Photo courtesy of Martha Malone
On March 1, warmer weather will be ushered in with “Spring Fever,” the Townsend School of Music’s latest faculty artist recital. This faculty-led cabaret will be performed on campus at Fickling Hall in the McCorkle Music Building. The event is free and open to the public.
This event invites the public to “go a little crazy with comedy, love songs, jazzy tunes, and classics from the Great American Songbook,” according to the Townsend website.
To lead the audience into the Ides of March is Dr. Martha Malone, Mercer University’s vocal studies chair and opera director. For this recital, Malone has pieced together various works from her repertoire into her vision of an old-fashioned cabaret.
The cabaret’s roots began in Paris, France. Through its intimate style — usually requiring only voice and piano — it traveled throughout France and later into Germany. As “a nightclub thing,” as Malone called it, cabarets appealed to visual artists and other creative types. Soon after, it would cross the Atlantic and to New York, where it blossomed in the United States.
For this cabaret, Malone has decided to go with the theme “Spring Fever” and how this time of year affects us. Aspects of falling in love, people’s reactions to spring and even academic types getting tired near the end of the school year will be featured in Malone’s hour-long cabaret.
Stepping away from the traditional cabaret style of voice and solo piano, Malone will welcome a few of her fellow faculty members and Mercer students to the stage. Pianist Cam Bishop, saxophonist and clarinetist Dr. Monty Cole, jazz pianist and bassist Dr. Christopher Schmitz, percussionist Dr. Marcus Reddick and Mercer student double bassist Reed Tucker will be performing alongside Malone.
As a young girl, Malone grew up with cabaret music playing in her parent’s home. It has been five or six years since Malone has performed one of her own.
“Spring Fever” will feature songs like Rogers and Hammerstein’s “It Might as Well Be Spring,” but Malone plans to jazz it up a bit. Other selections will include “April in Paris” by Vernon Duke, “Lazy Afternoon” from the show “Golden Apple” and some Cole Porter.
“People will be entertained – [the audience] will hear familiar songs and new songs that they haven’t heard,” Malone said.
For more information on “Spring Fever” and other upcoming faculty artist recitals, please see the Townsend School of Music website at music.mercer.edu.