Crowned in Song: A Recital of Settings of the Poetry of Emily Dickinson

Music professors from Willamette University and Lewis & Clark College will team up for a recital of vocal settings of the poetry of Emily Dickinson on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in Willamette's Hudson Hall.

Presenting a variety of contemporary composers, both published and unpublished, singers Christine Welch Elder and Barbara Skipworth and pianists Marva Duerksen and George Skipworth will explore the many themes of royalty in Dickinson’s poetry, examined through the lenses of nature, social status and death and transcendence.

The program includes music of American composers Ernst Bacon, Silvia Glickman and Arthur Farwell along with a broad range of other musical responses to Dickinson’s poetry. The program will last approximately 1 1/2 hours.

The event is free, with a suggested donation to offset production costs: $8 for adults, $5 for students.

For more information, contact the Willamette music office at 503-370-6255.

About the performers

Christine Welch Elder is in her 9th year on the faculty at Willamette, where she teaches voice and theory and conducts Voce Femminile. She has sung with various orchestras and choruses in the Pacific Northwest, including the Salem Chamber Orchestra, the Willamette Master Chorus, the Willamette Falls Orchestra, the Washington-Idaho Symphony and the Festival Chorale.

Barbara Wester Skipworth has appeared as recitalist and concert artist in New York, Boston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., with engagements at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, CAMI Hall, The Peabody Conservatory and The Smithsonian Institute, as well as West Coast appearances in San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, where she lives and teaches.

Marva Duerksen is an associate professor of music at Willamette, where she coordinates music theory courses and teaches in the women’s and gender studies program. Duerksen's research, teaching and performing interests focus on music by women composers and poets, with special emphasis on the vocal music of American composer Libby Larsen and on musical settings of American poet Emily Dickinson.

George Skipworth heads the orchestral program at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. Skipworth has maintained a regimen of premieres and performances as a composer and symphonic/operatic conductor. Song and orchestral premieres include performances in Baltimore, Los Angeles and Portland; touring Russia and Ukraine; and at international festivals in Florence, Arezzo, Dublin, and Mytilini.