‘Roots Music: The Influence of Folk” at Foothills Music Club

Published 10:14 am Friday, March 16, 2012

Performers at February’s Foothills Music Club meeting. From bottom, clockwise: Amy Brucksch, Janet Joens, Clifford Joens, Elizabeth Gardner, Fran Creasy and Jeanette Shackelford. (photo submitted by Ellen Harvey Zipf)

The February meeting of the Foothills Music Club (FMC) was hosted by John and Elizabeth Gardner on Feb. 9.
The theme was “Roots Music:  The Influence of Folk.” For the first selection, the FMC women’s chorus, directed by Rita Stobbe, repeated its performance from January of “Simple Gifts,” a Shaker tune arranged by local composer Mark Schweizer. The accompanist was Ellie Roemer. Members of the chorus were sopranos Rita Stobbe, Jeri Board, Fran Creasy and Mary Meyers; second sopranos Carol Bartol and Jeanette Shackelford; altos Karen Molnar, Nancy Walburn and Ellen Harvey Zipf.
Pianist Jeanette Shackelford then performed Bela Bartok’s “Petite Suite” – “Slow Melody,” “Walachian Dance” and “Ukrainian Song.” It’s been said that through Hungarian Bartok’s collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of ethnomusicology.
Next came music for the Celtic harp (Janet Joens), flute (Fran Creasy) and guitar (Clifford Joens). The trio performed three Irish folk songs: “The Spanish Lady,” “The Lark in the Morning” and “Danny Boy.”
Song and guitar came next with Benjamin Britten’s quirky arrangements of three folk songs: “Master Kilby,” “I Will Give My Love an Apple” and “The Shooting of His Dear,” sung by mezzo soprano Elizabeth Gardner and accompanied by classical guitarist Amy Brucksch.
Brucksch then performed “Espanoleta,” by the prominent Baroque Spanish guitarist Gaspar Sanz, and “Tis the Last Rose of Summer,” by the influential African-American composer, guitarist and teacher Justin Holland.
The afternoon program ended with Shackelford’s rendition Hans Engelmann’s “Russian Dance,” Op.753. The group learned that the German composer often took fragments of folk songs from Russia for his compositions.