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Dr. Heather Killmeyer to perform music from ‘Around the World’ in recital at ETSU

Contributed • Sep 7, 2018 at 11:22 PM

Heather Killmeyer will perform a recital of music from “Around the World” at East Tennessee State University on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Brown Hall auditorium, Room 112.

Killmeyer, an associate professor of oboe and bassoon in the ETSU Department of Music, will be accompanied by flutist Audra Ziegel, her classmate from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Esther Park, ETSU assistant professor of piano and director of the Department of Music’s Pre-College Program.

The program will begin with “Spirit of the Wild,” which was “inspired by the sights and sounds of the Tasmanian wilderness,” according to Killmeyer. “Composer Nigel Westlake was inspired to write the concerto after he visited Bathurst Harbor in Tasmania, Australia.”

Miguel del Aguila’s “Seduction Dance,” a piece written for oboe, flute and piano, will also be performed.

“This Latin-inspired work begins with a slow, sensuous introduction that breaks into a frantic and breathless dance,” Killmeyer said.

The program will conclude with the premiere of a new piece inspired by the sounds of Appalachia. Killmeyer commissioned “Coal Trails on Rails” from entertainment industry composer Brian Duford with the help of an ETSU Research Development Committee Grant.

For this work, Killmeyer collected field recordings of coal and freight trains in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, which Duford reconstructed into a backing track. Duford, also a classically trained guitarist, recorded his own performances on guitar and banjo to create the soundtrack and added other acoustical instruments to achieve the sound he wanted.

“While the work is essentially a piece for oboe with pre-recorded soundtrack, his choice of instruments and the blend he used created a very interesting and unique blend of sounds that contrast beautifully with the mechanical sounds created by the trains,” Killmeyer said.

She added that while performing with a soundtrack is often difficult, because some composers do not notate the sheet music indicating when the musician should play, Duford effectively spelled out exactly what he wanted.

“The piece also reminds me of a tone poem, but for solo instrument, with different sections of the piece linked together by the train effects,” Killmeyer said. “It is challenging but fun to perform, and effectively evokes contrasting moods and scenes from the railroad: adventure and an upbeat rhythmic groove, but also bittersweet poignancy.”

Killmeyer has performed as a recitalist and chamber and orchestral musician throughout the United States and abroad. In addition to performing, her research interests include audience engagement and sustainability.

Admission is free; a suggested donation of $5 per person will be accepted, with proceeds to go toward the department’s 2019 Reed Day.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at 423-439-4276 or [email protected]

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