Artists in Action: Flutes and fairy tales make this week a music lover’s dream
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
Jan 20, 2013 | 3269 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you like classical music in great variety, you can call this coming week a music lovers’ dream. On Tuesday, flutist and JSU professor Jeremy Benson presents a faculty recital on the theme ”Transcending Time and Culture.” On Jan. 27, a concert reading of “The Frog Prince,” a new children’s musical by Jacksonville Opera Theater, rounds out the week’s entertainment.

JSU professor to be featured in flute recital

Flutist Jeremy Benson, accompanied by Christopher-Joel Carter, organist and pianist, will be featured in recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Anniston's First United Methodist Church. Special guest will be Staff Sgt. Troy Paolantonio of the U.S. Army’s Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.

Benson’s program of flute standards will evoke several moods. “Sonata in F Major” by Bach is vigorous and lively, while “Au Dela Du Temps” by Japanese-French composer Yuko Uebayashi is lilting and dreamy. The melodic Sonata in A Major composed in 1886 by Caesar Franck of France is romantic; it was written as a wedding gift, Benson said.

Even though Benson’s career path at one time was pre-med, he kept returning to the flute, and finally realized he had to make this his life’s work – although there were obstacles to overcome.

“You know, Mozart’s opera was ‘The Magic Flute.’ I truly believe there is something magical about the instrument, both in the effect it has for the listener and for the player,” Benson said.

Benson joined the faculty at JSU in 2011 as professor of flute and music history. He completed his undergraduate degree at JSU, a master’s degree in flute performance at Florida State University and a doctorate degree in flute performance at Rutgers in New Jersey.

Last August, the flutist, with Carter, released a CD titled “Pure HYMNagination,” a series of familiar songs of praise, arranged in contemporary style. For more information about this album, visit www.jeremybensonflute.com.

JOT to perform ‘The Frog Prince’

In fairy tales, all kinds of strange and delightful characters come into mind. On Jan. 27, a frog, a prince, a king, a servant, a jester, three princesses and, of course, a witch will be on stage in the Mason Hall Performance Center at JSU for a concert reading of “The Frog Prince.” The performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

The music was written by James Woodward, assistant professor of music and theory compositions at JSU. The book and lyrics are by Melanie Long of Kennesaw, Ga.

“We are testing this new musical version of the Grimms’ tale,” Woodward said. “There will be no set and very few props. It’s a blend of a Disney pop musical and a classical opera. The children can sit on the floor and we’ll allow time for interaction with them.”

Ages 4 through 9 will especially enjoy the musical, he said.

In the show are Ellen Abney, Nathan Andreasen, Meg Griffin, Cody Hays, Debra Mantua, Lacy Taylor, David Wade and Kevin Ward.

There is no admission fee.

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Editor's note: This article has been edited from the version originally published to include the location of Jeremy Benson's recital.
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