Faculty, Students and Guest Artists Highlight Music Department’s Fall Series

Pomona College Choir Concert

Pomona College’s Department of Music is thrilled to share a series of free campus concerts with the local community, with exciting performances this year featuring guest artists from Martin Chalifour and Robert deMaine of the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the new early music ensemble Artifex Consort, along with renowned faculty performers and dynamic student ensembles.

“The Music Department is eager to present a wide range of performances this year that show the many ways of creating, understanding and participating in music. As part of our curriculum, our concerts bring together students, faculty, staff, community members and guest artists. Audiences will experience and learn about music from across the globe and throughout history. We hope you enjoy!” says Joti Rockwell, chair of the Music Department.

Celliola and Friends opens the department’s offerings on Sept. 10 with music by faculty composer Tom Flaherty, who is the John P. and Magdalena R. Dexter Professor of Music. Also on the program is music by emeritus faculty member Karl Kohn, along with the music of Frederick Lesemann and Paul Wianko. Celliola members Tom Flaherty, cello; and Cynthia Fogg, viola; are joined by faculty friends Melissa Givens, soprano; Luc Kleiner, baritone; Joti Rockwell, mandola; and Genevieve Feiwen Lee, piano, Everett S. Olive Professor of Music.

On Sept. 17, the department’s Fête musicale returns, uniting a number of music faculty members in a series of chamber and solo performances. This fall’s concert includes music by Adolphus Hailstork, Nina Rota, Steve Swallow, Tōru Takemitsu, Barbara York and others with performances by Rachel Rudich, flute; Francisco Castillo, oboe; Carolyn Beck, bassoon; Kira Blumberg and Cynthia Fogg, viola; Maggie Parkins, cello; Alison Bjorkedal, harp; Jeremy Swem, euphonium; Stephen Klein, tuba; Ken Rosser and Jack Sanders, guitar; and Barb Catlin and Kyungmi Kim, piano.

The Pomona College based Cornucopia Baroque Ensemble, an early music ensemble, with Aki Yamaguchi, oboe and recorder; Alfred Cramer, violin; Carolyn Beck, bassoon; Roger Lebow, cello; Jason Yoshida, theorbo; and Graydon Beeks, harpsichord, share a handful of Baroque sonatas by J.S. Bach, Handel, Telemann and others on Sept. 24.

Also in September–on the 30th–Grammy®-nominated pianist Genevieve Feiwen Lee presents the fourth in her series of Beethoven Piano-Violin Sonatas. Joining her for this program consisting of two Beethoven sonatas and Kamran Ince’s Lines is the applauded violinist and Los Angeles Philharmonic Principal Concertmaster Martin Chalifour.

On Oct. 20, Lee returns to the Mabel Shaw Bridges Hall of Music stage, this time with Robert deMaine, who holds the title of principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The two will perform Cello Concerto (2019) by Flaherty, along with music by Beethoven and deMaine.

Later that weekend on Oct. 22, early music ensemble Artifex Consort makes their Pomona College debut. This relatively new ensemble presents a program on period instruments. The ensemble is comprised of faculty member Malachai Komanoff Bandy, along with Eva Lymenstull and Eric Tinkerhess on bass violas da gamba, and are joined by Ian Pritchard on harpsichord.

Lee continues her Beethoven Piano-Violin Sonata Cycle with the fifth presentation on Oct. 28. For this concert, she teams up with violinist Fritz Gearhard, who is known for his “supple and imaginative” playing (The New York Times). Their program includes the music of William Grant Still along with that of Beethoven.

On Oct. 29, emeritus faculty organist William Peterson presents an organ program on the Hill Memorial Organ in Bridges Hall of Music. The concert centers around the music of J.S. Bach and Buxtehude. The distinctly eclectic Hill Memorial Organ was built by C. B. Fisk and dedicated in 2002. It is known as Opus 117.

On Nov. 4, music faculty and friends unite to perform Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps, written in 1941 while a prisoner of war in Görlitz, Germany, and the music of Arvo Pärt. Faculty performers are Gary Bovyer, clarinet; Sarah Thornblade, violin; and Gayle Blankenburg, piano; they are joined by cellist Julie Jung.

In addition to these performances, the department’s student ensembles—the Pomona College Orchestra, Pomona College Choir, Pomona College Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Balinese Gamelan and West African Music Ensemble—present concerts offering music by Barber, Dvořák, Grainger, Lauridsen, Liszt, Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov and lesser-known composers from across the globe throughout the semester.

The fall 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.