UW-Green Bay faculty recital for voice, piano and saxophone

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay music program will present a faculty recital, Monday, April 12, featuring soprano vocalist Courtney Sherman, with pianist David Severtson and saxophonist John Salerno.

The free recital will be at 7:30 p.m. in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts and is open to the public.

Sherman be performing a recital of classical vocal music in varying languages and musical styles. The program will open and close with operatic arias.

Another featured work is a piece for soprano voice and piano titled “Disorder is a Measure of Warmth,” composed by UW-Green Bay assistant professor (music) Michelle McQuade Dewhirst.

The program will open with Sherman and Severtson performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro.”

The second selection features four pieces by Venezuela-born, but naturalized French composer Reynaldo Hahn: “A chloris,” “Paysage,” “Dans la nuit,” and “L’enamouree.”

To close out the first half of the concert, Sherman and Severtson will be joined by Salerno, to perform five selections from the I Never Saw Another Butterfly song cycle by Ellwood Derr, who served on the music faculty of the University of Michigan from 1962-2006.

“The texts for the five songs come from a collection of the poetry and artwork of children who were incarcerated in the Nazi ghetto for Jews in Terezin, Czechoslovakia, and who perished at Auschwitz,” Sherman explains. “Derr insists that this work is a chamber work for three performers, all of whom have an equally important voice. It is not to be treated as a piece for a soprano soloist with accompanying instruments. Further, he states that the piece should always be performed in its entirety. To omit even one of the songs would be contrary to the concept of the work.

“In the musical score, Derr’s dedication is as follows: “To the everlasting memory of the children who suffered and made these poems… and to all others who shared their fate.”

Following intermission Sherman and Severtson will perform McQuade Dewhirst’s “Disorder is a Measure of Warmth.” Their colleague and composer will be in the audience for the performance.

Next on the program are arias from Schumann’s “Gedichte der Konigin Maria Stuart.” This year marks the 200th anniversary of Schumann’s birth.

The recital will conclude with “Sein wir weider gut,” an aria from Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss.

Sherman is an assistant professor of applied voice and music theatre voice. A native of Ludington, Mich., Sherman received a bachelor’s degree in voice performance from Western Michigan University and holds a master’s degree in opera/music theater performance and a doctorate in voice performance from Arizona State University. Before joining the UW-Green Bay faculty she taught at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla.

Severtson is an assistant professor coordinating the UW-Green Bay piano program. He teaches studio piano lessons, keyboard musicianship, first-year ear training and Survey of Western Music. Before arriving at UW-Green Bay he taught at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

Salerno is an associate professor who teaches saxophone, composition, jazz ensemble and other jazz-related classes. Under his direction the UW-Green Bay Jazz Ensemble has performed at the Monteux and North Sea Jazz Festivals in Europe. A published composer and arranger, Salerno is in demand as a jazz clinician and adjudicator. He directs the annual UW-Green Bay Jazz Fest, and the UW-Green Bay Summer Jazz Camp.

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