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ALESSANDRA MARC JOINS MUSIC ENSEMBLES ON APRIL 16

April 8, 2004
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC
ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP CONCERT
featuring special guest artist
Soprano ALESSANDRA MARC
Friday, April 16, 8:00 p.m.


Fairfax, Virginia, March 12, 2004— George Mason University music students receive an education that celebrates excellence. The Washington Post described a 2002 concert as, "...impressive-not only as a student performance, but by any standards." A Mason graduate student was selected as assistant conductor of the Washington Symphony Orchestra, numerous students have been winners and finalists of local, state, and regional competitions and choral students have traveled the world, to locations like Cologne to sing in the Köln Philharmonie. For this year’s George Mason University Department of Music Annual Scholarship Concert, the orchestra and choruses perform works by Borodin and Bernstein, and are joined by world famous soprano Alessandra Marc. In addition to singing some of Puccini’s passionate music from his dramatic 1926 masterpiece, Turandot, Ms. Marc, whose February appearance at the Center for the Arts was derailed by a schedule change, is also scheduled to perform the opening aria from Wagner’s Tannhauser, Act II, "Dich, teure Halle."

Ms. Marc has made the role of the beautiful cold-hearted femme fatale princess who lures love-struck princes to their death, her own. Her performance of the lead in Turandot has been called "inspired" (the Baltimore Sun on her Washington Opera appearance in 2001), and The Washington Post said, "her voice has a thrilling top…with a powerful sense of the spoken voice…she is an imposingly imperious Turandot."
The concert begins at 8:00PM on Friday, April 16 at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Mason’s Fairfax campus.

Under the sure hand of conductor Anthony Maiello, the George Mason Symphony Orchestra executes its interpretation of Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances. This beautiful melody, known popularly as "Stranger in Paradise," features a lilting woodwind introduction, leading into a trumpet solo, followed by a powerful full band statement.

The George Mason University Choruses, led by Stanley Engebretson and Lisa Billingham perform the serene, affirmative, and strongly tonal Chichester PsalmsLeonard Bernstein's first composition after the Third Symphony, Kaddish. Moving from a dramatic introductory phrase to the chorus' joyous outburst of praise to Psalm 100, the last movement finds the orchestra hushed until the chorus enters with a song of comfort; moving to the plea for peace, as the orchestra quietly adds its "Amen."

American soprano Alessandra Marc’s recital offerings frequently include songs by Richard Strauss, Wolf, Brahms, Weill, Britten, Ravel, Rossini and Mahler and arias and concert scenes, as well as spirituals and pop standards. Ms. Marc made her La Scala debut in Turandot in June 2001 and appeared in October 2003 with the GRAMMY-winning Washington Chorus singing the demanding soprano in Verdi’s Requiem.

This annual showcase of the best and brightest from the department supports both endowed and scholarships of distinction, assuring that the high standards within the University’s Department of Music and the quality of music education and extraordinary performance opportunities will increase.

PROGRAM
George Mason University Department of Music
Annual Scholarship Concert
Featuring guest soloist, soprano Alessandra Marc
Friday, April 16, 8PM


Alexander Borodin
Polovetsian Dances from Prince Igor
GMU Symphony Orchestra
led by Anthony Maiello

Leonard Bernstein
Chichester Psalms
GMU Combined Choruses
led by Dr. Stanley Engebretson and Dr. Lisa Billingham

"Great Soprano Arias from Wagner and Puccini"
Wagner/Tannhauser Act II, Opening aria: "Dich, teure Halle"
Puccini/Turandot Act II Extracts
soprano ALESSANDRA MARC
program subject to change

Tickets for the George Mason Annual Music Scholarship Concert are $15-adults,
$8-students/seniors. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa


The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.