Meredith Brammeier has composed a 35-minute work for choir, soloists, organ, piano and handbells titled “The Passion According to St. Mark.” The work was commissioned by three San Luis Obispo churches. The “Passion” tells the story of the last events in Jesus’ life and is intended for performance in a church setting. The premiere performance will take place on Good Friday, April 6, at the San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church, 1515 Fredericks St., at 7:30 p.m., as part of the evening worship service.
Brammeier’s goal was to make the “Passion” setting accessible to the performers and the audience, but still very much of our own time. She says of her composition, “I have used the great Passion settings by Bach as an inspiration, but I have taken a very different path, and I hope it will speak clearly to modern audiences and make a direct emotional connection.”
In addition to the combined choirs of Mt. Carmel, St. Stephen’s and United Methodist churches, the performance will feature Music Professor Thomas Davies singing the role of Jesus, and Music Department faculty member Susan Azaret Davies and Westmont College faculty member Michael Shasberger singing the role of “the Evangelist.” Shasberger has been the bass soloist in some Cal Poly Early Music Ensemble concerts. There will be five soloists from the churches’ choirs taking part, singing the roles of Pilate, Peter, Judas and others. Twelve Cal Poly students are involved in the performance as well, both as singers and instrumentalists. The entire ensemble will be conducted by Cal Poly staff accompanist and university organist Paul Woodring. The public is invited to attend.
Shelly Granger, applied flute teacher and conductor of the Cal Poly Flute Choir, was appointed principal flute of the Opera San Luis Obispo Orchestra in September 2011. She continues as principal flute for Symphony of the Vines, enjoys volunteer coaching for the SLO Youth Symphony, and continues to serve on the board of San Luis Chamber Orchestra. Her solo appearances in 2011-12 include performing the Orchestral Suite #2 by J. S. Bach with Symphony of the Vines at Mission San Miguel, Concertino by C. Chaminade with the Cal Poly Wind Band in Harman Hall of the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center and “Fantasie Pastorale Hongroise” by F. Doppler with the San Luis Chamber Orchestra at Trinity United Methodist Church and with the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony for their season finale concert in Harman Hall.
Granger has been invited as a featured clinician at the San Diego Flute Guild Spring Festival in April, and she will adjudicate the Artist Gold Flute Competition. She has been chosen to present at the National Flute Association’s 40th Anniversary Convention in August. Her proposal was selected from a highly competitive international field of fellow musicians and educators. Her presentation, “Vibrato: The Deep and Wide of it,” will discuss the practical use of sound analysis in teaching vibrato and improving pitch sensitivity in students. She will also demonstrate how real-time music visualization software can be used in teaching.
Computer engineering major Doug Gallatin, who currently studies flute with Granger, has been selected to perform a solo at the Cal Poly Symphony’s Winter Concert. He will perform Serenade for Flute, Harp and String Orchestra by Howard Hanson. Music major Catherine Armstrong will practice Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy when she accompanies Granger to the San Diego Flute Guild Festival as assistant presenter. The Cal Poly Flute Choir performed successfully at the Chamber Ensemble concert in February and is looking forward to reaching out to the community in upcoming concerts. They are planning outreach performances at Farmers’ Market and local retirement homes this year.