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Oct. 15, 2013
Dr. Pamela Shannon, associate professor of music at Northwest Missouri State University, will present her research on six neglected American composers Oct. 31 at the 56th National Conference of the College Music Society in Cambridge, Mass.
The composers – George Chadwick, Arthur Foote, Edward MacDowell, Amy Beach, Horatio Parker and Ethelbert Nevin – lived in New England and composed during the late 19th century.
“They were key contributors both to the development of classical music in America and also to music education,” Shannon said. “Many of them held academic positions. Chadwick was the director of the New England Conservatory where Foote also taught. Parker taught at Yale and MacDowell at Columbia University. Most of them studied in Germany undergoing a thorough education in compositional technique.”
Shannon, a Canadian native, became interested in researching American songs when she was completing her doctorate in vocal performance at the Jacob School of Music in Bloomington, Ind.
Her 25-minute paper focuses on the songs of the six composers.
“I have made a study of hundreds of their songs,” she said. “It is unfortunate with the changing aesthetic tastes at the turn of the 20th century that the music of these composers fell out of favor. There are many beautiful art songs that should be heard, and I hope to shed some new light on this music.”
Presenters at CMS national conferences undergo a competitive peer-reviewed selection process. Shannon also was a presenter at CMS national conferences in 2007 and 2010 at which she gave a lecture-recital on songs by Claude Debussy and a recital of songs by American composer Margaret Garwood, accompanied by Northwest Professor of Music Dr. Ernest Kramer on the piano. Additionally, Shannon’s paper, “The Solo Songs of Gioacchino Rossini,” was published in the March 2010 edition of the “Journal of Singing,” and last June she presented a paper on Italian songs at the Fourth Annual International Conference on Visual and Performing Arts in Athens, Greece.
Shannon holds a Doctor of Music degree in vocal performance from Indiana University, a Master of Music from the State University of New York, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto. In addition, she holds a degree in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and has studied at the Israel Vocal Institute in Tel Aviv; the Wesley Balk Institute in Minneapolis, Minn.; the Banff School of Fine Arts in Banff, Alberta; and the Royal College of Music in London, England.
As a soprano soloist, she has performed extensively in recitals and with ensembles including the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto, the Bach Elgar Choir of Toronto, the Hamilton Symphony, Peterborough Symphony, St. Joseph Symphony, Omaha Chamber Symphony, and Omaha Symphonic Chorus.
Shannon received travel funding support from the College of Art and Sciences and the Department of Fine and Performing Arts that enabled her to present her research. Northwest’s Center for Information Technology in Education also assisted by producing audio for the presentation.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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