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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

American songs to be featured Wednesday at music festival

Monday, July 30, 2012

An evening of American songs and arias is set Wednesday as the Greencastle Summer Music Festival returns to Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church for its 10th free concert of the summer.

The 7:30 p.m. concert is free and open to the public.

Tenor Kerry Jennings and pianist Amanda Hopson, both DePauw University School of Music faculty members, will be joined by baritone Charles Stanton in performing music by Richard Hundley, Kurt Weill, Gian Carlo Menotti, Tom Cipullo and Aaron Copland.

The festival is supported by gifts from individuals, families and businesses that share a commitment to the mission of "bringing the community together with friends making music for friends."

Jennings and Stanton's performances are underwritten by a gift from Jane Irwin in memory of her late husband, the beloved DePauw voice professor Stanley J. Irwin.

"This is our only all-vocal recital of the summer and it's fantastic to have Kerry and Charles, outstanding singers with national careers, make music for and connect with the Summer Music Festival family," festival founder and director Eric Edberg, also a DePauw music professor, said.

"Amanda is an outstanding artist who has played for us a number of times. She and Kerry are in the midst of recording a CD of American music, and we're fortunate to hear some of that repertoire this week."

Jennings said the repertoire for this concert "includes some of the first songs I sang as a student by Richard Hundley, an impassioned lyricist who loves to caress the words with beguiling melody. It also includes a favorite aria by Kurt Weill and something new by one of New York's favorite song composers, Tom Cipullo."

In discussing his portion of the program, Stanton explained, "The repertoire I have chosen is some of my favorite American repertoire because of the historic and poetic importance. Copland has such a distinct 'American' sound. His writing created a new kind of nationalism in classical American writing. Barber has such gorgeous and achingly beautiful melodies; it seems remiss to leave him out of any American concert. With Menotti, 'The Old Maid and the Thief' was originally composed as a radio show. His writing is beautiful, accessible, and infused with countless comedic moments."

A tenor, Jennings has enjoyed a career encompassing opera, oratorio, recital, and chamber works. On the operatic stage, performance highlights have included more than 20 lead and supporting roles comprised of early, standard and contemporary repertoire.

Jennings has won many awards for his singing and was a District Winner and Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. He recently joined the faculty at DePauw where he teaches Voice, English and Italian Diction, and directs the Opera and Musical Theatre scenes programs.

A baritone, Stanton is the newly appointed vice president of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Having moved to Greencastle in October 2011, Stanton established the Greencastle Cultural Calendar on Facebook, which helps to connect the community to local and regional cultural events.

During the last five years, he has been featured on the cover of the Opera America magazine, has performed more than 20 world debuts of new works, and has directed numerous world and regional premieres.

Hopson has worked extensively as a freelance artist since moving to Indianapolis in 1998, specializing in song accompaniment.

She performs frequently as a master class accompanist for artists such as Elly Ameling, Leonard Hokanson and Nathan Gunn and has been heard in recital with singer Gabriel Crouch and Metropolitan Opera soprano Lise Lindstrom.

Hopson teaches piano, is senior staff accompanist and serves as coordinator of keyboard studies at DePauw University.

The festival continues on Wednesday, Aug. 8 with a program including the Rebecca Clarke Sonata for Viola and Piano performed by Nicole Brockmann and Darcy McCoy and the Brahms Quintet for Clarinet and Strings featuring Gareth Guest.

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