Music professor, guest will perform March 27 concert

On Wednesday, March 27, Bemidji State University associate professor of music Dr. Cory Renbarger will be performing with fellow musician Dr. Sharon Johnson of Houghton College in New York.

The performance will take place in the Thompson Recital Hall in the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex on campus. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., and admission is free for all.

Renbarger joined the Bemidji State community in 2012 after teaching in Houghton College in New York where he was an assistant professor of voice and lyric theatre director. He holds degrees from the University of Minnesota, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Concordia College. He also holds master’s degrees in voice and an artist diploma in opera. In the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Renbarger was a semifinalist in 2008 and received two honorable mentions prior. During the 2009-2010 season, he also served as the official anthem singer of the Minnesota Wild hockey franchise.

Pianist Sharon Johnson, who will be collaborating with Renbarger for the concert, holds bachelor’s and masters degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Johnson has served as one of the official accompanists for the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference and the International Double Reed Society Conference. As primary keyboard/assistant director of the Continental Singers she has toured the United States, Asia and Europe.

The duo will be performing “Songs and Dances of Death” by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, which is a song cycle of four Russian pieces, various German art songs by Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Richard Strauss and opera arias and show tunes by Richard Wagner, Douglas Moore and Rogers and Hammerstein.

The feature of the recital is the “Songs and Dances of Death” piece that will be sung entirely in Russian. This work is based on poems of Golenishcheve-Kutuzov and is considered one of the best portrayals of 19th century Russian sound and heavy nationalistic emotion in music.

On March 25-26, Johnson will also be acting as a guest clinician for students during collaborative sessions with Renbarger in the Bemidji State music department.

For more information please contact the Bemidji State music department at (218) 755-2915.

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About Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding.
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