Thursday February 14, 2013

BENNINGTON -- On Sunday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m., Sage City Symphony, under the baton of music director and conductor Michael Finckel, will present its mid-winter chamber orchestra concert.The event will be held in Greenwall Auditorium in the VAPA Building at Bennington College and is free and open to the public.

The orchestra, now in its 40th season, will open the concert with a performance of Handel's Concerto Grosso in B-flat Major, Opus 3, No. 1, written c. 1710. George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) was a German-born Baroque composer, who later became a British citizen.His output as a composer was prolific, and he is well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and concertos.

Local soprano, Kerry Ryer-Parke, will be the soloist in a performance of "Knoxville: Summer of 1915" by 20th-century American composer Samuel Barber.Written in 1947, the work for soprano and orchestra sets a prose text, "Knoxville", by James Agee, Pulitzer-prize winning author, journalist, poet, screenwriter, and film critic.The work is richly textured and Barber paints a nostalgic picture of Agee's native Knoxville, Tennessee, a dreamlike depiction of an evening in the American south.Kerry Ryer-Parke is a skilled and intuitive performer of many musical styles, from oratorio, opera, early music, and new works to folk, jazz, and rock.She has been Director of the Bennington Children's Chorus since 1994.


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Currently an adjunct instructor of voice at Williams College, she has also taught at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, the New School of Music, and the Sonatina School of Music. She has soloed frequently with many area groups, including the Berkshire Symphony, Foundation for Baroque Music, Northern Berkshire Chorale, and Skidmore College Choirs.

Sage City Symphony will close its mid-winter concert with Mozart's Symphony No. 40, in G minor, K. 550. Written in 1888, just three years before Mozart's death, the work has elicited various critical interpretations, from the work possessing lightness and grace to the more common perception today of the work being tragic in tone and intensely emotional.No matter the interpretation, the symphony is one of Mozart's most greatly admired works and is frequently performed and recorded.

The 2012-13 season marks music director and conductor Michael Finckel's 21st year leading Sage City Symphony.The orchestra is considered one of the cultural attractions in southern Vermont and presents four concerts each season at Bennington College.Admission to the Sunday, Feb. 17, concert at 4 p.m. is free.Further information is available on the orchestra's web site: www.sagecitysymphony.org.