UNH Professor Sets Poetry To Music For Two Local Choirs

Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations

Feb. 3, 2005

DURHAM, N.H. – The premiere of A Year and a Day by University of New Hampshire music professor and pianist Christopher Kies, based on poetry written by students at Moharimet Elementary School, will be featured in a concert Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005, at 4 p.m. at Oyster River High School by local choruses Amare Cantare and the Sandpipers, children’s chorus of the Seacoast.

There are several other UNH connections to the concert. The 17 featured poems were chosen from more than 500 that came out of the school’s involvement in Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy Through Art, an art and literature based approach to writing developed by Beth Olshansky at the university. In addition, four UNH students — Heidi Bean, flute; Andrew Demeusy, cello; Joel Biedrzycki, percussion; and Jonathan Roberts, synthesizer — perform with Kies on the piece, and many members of the choral chamber group Amare Cantare are current or retired UNH faculty or staff members. They include Dan Beller-McKenna, Jim Lewis, Dwayne Wrightsman, Bill Hersman, John Wallace, Bruce McKibben and Linda Wrightsman. Bobby Hill is a recent graduate of the UNH Music Department and Carolyn O’Donnell is working on a degree in philosophy.

Kies’ interest in composing for young people grew out of his relationship with his three daughters, who all attended Moharimet and sang in Sandpipers, a children’s chorus in the Seacoast for girls and boys ages 9-16. He has been a member of the UNH Music Department since 1979, and has given many performances of the modern classic, The Story of Babar for piano and narrator in Seacoast area elementary schools. Kies has coordinated two other special concerts — featuring his original compositions — for elementary and middle school students in the area designed to introduce them to classical music.

Tickets are $12 at the door and $10 in advance; $8 for seniors and students age 12 and older, $4 for students age 11 and under. Advance tickets are available at Baldface Books in Dover, Durham Book Exchange, Water Street Books in Exeter, and Serendipity in Portsmouth. For more information visit http://www.amarecantare.com or call 603-664-5974.