Crowley Chamber Music Series to host final concert

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Jessica Johnson
Contributing Writer

The Crowley Chamber Music Series, which has been sponsored by the Music Department since 1995, will host its final concert on Sunday, March 25 at 7 p.m. in Lynch Auditorium.  Admission to the event is free, but the music department has requested that reservations be made.  The concert will feature faculty members Kristin Van Cleve (violin), Jim Higgins (cello), and LeeAnn C. Lawson (violin) playing chamber music from a variety of composers and time periods.  Their performance marks the end of a long and rich tradition of chamber music at the University of Dallas.

The Crowley Concerts began in 1995 when Michele McDonald, a professor of music history and theory, joined the music department. McDonald was a pianist for the Dallas Symphony and had access to many local musicians, whom she wished students and friends of the university to hear.  She originally brought these musicians together in private homes, where elegant concerts and receptions were held for students, alumni and benefactors.  All concerts were sponsored by the David Crowley Foundation, which has financed the music department for 28 years.  Department Chair Marilyn Walker said that these concerts were responsible for giving the music program “a better profile in the Dallas community.”

Over the years, the concerts have slowly shifted from private residences to on-campus venues. The performances, which occur one or two times each semester, have showcased both university talent and guest artists from the Dallas area.  Notable guest performers include Simon Sargon – a world-renowned pianist – opera singers from The Catholic University of America, and several international piano students from a local performing arts academy.  The most recent Crowley Concert, held on Feb. 12, featured UD faculty member Andrey Ponochevny, who was a Bronze Medal Winner at the 2002 International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Ponochevny gave a brilliant performance of several exhilarating pieces by Scarlatti, Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.  After the concert, a reception was held, at which Ponochevny was available to speak with students.

Because the David Crowley Foundation has been depleted and the university looks to concentrate more of its efforts on offering music classes, the Crowley Chamber Music Series will not be continued next semester.  Students are encouraged to come to the final performance on March 25 to celebrate and enjoy this rich tradition of beautiful chamber music at the University of Dallas.

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