Stetson School of Music Presents Fall Concert Season
New Stetson voice professor Chadley Ballantyne had barely left his post at the University of Northern Colorado this summer when he got a phone call from Timothy Peter, Interim Dean of the School of Music.
“He was driving across the country with his spouse and little child in the car, and he probably had his U-Haul,” recalled Peter, who also is a choral conductor at Stetson. “I said, ‘Chad, I know your whole life is upside down, but can you put together 15 minutes of a performance?’ Without even skipping a beat, he said ‘Absolutely!’ ”
Ballantyne – who completed his move “literally last week,” Peter said – will make his Stetson debut performance during the annual Stetson Friends of Music Celebration at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall.
That concert will kick off a busy fall season of 37 public performances by School of Music faculty and students, plus guest artists. The series will feature the Stetson Symphony Orchestra, pianist and professor emeritus Michael Rickman, Stetson Opera Theatre, guitarist and Paraguayan native Berta Rojas, the Stetson Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, the First Glimpse Concert featuring new student compositions, the annual Christmas Candlelight Concerts and more.
“The beautiful thing about these concerts is that they are outreach for the community, but they also are an opportunity for faculty to share their talents, their artistic excellence as performers,” Peter said. “For our faculty, it also can tie in to research related to their performance, and that’s a really good model for our students to see in public venues.”
For the traditional season-opening Friends of Music concert, “we try to feature faculty who had a significant summer, or a life change with their history or time here at Stetson,” Peter said. “For David Bjella, our cellist, this will be his final year here at Stetson, so we want to celebrate that with him.”
Bjella will perform two movements of Shostakovich’s Sonata in D Minor for Cello and Piano with pianist Hannah Sun, an adjunct professor and collaborative pianist at Stetson.
“Tammara Phillips, our flute teacher, is relatively new and we wanted to celebrate her talents, so this will be her premiere performance at Friends of Music,” Peter said.
Sun, who earned her master and bachelor of music degrees at the Juilliard School, also will perform with her husband, Yohann Ripert, a Stetson French professor and a pianist who earned a bachelor of music degree at Juilliard. The couple will play two-piano arrangements of Bach’s “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring” and Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
The early part of the concert series “will focus on our faculty and guest artists because it’s too early for our students to do a lot of major performing,” Peter said. “Then in mid-October and all through November and early December, we focus on our student ensembles, our big choirs, bands, orchestras, and then, of course, culminating at the end of the semester with our Christmas Candlelight Concerts.”
The Christmas Candlelight concerts, which involve the Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale, Stetson Men and instrumentalists from the Symphonic Band and Chamber Orchestra, include three performances in Lee Chapel. “For our final performance, we will be taking it on the road for the first time,” he said. “We’re going to downtown Orlando to reproduce our Christmas Candlelight Concert at the First United Methodist Church on December 1.”
Most of the fall concerts will be in Lee Chapel, but other venues include the Stetson Jazz Ensemble Oct. 3 and Nov. 7 at the Athens Theatre in DeLand, the Stetson Choral Festival’s fall concert on Oct. 13 at First Baptist Church in DeLand, and the Stetson Opera Theatre performing outdoors in Stetson’s Forest of Arden on Oct. 20-21. A School of Music concert schedule is available online at stetson.edu/music/calendar.
Concerts are free admission with a Stetson ID, except for the Christmas Candlelight Concerts. All but 14 of the fall concerts are free admission for the general public. Individual and season tickets for concerts with admission are available online at stetson.edu/music-tickets. For more information, call the School of Music at 386-822-8950.
School of Music Concerts
Here’s a look at the schedule through September. All September performances will be at Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand.
- Stetson Friends of Music Celebration, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 – Features performances by flutist Tammara Phillips, bass-baritone Chadley Ballantyne, pianists Hannah Sun and Yohann Ripert, and cellist David Bjella. Free admission.
- Stetson Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7 – Conductor Anthony Hose will lead the orchestra and viola player Jesus Alfonzo. The concert will feature Bach’s Prelude in B Minor, Telemann’s Viola Concerto, Walton’s “Two Pieces from Henry V” and Bloch’s Concerto Grosso. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 area students, free for ages 12 and younger or with Stetson ID.
Stetson Faculty Recital with viola player Jesus Alfonzo and pianist Michael Rickman, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11. Free admission.
- Stetson Faculty Recital with clarinetist Jessica Speak and pianist Hannah Sun, 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. Free admission.
- Stetson Faculty Recital with flutist Tammara Phillips and pianist Kristie Born, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18. Free admission.
- Great Guitarists at Stetson Series featuring Berta Rojas, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21. Free admission. Rojas, a native of Paraguay, has been nominated three times for Latin Grammy Awards. She was named a Fellow of the Americas by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and honored by her country as an Illustrious Ambassador of Musical Art. Her program will include works by Manuel Ponce and Paraguayan composer Agustin Barrios Mangore.
Stetson Faculty Recital with violinist Routa Kroumovitch-Gomez and pianist Sean Kennard, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Free admission. The program will include J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E Major, Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9 (“Kreutzer”), Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3 for Violin Solo (“Ballade”) and the final movement of Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (“La Campanella”).
- Great Pianists at Stetson series with Wenbin Jin, 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. Free admission. An alumnus of Yale University and the New England Conservatory, Jin won the top prize at the China Shanghai International Piano Competition, and is director of performing arts at Beijing’s Keystone Academy.
- Great Organists at Stetson series with Craig Cramer, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28. Free admission. Cramer is Professor of Organ at the University of Notre Dame, a position he has held since 1981. The program will include music by Toni Zahnbrecher, a partita by Georg Böhm, Passacaglia in C Minor by J.S. Bach, and other works.
— Rick de Yampert