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Vassar College Music Department’s Fall Concert Series features visiting artists, college ensemble groups, and faculty performances (through December 9, 2017)

Vassar’s College’s Music Department has assembled an amazing line-up for its fall concert series. Visiting artists include renowned jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli (9/9), the Pablo Aslan Quintet (11/11), and the Brentano String Quartet (11/18). Members of the music faculty and Vassar student soloists and ensembles will also perform in the annual free concert series at Skinner Hall of Music through December 9.

This year’s visiting artist line-up features some of the most impressive names in music. Jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli is firmly established as one of the major contemporary interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Pablo Aslan has been nominated for Grammy awards for Best Tango Album and Best Latin Jazz Album. The Brentano String Quartet has been honored in the U.K. with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut in 1997. More recently, the Quartet has traveled widely, appearing all over the United States and Canada, in Europe, Japan and Australia. It has performed in the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York.

The Vassar College Orchestra, Community Wind Ensemble, Chamber Singers, and Jazz Ensembles will also perform throughout the fall. The annual holiday service and concert, “A Service of Lessons and Carols” will be held in the Chapel on December 2.

Free and open to the public, all events take place in the Skinner Hall of Music on the Vassar campus, unless otherwise indicated. Programs are subject to change. For further information and up-to-date details on all Vassar College Department of Music concerts, please call (845) 437-7294 or visit the website

Fall 2016 Schedule of Events

September 9 Saturday 8:00pm
John Pizzarelli Trio · Jazz Concert. World-renowned guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli, one of the prime contemporary interpreters of the Great American Songbook, presents an evening of jazz.


September 17 Sunday 3:00pm
Faculty Recital: Gail Archer, organ. Gail Archer, international concert organist, presents a recital featuring works by Max Reger. Chapel.

September 30 Saturday 8:00pm
Vassar College Orchestra. Eduardo Navega, conductor.

October 1 Sunday 3:00pm
Faculty Recital: Sophie Shao, cello. Sophie Shao and guest Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano, present works by Purcell, Bridge, Britten, and Barber.

October 27 Friday 8:00pm
Faculty Recital: Danielle Farina, viola, and Thomas Sauer, piano. Featuring Hans Werner Henze’s Sonata for Viola and Piano, Kenji Bunch’s Suite for Viola and Piano, and Paul Hindemith’s Sonata Op. 11 No. 4 for Viola and Piano.


October 28 Saturday 8:00pm
“Remembering the Great War: Songs, Poetry, and Images of WWI.” A multi-media evening dedicated to the art of WWI with art song, popular song used to rally the forces, poetry of the period, and projections of posters, art, and photographs. Faculty performances by Miriam Charney, piano, Drew Minter, narrator, Rachel Rosales and Susan Botti, sopranos, James Ruff, tenor, and guest artists Mario Diaz-Moresco, baritone, Heather Johnson, mezzo-soprano, and Allison Voth, piano.


October 29 Sunday 3:00pm Panel; 4:30pm Concert
500th Anniversary of the Reformation: Panel Discussion & Concert
Join panelists Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo, Bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ (Sisters of St. Joseph), Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University, with Rev. Samuel Speers, Vassar’s Director of Religious & Spiritual Life, moderating a discussion on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The performance will include J.S. Bach’s Reformation Cantata Ein feste Burg, and a commissioned work by James Fitzwilliam. Sponsored by the Music Department, the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life, Bruderhof Communities, St. John’s Evangelical Church, Central Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and Cappella Festiva. 


November 4 Saturday 1:30pm
Senior Recital: Michael Oosterhout, baritone. Music of Mozart, Schubert, Fauré, and Barber. Assisted by Gregg Michalak, piano and the Vassar Chamber Music string quartet.

November 5 Sunday 3:00pm
The Spirit of All that is Art.” A choral concert honoring Vassar’s Eleventh President, Elizabeth H. Bradley. Featuring Handel's "Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened," Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Ola Gjeilo’s Luminous Night of the Soul, and a newly commissioned work “I cannot hold thee close enough” by Eric William Barnum with text by Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay, class of 1917. The Vassar College Choir, Women's Chorus and members of the Orchestra perform with guest artist Rita Costanzi, harp, and faculty members Linda Quan, violin, and Sophie Shao, cello. Christine Howlett, conductor.


November 11 Saturday 8:00pm
Pablo Aslan Quintet · World Music. Argentine bassist and producer Pablo Aslan plays jazz-infused contemporary tango, but sometimes he serves it up straight. He performs with a stellar quintet of New York-based Argentine musicians.

November 12 Sunday 3:00pm
Vassar College and Community Wind Ensemble. James Osborn, conductor.

November 18 Saturday 8:00pm
Brentano String Quartet. Currently Artists in Residence at Yale University, the Brentano String Quartet has been described as “passionate, uninhibited, and spellbinding.” Known for especially imaginative projects combining old and new music, the program will include works by Gesualdo, Brahms, and Shostakovich.


November 19 Sunday 3:00pm
Vassar College Chamber Singers. Drew Minter, director.


November 30 Thursday 8:00pm
Vassar College Chamber Music Concert. Eduardo Navega, conductor.


December 1 Friday 8:00pm
Vassar College Jazz Ensembles. James Osborn, conductor.


December 2 Saturday 8:00pm
Vassar College Orchestra. Eduardo Navega, conductor.


December 3 Sunday 7:00pm
A Service of Lessons and Carols. This annual Advent service includes readings, choral anthems, and congregational carols that culminates in a stunning candle lighting ceremony. Featuring the Vassar College Choir, Madrigal Singers, and Women's Chorus, and Cappella Festiva Chamber and Treble Choir. Christine Howlett, Drew Minter, and Matt Zydel, conductors. Sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Vassar College Music Department.


December 8 Friday 8:00pm
Faculty Recital:  Frank Cassara, percussion. A celebratory program of old and new works with guest artists.


December 9 Saturday 1:30pm
Senior Recital: Nicholas Ruggeri, conductor. Vassar College Majors presents a program of unaccompanied and accompanied choral works.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, September 6, 2017