Release Date: October 14, 2008
Holocaust memorial composition world premiere will be held at Kennesaw State
Contact: Cheryl Anderson Brown, Assistant Director of Public Relations, 770-499-3417 or firstname.lastname@example.org
KENNESAW, Ga.—Kennesaw State University will host the world premiere of “Flame Language” on Oct. 22 in the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center. “Flame Language” was composed by Associate Professor of Music and Composer-in-Residence Laurence Sherr to commemorate the lives of those who were lost in the Holocaust. The concert begins at 8 p.m. and audience members are invited to attend a pre-concert lecture by Sherr at 7 p.m. in the recital hall of the Music Building.
Inspired by the words of the poem “The candle that I have lit for you,” written by Holocaust survivor Nelly Sachs, Sherr created this piece to provide an opportunity for the audience to experience the grief of their own experience, but also the possibility of hope for healing and a connection between people. “My intention of composing this piece was to provide a vehicle, a resonance, an amplification of the poetry of Nelly Sachs,” says Sherr. “This particular poem is a cry of grief and I tried to convey the imagery, emotions and content of the poetry.”
“Flame Language” is made even more personal because of the experience of Sherr’s mother as the sole survivor of her family after the Holocaust. He hopes that audiences will walk away from the performance remembering and thinking more deeply about the Holocaust.
KSU Director of Orchestras Michael Alexander says,“Audiences will enjoy ‘Flame Language,’ as the emotional connection is very strong. The composer has a strong connection to the content of the piece and it is a very personal thing.”
“Flame Language” is Sherr’s third composition associated with the Holocaust. His two previous thematic compositions, “Elegy and Vision” and “Fugitive Footsteps,” have been included in many Holocaust remembrance events and concerts throughout the nation.
Musicians and vocalists from across the country commissioned “Flame Language,” including Alexander and KSU Professor of Voice and Music Literature Oral Moses, and Sherr incorporated the strengths of these artists as he created the piece. The KSU Orchestra will also participate in the premiere, conducted by Bridget-Michaele Reischl, music director of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music Orchestra and of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra. She will be in residence at KSU from Oct. 20-26. “One of Reischl’s specialties is promoting new music, so her involvement with ‘Flame Language’ is especially exceptional,” says Alexander.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with a conductor who has the skills and accomplishments of Reischl,” says Sherr. “It’s also a pleasure to work with vocalist Oral Moses, who has such a rich and expressive voice and is a fantastic communicator with audiences.”
Oral Moses will perform as a soloist for this performance. “The piece has a Jewish heritage theme and the audience will be able to hear that through the music and discover the meaning of the text,” Moses says.
Additional performances of “Flame Language” will take place in Birmingham, Ala., New York City and in other regions. Information about future performances is available on Sherr’s website at http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu/~lsherr/holocaust.html.
Those interested in attending the performance on Oct. 22 are also invited to attend the pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m. in the recital hall of the Music Building. Admission to the lecture is free. The premiere of “Flame Language” will begin at 8 p.m. in the Bailey Performance Center. Admission to the concert is $5. For information or to order tickets, visit www.kennesaw.edu/arts or call the box office at 770-423-6650.
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A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21,000 from 142 countries. The third-largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State offers more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts programs.