Piece by MHC's Bonde to Premiere

Posted: May 8, 2007

A piece by Mount Holyoke music professor Allen Bonde will be premiered by the Gateway Regional High School Chorus at the Spring Concert Thursday, May 17. The piece was commissioned through the efforts of Gateway vocal music director Jerilyn Beauregard '79, who has collaborated with Bonde in the past.

The concert will be held at the Gateway Regional High School Performing Arts Center in Huntington, Massachusetts, at 7 pm.

The local cultural councils from Montgomery, Huntington, Blandford, Worthington, Chester, Russell, and Middlefield received funding, through the Massachusetts Arts Council, to support the project. The piece will focus on the Gateway hilltowns and is titled "The Dam." It will feature the Gateway Chorus and fiddler Leland Martin, with piano accompaniment.

The Gateway Regional High School concert choir and show choir will sing the piece together as one chorus. The choirs are award-winning groups, having participated in Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductor's Association, Great East, and Music in the Parks competitions for several years, winning first- and second-place ratings in their respective competitions. The students have had a wonderful learning experience working with a new piece and Professor Bonde, Beauregard noted. A Mount Holyoke alumna, Beauregard received a master's degree in choral conducting from New England Conservatory in 1981 and was a student of Catharine Melhorn, Myrtle Regier, and Bonde while a student at Mount Holyoke. Beauregard premiered Bonde's piece "Manhattan" in Jordan Hall in 1981 in Boston.

Since 1971, Bonde has been a professor of music at MHC, where he teaches courses on composition, music in the American susical, Beethoven symphonies, and Brahms chamber music. Bonde is also an accomplished composer and performer. He has performed as a pianist at Carnegie Recital Hall, the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Severance Chamber Hall. His compositions have been performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic brass principals, the New England Conservatory of Music Chorus, and Wong Ching-Ping, a famous pipa (short-necked lute) player.

Over the course of his career, Bonde has received a Festival Casals Scholarship and a Yale Graduate Fellowship. He was a fellow at the Saltzburg Seminar in American Studies and was the first musician-in-residence at the Nanyang Technological University National Institute of Education in Singapore. Bonde is a graduate of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and holds the M.M. and D.M.A from the Catholic University of America.

Leland James Martin is a GRHS freshman from Blandford and highly accomplished fiddler who performs and competes throughout New England. He has been playing fiddle for nine years and studies with Becky Koehler of East Greenbush, New York. When asked what his proudest accomplishment is so far, he answered, "Taking second place in the Junior Division at a contest in Vermont with fiddlers from all over New England." He is the son of Mary Elizabeth and Lloyd Martin.

For more information about the concert, please call the Gateway Regional High School Office at 413-685-1103.

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