Soprano Hope Koehler of the West Virginia University music faculty will present a recital with James Douglass, pianist, at the Creative Arts Center, Sunday (Nov. 14).

The recital is in collaboration with flutist Francesca Arnone of the music faculty and WVU music alumnus Mark Gallagher, a clarinetist who is currently on the faculty of Frostburg State University.

The program begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A) and is free and open to the public.

Titled “A Celebration of Song,” it will include: “Four Fragments from the Canterbury Tales,” by Lester Trimble (1923-1986); “Lieder,” or German art songs, by Richard Strauss (1864-1949); “Careless Love,” “Sweet Little Boy Jesus,” “The Carol of the Birds” and other songs by John Jacob Niles (1892-1980); “Deep River,” “Walk Together Children” and other songs by Moses Hogan (1957-2003); “Lord, How Come Me Here” by Evelyn Simpson Curenton (b. 1953) and “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired” by Jacqueline Hairston (b. 1938).

“I’m really excited about this program,” Koehler said. “The first set, ‘Four Fragments from the Canterbury Tales’ by Lester Trimble, will be sung in the original Middle English of Geoffrey Chaucer. It’s great fun.”

Koehler has appeared with many opera companies and orchestras throughout the U.S. Her other stage credits include operetta and musical theatre, and she has performed as a soloist in oratorio and other choral orchestral works.

She is a regular performer and featured soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group that performs all over the world, and whose mission is to keep the American Negro Spiritual alive and vibrant. She has also been on the faculty of the prestigious Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts for seven years. She is currently also a member of the voice faculty at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

Douglass has been involved as a collaborative pianist in such diverse genres as chamber music, vocal arts, opera, choral arts, symphonic repertoire, jazz, cabaret, and musical theater. He joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as an assistant professor of collaborative piano and vocal coach in 2005. As a collaborative pianist his performances have included recitals and television and radio broadcasts across the U.S. and Europe.

Koehler and Douglass recorded “The Lass from the Low Countree,” a collection of John Jacob Niles songs, produced by the American Spiritual Ensemble and released on the Albany Records label.

For more information about the recital, contact the WVU College of Creative Arts at (304) 293-4359.


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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