Charles Ives “The Things our Fathers Loved,” performed by Gerald Seminatore

SV_Taso_Gerald_animated_singing_color_webFor the final video installment from our recent AMERICAN PILGRIMAGE concert, here is Gerald Seminatore performing “The Things our Fathers Loved,” with Mark Salters at the piano.

(Photo courtesy of Taso Papadakis)

Charles Ives (1874-1954) was one of twentieth century America’s most original composers. In more than 100 songs, Ives wove together original melodies, fragments of popular songs and hymns, and harmonies of sweet simplicity or crashing dissonance. There is a pronounced nostalgia in many songs, and often a humorous or ironic note.

“The Things our Fathers Loved” is a small masterpiece, with echoes of popular tunes such as “Dixie,” “Nettleton (Come thou, fount of every blessing),” and “In the Sweet By and By.” The song is a musical memory of a July 4 weekend in New England.

I think there must be a place in the soul
All made of tunes from long ago.

I hear the organ on the Main Street corner;
Aunt Sarah humming gospels, summer evenings;

The village cornet band playing in the square,
The town’s red, white and blue.

Now, hear the songs!
I know not what are the words,

But they sing in my soul
Of the things our fathers loved.

Click here to view Gerald’s performance of “The Things our Fathers Loved.” (The original key has been transposed for high voice.)


Arnold Geis performs Richard Hundley’s “Isaac Greentree”

SV_Taso_Arnold_portrait_webOn our recent AMERICAN PILGRIMAGE concert, tenor Arnold Geis offered songs by composer Richard Hundley. For “Isaac Greentree” (1981), Hundley adapted a text from Samuel Palmer’s “Epitaphs and Epigrams: Curious, Quaint, Amusing” (1869). Arnold’s performance captured both the lyricism and the tenderness of this epitaph. (The text appears below.)

Click here to view Arnold’s performance of “Isaac Greentree” on YouTube.
Mark Salters is at the piano.

(Photo courtesy of Taso Papadakis)

In springtime comes
The gentle rain,
Soothing honey sweet breeze
And sheltering sun.

Beneath these trees
Rising to the skies

The planter of them
Isaac Greentree lies.

The time shall come
When these trees shall fall
And Isaac Greentree rise
Above them all.

Our “American Pilgrimage” artists: Mark Salters

Salters_photo_smallMARK SALTERS is a pianist, vocal coach, and recital collaborator. A native of New York, Mark served on
the coaching staff of the Opera Department at the University of Michigan, and on the faculty of Yale University’s graduate opera program. He has accompanied master classes for many well-known singers and coaches including Frederica Von Stade, Roberta Alexander, Vladamir Chernov, Carlo Bergonzi, Sherill Milnes, Régine Crespin, Richard Bonynge, Rodney Gilfry, George Shirley, Carol Neblett, and others.

Mark has also worked with conductors and directors from Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, Frankfurt Opera, St. Louis Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera. He served on the music staffs of the Opera Theater of Connecticut and the Long Wharf Theater of New Haven before coming to California.

Mark regularly accompanies singers at events sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing, as well as concerts and classes of the Classical Singers Association. He is a member of the music staffs at both the Cole Conservatory at CSU Long Beach, and is Music Director for the opera workshop at CSU Fullerton. He also serves as Director of Music and Principal Organist at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Irvine.

“Pilgrimage” on June 27 at the Brand Library, Glendale, CA

BLAC logo_FWe have recently confirmed the program and roster of performers for our upcoming concert at the Brand Library Arts Center on June 27 at 7:30 p.m. (1601 W. Mountain St, Glendale, CA 91201).

Our singers will include Katie Elizabeth Martin, Arnold Livingston Geis and Gerald Seminatore, along with pianist Mark Salters. The program “Pilgrimage” will include American songs by Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Richard Hundley, Charles Ives, and Lori Laitman.

This is a free concert, sponsored by the City of Glendale. We are grateful to be included on the 2014 series of concerts in this intimate and welcoming venue.