to Begin Celebration of 100 Years of Music
Avanti Wind Quintet
Avanti Wind Quintet, a local group, and pianist Judith Gordon,
assistant professor of music, will perform works by Smith
composers in the year’s first Music in the
Noon Hour concert on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 12:30 p.m. in Sweeney
Concert Hall, Sage.
The concert will kick off a
yearlong series of concerts, lectures, and other special
events to honor the many composers, theorists, scholars,
and performers who have taught and performed at Smith in
the last century, as well as alumnae who have gone on to
distinguished careers in music.
The Avanti Quintet will perform
the 1955 Wind Quintet No. 1 by Professor Emeritus Alvin Etler.
Gordon will play "Prelude & Caprice"
from Suite for Piano by Donald Wheelock, professor of music
at Smith. She will also perform “Capricious” from Nostalgic
Watzes by Ross Lee Finney. The concert is free and open to
Etler (1913 - 1973)
was an American composer and oboist. He is known for his
harmonically and texturally complex compositional style,
taking inspiration from the works of Bartók and Copland as well as the dissonant
and accented styles of jazz. He taught at Yale, Cornell,
the University of Illinois and at Smith College until his
death. His distinguished compositional career earned him
two Guggenheim Fellowships among other honors.
Lee Finney (1906-1997) studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger
and in Vienna with Alban Berg. Following a year at Harvard
in 1928, he joined the faculty of Smith College where he
began a series of scholarly publications of baroque works.
He also founded the Valley Press, publishing works by American
composers. A prolific artist, Finney received the 1927 Pulitzer
Prize for his First String Quartet. Other awards included
two Guggenheim fellowships, the Boston Symphony Award, the
Brandeis Medal, and election to both the National Institute
of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and
The music of Donald
Wheelock (b.1940), the Irwin and Pauline Alper Glass Professor of
Music at Smith College, is familiar to most frequenters of
new concert music in the Valley and includes many chamber
works, including five string quartets and eleven song cycles.
His orchestral music includes pieces composed for local student
orchestras: Three Pieces for Orchestra (1971) for the Amherst-Mount
Holyoke Chamber Orchestra; Diversions (1976) for the Smith
College Orchestra; and After-Images (1989) for the Five College
Orchestra. After-Images also received several performances
by the New England Philharmonic under the direction of Jeffrey
Rink. His song, “Fury,” commissioned
by the late William Parker, is the first song on the AIDS
Quilt Songbook (harmonia mundi).