Inauguration Ceremony Features Community's Musical Talent

Friday, April 16, 2010

The inauguration ceremony of Fairmont State University's 13th president will showcase the musical talent of students, faculty, staff and the community.

"From the beginning of the inauguration planning process, Dr. Krepel stressed that the focus of the week should be more about the accomplishments of the university, students and faculty and less about him," said Mary Jo Thomas, Chair of the Inauguration Committee. "For that reason, the Inauguration Committee looked for ways to incorporate students, faculty and staff into the ceremony itself."

FSU's School of Fine Arts has prepared an extensive program of classical and regional music.

"The School of Fine Arts is delighted to participate in the inauguration ceremony of our new president. It's an important day as Fairmont State moves forward with Dr. Krepel. Performances are planned by the FSU Community Orchestra; the Collegiate Singers joined by faculty, staff and community singing group Vocal Tapestry; individual student performers at the ceremony; as well as the Guitar Ensemble," said Peter Lach, Dean of the School of Fine Arts.

The FSU Community Orchestra Strings will perform a pre-inaugural concert beginning 20 minutes before the 11 a.m. ceremony as the audience is seated. The FSUCO will be conducted by John Ashton. The program will include excerpts from Peter Ilitch Tschaikowsky's "Serenade for Strings, op. 48" and Bela Bartok's "Rumanian Folk Dances." During the processional, the orchestra will play "Four Regimental Marches" written by Anne Amalie, Princess of Prussia, who lived from 1723 to1787. The sister of Frederick the Great, she was an accomplished harpsichordist and an important patron of music.

During the ceremony, Hillary Barlow, senior music education major, will sing "Una voce poco fa" from the "Barber of Seville" by Gioacchinno Rossini, accompanied by the orchestra.

Barlow plans to graduate in May 2010 with a B.A.E. degree in Music Education with an emphasis in voice. Upon graduation, she plans to obtain a teaching job in West Virginia. She first began singing in church by her mother's side. She joined the Madrigal Choir in high school and realized she had a love for singing. During her senior year, she auditioned for the All-State Chamber Choir and was the first chosen from Preston High School.

"Without formal training, I was nervous about pursuing a musical career, but I have enjoyed every minute of it at Fairmont State. I would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Jeff Poland and the Fairmont State music faculty for making my time at Fairmont State a wonderful learning experience," Barlow said.

Also during the ceremony, the FSU Community Chorus comprised of 70 voices will perform three compositions. The singers will be a combination of FSU students, faculty, alumni and members of the local community. The FSU Collegiate Singers will form the core of the ensemble. Vocal Tapestry, a local community choir led by Doug Bunner, will contribute a significant number of voices. Bunner is an alumnus of FSU who had a very successful tenure as the choral director at Fairmont Senior High School. The inauguration choir is being conducted by Dr. Sam Spears, Director of Choral Activities at FSU.

The most substantial work to be performed by the choir is the 1727 Handel anthem "Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened." The performance will be accompanied by the FSU Community Orchestra. Filling out the program will be "My Home Among the Hills," a regional favorite by E.W. James.

Toward the end of the ceremony, the audience will be invited to sing FSU's Alma Mater, which was written by John Thomas Evans, class of 1936. The ceremony will conclude with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's famous Serenade in G major, known as "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" as the platform guests and robed participants exit the hall.

A personalized surprise will be included in the closing of the ceremony. Dr. Francene Kirk of the School of Fine Arts has arranged a reading from one of President Krepel's favorite books, "Roughing It" by Mark Twain, that will be presented by junior theatre major Jeremiah Ripley.

The music will not end with the ceremony. FSU's Guitar Ensemble will perform during the reception that follows the inauguration.