The Sunday Recital Series at Mary Baldwin continues on Sunday, November 5 with soprano Jessica Spafford, pianist Tracey Schimmel Reed, and trumpeter Ross Ahlhorn. The recital is at 3 p.m. in Francis Auditorium.
They will perform a varied program that includes Handel’s sprightly “Let the Bright Seraphim,” several beautiful Spanish songs, dramatic arias by Berlioz and Menotti, as well as the unforgettable “Summertime” (from Porgy and Bess) by George Gershwin.
“For this recital, we have chosen a spread of vocal literature that juxtaposes more obscure works by composers such as Albeniz and Elizabeth Raum to standards by Gershwin,” explains Spafford. “The first half primarily progresses through Romantic-era music from Germany, Italy, Spain, and Brazil. The closing piece of this half holds a special place for me, since it derives from Berlioz’s first surviving opera, Benvenuto Cellini, which was the subject of my doctoral research. The second half consists of entirely 20th and 21st century American and Canadian music. This year, the Canadian songs are being featured in James Madison University’s “Contemporary Music Festival,” with the composer in the audience.”
Jessica Spafford is a coloratura soprano who has had success both nationally and abroad. She currently teaches at Mary Baldwin University and is also on the faculty at James Madison University and Bridgewater College. She has performed as a part of JMU’s Contemporary Music Festival, as Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel with Luray Opera. She also performed the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Radebeul Landesbühnen Sachsen Theater in Dresden, Germany. She recently earned her doctorate at James Madison University.
Pianist Tracey S. Reed maintains a wide-ranging portfolio of large and small ensemble work with a special emphasis on collaboration with choirs, vocalists, and woodwinds. She is the pianist for the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir and recently performed a program of Brahms and Mahler with National Symphony Orchestra horn player, Bob Reardon. She is also a founding member of the Friendly City Chamber Players in Harrisonburg.
Single tickets for November 5 may be purchased at the door and are $5 for the General Public and $4 for students and seniors (free for Mary Baldwin students). Season tickets are also available. To purchase tickets online or find more information, please visit http://www.marybaldwin.edu/arts/music/ or call 540-887-7294.