BarbaraHarbach612Sunset: Saint Louis and St. Louis Blues, choral works by Barbara Harbach will be Premiered by Dr. Gerald Myers and the St. Louis Community College-Meramec Concert Choir on Tuesday, March 5 – 7:30 PM in the Meramec Theater, Humanities East on the campus of Meramec Community College, 11333 Big Bend Road in St. Louis, Missouri. Both works were commissioned by and are dedicated to Dr. Myers and the STLCC Meramec Concert Choir.

The Women’s History Month concert will also feature music by Sarah Groves, Susan LaBarr, Giselle Wyers, Andrea Veneracion, Ruth Schram, Natasha Bedingfield, Gloria West, Alice Parker and Barbara Higbie. The concert will also include performances by the STLCC Chamber Singers and Voices of Magic, also conducted by Dr. Myers, and the St. Louis Harmony Chorus, a Sweet Adelines ensemble.

Sunset: Saint Louis is based on the poem by Sara Teasdale. Jeff Polizzi and Dr. Meyers have written, “In this naturalistic song, Barbara Harbach reminds us of a pleasant city, one with structure and majesty. The work features themes that are reflective of the city’s naturalistic and artificial structures. As the piece begins, consider gazing upon the sunset as it shines upon the Arch and Mississippi River, reflecting light to create amusement. As the themes develop, imagine the St. Louis of past while you ride on a boat and gaze upon the city as it shimmers in the sunset. Through the text of St. Louisan Sara Teasdale, Barbara Harbach created a picturesque view of St. Louis, its structures, rich history, the rivers and its cultural influences.”

They write about St. Louis Blues, “W.C. Handy said that his St. Louis Blues was inspired by a chance meeting with a woman on the streets of St. Louis who was distraught over her husband’s absence. While she lamented, “That man got a heart like a rock cast in the sea”, this new arrangement retains her heartache while acting also as a celebration of the city and its heritage. Barbara Harbach’s arrangement is as classic as it is modern. She retains the originality of the habanera rhythm, referred to by Handy as a tango (which is a prevalent rhythm found also in Harbach’s Sunset: St. Louis) and allows the inner voices to act as instruments of a big band while the melody revels in a Gershwin-like manner. It is, in fact, a sequel to Sunset: St. Louis as we consider the story that followed the sunset.”

The March 5 program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 314-984-7639 or visit http://www.stlcc.edu/Newsroom/2013/02/News40.html.

MSR Classics has released Ms. Harbach’s Music for Strings (MS1258) with the London Philharmonic, Chamber Music III (MS1257), Vocal Music (MS1256), Chamber Music II, (MS1255) and Toccatas, Flourishes & Fugues, A Celebration of Hymns for organ solo (MS1254). For more about these and her other MSR CDs, visit http://www.msrcd.com/. Her website is at http://www.barbaraharbach.com/.

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