Club and Second Presbyterian Church.  From 1947 until 1951 she was First Lady of Little Rock when Sam Wassell was elected as Mayor.

Following the December 1954 death of Mayor Wassell, she subsequently married E. W. “Bud” Gibb.  She died in 1964.

Little Rock Look Back: Mrs. Ruth May Wassell Gibb

Ruth-May-Wassell-GibbOn August 27, 1944, Ruth May Wassell shattered a bottle on the hull of a new ship and christened it the U.S.S. Little Rock.  Mrs. Wassell, whose husband was Little Rock alderman Sam Wassell, had been designated as the official sponsor for the City of Little Rock by Mayor Charles Moyer.

Details are vague as to why Mayor Moyer designated Mrs. Wassell for the honor.  Her husband was a first cousin of World War II hero Dr. Corydon Wassell, which might have had something to do with it.

Ruth May Wassell was more than the wife of a local political leader.  The daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Wiley Singleton May, she moved from Gurdon to Little Rock with her family and graduated from Little Rock High School. She later graduated from Henderson-Brown College and received a law degree from the University of Arkansas.  In 1932, she was admitted to the Arkansas Bar and later was admitted to practice before the Arkansas Supreme Court, one of the first women to receive this designation.

Mrs. Wassell was active in business, serving as president of the Arkansas Lumber Company  and owner of a citrus farm in Texas.  She was also active in civic affairs through involvement with the Arkansas Democratic Women, Boys Club and Second Presbyterian Church.  From 1947 until 1951 she was First Lady of Little Rock when Sam Wassell was elected as Mayor.

Following the December 1954 death of Mayor Wassell, she subsequently married E. W. “Bud” Gibb.  She died in 1964.

UPDATED: Christmas with the Wind Symphony now on December 10

DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER THREAT, THIS CONCERT IS NOW SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10.

The Little Rock Wind Symphony will present its annual Christmas concert on Tuesday, December 10 at 7:30 pm.

To celebrate the season, the concert features an extravaganza of favorite Christmas carols performed by the Little Rock Wind Symphony and fabulous guest artists. Join the fun as Cindy Shaw Henry, the winner of the Christmas baton, takes the podium to lead the LRWC in Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride.”  And of course, don’t miss your chance to sing-along with the LRWS!

The concert features Suzanne Bannister, mezzo soprano as well as the Don Roberts Elementary School Children’s Choir led by Sharon Burrall.

The Little Rock Wind Symphony is under the baton of Karen Fannin.  The concert will take place at Second Presbyterian Church.