American composer Juliana Hall will be a special guest at the 2018 Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, and a benefit concert of her works will be presented on Wednesday, May 23.

American composer Juliana Hall will be a special guest at the 2018 Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, and a benefit concert of her works will be presented on Wednesday, May 23.

POTSDAM, NY – The Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar will kick off its seventh season with a special benefit gala recital, “An Evening with American Composer Juliana Hall,” next week at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

The Crane School of Music is proud to host the 2018 Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, which will be held from Wednesday, May 23 to Sunday, May 27. The seminar will welcome nine Fellows this year.

The Fall Island Vocal Arts seminar was founded by Artistic Director Stephanie Blythe ’92, the acclaimed opera singer and recitalist, as a venue for emerging singers and pianists to cultivate their artistry through contemporary American art song.

Nine emerging artists, including six singers and three pianists between the ages of 23 and 35, were selected from a competitive international audition for a fellowship to work with Blythe and Music Director Alan Smith. Smith is a noted pianist, vocal coach and composer, who is a member of the faculty at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Alumni of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar’s Emerging Artist Fellowship Program have gone on to win distinguished competitions and participate in some of the top-tier young artist programs in the country.

The opening gala recital, titled “An Evening with American Composer Juliana Hall,” will feature the 2018 Fellows, as well as Blythe and Smith, in a celebration of Hall’s works. The benefit concert will be held on Wednesday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m., in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater at The Crane School of Music.

Tickets are $18 for general admission or $15 with SUNY ID. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the Community Performance Series Box Office at (315) 267-2277 or by visiting http://www.cpspotsdam.org. All proceeds will benefit the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar.

Juliana Hall is a prolific and highly-regarded composer of vocal music, whose songs have been described as “brilliant” (Washington Post), “beguiling” (Times of London) and “genuinely moving” (Boston Globe). The NATS Journal of Singing wrote that her “text setting is spot on and exquisite,” and Voix des Arts noted that Hall “perpetuates the American art song tradition of Beach, Barber and Bolcom with music of ingenuity and integrity.”

The remaining public events are free to attend, and all are welcome.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 24 to 26, there will be daily open masterclasses featuring Blythe and Smith working with the 2018 Fellows. All masterclasses will be held at 10:30 a.m. each day in Snell Theater.

On Friday, May 25, Dr. Gary Busch will present a lecture/recital, titled “Love with the Proper Invention: Songs of American Courtship and Ingenuity,” at 7:30 p.m., in Snell Theater. Busch will be joined by participants in the Repertoire Development for Teachers Program.

The final recital featuring the 2018 Fellows performing the music of living American composers will be offered on Sunday, May 27 at 2 p.m., also in Snell Theater.

All three recitals and the first masterclass will stream live on the Crane School of Music YouTube channel at the performance times. To view the livestreams, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/Crane/streaming.

The 2018 Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar Fellows are:

  • Rachael Braunstein, soprano
  • Maggie Finnegan, soprano
  • Tatiana Lokhina, piano
  • Samuel Oram, piano
  • Emily Riley, soprano
  • Sara Schabas, soprano
  • Curtis Serafin, piano
  • Alexandra Smither, soprano
  • William Socolof, bass-baritone

For full bios of each of the 2018 Fellows, please visit http://www.fallisland.org/meet-the-2018-fellows/.

Lorraine Yaros Sullivan, an associate professor of voice at The Crane School of Music, serves as the executive director of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar. Daniel Mertzlufft ’15 is the assistant director for the seminar.

North Country Public Radio is the media sponsor for the 2018 Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar.

For more information about the 2018 Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, visit http://www.fallisland.org.

About The Crane School of Music:

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution. For more information, please visit http://www.potsdam.edu/crane.