The Southeast Missouri Symphony, University Choir and Choral Union will combine to present a “Tribute to the River Campus” concert on Tuesday, March 7, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will include performances by the young artist winners of the Concerto and Aria and Rising Star Competitions. It also will feature the world premiere performance of “Timeless Banks and Shoals” by composer Dr. Gordon (Dick) Goodwin.
A pre-concert talk provided by Dr. Sara Edgerton, professor of music and conductor of the Southeast Missouri Symphony, and the composer, Goodwin, is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. in the Bedell Performance Hall. The pre-concert talk is free to all ticket-holders for the evening’s concert.
On the first half of the concert, the winners of this year’s Rising Star and Concerto and Aria Competitions will perform as soloists with the symphony. Elizabeth Nguyen, a high school viola player and the winner of the Rising Star Competition, will open the program with Carl Stamitz’s “Concerto in D Major for Viola and Orchestra.” Stamitz was a contemporary of the great Viennese composer Joseph Haydn, and his music has many similar characteristics. The “Viola Concerto” is full of beautiful melodies and exciting passagework for the solo viola player. Next on the program will be the Ferdinand David “Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra,” performed by Eric Matthew Flanagan, one of the two winners of this year’s Concerto and Aria Competition. The David “Concertino” is a very expressive, colorful work for trombone and orchestra, and is one of the most celebrated works for the trombone. The first half of the concert will conclude with Felix Mendelssohn’s glorious “Violin Concerto in E Minor,” performed by Fujia Zhang, co-winner of the Concerto and Aria Competition.
The Rising Star Competition, now in its seventh year, is open to any pre-college string player who would like to audition for the opportunity to appear as soloist with the Southeast Missouri Symphony. Elizabeth Nguyen, the winner of this year’s competition, has also won competitions in the St. Louis area and served as Principal Violist of this year’s Missouri All-State Orchestra. She is the first violist to win the Rising Star Competition (previous winners have been violinists and cellists). The Concerto and Aria Competition is open to students at Southeast Missouri State University. This year’s co-winners, Fujia Zhang and Eric Matthew Flanagan, are both music majors at Southeast. Fujia is from China, and he is a violin performance major studying with Dr. Brandon Christensen; Eric Matthew Flanagan is a trombone performance major studying with Dr. Robert Conger.
The second half of the concert will open with Richard Wagner’s famous “Mastersinger’s Overture.” Following that short work, the University Choir and Choral Union will join the symphony to perform Dr. Gordon (Dick) Goodwin’s tribute to the River Campus, “Timeless Banks and Shoals.” Written in honor of the 10th Season at the River Campus, this large-scale work traces the history of the River Campus, from its early years as the home of the St. Vincent’s Seminary, to its role today as a major center for the arts in Missouri. It is dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Oscar Lukefahr and his legacy of Catholic ministry in this region. Goodwin, a former native of Cape Girardeau, has taught at the university level in Texas and South Carolina. He has composed in many different genres and idioms, and his works have been performed throughout the United States. He is a cousin of the late Dr. Fred Goodwin, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Southeast Missouri State University.
“This concert will truly pay tribute to the River Campus at Southeast Missouri State University,” Edgerton said. “We have titled the concert ‘Past, Present, and Future,’ and the thrilling choral and orchestral work by Dr. Goodwin certainly helps to paint the picture of the glorious history and exciting future of the River Campus.”
Edgerton added that the talented young soloists help to illustrate the purpose of this facility.
“Students come here to study, to improve their musical skills and to go on to have meaningful lives that remain connected with the arts. Our student soloists, and indeed all the students who perform in the symphony and in the choirs, are wonderful representatives of the present and the future of the River Campus! We invited everyone to come join in this uplifting tribute to the River Campus!”
Tickets are now on sale, and can be purchased by visiting the River Campus Box Office, by calling (573) 651-2265 or by visiting Rivercampus.org/category/symphony.