Pomona College Music Department Announces Spring 2023 Series

Headshots of music faculty to perform at electroacoustic music festival

Pomona College’s Department of Music spring 2023 concert series combines guest artists and guest ensembles as well as faculty performers and student ensembles in an exciting array of chamber music and concert programs.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue offering a series of free concerts that includes music from a wide range of time periods and far-reaching places encompassing numerous cultures, musical languages and musical approaches. We hope community members from across the region will feel welcome in joining students, faculty and staff from the local colleges at our programs,” shares Alfred Cramer, chair of the music department.

The season opens Feb. 3 and Feb. 4 with the 31st annual Ussachevsky Memorial Festival of Electroacoustic Music directed by faculty composer Tom Flaherty, the John P. and Magdalena R. Dexter Professor of Music. This year’s festival offers two concerts with music by a broad range of contemporary composers who write works that meld sounds produced by humans and electronics. Performers include Stacey Fraser and Melissa Givens*, sopranos; Sarah Thornblade*, violin; Cynthia Fogg*, viola; Maggie Parkins*, cello; Rachel Beetz and Rachel Rudich* flutes; Stephen Klein*, euphonium; Alison Bjorkedal*, harp; and Nadia Shpachenko, piano.

On Feb. 11, guest pianist and recording artist William Chapman Nyaho performs music of Africa and the African diaspora. He will also be joined by pianist Genevieve Feiwen Lee* in works for two pianos and piano four-hands.

The department’s Fête musicale returns on Feb. 19, uniting several music department performance faculty members in a series of mini performances. The faculty members and program are still to be announced.

March concerts include a Bouquet of Solo and Chamber Music on Mar. 5, with soprano Melissa Givens* and friends in a program of music for soprano and bassoon, and songs from a variety of film scores; and A Celebration of Organ Traditions in Claremont on Mar. 26 with organists William Peterson* and Carey Robertson in solos and duets by Claremont-based composers William Blanchard, Joseph Clokey, Flaherty*, Wilbur Held, Karl Kohn*, Carl Parrish and Orpha Ochse.

April concerts include Sliding and Steeling on the 8th with Joti Rockwell* on pedal steel guitar joined by Sean Harrison, saxophone, and Cole Sainburg, bass, in a mixture of pedal steel guitar music, American roots music and Bach. On the 15th, the UCSB Middle East Ensemble—Scott Marcus, director—presents a program that celebrates music and dance from across the greater Middle East region.

Throughout the semester, Grammy®-nominated pianist Genevieve Feiwen Lee, the Everett S. Olive Professor of Music, presents a cycle of Beethoven’s violin sonatas. Joining her during the cycle are violinists Todor Pelev*, Sarah Thornblade* and Sara Parkins in programs both on the music department’s home series and on the Friday Noon Concert series. The opening concert is set for Jan. 27 and is the opening concert on the Friday Noon Concert Series, held in Scripps’ Balch Auditorium. Joining Lee is Pelev in a program that also includes music by Grażyna Bacewicz and Barbara Heller.

Also sprinkled around the semester are the department’s student ensembles—the Pomona College Orchestra, Choir, Glee Club, Band, Jazz Ensemble, Balinese Gamelan Ensemble and Afro-Cuban Music Ensemble—in concerts featuring music by Byrd, Chen Yi, Dvořák, Holst, Fanny Hensel Mendelssohn, Mozart and Florence Price, to name a few.

The spring 2023 concert season calendar is available online and can be picked up in Thatcher Music Building on the campus of Pomona College.

All the department’s concerts are free and open to the public, thanks to generous donations by alumni and friends of the department.

COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed at all concerts. Visit our website for details on safety precautions.