April 8, 2016

Soprano Rhoslyn Jones is Featured in Knoxville, Summer of 1915

Acclaimed lyric soprano Rhoslyn Jones will be the featured soloist in Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Sonoma State University Symphony Orchestra on May 1 at 7:30 pm in Weill Hall. A native of Aldergrove, BC, Jones was an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera in 2006-2007 and is on the voice faculty at Sonoma State.

Conductor Alexander Kahn will lead the newly formed student orchestra in its second performance of the academic year in Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Haydn’s London Symphony, No. 104. Tickets are $8 and available online and at the door.

American composer Samuel Barber (1910-1981) was a maverick - a romantic lyricist at a time when other composers were writing atonal music. Today, his music is second only to that of Aaron Copland and George Gershwin in popularity. Composed in 1947, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is a setting of James Agee’s poem about life in a quiet Southern town at the dawn of the modern age. Ruefully narrated by a young boy, Knoxville is a nostalgic recreation of lost innocence.

Weill Hall at the Green Music Center is located two miles east of Highway 101 on Rohnert Park Expressway.





SSU Symphony Orchestra
An Evening of Musical Postcards
Alexander Kahn, conductor
Rhoslyn Jones, soprano soloist
Sunday, May 1, 7:30 pm
Weill Hall

Tickets $8


Knoxville, Summer of 1915

"It has become the time of evening
when people sit on their porches,
rocking gently and talking gently
and watching the street
and the standing up
into their sphere of possession of the trees,
of birds' hung havens, hangers.
People go by; things go by.
A horse, drawing a buggy, breaking his hollow iron music on the asphalt;
a loud auto; a quiet auto;
people in pairs, not in a hurry,
scuffling, switching their weight of aestival body, talking casually,
the taste hovering over them of vanilla, strawberry, pasteboard and starched milk,
the image upon them of lovers and horsemen, squared with clowns in hueless amber.
A streetcar raising its iron moan:
stopping, belling and starting; stertorous; rousing and raising again its iron increasing moan
and swimming its gold windows and straw seats on past and past and past,
the bleak spark crackling and cursing above it like a small malignant spirit set to dog its tracks;
the iron whine rises on rising speed;
still risen, faints; halts; the faint stinging bell;
rises again, still fainter, fainter, lifting, lifts, faints forgone: forgotten.
Now is the night one blue dew.
Now is the night one blue dew,
my father has drained,
now he has coiled the hose.
Low on the length of lawns,
a frailing of fire who breathes ...
Parents on porches: rock and rock.
From damp strings morning glories hang their ancient faces.
The dry and exalted noise of the locusts from all the air at once enchants my eardrums.
On the rough wet grass of the backyard my father and mother have spread quilts.
We all lie there, my mother, my father, my uncle, my aunt, and I too am lying there ...
They are not talking much, and the talk is quiet,
of nothing in particular, of nothing at all in particular, of nothing at all.
The stars are wide and alive, they seem each like a smile of great sweetness, and they seem very near.
All my people are larger bodies than mine, ...
with voices gentle and meaningless like the voice of sleeping birds.
One is an artist, he is living at home.
One is a musician, she is living at home.
One is my mother who is good to me.
One is my father who is good to me.
By some chance, here they are, all on this earth;
and who shall ever tell the sorrow of being on this earth,
lying, on quilts, on the grass, in a summer evening, among the sounds of the night.
May God bless my people, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my good father,
oh, remember them kindly in their time of trouble;
and in the hour of their taking away.
After a little I am taken in and put to bed.
Sleep, soft smiling, draws me unto her:
and those receive me, who quietly treat me,
as one familiar and well-beloved in that home:
but will not, no ,will not, not now, not ever;
but will not ever tell me who I am."




Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928