UofL’s School of Music commences a busy 2019-20 season Sept. 8 with its 27th annual Faculty Gala Concert. 

The 7:30 p.m. concert features some three dozen music faculty members in performance, receptions before and after the show, the chance to meet the new dean, Teresa Reed, and hear the premier of the school’s Hamburg Steinway Piano.

SOM Dean Teresa Reed
SOM Dean Teresa Reed

“I think the Gala is a wonderful tradition,” Reed said. “It’s a chance for the School of Music to feature and celebrate the performing artists who are our faculty. This really shines the spotlight on them. There will be a range – really to suit every taste – of performances. Audience members will get the chance to sample the range of talent that our faculty represents.”

The program includes numerous works using the department’s new piano, which traveled from Hamburg, Germany, to UofL this summer. The purchase was made possible by the estate of Calvin and Helen Lang.

Naomi Oliphant, associate dean, will join Brenda Kee, emeritus professor of Piano, on Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dance” Op. 46 #1 for piano four hands.

“It’s a wonderful dance depicting the spirit and traditional rhythmic patterns of the folk music of his Eastern European background,” Oliphant said. 

They also will be joined by vocal faculty, Emily Albrink Katz, soprano; Katherine Donner, mezzo; Chad Sloan, baritone and Jesse Donner, tenor; to perform a grouping of Brahms’ “Liebeslieder Waltzes.”

Other pieces of instrumental chamber music also will be performed, including slow, romantic works that show off the “expressive and singing capabilities” of the new piano, Oliphant said.

Piano faculty select a new piano for Comstock Concert Hall
Piano faculty selected a new piano for Comstock Concert Hall this summer

“We picked the pieces because they showcase the full range of sound and colors that the new instrument is able to produce and because they are well-known works that are so popular with audiences,” she said.

The concert is free and open to the public, but the champagne and dessert reception before the concert is $20 and requires registration

As usual, the Faculty Gala serves as the gateway into the School of Music’s jam-packed year of performances, which includes world-class visiting artists, along with student and faculty performances. Most of the events are free and open to the public. 

Check the calendar for a full list. Fall highlights include:

Niki King
Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.