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Improvisation and You Series

Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck on 04/18/03 

Ken Kutler
Timothy Brumfield, the organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and award-winning soprano Renay Peters will give a free concert at Ithaca College on Thursday, April 24.

Part of the School of Music's new "Improvisation and You" series, the performance will begin at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music. The program will feature improvisations of sacred and secular works.

The spiritual center of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. In addition to worship services, St. John's offers a wide range of social programs and a rich selection of art and music performances. The cathedral's improvisation organ series has been especially inspiring to Timothy Brumfield, who, as a regular in that series, has performed with such luminaries as Dave Brubeck, Paul Winter, Max Roach, and Judy Collins.

In addition to his performances at St. John's, Brumfield has been featured on National Public Radio and has toured the United States and Europe as a solo artist and with the cathedral's vocal ensembles. His recently released CD, "Kentucky Serenade," includes improvisations on standard hymns as well as old favorites by Stephen Foster.

Joining Brumfield on the Ford Hall stage will be Renay Peters, a winner of the Leontyne Price vocal competition. A versatile performer, Peters has appeared as a soloist with the Boy's Choir of Harlem, Moses Hogan Chorale, and New York Ragtime Orchestra. She has also sung roles in a number of operas, including "La Traviata" and "Samson," and given command performances for Desmond Tutu, David Dinkins, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

By focusing on music that is wholly or partially created at the time of performance, the "Improvisation and You" series offers audiences the opportunity to appreciate the musical skills needed for extemporaneous presentations. Earlier recitals in the series were given by the jazz quintet Five Play, jazz and ragtime pianist Tony Caramia, and bassoonist Paul Hanson.

For more information on Ithaca College School of Music performances, visit or call (607) 274-3717.

Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck

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