Lilac 94 Creates “Harp Commotion” for Music Hall’s Music at Noon Concert

Lilac94-GerrySzymanskiNoon • Tuesday, January 9th 2018
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall • Troy, NY

This Tuesday, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall’s 2017-18 Music at Noon series continues with a performance by the contemporary harp duo Lilac 94. Since 1988, on the second Tuesday of each month, The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall’s free Music at Noon concert series has highlighted the work of exceptional regional musicians with a diverse mix of musical styles.

Harpists Kathryn Sloat and Christina Brier make up Lilac 94. They began playing together in their first semester as masters students at the Eastman School of Music and formed Lilac 94 just before their graduation in May 2013. Their name reflects the duo’s origins in Rochester, New York—the lilac is the flower of the city—and there are a total of 94 strings between their two harps. Kathryn Sloat, “whose harp playing evoked the angels” (Brooklyn Discovery), is known for her work in opera and contemporary chamber music. Kate, a Capital Region native and alum of the Empire State Youth Orchestra, is now based in New York City and keeps quite busy free-lancing and teaching (most recently at Crane School of Music). When not performing and touring with Lilac 94, Christina Brier serves as Principal Harpist of the Carolina Philharmonic and Wilmington Symphony and maintains a teaching studio in Wilmington, North Carolina.

With a program entitled “Harp Commotion,” Lilac 94 presents numerous percussive works for harp duo which will have the harpists hitting their soundboards, slapping their strings, and in general, making a ruckus.

  • Carlos Salzedo — “Tango” from Suite of Eight Dances
  • Carlos Salzedo Pentacle [Steel --- Serenade --- Felines --- Catacombs --- Pantomime]
  • George Gershwin, arr. Stanley Chaloupka  — excerpt from a Suite from Porgy and Bess
  • Rebecca Larkin The Juniper Tree
  • Daniel MorelKC Blue
  • Bernard AndrèsParvis

The program opens with famed and influential harp composer Carlos Salzedo’s Pentacle, a landmark suite for harp duo in which Salzedo pioneered many of the extended techniques and percussive sounds that harpists use today. Up-and-coming composer Rebecca Larkin uses many of these same techniques to tell the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale “The Juniper Tree.” Because percussion plays an integral rhythmic role in jazz, the program includes jazzy favorites such as “Summertime” and “I got plenty of nuthin’” from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, as well as a jazzy new composition KC Blue, which was commissioned by Lilac 94. The program concludes with Bernard Andrès’ Parvis, a beloved standard of the contemporary harp duo.

If you have the opportunity to take bring your lunch to The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Tuesday, you’ll have a sonic adventure and experience some great musicking. Hope you can go!

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