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A once-in-a-year chance

Harpsichordist Brendan Barker will perform during the Fort Lewis College Faculty Showcase. (Courtesy of J. Reynolds)
FLC Showcase introduces new and ‘old’ faculty

Be there or b-flat.

That very old music joke, told when people thought it was cool, applies today.

At 3 p.m. Sunday in Roshong Recital Hall, a once-a-year Fort Lewis College Faculty Showcase will take place.

The FLC Music and Drama departments have merged into the Department of Performing Arts, and a group recital has been planned. It’s a rare opportunity to see, hear and meet new and long-standing faculty members. Stalwarts, like jazz artist Jeff Solon, will be on hand, although only Solon knows what he may play that afternoon. The program is deliciously varied.

As of this writing, 10 faculty members will perform works by composers ranging from Mozart to Andrew Lloyd Webber. That’s no surprise: The college launched a musical theater major last year by hiring impresario Michael McKelvey. Now, singer-actor-director Curtis Reynolds (no relation) has joined the faculty and is musical director for “Cabaret.” It opens Oct. 21. At the Showcase, Reynolds will perform two songs: “She’s Is Not Thinking of Me,” from Lerner and Loewe’s “Gigi,” and “Heaven on Their Minds,” from Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Reynolds brings a deep resume of directing, acting and writing. He earned degrees from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and New York University.

Last fall, McKelvey appeared for the first time at the Showcase singing William Finn’s “What Would I Do?” from “Falsettos.” Finn’s “Infinite Joy” is on Sunday’s program along with a surprise: Francesco Tosti’s “Non T’amo Piu.” A popular 19th-century song, “I Don’t Love You Any More,” was given new life by Luciano Pavarotti. If we’re lucky, McKelvey will sing both verses.

If you go

WHAT: Faculty Showcase Recital, Fort Lewis College Performing Arts Department.

WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Roshong Recital Hall, Jones Hall, FLC, 1000 Rim Drive.

TICKETS: $15, at the door. FLC students free.

MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.fortlewis.edu/music or call 247-7087.

NOTE: Masks required.

Because of the wealth of singers on the FLC faculty, Brendan Barker, new director of Choral Studies, has opted to play the harpsichord. Barker has a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Illinois with lots of experience teaching, conducting and singing. He’s also an experienced keyboardist – piano, organ and his favorite, the harpsichord. He shares space in his FLC office with a grand piano and a harpsichord. Barker will play three works by 18th-century composers, and you can see him conduct the FLC choirs in a big Concert Hall performance on Oct. 14.

Barker’s colleague, FLC Concert Band Director Justin Hubbard, will also be on that mid-October program. At the Showcase, Hubbard will perform Victor Morosco’s “Blue Caprice,” on the saxophone. Professor Joe Nibley will perform one work on the trumpet, “La Virgen de la Macarena,” and another on the flugel horn: “Share My Yoke.”

Nibley and Hubbard’s appearance last spring with percussionist John O’Neal, newly named chair of performing arts, was a musical highlight of 2021-22. The three musicians will be involved in the Nov. 29 Jazz Ensemble concert in the Concert Hall. See the FLC website for all performances.

On Sunday, classical music fans should also rejoice. The Red Shoe Trio is back.

Pianist Lisa Campi Walters, cellist Katherine Jetter and violinist Richard Silvers will perform the Allegro from Mozart’s Piano Trio No. 5. Silvers will return for a solo recital on Oct. 30. On Sunday at the Showcase, flutist Kathryn Shaffer will perform Hindemith’s Sonata for Flute and Piano with her sister, Kristen Chen.

Tickets are $15, at the door. FLC students are free. Proceeds go to music scholarships.

Judith Reynolds is an arts journalist and member of the American Theatre Critics Association.