Meredith is active in keeping alive Dvorak’s memory
UW-Green Bay’s Prof. Sarah Meredith (Music, Women’s and Gender Studies) was the cover feature of the Tuesday, January 3, 2017 issue of the Calmar Courier, for her role in preserving Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s local ties. The piece is as follows.
Dvorak’s Memory Remains
Professor Active with Keeping Alive Remembrance
By Michael Hohenbrink
In the summer of 1893, one of the world’s most famed composers traveled to northeastern Iowa and stayed for a time. Enchanted by the area, Antonin Dvorak composed two works. In addition to the music he composed, Dvorak also left his mark on the area, for example with the home where he stayed, which now houses a museum. Dvorak’s legacy can also be felt in a number of other ways.
One mark left by Dvorak is upon Sarah Meredith, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. “When I was a grad student at the University of Iowa…we made a road trip there,” she said. “That was sort of how my interest started.” Her father had suggested the idea, and it planted a seed. Dvorak became a research interest, one that has remained over the years. Growing up near Anamosa, Meredith said she has always been fascinated by Dvorak’s visit to Spillville. Meredith undertook her doctoral work at the University of Iowa with one of her main areas of study as the vocal repertoire of Dvorak.
She recently journeyed to the Czech Republic to serve as a judge for the 51st Dvorak International Voice Competition in Karlovy Vary. Meredith has been involved with this since 1994. The competition is a chance to keep alive Dvorak’s memory. “I have judged at this competition many times since 1994 and brought the first American singers there in 1997,” said Livingstone. While there, she had a chance to spend time with Antonin Dvorak III, a great-grandson of the famed composer. Interestingly enough, the younger Dvorak has also been to Spillville. “He loves Spillville,” said Meredith. More than any other topic, that is the one Meredith notes Dvorak speaking about. Nor is the interest limited to just Dvorak. “All the Czech people I met there they all know about Spillville.”