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Cal Poly to Present Lecture-Recital on Copland’s ‘Twelve Songs of Emily Dickinson’ on Dec. 10

Cal Poly will present a lecture-recital of composer Aaron Copland’s music inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poetry at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 in the Davidson Music Center on campus.

The event, to be held in Room 218 of Building 45, will feature soprano Katherine Arthur, pianist Paul Woodring and guest lecturer Mary Kay Harrington.

According to Arthur, it will explore the inspiring genius of Dickinson’s poetry as represented in Copland’s “Twelve Songs of Emily Dickinson,” a cycle of songs written for solo voice and piano featuring subject matter close to the Amherst, Mass., poet: nature, death, life and eternity. Copland composed the work between 1949 and 1950.

Arthur and Woodring will perform the works after Harrington discusses Dickinson’s life and poetry.

Arthur, who teaches voice at Cal Poly, has appeared as a soloist with the Southwest Chamber Music Ensemble, Santa Barbara Oratorio Society and Pacific Repertory Opera. As a guest artist in Europe, she recorded works for Austrian Radio and ORFEO Records. She is featured on “Child in Me,” a CD of songs recently released by Cal Poly Professor Ken Habib. Arthur also teaches singing classes through the San Luis Coastal Adult School.

Woodring has worked as an accompanist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Los Angeles Opera Company. Locally, he has performed with Opera San Luis Obispo, Festival Mozaic, Central Coast Children’s Choir, San Luis Obispo Master Chorale and several musical theater organizations. He is a staff accompanist and the university organist at Cal Poly. He is music director for Mt. Carmel Lutheran and San Luis Obispo United Methodist churches.

Harrington taught English at Cal Poly for 31 years and created one of the first writing skills centers in the 23-campus California State University system. She is involved with Poetry Out Loud, the NEA national recitation contest.

Admission is $5 at the door. The lecture-recital is sponsored by Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts and Music Department. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit the department's calendar website.