Inaugural Concert to Honor New Baylor President
WACO, Texas - The Baylor University School of Music will present an Inaugural Concert in honor of President Robert B. Sloan Jr. at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Mary Gibbs Jones Concert Hall, located in the Glennis McCrary Music Building on the Baylor campus.
Sloan, 46, became the 12th president of Baylor on June 1. The Inaugural Ceremony is set for 2 p.m. Sept. 15 in Waco Hall.
The concert will feature performances by the Baylor Wind Ensemble, the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, and the Baylor A Cappella and Concert Choirs, with a special performance by internationally acclaimed pianist Krassimira Jordan, Baylor associate professor of piano and Artist-in-Residence. The first half of the Inaugural Concert will feature the Wind Ensemble, conducted by Michael L. Haithcock, professor of conducting and director of bands in the Baylor School of Music. The opening selection is Dmitri Shostakovich's 1954 piece, the "Festive Overture."
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of World War II, the Wind Ensemble will perform three movements -- Normandie, Bretagne and Provence -- from Darius Milhaud's "Suite Française." Milhaud wrote this suite in 1944 as a tribute to American soldiers who fought to liberate France from the German invaders.
The Wind Ensemble's portion of the program will close with "Zion," a composition written last year by Austin resident Dan Welcher, professor of composition in the School of Music at the University of Texas.
Following intermission, Stephen Heyde, director of orchestral activities, Conductor-In-Residence and the Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Studies, will conduct the Baylor Symphony Orchestra in the last movement of Leos Janácek's "Sinfonietta" of 1926. This work originated as a series of outdoor fanfares for Prague's Sokol Gymnastic Festival.
The Inaugural Concert will conclude with a performance of Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy," considered a curious musical form that combines a fantasia for solo piano, song
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variations, a piano concerto, and a cantata for piano, vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra. Dating to 1808, the "Choral Fantasy" reflects the composer's ideals of beauty and the brotherhood of man. Through choral effects, phrase structure, harmonic language, formal designs and a rousing atmosphere, the work forecasts Beethoven's monumental "Ninth Symphony."
"Choral Fantasy" will be conducted by Heyde, with choral preparations by Donald L. Bailey, conductor of the Baylor A Cappella Choir, and Wesley M. Gilliland, conductor of the Baylor Concert Choir. Bailey is the Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Music, director of choral activities and director of vocal studies. Gilliland is assistant dean of the School of Music and director of the Ensemble Division.
The "Choral Fantasy" will feature Krassimira Jordan, a critically acclaimed pianist who began her musical training at age 4 and made her recital debut at age 7. Born in Varna, Bulgaria, to Russian and Bulgarian parents, she studied in Sofia, Vienna, and in Moscow. During her years of study, she won a series of prestigious international prizes.
Jordan has performed as a recitalist and orchestral soloist in Austria, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, Hungary, Poland, the Scandinavian countries, the Far East, Brazil and the United States. In recent years, she has been invited by the governments of China, Korea and Taiwan to conduct master classes at the major universities of Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Taipei.
For more information about the concert, call the Baylor School of Music at 755-3991.