The Marshall University School of Music will kick off the spring semester of its MUsic Mondays series at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22, at the Cellar Door, 903 Third Ave. Music History Professor Dr. Vicki Stroeher will explore music from Finland with a lecture titled “Finlandia: Jean Sibelius and the Search for a Finnish National Identity.”
This year’s series features two interlocking themes: Music Faculty Favorites and Music and National Identity. Stroeher, the series organizer and lead presenter for MUsic Mondays, said several of her colleagues approached her to introduce some of their favorite works to the public in a relaxed setting. “I’m excited for the second half of the series,” Stroeher said. “We’ve got quite a variety of experiences in store for the audience, including an in-depth look at works by Bach, Britten, Sibelius and David Maslanka, a contemporary American composer.”
The first lecture of the spring discusses how, “in the latter part of the 19th Century, Finland was being slowly taken over by Russian forces,” Stroeher said. “With these Russian forces came Russian culture, which threatened to push Finnish culture aside. Jean Sibelius realized that music had the potential to create a sense of community among his countrymen, so he began to seek out ways of incorporating national elements in his music. We’ll explore these elements, listening to several of his works.”
The spring series will continue through April with the following lecture topics:
Feb. 22: “Musical Responses to War: Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem,” presented by Stroeher
March 26: “The Mysteries of J.S. Bach’s Chaconne,” presented by Violin Professor Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith.
April 16: “A Good Melody: The Music of David Maslanka,” presented by Dr. Adam Dalton, associate director of bands.
Seating is limited. Participants are invited to arrive early to enjoy conversation and refreshments. Organizers ask for a $10 donation, payable at the door, with all proceeds going to support the music program. Checks should be made payable to Marshall University. MU students receive free admission with a Marshall ID.