The Fithian Festival concert will take place on May 4 at 8 p.m. at Corthell Concert Hall on the USM Gorham campus. This concert will be a celebration in honor of Professor Fithian for his 29 years of service to the University of Southern Maine. It will include some of his compositions, a performance by the St. Mary's Schola, and by several of his alumni students who have succeeded in opera, concert and musical theatre, such as Jennifer DeDominici '00, Jason Plourde '02 and Stephanie Gilbert '09. They will sing arias and ensembles from such operas as Carmen, Cosi fan tutte and The Pearl Fishers.
Admission is Free.
The first part of the program will highlight Mr. Fithian’s vocal compositions, including settings of poems by Hildegard von Bingen and A.E. Houseman, as well as a choral work, The Beatitudes, sung by the combined choirs of the First Parish Church, Gorham and the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Falmouth.
The St Mary Schola, a professional early music ensemble directed by Mr.
Fithian will perform Monteverdi’s great work, Hor che ‘l ciel e la terra, for chorus, soloists and a baroque instrumental group of strings, harpsichord and theorbo (a baroque lute).
The evening will also feature Mr. Fithian’s former students who have gone on to successful careers in singing.
Soprano, Stephanie Gilbert '09, who went on to the Yale Opera School, will sing a challenging Fithian song No more kissing -AIDS everywhere accompanied by graduate student Derek Herzer, piano, and she will also perform the dazzling aria from Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Baritone, Jason Plourde '02, who continued his studies at the Indiana University Opera School, and like Ms Gilbert, is performing in New York, will sing the famous aria from Faust and join Stephanie Gilbert in a passionate duet from The Pearl Fishers.
Mezzo-soprano, Jennifer DeDominici '00, who continued her studies at the University of Colorado, will sing the famous arias from Carmen, a role which she performed with Colorado Opera.
The evening will conclude with Fithian’s setting of Schubert’s beloved song An die Musik, performed by the USM Chamber Singers, Robert Russell conductor.
Russell, a long-time colleague of Bruce Fithian, describes the concert this way, "The excitement in this program is generated as we showcase many of the myriad talents that Bruce has developed throughout his professional life. We will hear about Bruce the composer (as we feature several of his compositions), Bruce the performer (at the piano and organ, and as a singer), Bruce as a musical entrepreneur (as he presents several compositions with his St. Mary Schola), and Bruce the teacher (as we welcome back to USM several of Bruce's students who will perform in the recital)."
Of Bruce Fithian himself, Russell adds, "Bruce Fithian is a consummate musician, a beautiful interpreter of early music, and a colleague of the highest integrity. I have been privileged to know him and to make music with him."
Members of the press, and those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.