Thursday, October 18, 2007
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Musicians from University of Brasilia to visit Marshall University next week

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A trio of guest musicians from the University of Brasilia, Brazil, are spending a week in Huntington to perform and conduct master classes while on the Huntington campus of Marshall University.

The visit is a result of a recently signed document between Marshall and the University of Brasilia regarding an exchange program for students and faculty, with the goal of establishing a dual degree in music in the future.

Soprano Irene Bentley, composer Dr. Sergio Nogueira Mendes, and pianist/composer Renato Vasconcellos are attending various music department classes in theory, history, and jazz as well as working individually with Marshall music students.

On Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m., Vasconcellos will give a recital in the Smith Music Hall. Also performing that evening will be Dr. Sean Parsons, Marshall music faculty member in jazz studies and piano.

Next week, on Tuesday, Oct. 23, Mendes will give a lecture on the history of Brazilian Music at 2 p.m. in Smith Music Hall.

Bentley, a native of São Paulo, graduated from the Federal University of Goiás, where she earned both a bachelor’s degree in vocal music and the teaching license degree in music. At the University of Brasilia, she teaches applied voice lessons, physiology of the voice, techniques of vocal expression and opera studio.  She has participated in several operas and extensively performed solo recitals throughout Brazil.

Mendes received his bachelor’s degree in Musical Education, Composition and Conducting from the University of Brasília, his M.A. in musicology from the University of Rio de Janeiro, and his Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Campinas. At the University of Brasilia, he teaches composition, musical analysis, orchestration and Brazilian music history. As a composer, his works have been performed and recorded by groups of diverse instruments.

Vasconcellos was born in 1959, in Caratinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Brasilia and in 2001 graduated from the University of Louisville with a Master of Music degree with a concentration in jazz. 

At Louisville, he served as a graduate teaching assistant, performed in Jazz Ensemble I and directed the Brazilian Ensemble.

Vasconcellos was awarded the Medal of Cultural Merit by the Government of Brasilia, in 1999 in recognition to his composition Suite Brasilia, considered one of the three most representative works since the foundation of the new capital in 1960.

Bentley, Mendes, and Vasconcellos will be in residence on the Huntington campus until Friday, Oct. 26. For further information, persons may contact the Marshall department of music at (304) 696-3117.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197