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Asha Srinivasan Wins International Composition Competition

Assistant Professor of Music Asha Srinivasan received the first-place Ruam Samai Award at the 2011 Thailand International Composition Festival for her original composition “Dviraag.”

Asha Srinivasan

Srinivasan’s composition was one of four works selected as a finalist from nearly 100 entries submitted for the competition, which was held at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. “Dviraag,” an eight-minute work written for flute and cello, was named the winning composition by a judging panel of four composers from China, Thailand and the United States. A vote by the audience for their favorite among the four finalists was factored into the final decision. Srinivasan received a first-place prize of $1,500.

The work incorporates a Carnatic vocal exercise, a classical style popular in South India. Srinivasan wrote the piece in 2009 as a commission by the Flute/Cello Commissioning Circle.

Listen to a recording of “Dviraag.”

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,520 students from 44 states and 56 countries.

Choral Concert Features Tribute to Late Lawrence Faculty Member Jennifer Fitzgerald

The American premiere of Associate Professor of Music Joanne Metcalf’s “O Shining Light,” a musical tribute to her former colleague and friend, Jennifer Fitzgerald, highlights the Lawrence University choral concert Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 520 E. College Ave., Appleton. The concert is free and open to the public.

Cantala women’s choir, under the direction of conductor Phillip Swan, will perform the U.S. debut of Metcalf’s composition, which honors Fitzgerald, who taught at Lawrence first as postdoctoral fellow and then as an instructor of music before dying of cancer at the age of 32 in 2007. While at Lawrence, Fitzgerald was active in exploring new, interdisciplinary forms of composition.

“O Shining Light,” written for four women’s voices, was commissioned by the Scottish ensemble Canty. The group performed its world premiere last October at St. Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen and will release it on CD later this year.

In composing the tribute to Fitzgerald, Metcalf said she tried to create the impression “of a profoundly beautiful outer light, such as that of the stars, that reflects back the beauty of one’s inner light.”

The Lawrence Concert Choir and Viking Chorale, both under the direction of Paul Nesheim, also will perform. The concert choir will sing the traditional spiritual “Hold On,” William Mathias’ “Let the People Praise Thee, O God,” which was commissioned for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, as well as works by Claude Debussy and Eric Whitacre.

The Viking chorale’s program includes Aaron Copland’s “Stomp Your Foot” from his opera “The Tender Land” and the rousing chorus “Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite” from George Handel’s “Samson.”

The concert will be webcast beginning with a pre-concert program at 7:30 p.m..

“Celebrate” Theme of Annual Cultural Expression Event

Lawrence University’s annual Cultural Expressions event, part of the college’s celebration of Black History Month, will be held Saturday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center. Designed to enhance cultural awareness through exposure, education and empowerment, this year’s theme is “Celebrate.”

Hosted by the Black Organization of Students (BOS) and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the celebration features a buffet dinner and entertainment by BOS members, including praise dancing, an authentic step show, musical performances by a soul singers group and poetry readings.

“Our traditions and roots are what make us special. We must continue to remember and embrace our heritage,” said Pa Lee Moua, assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs. “We encourage the community to share and be a part of this wonderful celebration.”

Tickets, $12 in advance, $15 at the door for adults, $7 for children 6-12 and free for children five and under, can be purchased at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749, or through the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 920-832-7030.