February 17, 2010
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will continue this season’s Collegiate Series with a concert performance by West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) Wind Ensemble, The Concert Choir and the “State” Singers on Monday, Feb. 22. The program will take place in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston at 7 p.m. The evening’s performance is timed to coincide with the Division’s Black History Month celebration. All activities are free and open to the public.
The concert will begin with selections by the Concert Choir and “State” Singers, under the direction of Dirk Johnson. The groups will sing such favorites as The Morning Trumpet, Java Jive, Old Time Religion and Shout Glory.
The Concert Choir is a non auditioned choir that draws singers from a wide variety of academic colleges and majors. It sings music from a wide range of styles and genres, including classical pieces, folk songs, African-American spirituals, gospel and other popular arrangements. The “State” Singers is an auditioned vocal group of eight to 12 singers who sing music appropriate for a small chamber ensemble. Its repertoire includes music from the Renaissance to the 20th century and features vocal jazz and pop arrangements.
The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Scott Woodard, will perform a mix of classics from the wind band repertoire, including A Slavic Farewell, orchestral transcriptions such as Guiseppe Verdi’s overture to the opera La Forza del Destino and Rhapsody for Euphonium, among others.
The Wind Ensemble is the premier instrumental group in the Department of Music and the College of Arts and Humanities at WVSU. The group is made up of students who have a deep and abiding love for the many styles of band literature. The students rehearse and perform together three days a week throughout the school year.
Johnson is director of choral activities and assistant professor of music at WVSU. He also teaches courses in conducting, music education and voice. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Brigham Young University and his doctoral degree from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. Johnson sang for two seasons with the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, the region’s premier professional chorus, as well as with Cincinnati’s acclaimed May Festival Chorus. In addition to teaching, conducting and singing, Johnson loves to compose and play the violin and piano.
Woodard is the director of bands at WVSU, where he serves as sponsor of the CMENC Chapter and teaches conducting and secondary music methods courses. He has been teaching for more than 20 years. His positions have included Wirt County High School, Ceredo-Kenova High School and Winfield High School. The Winfield band, under his direction, performed in master class sessions with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and was the 2005 Honor Finalist Concert Band at the West Virginia Music Educators Conference in Morgantown. Woodard also serves as the artistic director and conductor for the Mountain State Brass Band in Charleston. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Marshall University and is currently a doctoral candidate at Boston University.
For more information, contact Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner for the Division, at (304) 558-0220.
The Collegiate Series consists of performances and lectures by students and faculty from West Virginia’s colleges and universities. First Lady Gayle Manchin is the host of the program.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.