Jennifer Marie Stevens
Classical Singer ~ Visual Artist
Green Bay Symphony Orchestra's
Celebrating the 100th Year of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and Native American Heritage Month!
Our Concert Review:
Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: ‘Oneida Art Songs’ sets GBSO concert apart
Channel 5 Live WFRV:
Photo by James Kelly
November 9, 2013, Saturday at 7:30 PM
Jennifer Stevens, Soprano Soloist & Guest Composer
Wade Fernandez, Native American Flute & Percussion
Aaron Zinsmeister, Pianist
Octavio Mas-Arocas, Conductor, Jennifer Stevens, Soprano and Composer, Arrangers; Aaron Zinsmeister and Alaric Coussons, and Dan Linssen, GBSO Director. Weidner Center-UWGB. Photo by Arnie Tucker
Premiering Jennifer Stevens's original Oneida Art Songs arranged for Symphonic Orchestra and Soprano Solo.
I. Kasl^hta: (Dream) An Oneida Lullaby
II. Owe•lá: (Wind)
Arranged by Alaric Coussons
III. Ol^•ná: A Song/A Prayer, A Song of Gratitude
In tribute and In Memory of Maria Hinton, Ms. Stevens Grandmother. (6-3-1910 to 7-28-2013)
Arranged by Aaron Zinsmeister
Jennifer Stevens's Oneida Art Songs will be performed in memory of Maria Hinton, Oneida Linguist, Instructor, and Co-Author to the first Oneida-English Dictionary... Celebrating her 103 years of life! Three Years older than the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra.
In Loving Memory...
Maria Anastasia (Christjohn) Hinton
June 5, 1910 ~ July 28, 2013
Photo by Ernie Stevens III
JENNIFER STEVENS (b. 1972)
Oneida Art Songs for Soprano and Orchestra
arr. Alaric Coussons
I. Kasl^hta? (Dream): An Oneida Lullaby
II. Owe•lá: Wind
arr. Aaron Zinsmeister
III. Ol^•ná• (A Song/A Prayer): A Song of Gratitude
GEORGES BIZET (1838-1875)
Suite from the Incidental Music to Alphonse Daudet’s Play, L’Arlésienne
— INTERMISSION —
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95,“From the New World”
I. Adagio — Allegro molto
III. Scherzo: Molto vivace
IV. Allegro con fuoco
Green Bay Symphony Orchestra Celebration!
Celebrate three eras that defined Northeast Wisconsin. Oneida/Lakota soprano Jennifer Stevens will premiere three short works of art music written in the native language, and arranged for orchestra by award-winning local composers Alaric Coussons and Aaron Zinsmeister in honor of Native American Heritage Month.
Then, 150 years of French exploration and settlement will be celebrated with music from French composer Georges Bizet. Finally, what better way to honor the great European migration of the 19th century than with Dvorak’s New World Symphony?
Come early to explore lobby displays from the area’s historical institutions, including Heritage Hill, The Neville Museum, Brown County Historical Society, the Oneida Nation Museum, Voyageur Magazine, and the Green Bay-De Pere Antiquarian Society. Displays open at 6:00 pm.
A grand evening of retrospect into our past.
Lobby Displays: 6:00 PM
Concert: 7:30 PM
Reception To Follow
“Being open and versatile is important in today’s world… I believe in embracing all cultures in a good way and celebrating life through music, art, and my creative expression.” ~ Jennifer M. Stevens
Buy Your Tickets!!!
Octavio Más-Arocas was recently appointed Director of Orchestral Studies and Conductor of the Symphony and Opera Orchestras at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. In addition, he has been appointed Resident Conductor at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Previously, he served as Music Director and Conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra for four years.
Chosen by Kurt Masur, Mr. Más-Arocas was awarded the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship in 2011. Consequently, he traveled to Europe and work as Maestro Masur’s assistant with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Helsinki Radio Orchestra and made his Leipziger Symphonieorchester conducting debut. The offer came after Mr. Más-Arocas New York debut concert sharing the podium with Maestro Masur and the Manhattan School of Music Symphony.
An alumnus of the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, Mr. Más-Arocas won the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize awarded by David Zinman. He is the recipient of the Thelma A. Robinson Award from the Conductors Guild, a Prize Winner of the Third European Conductors Competition, and a winner of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain Conductors Competition.
Mr. Más-Arocas has conducted orchestra across North and South America and Europe including the Leipziger Symphonieorchester, the Orquestra Sinfônica da Unicamp in Brazil, the Spokane, Toledo, Phoenix, Memphis, Kansas City, and San Antonio symphonies, National Repertory Orchestra, Manhatan School of Music Symphony, Universidad Nacional de Mexico Philharmonic, Rosario Symphony in Argentina, Kharkov Symphony in Ukraine, National Youth Orchestras of Portugal and Spain, Pescara Symphony in Italy, Amsterdam Brass in Netherlands, and Ciudad Alcala de Henares Symphony.
In 2010 Mr. Más Arocas conducted the National Repertory Orchestra in several performances, and served as assistant conductor working closely with Leonard Slatkin. Other festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Sewanee Music Festival, the Campinas Music Festival in Brazil, and Interlochen, where he conducted both the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Interlochen Philharmonic. Mr. Más Arocas has also served as assistant conductor at the Madrid Royal Opera House and the Bowling Green State University Opera and leaded two national tours with the National Youth Orchestra of Portugal and served as member of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain conducting staff.
From 2008-2012 Mr. Más Arocas was Music Director and Conductor of the renowned Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestras. His performances with the IAA Orchestras have been featured on National Public Radio and streamed online. At Interlochen he collaborated with such outstanding and diverse musicians as Leonard Slatkin, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, cellist Joshua Roman, Philadelphia Orchestra’s tubist Carol Jantsch, the trio Time for Three, and the Latin band Tiempo Libre. Last March Mr. Más-Arocas leaded the IAA Orchestra on a tour that included stops in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Detroit and collaborations with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Más-Arocas studied conducting at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen with David Zinman and has worked with leading conductors and teachers such as Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Christoph Eschenbach, James Conlon, James Depreist, Jesús Lopez-Cobos, Gustav Meier, and Larry Rachleff. Mr. Más-Arocas holds degrees from Bard College, the Accademia Musicale Pescarese in Italy, and pursued doctoral studies at Bowling Green State University with Emily Freeman Brown.
Notes for Program by Dr. Richard E. Rodda
Born in 1972 in Alexandria,Virginia.
Songs Were Composed 2009-2011.
Jennifer Stevens is a veritable fount of creativity — concert soprano, composer, Native American singer, lyricist (in English and the Oneida language), painter, potter, sculptor, graphic designer, photographer, writer, teacher, children’s theater producer and director. Stevens, born in Alexandria, Virginia, is the youngest daughter of the eight children of Ernest L. Stevens, Sr., nationally known orator, educator, historian, Marine veteran and Native American leader of Oneida descent, and Patricia Brewer Stevens, of European and Lakota ancestry. Her extended family is both highly accomplished and deeply rooted in Native American culture: a great-grandfather was a painter; one grandmother was co-author of the first Oneida Dictionary; her mother’s father was a professional bronco rider who was the first to ride a buffalo in a rodeo. Stevens’ family moved from Virginia to West De Pere, Wisconsin when she was five and also lived in Arizona and New Mexico during her early life, but she has long made her home in Wisconsin. She was immersed in music as a child, starred in musicals at West De Pere High School, and furthered her education in both music and art at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, Kansas University School of Music and Dance, and St. Norbert College; she also completed an apprenticeship with Master Oneida-Iroquois potter Rose Kerstetter under the aegis of the Wisconsin Arts Board. Stevens has performed in concert in Europe, and in programs of Oneida and Native American across the United States, widely across Wisconsin, and was the subject of the 2012 Wisconsin Public Television documentary Owe•la’: The Music Within Jennifer Stevens, produced by Eileen Littig and Dean Thomas. Stevens was also selected to be profiled in the upcoming Wisconsin Public Television program series Wisconsin Life produced by Fred Wessel, airing November 2013. She is active in the Oneida and regional communities, doing pottery workshops for youngsters and adults across Wisconsin, and serving on the First Nation Composers Initiative Advisory Board of St. Paul, the Green Bay Press-Gazette Community Conversation Advisory Panel, and as Executive Assistant for the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. Stevens was given the Oneida name Waˀkohsi·yó (pronounced Wah-go-see-yo), which means a “Peacock,” by her late grandmother, Maria Hinton (1910-2013), who said she felt her granddaughter has “good ways … beautiful ways” about her.
Jennifer Stevens has kindly provided the following information about her Oneida Art Songs:
“I have composed music as a secret hobby since I was in middle school; I’m a self-taught composer. I started piano lessons at age eight, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I was asked to perform my original music in concert with such notable Native American classical musicians and composers as R.C. Nakai and Brent Michael Davids.
“When I was preparing for a recital at the Heard Museum in Phoenix in 2010, my voice teachers and I discovered that there are very few songs for a recital that are Native American themed, in Native American languages, or composed by Native Americans. I was inspired and encouraged to try my hand in writing my own art songs in the Oneida language. Since my Grandmother’s life’s work was striving to preserve the Oneida language, it has become an honor to compose in her Native tongue. I have sung in Italian, Latin, German and French, and discovered that my own Oneida language is very singer-friendly. It has pure vowels, much like Italian, and soft consonants. The phrasing is also very fluid, which makes it quite lovely to sing in an operatic style.
“All three of these songs are in tribute to the memory of my Grandma Maria Hinton, a huge inspiration in my life. She was an eloquent woman who was very steadfast in striving for the preservation of her native tongue — the Oneida language. She believed that when we lost our language we lost our identity as Oneida people — something she fought to protect. Maria Hinton co-authored the first Oneida-English Dictionary with her brother Amos Christjohn and dear friend and colleague UWGB Professor Cliff Abbott. At the age of 95, she was concerned about people not pronouncing the words correctly, so she worked diligently for five years to record 30,000 words with Professor Abbott for an on-line Oneida dictionary for the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, which was completed just before her 100th birthday!
Alaric Coussons is a 19 year-old composer from Wrightstown, Wisconsin and multi-talent instrumentalist. In his four years on the music scene, Coussons has won a numerous of state and national awards, along with recording a full-length album. He has studied violin for 13 years, where he has studied under Yulia Smead and Steve Bjella. He is an accomplished pianist and percussionist. Coussons is currently a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point studying under nationally known wind ensemble composer, Dr. Charles Rochester Young.
Coussons placed in his first competition in 2010 when he won 2nd Place in the Wisconsin School Music Association Composition Competition in the Choral Division with his piece Pyramus and Thisbe. That summer, he went to the Interlochen Summer Arts Program in Michigan to study composition under Libby Larson and Dr. Edward Knight. There he won an Orchestral Composition Contest along with many chamber awards. The following year, he won 1st Place in the Pikes Peak Young Composers Competition in the Choral Division, along with the placing in Orchestral Division and the Chamber Division. In 2012, while attending UWSP, Alaric won both the UWSP Orchestral Composition Competition and the UWSP College of Natural Resources annual documentary scoring competition. He was first ever freshman to win both awards in the same year.
Alaric Coussons is a graduate member of both the Green Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra program and Fox Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra. His wide background performing in many different ensembles has directly influenced his own music. His composing is not limited to the classical orchestral world. He has written works ranging from wind ensemble to electronic, from sting quartets to experimental choral. He has even arranged pop and rock music for Jazz Bands and Pep-Bands. However in 2011, Coussons traveled to Bulgaria to record his first album titled “Awakening the Horizon”, performed by Sofia Soloists of Bulgaria. This 10-track album, features orchestral pieces, string ensembles, and brass quintets playing a wide range of music. Coussons hopes to one day be a film and entertainment composer, writing for film, TV, video games and advertisements.
Aaron Zinsmeister is a recording engineer, keyboardist, and composer/arranger from Appleton, Wisconsin. He is the owner of White Raven Audio, a recording studio in Appleton, WI where he produces and engineers recordings of many genres of music as well as music and sound for audio-visual works.
Aaron has also been the keyboardist for the Vic Ferrari Band for the last 10 years, and music director of the band's "Symphony on the Rocks" show, for which he arranges classic rock hits for orchestra as well as composing original pieces.
Aaron studied Recording Technology and Computer Science at UW-Oshkosh; over 20 years of experience with piano and electronic music production, and has worked with many recording artists and local businesses.
Kasl^htả: Dream, An Oneida Lullaby Composed and perfomred by Jennifer Stevens in 2011.
Alaric Coussons, Arranger
Pronounced Gah-sluh-dah. This song was written in honor of Native American children, and is the first song I wrote in the Oneida language strictly using the Oneida Dictionary and my Grandmother’s UWGB On-line Oneida Dictionary. My goal was to write a song in the Oneida language that was fused with the style of classical/operatic singing that I’ve been trained in for 23 years. My intent is to sing this lullaby like an opera aria that would have some Native American elements.
Lyrics: Oneida to English Text.
Jennifer Stevens Translated using the Oneida Language Tools and An Oneida Dictionary co-authored by Maria Hinton and Amos Christjohn. Edited by Clifford Abbot.
Published in 1996.
Owi•lá • .
To dream or sleep.
Owe•lá· : Wind
Composed and performed by Jennifer Stevens in 2009.
Alaric Coussons, Arranger
Pronounced Oh-waay-lah. This was the first song I wrote and performed in 2009 with all-professional Native American classical musicians on the First Nation Composer Initiative Board, of which I was a member. It was the beginning of my exploration of my original music and unique performances.
This song in particular was inspired by the sound of a leaf; its rhythm, sound and motion as it blows in the wind is written in the bass throughout. Breath makes our life possible, and the wind represents the breath a singer needs to sing. In life we search to find ourselves and our calling, and as the singer, I am finding my own song as a person in my English and Oneida language.
Lyrics: Oneida and English Text.
Lyrics by Jennifer M. Stevens.
Translated by Robert Brown, Oneida Cultural Advisor and Chief. 2010.
Walking, oh searching … in life to find, in life to find, my song that’s true; a song that’s mine.
Wind song, oh wind song, the wind that blows, that flows through me, my song becomes my wind song.
The wind is blowing ...
My wind song.
Klíwahkwá akwála• ̉na!
I’m singing my wind song!
Walking, oh searching… In life to find, in life to find;
I found my Akwewèla• ̉na!
(My wind song! Ah-gway-way-laah-nah!)
Ol^•ná: A Song/A Prayer, A Song of Gratitude
Composed and Performed by Jennifer Stevens in 2010. Written in honor of her grandmother, Maria Hinton.
Aaron Zinsmeister, Arranger
It is pronounced Oh-luh-nah and has two meanings: "A Song or A Prayer." This was the first song I wrote in the Oneida language and it honors my grandmother, Maria Hinton (June 5, 1910-July 28, 2013) for her life’s work striving to preserve the Oneida language and culture. I was fortunate to sing this song for her many times. I worked with our Oneida Cultural Advisor and Chief, Bob Brown, for the translations to make sure the phrases were correct — my Grandmother would know. She went to almost all of my recitals and performances and deserved a song.
Written for the 4th Annual “Dreamers and Doers” American Association of University Women in honor of my Grandmother, Maria Hinton. She won!
Lyrics: Oneida to English Text.
Lyrics by Jennifer M. Stevens.
Translated by Robert Brown, Oneida Cultural Advisor and Chief. 2010.
Ol^•ná … Song/Prayer …
I will sing for you;
Kind of song I made for you.
I give you thanks.
I love you…!!
I love you Grandma...!!!
I love you…!!!
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Jennifer M. Stevens © 2011
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