Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Midland College hosting two evenings of music this week

• Piano recital by Gayle Spradley Bizzell on Thursday, January 26 and an opera performance featuring Joe Dan Harper on Friday, January 27

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

Midland College (MC) will host two evenings of music performances on Thursday and Friday, January 26 and 27.

On Thursday, January 26, the Midland College Music Department is offering a FREE recital by pianist Gayle Spradley Bizzell. Ms. Bizzell will take the audience through a fascinating and immersive experience combining a piano performance of Alban Berg’s Sonata No. 1 with an informal lecture. Her recital begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Allison Fine Arts Building, Wagner & Brown Auditorium on the main MC campus, 3600 N. Garfield.

On Friday, January 27, also at 7:30 p.m., the Midland Opera Theatre will feature Midland native and MC alumnus Joe Dan Harper. This performance will also be at the Allison Fine Arts Building Wagner & Brown Auditorium; ticket price is $10 and can be paid at the door.

“Joe Dan Harper is a versatile and engaging interpreter of a wide-ranging repertoire,” said Ruth Ann Griffin, MC music instructor and former teacher of Harper’s. “After leaving Midland College, Joe Dan went on to receive degrees from SMU and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.”

Harper was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany, has been a Fellow at the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center. He has performed widely with such groups as The Boston Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Boston Academy of Music, Central City Opera, Handel & Haydn Society, South Carolina Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Utah Opera. He is now a member of the faculty at The State University of New York at Fredonia.

During Friday evening’s performance in Midland, Mr. Harper will team with his wife, pianist Anne Kissel. Highly regarded as interpreters of contemporary music, the Kissel-Harper duo has premiered works by numerous composers including Daniel Pinkham, Ned Rorem, Libby Larsen and Stephen Paulus. Over the past ten years, they have performed at a wide variety of venues throughout the United States and in Germany, and have been featured on National Public Radio (WGBH Boston) Live Performances with Richard Knisely. Harper and Kissel were co-founders and served as artistic co-directors for ten years of the Boston-based Florestan Recital Project.

The public is invited to both performances. For more information, contact the MC Community Relations Office at (432) 685-4556 or email Rebecca Bell, rbell@midland.edu

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