Crane School of Music Opens New Academic Year with Faculty Gala

Professors Take Center Stage at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music for 2018 Faculty Gala

POTSDAM, NY (08/27/2018) SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music will officially open the 2018-19 academic year with the annual Faculty Gala, on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall.

The performance will highlight members of Crane's illustrious and world-renowned faculty of scholars and artists.

"This year, the gala selections were chosen to highlight works from underrepresented parts of the repertoire. This can have many meanings, but selections for the concert program include pieces by women, pieces by composers from underrepresented groups, pieces reflecting stylistic diversity, and pieces whose title, text or programmatic content reflect these concerns," said concert organizer Dr. Lonel Woods, co-chair of music performance at Crane.

Woods added: "Some of the female composers featured include: Lauren Bernofsky, Annie Rabbat, Marguerite Béclard D'Harcourt and Florence Price, the first African-American female composer to have a symphonic composition performed by a major American symphony orchestra. This is the most female composers on this concert in my memory of this event!"

This year's gala program was also designed to particularly highlight group and ensemble performances, allowing the audience to see a broader cross-section of the faculty, and to see the idea of collaborative performance in action, Dr. Woods said.

About the program:

The Potsdam Brass Quintet (including John Ellis and James Madeja on trumpet, Kiirsi Johnson on horn, Mark Hartman on trombone and Charles Guy on tuba) will open the Faculty Gala concert with Lauren Bernofsky's "Suite for Brass Quintet." Then, a string quartet (including Maggie McKenna and Jennifer Kessler on violin, Erin Brooks on viola and Robert Docker on cello) will present a movement from Florence Price's "Quartet in G-Major."

Four Crane vocal faculty members will sing "You'll Never Sleep Tonight" from Tom Cipullo's song cycle, "Insomnia," accompanied by Kirk Severtson on piano. The vocalists include sopranos Margaret Chalker and Deborah Massell, and tenors Donald George and Lonel Woods. That will be followed by a rendition of José Luis Merlin's "Evocación y Joropo," by Jill Rubio on flute and Doug Rubio on guitar. Cellist Marie-Élaine Gagnon will then perform a setting of "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess" by George Gershwin, accompanied by pianist Julie Miller.

The Aria Reed Trio (featuring Anna Hendrickson on oboe, Julianne Kirk Doyle on clarinet and Carol Lowe on bassoon) will then take the stage to present two movements from "Rhapsodie Peruvienne" by Marguerite Béclard D'Harcourt. A string quintet (including Liesl Schoenberger Doty and Sarah Hersh on violin, Shelly Tramposh on viola, Marie-Élaine Gagnon on cello and John Geggie on double bass) will perform Annie Rabbat's "Los Gitanos de Jerez." Finally, pianist Young-Ah Tak will close out the program, with two piano works arranged by Franc Liszt, including Franz Schubert's "Gretchen am Spinnrade," and Niccolo Pagnini's "Etude No. 2 in E-Flat Major."

This concert is free, and the public is invited to attend.

This concert will be broadcast live on the Crane School of Music YouTube channel at the performance time. To view the program and see other upcoming streaming performances, visit

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