“Lux Aeterna” to be Performed by the Festival Choir

3 08 2012

Ending this year’s Summer Program in style is this year’s Festival Choir concert. Under the direction of Dr. Joe Modica, who returns for the fifth summer,  this collection of young vocalists will undertake Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna”. This seminal work will be performed at Idyllwild Arts on Saturday, August 18 at 1:00 pm and on Sunday, August 19 at 2:00 pm in the University of Redlands Memorial Chapel.

Dr. Modica responded to a few questions for us about the upcoming 2012 Festival Choir and performances.

How has the Festival Choir changed and progressed in the past few years?
We have really put an emphasis on recruiting highly talented high school musicians, most of which have been part of various honor choirs or come recommended by their music teachers. It seems that every year the choir improves, allowing us to perform very Challenging repertoire.

What sort of students do you see coming to the program?
We have students from all over the country attend the festival choir. In the past we have had students from New York, Connecticut, South Carolina, and even Russia and China. Of course most of the students are from California, but these other students lend us a little more diversity.

With young voices how do you approach teaching such an intricate and complex work?
Almost all of the students have had previous experience in a choir. We have a very demanding rehearsal schedule (about 8 hours a day), so it is very important to be careful with young singers so they don’t lose their voices or form bad habits as far as technique. The choral faculty all work with this age group on a regular basis and understand how to teach the repertoire efficiently, keeping the students vocal health at the forefront. Read the rest of this entry »


Rich Capparela Returns for Chamber Music Pre-Concert Talks

3 08 2012

This year, we’re happy to welcome back Rich Capperela of KUSC radio. Rich returns to host pre-concert talks prior to the Faculty Chamber Music Concerts beginning at 7:30 pm in Stephens Recital Hall followed by a concert at 8:00 pm on Monday, August 6, Friday, August 10 and Thursday August 16.
As the weekday afternoon host (4-7pm) and Sunday afternoon host (1-4pm) on KUSC at 91.5 FM and, in Palm Springs on KPSC at 88.5 FM, Rich brings his thoughtful and articulate perspective to help the audience appreciate the works even more.

The Chamber Music Festival returns this after a two-year hiatus. Begun originally in 2001 the Festival continue until 2009. With renewed commitment, Idyllwild Arts Summer Program is reintroducing the Festival and its performances by both students and faculty to the public. Rich has always been a part of the Chamber Music Festival and it’s wonderful to have him back.

Q. What do you see as the best experience of coming to hear a Chamber Music Concert?
A. My wife Marcia and I like to kid around that when we’re on the hill we always have a terrific appetite. The food just tastes better. “It’s the altitude” we half joke. It’s a bit like that for the chamber music festival. A Beethoven piano trio sounds all well and fine at sea level, but on the hill, with a star-filled sky and the scent of fresh pine, it’s simply better. No worries about a traffic jam in the parking garage at the concert’s end, the promise of a quiet night’s sleep. Yup. It’s just better.

Q.For a novice, what sort of guidelines would you give to an audience member? What can they expect to hear?
A. The faculty musicians put together programs that serve both as a cozy familiar experience and as a chance to make new friends. While names like Mozart and Brahms are not uncommon, the performers also introduce audiences to composers who are off the beaten path (but no less deserving) – folks like Bohuslav Martinu, Josef Suk and Anton Arensky.

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Marshall Hawkins Profile

9 07 2012

Marshall Hawkins Profile

Inspiring Excellence – An Interview with Marshall Hawkins

Take a seat, grab a cup of tea, and spend a few golden moments with Jazz icon Marshall Hawkins. Marshall has taught Jazz at Idyllwild Arts, in the Academy and Summer Jazz Programs, for 26 years. He also helped start the Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines event 18 years ago. Carrying on the tradition of excellence just as Idyllwild Arts Jazz alumni have done for many years, his current students are seeing great success. They recently placed first in the AAAA High School Combo competition at the Reno Jazz Festival. Read the rest of this entry »