The Stones River Chamber Players, MTSU's faculty ensemble-in-residence, will open its 2017-18 season today (Monday, Oct. 9), with a free concert, "Words and Music."
The ensemble members, all of whom teach in MTSU's School of Music, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9 in Hinton Music Hall inside MTSU's Wright Music Building.
The concert will feature works by international composers Maurice Ravel, Jake Heggie, Samuel Barber and Robert Schumann and by MTSU musical composition professor Paul Osterfield.
MTSU pianists Adam Clark and Eunbyol Ko will play the piano four-hands version of Ravel's "Mother Goose Suite."
"Each of the five movements (of Ravel's work) are based on or inspired by fairy tales such as 'Sleeping Beauty,' 'Tom Thumb' and 'Beauty and the Beast,'" said Arunesh Nadgir, co-director of the group with Clark. "The music is charming, colorful, and will surely put a smile on your face."
Clark and tenor vocalist H. Stephen Smith, who also is a professor in MTSU's School of Music, will perform Heggie's "The Faces of Love," Barber's "I Hear an Army" and the world premiere of Osterfield's "How Do I Love Thee." All three are written for tenor and piano.
"Having served as the best man at Paul's (Osterfield's) wedding about 10 years ago, it seemed only fitting that I should be the first to perform a song he composed in honor of the tenth anniversary of his marriage to his wife, Kim," Smith said. "I was flattered when he ran the idea for the piece by me last year, immediately agreeing to perform it."
Ending the program is Schumann's "Fairy Tales" written for clarinet, viola, and piano; Clark will be accompanied by colleagues Todd Waldecker on clarinet and Hari Bernstein on viola.
"This work is a charming set of pieces showcasing Schumann's fondness for emotional melodies juxtaposed with impish characters," said Waldecker. "The 'Fairy Tales' inspire the imagination for both the performers and listener."
The group's 2017-18 season will continue Feb. 12 with a "Tributes" concert recognizing significant anniversaries of composers Leonard Bernstein, Claude Debussy and Gioachino Rossini and conclude March 26 with a "Roads Not Traveled" concert featuring works by Steve Rouse, Alessandro Scarlatti, Jin Zhang, Michael Burritt and Robert Delanoff.
Each of those concerts also is set at 7:30 p.m. inside Hinton Hall.