In the spring, Jessica Kizzire and Greg Newbold successfully defended their graduate documents. Greg’s master’s thesis explores serial procedures in Benjamin Frankel’s music for the Hammer cult film, Curse of the Werewolf (1961). In her doctoral dissertation, Jessica Kizzire contemplates musical adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels, with special emphasis placed on film and ballet. Congratulations to both on these major accomplishments!
Marian Wilson Kimber visited the FDR Presidential Library and Museum to examine the music sent by American citizens to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during the Great Depression. In June she appeared with pianist Natalie Landowski, performing spoken-word compositions by Phyllis Fergus at the 120th anniversary celebration of the founding of the National League of American Pen Women in Washington, D.C. Wilson Kimber’s article about Fergus, who became the first musician president of the Pen Women in 1936, was published in their magazine.
A quartet of the Anchiskhati Choir, the world’s foremost practitioners of Georgian traditional choral music, is visiting Iowa City on February 25–26. The visit is the first stop of a US tour connected with a symposium at Yale University.
According to John Graham of Yale University, “members of the Anchiskhati Choir come from different regions of Georgia where they have absorbed the unique singing traditions of their parents and grandparents. Singing weekly in the famous sixth-century Anchiskhati church in Tbilisi, Georgia, the group collaborates as a group of expert and passionate ethnomusicologists, who teach, hold workshops and regularly perform in Georgia and abroad.” Since 1988, the group has been at the forefront of a revival of Georgian traditional three-voice chant, which was eradicated at the beginning of the twentieth century. Their chanting is informed by intensive study of original recordings and transcriptions from that period. “The precision of timbre, tuning, and other nuances of authentic practice in an Anchiskhati performance yield an exquisite blend of ethereal Orthodox prayer text with the hearty enthusiasm of the Caucasian folk-singing style.”
On February 25 at 4:30 pm, they will give a lecture-demonstration entitled “An Introduction to Georgian Traditional Music” at the University Capitol Center Recital Hall (1670 UCC) in Old Capitol Town Centre, assisted by Matthew Arndt of the University of Iowa School of Music. That evening at 7:30 pm, the group will give a concert of secular and sacred music featuring traditional instruments at St. Raphael Orthodox Church, 722 East College Street, followed by a reception with Georgian food. Both events are free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted at the concert and reception. On February 26, the singers will visit choruses at three high schools in town: City, West, and Regina.
Matthew Arndt has been named the 2010–2011 recipient of the David Kraehenbuehl Prize, which is a $2,000 award for the best article in the Journal of Music Theory over a two-year period by an untenured author. The Prize is awarded by a committee of three external reviewers who are senior music theorists. The committee reports: “Focusing on Schenker’s and Schoenberg’s Harmonielehren, Arndt argues that conflicts in their theories of composition result from a mere difference in emphasis within their shared conception of the tone. The argument arises from a magisterial command of two recent interpretive approaches: integration theory and metaphor theory. The result is a hermeneutical tour de force with its own unique methodological blend.”