With August nearly here, the music school has quieted down considerably. A few ensembles are smart, however, to schedule their performances for this interim period when the competition for audiences is scant.
First up is the Isthmus Vocal Ensemble (IVE), which received attention today from Well-Tempered Ear blogger Jake Stockinger, who acknowledged the heavy UW-Madison School of Music influences in the ensemble. The IVE’s concerts are Friday, August 2 at 7:30 pm (Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Avenue) and Sunday, August 4 at 3 pm. Covenant Presbyterian Church, 326 South Segoe Road. Tickets are $15 adults/$10 students and seniors. On the program: masterworks by Bach, Brahms, Mahler, Sweelinck, and Britten.
Jake interviewed founder Scott MacPherson, a former faculty member at our school who now resides in Ohio as director of choral activities at Kent State University and returns to Madison every summer to rehearse with the group. Jake writes: “This summer’s concerts, mostly a cappella although some pieces have organ accompaniment, are coming up this weekend on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Especially noteworthy is how the group emphasizes talent with local and regional ties -– the singers, the conductor, even the instrumentals and the composers. Many are alumni of the University of Wisconsin-School of Music.” One of those alumna is alto Linda Kachelmeier, a member of the Minneapolis-based Rose Ensemble, a 2005 recipient of the Chorus America Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and first prize winner in both sacred and secular music categories at the 2012 Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain.
You can read much more about the IVE in Jake’s post:
A couple of weeks ago, we received an email from a friend who sings in the ensemble who is particularly excited about the upcoming performances:
” Just been reviewing our music for this seasons Isthmus Vocal Ensemble (rehearsals start tomorrow). My god, this is fabulous stuff. Some Brahms that is absolutely sublime in its subtle nature of melody and chordal harmony. Ich lasse dich nicht by Bach is a wonderful double chorus thing. Very exciting. And an early music piece by the Flemish Sweelinck is just so much fun (in two choruses), in French! Got some Mahler in there and a couple of modern things too. This chorus – lauded by the critics of this town – is a direct result of the Fountain program at the UW. The conductor and music director (Scott McPherson) coming out of that tradition and the choral members being a core of singers from that era. You should meet him. I think that you would take pleasure in our concert this year, first weekend in August. So, two weeks of immersion chorus and we are there!”
Next up: Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra, another seasonal group comprised of local students, assembled and conducted by UWSOM violist Mikko Utevsky. The concert will feature a brand-new composition by UW-SOM graduate Jerry Hui plus the Haydn Trumpet Concerto, performed by Ansel Norris, two-time first prize winner at the National Trumpet Competition and now a student at Northwestern University. Also on the program will be Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto for Violin and Oboe (transcribed for trumpet, performed by Norris and his brother, UW-SOM graduate Alexander Norris) and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. One performance, Friday, August 9, 7:30 pm, at Music Hall.