Edwards-Henry premiers 'Travelin' Music'

Jackie Edwards-Henry, professor of piano and piano pedagogy at Mississippi State University, premiered the harpsichord suite "Travelin' Music" at the convention of the American Musical Instrument Society and the Historical Keyboard Society of North America June 1.

In keeping with the Williamsburg, Va. convention theme "Roots of American Musical Life," the suite consists of five movements based on American Folk Music.

"Each movement presents ideas related to music and travel -- sometimes in a general sense and, at other times, in settings that present more programmatic intentions," said the solo and collaborative pianist who has performed in Canada, Europe and the U.S.

The suite is one Edwards-Henry commissioned of composer and former colleague Douglas McConnell, professor of composition theory and director of programs and music technology for the School of Music at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio. McConnell's compositions have been performed throughout the U.S. and internationally, including Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Russia. Among his most noted works are "Langston's Lot," based on the poetry of Langston Hughes; "Lily," an interpretation of a Walter Wangerin short story; and the chamber piece "Songs of the Beloved" for which he won a composition prize from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.

Edwards-Henry is the featured pianist on two CD recordings, including "Saxophone and Other Voices" with Gail Levinsky (2002), and "Contemporary Czech Music for Flute and Piano" with Lana Johns (2007). She is featured on the Mississippi Arts Roster as a harpsichordist as well as pianist. Owner of a 1769 double-manual harpsichord, she performs regularly in solo, chamber and symphony concerts. Recent harpsichord instruction venues include the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin Conservatory.

The harpsichord was used in most of the vocal and instrumental repertoire written during the Baroque era, including large instrumental and choral works and operas. In the late 19th Century, the five-octave instrument saw a revival with composers and continues to evolve to this day.

For more information, contact Edwards-Henry at 662-325-2864 or jeh@ra.msstate.edu.

Harriet Laird | University Relations

Return to Memo

Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: June 3, 2013Facebook Twitter