Hobart and William Smith Colleges bring to campus noted female composer Ruth Watson Henderson. She will speak to music history classes and discuss her music, often inspired by and written for a church setting. Although she is best known for her choral compositions, Henderson has also written works for string orchestra and for winds, brass and percussion, as well as solo pieces for organ.
Students in the Colleges Chorale, directed by Professor Robert Cowles, and Brass and Wind Ensembles, directed by Professor James Trowbridge and Professor John Oberbrunner, respectively, will perform other works by her in special concert at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, in St. John's Chapel. A pre-concert chat with Watson Henderson will precede the concert at 7:15 p.m. in the Fisher Center, Demarest Hall room 212. The St. Peter's Community Junior Choir, directed by Wendra Trowbridge, will also join them. The concert is free and open to the public.
“It's exciting for me personally to learn some new music and have the person who wrote it right there,” said Hamilton, who organized Watson Henderson's visit.
This is the second year an artist has been featured “in-residence” at the Colleges; last year composer Adolphus Hailstork visited for Black History Month. The program was started in order to introduce students to different forms of music and associate with a composer who is still alive, particularly to hear from the composer the history and ideas behind his or her works.
Watson Henderson is a native of Toronto, Canada, and studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and the Mannes Colleges of Music in New York City. For many years, she has been the accompanist for the Elmer Iseler Festival Singers and the Toronto Children's Chorus.