Contralto Kelly Samarzea and pianist Diane Birr -- two assistant professors of music performance in the School of Music -- will present a free recital, "Songs by 20th-Century American Women," on Sunday, November 2. The concert will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Hockett Family Recital Hall in the Whalen Center.
Kelly Samarzea joined the Ithaca College faculty in 2001, after having served on the faculty at Mississippi State University. In addition to regional appearances with the Cincinnati Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Indiana University Opera Theater, Samarzea has performed extensively throughout the Middle East and Asia. She has received prizes and honors from the Metropolitan Opera auditions, Opera Music Theater International, and National Association of Teachers of Singing. This past year she appeared in a performance of Beethoven's ninth symphony at Cornell University.
Samarzea has done doctoral work in vocal performance and literature at Indiana University in Bloomington. She holds a master's degree in vocal performance from Indiana University, and a bachelor's degree in piano accompanying from the University of Arkansas.
Diane Birr performs extensively as a piano collaborator, serving as official accompanist to the Music Teachers National Association national competitions, the International Brass Congress, and the International Horn Society Workshop. She is on the faculty of International Workshops and has recordings with Liscio, Crystal Records, and Houston Publishing. Birr formerly taught at the University of Northern Iowa. She received her doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. She holds a master's degree from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.
Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck