ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center has been awarded a Community Arts Access grant of $1,000 from the Rockford Area Arts Council.
The grant will be used for a multi-tiered project entitled “Songs of the World.” The project includes the world premiere of Donald Fraser’s choral/orchestral song cycle “Songs of the World” in a public concert, and three composition workshops with Mr. Fraser for local music students.
The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center commissioned “Songs of the World” from British Academy Award-winning composer Donald Fraser, who was born in England and now lives and works in the greater Rockford area. Based on folk music from around the globe, the piece celebrates the commonality of human experiences everywhere – birth, innocence, war, peace, love, and death.
Mendelssohn PAC will present the world premiere of the piece in a public concert on Friday, April 27, at Court Street United Methodist Church. Performers will include the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, solo vocalists Jonita Lattimore and Robert Sims, and singers from the Mendelssohn Chorale, Rock Valley Children’s Choir, and Belvidere High School Choir. A “meet the artist” postconcert reception will be held at the Emerson House on the Mendelssohn PAC campus. During the week of the concert, Mr. Fraser will lead two free interactive composition workshops for elementary and high school students to explore the creative process and theory of composition. Mr. Fraser will also lead a free interactive master class for local college students to perform their own compositions for Mr. Fraser and receive his critiques. Local school and youth orchestra and choir participants will also be invited to observe an open rehearsal for the concert.
“We at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center are very grateful to the Rockford Area Arts Council for helping us present this project to the Rockford community. We hope our audience and musicians will enjoy and value “Songs of the World” for its artistic merit, and as a celebration of different cultures and the common experiences that every culture shares,” said Beverly Broyles, Mendelssohn’s Executive Director.
“This project is exciting for our community and illustrates the breadth of the artists we are so fortunate to have in our community,” said Anne E. O’Keefe, President and CEO of the Rockford Area Arts Council.
The Rockford Area Arts Council supports, promotes, and develops the arts for everyone in our Northern Illinois region. The organization offers arts programs for all ages, awards grants to artists, art organizations, and schools, and acts as an umbrella organization and catalyst for community development.