Shelter: A Recital of Contemporary American Song

The Sage Chamber Music Society and the Smith College Department of Music present Shelter: A Recital of Contemporary American Song, with soprano Katherine Saik on Sunday, November 3, at 3 p.m. The concert, featuring the texts of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Frost, Fiona MacLeod, Mirabai, Toni Morrison and Sylvia Plath ’55 is performed in Sweeney Concert Hall and is free and open to the public.

From the ecstatic religious poetry of Mirabai written in 16th century India to the poems of Toni Morrison, Katherince Saik has chosen contemporary art songs that explore mysticism, self-actualization, and the discovery of joy. The concert title, Shelter, comes from one of four Morrison poems that André Previn set to music in 1995, Four Songs for Soprano, Piano, and Cello. “I wanted to honor the wonderful friendship between Toni Morrison and André Previn who both passed away recently,” Saik explained, “the idea of shelter brings to my mind finding a home, a place, a resolution. All of the songs in the concert are about searching for wholeness.”

The program also includes texts by Fiona MacLeod, a female alter-ego of poet William Sharp set to music by Charles T. Griffes in 1918; Elizabeth Barret Browning and Robert Frost set to music by Smith Professor Emeritus, Ronald Perera in 2017; and Ned Rorem’s Ariel, 5 Poems of Sylvia Plath, the only authorized songs composed for her work in 1971. Joining Saik in performing the five song sets are Clifton J. Noble, piano, Marie-Volcy Pelletier, cello, and Hannah Barube, clarinet.

Katherine Saik holds a Masters Degree in Voice Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from UMass Amherst. Katherine was awarded first place in the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition and Second Place in the Alan and Joan-Taub Ades vocal competition. A lover of all forms of music, she has worked in opera, musical theater, cabaret, and as a concert soloist. Recent performances include Idamante (Idomeneo), Nedda (Pagliacci), and Mimi (La Boheme). She has recently appeared as a soloist with The Farmington Valley Symphony, The South Hadley Chorale, and the Windham Orchestra. Ms. Saik currently teaches voice at Smith College and high school performing arts in Hatfield, Massachusetts.

Concert Details

The Music Makers by Ronald Parera, b. 1941

  • A Musical Instrument (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
  • The Aim Was Song (Robert Frost)

3 Poems of Fiona MacLeod, Charles T. Griffes, (1884-1920)

  • The Lament of Ian the Proud
  • Thy Dark eyes to mine
  • The Rose of the Night

Mirabai Songs, John Harbison, b. 1938

  • It’s True, I Went to the Market
  • Where Did You Go?
  • Don’t Go, Don’t Go

Ariel: 5 Poems of Sylvia Plath, Ned Rorem, b. 1923

  • Words
  • Poppies in July
  • The hanging man
  • Poppies in October
  • Lady Lazarus

Four Songs for Soprano, Piano, and Cello, André Previn, (1929-2019)

  • Mercy
  • Stones
  • Shelter
  • The Lace Maker