Trio brings prairie music to life

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January 25, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Sarah Tannehill, Elena Lence Talley and Daniel Velicer, members of The Lyrics Arts Trio, will transport its audience back in time when Kansas residents listened to melodies by Stephen Collins Foster and music composed for the poems of Emily Dickinson.
The Lyric Arts Trio will present its concert, “Ad Astra,” at 7 p.m. Friday in the Dale P. Creitz Recital Hall at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center in celebration of Kansas’ 150th birthday celebration. The performance is free to the public.
The trio is an outstanding group, said Susan Raines, Bowlus director. It will be their second appearance at the Bowlus Center.
The group is being brought to the Bowlus through a Kansas Arts Commission special grant through the Endowment for the Arts.
Raines applied for the American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of American Genius Grant, which recognizes timely pieces of music and Kansas composers. She received $1,000.
“I feel so grateful to be awarded the grant. Only 10 grants were given in the state and the Bowlus was able to compete with cultural centers in the larger cities,” Raines said.
The Lyric Arts Trio’s program will include Foster’s “Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair” and “If You’ve Only Got A Mustache” and music composed for Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.”
Olathe composer Robert Pherigo has penned the score for Gordon Parks’ poem “Serenity” which will be premiered at Friday’s concert.

THE LYRIC ARTS TRIO is an innovative chamber ensemble of clarinet, soprano voice and piano that has been performing throughout the Midwest for 20 years.
Coloratura soprano Tannehill is a singer with versatility and flare for both comedy and drama on the operatic stage. She has performed leading operatic roles with the Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Omaha, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and the Saarlandisches Staatstheatre in Saarbrucken, Germany.
Tannehill moved to Kansas City in 2006 and earned distinction from Symphony magazine as an Emerging Artist in 2007. She is a member of the Grammy Award-winning KC Chorale and has won three Emmy’s of her own for her film work with the Missouri Conservation Department. She teaches voice in Overland Park and at William Jewell College.
Talley, clarinetist, is a graduate with highest honors from the University of North Texas and is the founder of The Lyric Arts Trio.
She performs frequently with the Kansas City Symphony, where she is also music librarian. Talley has performed with the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Kansas City, Missouri Symphony, Kansas City Camerata and Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. Talley has taught at Emporia State University and Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe. She has performed at the International Clarinet Association ClarFest,  International Double Reed Society conference and University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium.
Velicer, pianist, performs regularly with the Kansas City Symphony, The Lyric Arts Trio, Kansas City Ballet outreach programs and is in constant demand as an accompanist and vocal coach. A native of East Lansing, Mich., he attended Cornell University, majoring in both anthropology and music, and Rice University, where he received a master’s degree in piano chamber music and accompanying. Formerly an Opera Coach Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and the head staff pianist at the University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music, he now serves as chamber music coach and artist performer on the faculty of the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory.
The program is sponsored by The Sleeper Family Trust and corporate sponsor The Monarch Cement Company.

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