Three local artists with Alexandria ties will be featured in two concerts in January 2009.
World acclaimed trumpeter Chris Gekker, a 1972 graduate of T.C. Williams High School, is the featured soloist in a recital on Tuesday, January 6, 2009, at 12:10 pm at the Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St., NW, Washington, D.C.
The program will include a song cycle for voice, trumpet and piano by Eric Ewazen, entitled to cast a shadow again. This work sets to music eight poems by Katherine Gekker, sister of Chris Gekker and a 1968 graduate of Francis C. Hammond High School.
Joining Chris Gekker in performing the cycle will be Alexandria resident and mezzo-soprano Gail Collins and pianist Stephen Brown.
Chris Gekker, a Washington, D.C, native, attended Eastman School of Music and earned a masters in music from the University of Maryland. Now a professor of trumpet at the University of Maryland School of Music, he has been a featured soloist throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. After performances of Bachs Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and the Christmas Oratorio at Carnegie Hall, the New York Times praised his bright virtuosity and described his playing as clear-toned and pitch perfect. Gekker appears on more than 120 chamber music, orchestra, and jazz recordings. CD Review called his recording of Coplands Quiet City a model of quiet perfection.
Katherine Gekker, a published poet and former owner of The Huffman Press in Alexandria, is a strategic consultant to nonprofits. Born in Washington, D.C, she now lives in Arlington. Composer Carson Cooman has set four of her poems to music in a cycle called Chasing the Moon Down, scheduled for release in early 2009 and Eric Ewazen is also at work on a second song cycle based on her poetry.
Gail Collins, mezzo-soprano, has performed and recorded compositions from medieval to modern, but has a particular affinity for the music of contemporary composers. She appears regularly on programs of Washingtons Friday Morning Music Club and last year gave a recital of 20th century songs at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Venice, Florida. She has also sung with the Choir of St. Johns Church, Lafayette Square, the American Repertory Singers and the Master Chorale of Washington.
Stephen Brown has been active in the Washington area for many years as a vocal coach and accompanist and has appeared in recital at the Renwick Gallery, the University of Maryland, and Strathmore Hall, among others.
Gekker, Collins and Brown will give a repeat performance of to cast a shadow again on Friday, January 30, 2009, on a program of the Friday Morning Music Club, at noon at the Sumner School Museum, located at 17th and M Streets, NW, Washington, D.C.
Both concerts are free and open to the public.