World is theme of Callaway Concert Series
Aug. 17, 2010

Dr. Toni Anderson believes in bringing the world to the Callaway Auditorium stage – one musical group at a time.

Since the Callaway Concert Series was inaugurated in 2008, internationally acclaimed musicians such as the Vienna Boys Choir, classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco of Cuba and the Shanghai Quartet have entertained audiences.

“The Callaway Concert Series, funded by the Callaway Foundation, is intended to bring artists of international repute to this campus and to this community,” says Dr. Anderson, Chair of the Music Department.

The series returns this year with a rich season, focusing on the different musical cultures of the world.

“Tres Vidas,” an acclaimed chamber music theater production by the Core Ensemble, comes to the Callaway Auditorium stage on Oct. 19.

The group features an actress who portrays multiple characters while interacting with the onstage musical trio. “Tres Vidas” celebrates the life, times and work of three significant Latin and South American women – painter Frida Kahlo of Mexico, peasant activist Rufina Amaya of El Salvador and poet Alfonsina Storni of Argentina.

“It will be an interesting, very captivating show because of the way it uses music, including Mexican folk songs and popular and tango songs from Argentina, to help portray the lives of these women,” Dr. Anderson says.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers will bring more than 135 years of musical history to the Nov. 16 concert in LaGrange.

“They have a very rich history dating back to the 1870s,” Dr. Anderson says. “This historic ensemble from Fisk University in Nashville began in an attempt to salvage their institution, which was on the brink of financial collapse. So they went on a concert tour to raise money. They had an incredible journey which began with hardship but ended with great triumph as they toured through America and across Europe and raised enough money to indeed save the institution.”

The singers also established themselves as accomplished entertainers as they disseminated the Negro spiritual to the Western world.

In 1999, they were featured in “Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory” a PBS award-winning television documentary series, produced by WGBH/Boston. In 2008, the singers received the 2008 National Medal of Arts, the nation's highest honor for artists and patrons of the arts.

“The Fisk Jubilee Singers continue to this day, and we are very fortunate to have the current group with us in November,” Dr. Anderson says. “They have quite a worldwide reputation.”

Rounding out the season Feb. 22 is the Ahn Trio, made up of three sisters – cellist Maria, pianist Lucia and violinist Angella Ahn.

Born in Seoul, Korea, and educated at the Juilliard School in New York City, the sisters have been touring for more than 10 years and have recorded six albums.

“They’ve really made a name for themselves in terms of blending their ‘groovy’ music with art music and jazz,” Dr. Anderson says. “They are known for very percussive rhythms and very clean, but cutting, music.”

Not only recognized for their talent, the sisters were named three of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 2003.

“As one reviewer wrote, these women ‘play as good as they look,’ ” Dr. Anderson says.

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