2023 Iva Dee Hiatt Memorial Concert
NORTHAMPTON, MA—The Smith College Department of Music presents the 2023 Iva Dee Hiatt Memorial Concert on April 1 in John M. Greene Hall. The Smith College Orchestra presents the Second Symphony “Resurrection” by Gustav Mahler with soloists Rehanna Thelwell, mezzo–soprano and Katherine Saik DeLugan, soprano, with a chorus comprised of the Smith Glee Club, members of the Alumnae Chorus, the Amherst College Glee Club, the University of Massachusetts Chorale, the Penn State Glee Club and Concert Choir, and alumni. The concert starts at 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Masks are optional and welcome.
Jonathan Hirsh, Director of Orchestral and Choral Activities at Smith College who is conducting the orchestra is excited to provide students with the opportunity to work on one of the great masterpieces of symphonic repertoire. “Christopher Kiver, conductor of the Penn State Glee Club, suggested Mahler’s Resurrection and it really resonated with me as we are all coming back from the disruption and isolation of the pandemic.” Hirsh explained. “Also, it is great for the students to experience a piece with the grandeur and scale of Mahler’s Second Symphony and to work with a number of guest performers.” Paige Graham directs the Smith College Glee Club, the Amherst College Glee Club is conducted by Arianne Abela SC ’08 and Stephen Paparo conducts the University of Massachusetts Chorale. Soloists Rehanna Thelwell and Katherine Saik Delugan join the student ensembles for the symphony. The Smith Ensembles will travel to Philadelphia to perform the concert for a rare second performance at the Temple University Performing Arts Center on April 15.
Mezzo-Soprano Rehanna Thelwell has been applauded for her “superb” work by BroadwayWorld and has been singled out for her “dynamic presence” by The Washington Post. Her performances have been described as having “thrilling commitment and dramatic intelligence” with “hair-raising intensity” by the Washington Classical Review and KDHX. In her most recent performances, the New Jersey native joined Opera Theatre of St. Louis to bring William Grant Still’s Highway 1, U.S.A. to the stage as well as return to the Cafritz Young Artist program for Washington National Opera’s 2021–22 season. Along with her mainstage roles, Thelwell has had the opportunity to perform Carlos Simon’s Portrait of a Queen with the National Symphony Orchestra and will be part of the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s The Listeners.
Katherine Saik DeLugan, soprano, is a cross-genre vocalist and performing arts educator who currently serves as a Core Lecturer in Music at Smith College. She holds a Bachelor of Music from UMass Amherst and a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music. While a graduate student, Katherine was the second-place winner in the Alan and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition and first place winner in the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition. Since returning to the Pioneer Valley, she has sung many operatic roles which have been described by MassLive as “gloriously sung” and having “sparkled easily above the orchestra.” They include La bohème (Mimi), Pagliacci (Nedda), Cavalleria Rusticana (Lola), Idomeneo (Idamante), Le Nozze di Figaro (Countess), Windows (Con Man) and Die Walküre (Siegrune). In addition, she has performed as a concert soloist with many regional orchestras, choirs, colleges and universities and has been active as an administrator and stage director for arts organizations in the Pioneer Valley.