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Spring 2016 Concert Schedule

January 2016
January 27 (Wed) Modfest Music Library Display

On view second semester, beginning January 27, 2016. The Vassar College Music Library presents a display highlighting Modfest music activities and musicians, curated by Sarah Canino, music librarian. Open daily.

Fri, Jan 29, 4:30pm Modfest Presentation: Robinson McClellan ’99

The composer discusses his career ‘after Vassar,’ including ComposerCraft, his seminar for young composers at the Kaufman Music Center; his online theory course at Rutgers; and the online music notation company Noteflight, where he works developing the notation editor and helping composers and teachers to use the software. Co-sponsored by the Career Development Office.

Music Library Listening Classroom

Fri, Jan 29, 9:00pm Modfest Concert: Vassar Jazz Combos

The student ensembles present a colorful variety of jazz styles. James Osborn, director of the jazz groups. 

Villard Room, Main Building

Sat, Jan 30, 11:00am Modfest Master Class: The Art of Cabaret Performance

Jennie Litt and David Alpher coach student performers in the art of cabaret performance, with a particular focus on microphone technique, subtext, intimacy, authenticity, patter, and the conventions of cabaret as distinct from classical singing, pop, and musical theater.

Villard Room, Main Building

Sat, Jan 30, 8:00pm Modfest Concert: Music by Vassar Composers—Plus
Vocal works by Susan Botti, Richard Wilson and Igor Stravinsky along with piano works by David Alpher, Yehudi Wyner, Bernard Rands, and Claude Debussy, will be performed by singers Lucy Shelton and Eric Brenner ’92, and pianists Gregg Michalak and Todd Crow.
Sun, Jan 31, 3:00pm Modfest Concert: Vassar College Percussion Ensemble Debut

Vassar faculty members Frank Cassara and Trey Files join Lauren Workman ’17, Robert Nikolai ’19, and Ilan Korman ’19, in this newly formed group to present music by John Cage, Henry Cowell, Steve Reich, Askell Masson and James Romig.

February 2016
Fri, Feb 5, 4:00pm Modfest Presentation: Nathan Schram – Music in the Prisons

A presentation by violist Nathan Schram about MUSICAMBIA, a New York-based initiative working toward establishing a network of music programs within prisons and jails in the United States. The program is currently active in Sing Sing.
Co-sponsored by the departments of Education, Hispanic Studies, Music, Political Science, and Sociology, as well as the Africana Studies Interdisciplinary Program, the Career Development Office, and the Office of the Dean of Faculty.

Sanders Classroom Building, Spitzer Auditorium (room 212)

Fri, Feb 5, 6:00pm Modfest Cabaret Night

Members of the Vassar College Choir, Women's Chorus, and Madrigal Singers hold a Cabaret Fundraiser to benefit their upcoming March 2016 tour to Cuba. Among the attractions are a silent auction, tasty food, and outstanding  musical theater, jazz, and piano music. For tickets, please contact Mary Lesher at or (715) 441-3789.  Reserved ticket prices: Adults (18+)-$25; Seniors (65+)-$20; Children (Under 18)-$10; Students (with ID)-$10. Prices higher at the door.

Rose Parlor and Villard Room, Main Building

Sat, Feb 6, 11:00am Modfest Open Rehearsal: Mahagonny Ensembles

Conducted by Jaylin Remensperger ’17 and Joseph Sopchak ’16. Composer Robin McClellan ’99 coaches the student-run contemporary groups in the preparation of his new work entitled Abraham and Isaac.

Sat, Feb 6, 2:00pm ChoralFest

Cappella Festiva Treble Choir performs in a joint concert with the Vassar College Women’s Chorus in a celebration of music for treble voices. Music of Jim Papoulis, Eleanor Daley, Carson Cooman, and the regional premiere of a new work by Moira Smiley. Christine Howlett, conductor.  

Sat, Feb 6, 8:00pm Modfest Concert by the Vassar Ensembles

The Vassar College Orchestra performs music by Norman Dello Joio, Charles Ives, and Prokofiev. The Mahagonny Ensembles perform a première by alumnus Robinson McClellan ’99. Eduardo Navega, Jaylin Remensperger ’17 and Joseph Sopchak ’16, conductors.

Sun, Feb 7, 3:00pm Modfest Concert: Attacca Quartet

The prize-winning, internationally acclaimed young ensemble in works by Haydn, Richard Wilson, and John Adams. 

Wed, Feb 10, 3:30pm Modfest Presentation: Music, Words, Dance and Images

Dance, featuring students of Alessia Santoro, adjunct instructor in dance; chamber music by students from the classes of Eduardo Navega, lecturer in music and director of the program in chamber music; and readings of original prose and poetry by students of Jean Kane, Paul Kane and Michael Joyce, professors of English. A display organized by Sam Schwamm ’16 and Lucas Kautz ’17 will present work by students from Phocus, Vassar College’s photography club. A reception with food accompanied by jazz provided by students of Peter Tomlinson, adjunct artist in music, will give the audience time to view the exhibit.

Villard Room, Main Building

Thu, Feb 11, 7:00pm Modfest Presentation at Late Night at the Lehman Loeb

Chamber music and readings of original prose and poetry by Vassar students from the classes of Eduardo Navega, lecturer in music and director of the program in chamber music, and Jean Kane and Michael Joyce, professors of English.

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

Sun, Feb 14, 3:00pm Thomas Sauer, piano

Works by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Adès, and others.

Fri, Feb 26, 8:00pm Vassar College and Community Wind Ensemble

James Osborn, conductor.

View webcast here.

View program here.

Sat, Feb 27, 8:00pm Alash

Alash are masters of traditional Tuvan instruments as well as the ancient art of throat singing, a remarkable technique for signing multiple pitches at the same time. Believing that traditional music must constantly evolve, the musicians subtly infuse their songs with western elements creating their own unique style that is fresh and new, yet true to their Tuvan musical heritage.

A Dickinson-Kayden Event

Sun, Feb 28, 3:00pm The Polonsky/Weiss Duo

Faculty member Anna Polonsky and Orion Weiss present works by Barber, Debussy, Mozart, and others in a four-hand piano concert.

March 2016
Sat, Mar 5, 1:30pm Senior Recital: Rachel Fuerstman, mezzo-soprano

Assisted by Richard Mogavero, piano. Works by Bizet, Brahms, Alma Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and others.

Sat, Mar 5, 8:00pm Vassar College Orchestra

Eduardo Navega, conductorFeaturing winners of the Vassar College Concerto Competition: Yanjie Zheng ’18, piano, and Ruby Pierce ’16, soprano. Works by Albeniz, Beethoven, Delibes, and Gomes.

View webcast here.

View program here.

Sun, Mar 6, 3:00pm Marka Young, violin

With Anastasia Solberg, viola, and Alex Peh, piano. Works by Claude Debussy, Richard Wilson, Lazlo Weiner, and César Franck.

April 2016
Sat, Apr 2, 1:30pm Senior Recital: Karen Ratcliffe, soprano

Assisted by David Alpher, piano. Works by Copland, Larsen, and Alpher & Litt. 

Sat, Apr 2, 8:00pm Vassar College Choir, Women’s Chorus, and Madrigal Singers

“Back from Cuba.” Fresh off their tour in Cuba, this special concert features all three ensembles with works by early Spanish composers Tomas Luis de Victoria, Alfonso el Sabio, Juan del Encina, Didacus Garcon, as well as American composers Wiliam Billings, Michelle Roueche, Yehudi Wyner, Eric Whitacre, Carson Cooman, and others. Christine Howlett and Drew Minter, conductors

View webcast here.

Sat, Apr 9, 8:00pm Decoda
The dynamic chamber group, an Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, completes its three-day residency at Vassar with a concert featuring works by Brahms, Ligeti, Nathan Schram, and world premieres by Richard Wilson and Brad Balliett.
Sun, Apr 10, 2:00pm Opera Aria Master Class with Sharon Daniels

Associate Professor of Music at Boston University, opera director and singing actress, Sharon Daniels coaches voice students of the music department in arias and opera scenes.

Sat, Apr 16, 1:30pm Senior Recital: Gregory Cristina, bassoon
Works by Fasch, Nussio, Siquiera, and Elgar.
Sat, Apr 16, 4:00pm Senior Recital: Madeline Pollis, soprano

Assisted by Richard Mogavero, piano. Works by Strauss, Chaminade, Beach, Mozart, Donizetti, Moore, and Handel.

Sun, Apr 17, 3:00pm Venti

The wind quartet, which includes clarinet faculty member Larry Guy, performs works by Berger, Francaix, Lajtha, and Mozart.

Sat, Apr 23, 1:30pm Senior Recital: Sarah Johnson, organ

Works by Sweelinck, J.S. Bach, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and others. The concert will begin in Skinner Hall and, after a brief intermission, will conclude in the Chapel.

Skinner Hall of Music and Chapel

Sat, Apr 23, 4:00pm Senior Recital: Asia Howard, soprano

Assisted by Gregg Michalak, piano. Works by Handel, Rossini, Offenbach, Faure, Granados, and others.

Fri, Apr 29, 8:00pm Vassar College Jazz Ensembles

James Osborn, director.

View webcast here.

View program here.

Sat, Apr 30, 1:30pm Senior Recital: Ruby Pierce, soprano

Assisted by David Alpher, piano. Works by Sullivan, Parry, Strauss, Milhaud, Delibes, and Ravel.

Sat, Apr 30, 4:00pm Senior Recital: Alyssa Caplan, soprano

Assisted by Richard Mogavero, piano. Works by Granados, Faure, Mozart, Schubert, Handel, and others.

Sat, Apr 30, 8:00pm Vassar College Madrigal Singers and Women’s Chorus

Christine Howlett and Drew Minter, conductors.

View webcast here.

View program here.

May 2016
Sun, May 1, 3:00pm Vassar College and Community Wind Ensemble

James Osborn, conductor.

View webcast here.

View program here.

Tue, May 3, 8:00pm A Recital of the Vassar College Chamber Music Program
Eduardo Navega, director.
Thu, May 5, 7:00pm Sound of Space Concert

Audience members will journey across campus as the Vassar College Choir performs in various locations to celebrate and explore each space's architectural and acoustical elements. This concert is the culmination of  "The Sound of Space," a course supported by the Creative Arts Across Disciplines Initiative at Vassar. 

Seating is limited. For reservations, please visit the Information Desk at Campus Activities or email by April 21, 2016. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact the Campus Activities Office, (845) 437-5370


Fri, May 6, 8:00pm Vassar College Orchestra

Eduardo Navega, conductor.

View webcast here.

View the program here.

Fri, May 13, 8:00pm Opera Workshop

Drew Minter, director, and Miriam Charney, music director. Scenes by Mozart, Bizet, Berlioz, Rossini and others.

View webcast here.

View the program.

Sun, May 15, 8:00pm Vassar Camerata

Sarah Johnson ’16, Isabel Morrison ’19, and Talya Phelps ’19, directors. Ari Bell ’18, assistant director.

Works by Byrd, Calvisius, Coperario, Giovanni Gabrieli, and others.

Mon, May 16, 8:00pm Mahagonny Ensemble

Jaylin Remensperger ’17, director.

Chamber music by Prokofiev, Pärt, Bartók, Maurice Emmanuel, Studio Ghibli, and Max Fine ’17.

Sat, May 28, 3:00pm Commencement Concert for the Class of 2016

Presented by members of the music department faculty:

Gail Archer, organ, Terry Champlin, guitar, Robert Osborne, bass-baritone, Todd Crow, piano, and Thomas Sauer, piano.