Faculty Voice Recital to Feature American, British Songs

Christopher Goeke

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 15, 2004 — Christopher Goeke of the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Music, will present a free concert of 20th century songs featuring two of the most important English language composers Oct. 28 in St. Mark Lutheran Church, 1900 Cape La Croix Road in Cape Girardeau. 

The program will be presented at 8 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

The tenor, accompanied by Matt Yount on the piano, will perform two song cycles: “Songs of Travel” by Ralph Vaughan Williams and “Hermit Songs” by Samuel Barber. 

These two sets are monuments of the piano/vocal repertoire and represent some of the best and widely known songs in English.

The first set, “Songs of Travel,” is based on nine poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of “Treasure Island,” “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” 

These poems reflect on “life on the open road,” young romance and nostalgia for times past. The cycle captures the Victorian hunger for travel, especially the idyllic freedom of the vagabond.  The music is lush, tuneful, powerful and sentimental, providing a masterful setting for these romantic texts.

The second set will introduce a new twist to the traditional recital format.  During the performance of the songs, images of art and scenic locations will be projected to further enhance the musical performance.  “Hermit Songs” “are settings of [10] anonymous Irish texts of the eighth to 13th centuries . . . [and were] perhaps not always meant to be seen by their Father Superiors.”  The texts are surprisingly modern and offer insight to the solitary and devoted lives of the monks.  The music is unique and moving, evoking the many moods of the lyrics.

Goeke holds both a doctorate of musical arts and master of music degree from the University of Iowa.  He has performed throughout the country in opera, oratorio, musical theatre and concert with many companies including the State Repertory Theatre of New Jersey, Westchester Opera in New York, the Light Opera of Manhattan, Santa Fe Desert Choral, Central City Opera in Colorado and the Bach Society of St. Louis.  The tenor has also appeared with the Belfast Performer’s Club presenting a program of American Art Song.  Goeke is professor of voice and opera at Southeast, where he teaches voice, vocal pedagogy, vocal literature, UI 100, and Music Theatre Workshop.  The tenor may also be found on the podium conducting operas and musicals at Southeast and choral festivals for area schools. 

Yount is widely known throughout the area as an accomplished concert pianist.  For the last three years, he has served as collaborative pianist for the Department of Music.  He is also adjunct instructor for various music appreciation courses for Southeast. He holds a bachelor of science degree in mathematics, a bachelor of music in piano performance, and a master’s degree in music education.  He also has taught piano for nine years for the Southeast Missouri Music Academy.  He is frequently featured in departmental concerts and recitals.

For more information contact the Department of Music at (573) 651-2141.