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Winter 2023 Faculty Notes

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on February 14, 2023 - 11:24am

Honors, accolades, research highlights and other news from the School of Music faculty.

Tekla Cunningham, violin

The violinist performs the complete cycle of fifteen sonatas by H.I.F. von Biber, his "Mystery Sonatas," in three concerts in Seattle this season. She performed the first installment - the Joyful Mysteries - at Meany Hall on January 25. Seattle performances of Part 2, The Sorrowful Mysteries, are March 18 and 19 at St. Mark's Cathedral. Read more about the project here. In collaborations with UW faculty colleagues, she worked with Voice faculty member Carrie Shaw and her ensemble of singers in programming the Winter Quarter concert by the UW Baroque Ensemble (she is ensemble director). The program of works by Telemann and Graupner concludes with Bach's Cantata BWV 4 "Christ lag in Todesbanden." In other performance highlights, Cunningham performed the contemporary premiere of a Schmelzer sonata from Dr. Charles Brewer's new edition in a concert with Pacific MusicWorks on Saturday, February 11. She looks forward to a March tour of "On the Breath of Angels," a North American tour with the great cornettist Bruce Dickey and soprano Hana Blažíková, followed by a very special concert of 17th century music for "broken consort" of violin, harp, viola da gamba and theorbo with Maxine Eilander, Stephen Stubbs and David Morris on March 25 and 26.  

Rhonda Kline, Collaborative Piano

Performances for the longtime School of Music opera coach and director of collaborative piano included "That's Amore," an evening of opera and song presented by Snohomish Concert Series, and March 18 and 19 performances of Mozart Requiem with Bellingham Chamber Chorale, arranged by Carl Czerny for piano four hands. Kline and Emily Gantt (former staff pianist) are pianists for the performance. Soloists include tenor Music History Professor Stephen Rumph and mezzo-soprano Kathryn Weld (vocal performance alumna). 

Michael Partington, Guitar

The head of the UW's Guitar program tours in the United Kingdom in March 2023, playing concerts in Hornblotton, Somerset, Myndtown, Shropshire, and Newport, as well as giving performances and masterclasses at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and the Royal Conservatoire in Birmingham. His program includes Hearing the Thing Itself, a new 30-minute solo work by Bryan Johanson, premiered by Partington at the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Festival in 2022, alongside music by Scarlatti, Mertz, Falla, and Turina.  

Anne Searcy, Music History

Her article "Dancers on a Grid: Musical Minimalism Arrives at New York City Ballet in 1983" was published in the winter 2022 issue of the Journal of the Society for American Music. 

Cristina Valdés, Piano

Cristina Valdés was featured on the title track of two recent recordings: "Deeply Lodged," by Tom Baker, and "Shimmer, Tree," by Kotoka Suzuki. The recording of "Shimmer, Tree," released on Starkland Records, won Gold Medals in the Experimental and Creativity/Originality categories at the Global Music Awards, and was on Bandcamp's Best Contemporary Classical list.

Giselle Wyers, Choral Conducting, Voice

Director of the UW Chorale has just learned that the choir will sing backup vocals for world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli in Climate Pledge Arena on May 14 as part of his current international tour. In other recent activities:

  • She has been commissioned by Capital High School Choral Program to write an original composition, Glad Soaring Bird, for their upcoming performance at NAfME NW Conference in Bellevue. Text is compilation of words taken from poetry written by John Bryen Leicester Warren, Richard Watson Gilder and Christina Rossetti. 
  • Skagit Valley Chorale has commissioned her to compose a string orchestra version of her composition, The Waking, originally commissioned in 2008 by UW Chamber Singers. Since then it has enjoyed repeat performances all over the world including on a CD by Canticum Chamber Choir of Australia.  
  • She has been invited to guest lecture at University of Iowa: Undergraduate choral conducting, graduate choral conducting (Laban movement) and clinic University Choir who are currently preparing two of Wyers’ compositions for live performances. 
  • Her community chorus, Concord Chamber Choir, will perform Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in Benaroya Hall with Harmonia Chorus and Orchestra under the direction of William White. 
  • Wyers conducts the All-City Choir of Salem, Oregon, an auditioned honor choir of Salem’s top high school students.