Winter 2004 Magazine Archive & SearchMuhlenberg Home





1992-1993 – Marni Nixon, vocalist and coach
master classes in voice; coaching individual singers; performed in concert with Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra
1993-1994 – Teatro Pregones, Puerto Rican theatre company
created and staged an original bilingual theatre piece with students, in conjunction with Mayfair Arts Festival, Casa Guadalupe and Pennsylvania Stage Company
1994-1995 – David Dorfman, dancer and choreographer
taught public workshops; created a new work for the Muhlenberg Dancers; taught the course, Movement for Athletes; company performed in concert; spent a day in residence at Jefferson Elementary School
1995-1996 – Gary Burton, vibraphonist
taught technique and jazz classes; performed in concert with Douglas Ovens and the Muhlenberg Jazz Ensemble
1996-1997 – Marie Irene Fornes, playwright and director
taught a course in playwriting; directed a production of her play, “Fefu and Her Friends,” which she revised especially for our students
1997-1998 – John Ramsey, actor
artist in residence to prepare a major production of Bertolt Brecht’s play “Galileo;” consulted with students considering careers in the theatre
1998-1999 – Doug Varone, dancer and choreographer
taught a course on creative process for theatre and dance students, as well as technique classes in modern dance; set a work from his repertory on the Muhlenberg Dancers; company performed in concert; contributed to several community workshops
1999-2001 – The Opera Project
music, theatre and dance programs combined two years’ Baker residency funds to produce Muhlenberg’s first fully staged opera, Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas.” Choreographer Thomas Baird, a specialist in Baroque dance, taught a class and joined theatre and music faculty in staging the production, which was performed with members of the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra; the departments of theatre, music, dance, and English also hosted an academic conference, Unmasquing 17th Century English Performance, featuring some of the world’s leading scholars in the field of Baroque performance styles
2001-2002 – Danny Buraczeski, dancer and choreographer
taught in the dance program; set a work from his repertoire for the Muhlenberg Dancers Concert; company performed in concert; offered jazz master class for students and community
2002-2003 – Mac Wellman, playwright
taught a course in playwriting; collaborated with faculty and guests artists on the world premiere production of “Anything’s Dream,” his new play inspired by William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream;” collaborated with the community-based Theatre Outlet in center city Allentown on their production of his play, “Fnu Lnu”

Jeremy Slavin, instructor of music at the College since 1972 and director of the Muhlenberg College Choir since 1992, was a founding member of the Philadelphia Singers and suggested a project with them when the music department drew up its original list of potential Baker Artists-in-Residence in 1991. The Philadelphia Singers will be the third Baker Artist for the music department, following singer Marni Nixon and vibraphonist Gary Burton, as well as the contribution of one of its Artist years to the 2001 Opera Project (see sidebar for details). The department makes it a point to engage both vocalists and instrumentalists to serve all its students.

David Hayes, artistic director of the Philadelphia Singers, will travel to Allentown each Tuesday afternoon during the spring semester to work with the Muhlenberg College Choir to prepare the Requiem. Hayes was appointed music director of the Philadelphia Singers in 1992. In January 2001, he was appointed to the conducting staff of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is also the director of orchestral and conducting studies for the Mannes College of Music in New York City and staff conductor of the symphony orchestra of The Curtis Institute of Music.

The College Choir, currently 130 voices strong, will be augmented with several members of the faculty and staff for rehearsals and the performance. The 24-member Philadelphia Singers will attend the last few rehearsals with students to prepare for the Requiem, which will be accompanied by the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra. A final component of the residency will occur in fall 2004, when The Philadelphia Singers will once again travel to Allentown to present a full concert performance for the Lehigh Valley Community.

The Mozart Requiem will be presented on Friday and Saturday, March 19-20, at 8 p.m. each evening. You may purchase tickets for the concert, which are $30.00 each, by calling the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra at 610-266-8525. The fall Philadelphia Singers concert will be presented at 4 p.m. on September 12, 2004, and will be free to the public. For more information about these concerts and the department of music at Muhlenberg College, call 484-664-3363.

Doug Ovens directs the Muhlenberg College Chamber Orchestra – a music department success story.


Ken Butler is executive assistant to President Helm.


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