Late July brings a new music event to campus

Composer/lyricist Ricky Ian Gordon and his work will be showcased at the first annual Festival of American Song.

Composer/lyricist Ricky Ian Gordon and his work will be showcased at the first annual Festival of American Song.


TCU School of Music debuts another venue for showcasing the arts with the premiere of the Festival of American Song, July 26-27 in PepsiCo Recital Hall.

Destined to become an annual summer event, the weekend celebrates the music of American composers by each year introducing one of the newest “stars” in the songwriting universe. Founding director of the Festival is TCU voice professor Angela Turner Wilson.

This year’s guest artist-in-residence is Ricky Ian Gordon, New York-based composer of songs, stage musicals and opera.* Concluding each year’s event will be the premiere of a new work commissioned for the Festival by TCU.

Festival director is Angela Turner Wilson, soprano, and TCU voice professor.

Festival director is Angela Turner Wilson, soprano, and TCU voice professor.


Performance Schedule:

7 p.m. Saturday, July 26
All Star Performance of Gordon’s work featuring the talents of Colleen Mallette, Virginia Dupuy, Amy Pummill Stewart, Alison Hodgson Whitehurst, Corrie Donovan Gandy, Jenna Meador, Christian Bester, Anthony Fortino, Angela Turner Wilson and Shields Collins Bray.

2 p.m. Sunday, July 27
Vocal recital of Gordon’s newest composition featuring soprano Angela Turner Wilson, accompanied on piano by Shields Collins Bray. She will premiere “Meteors,” commissioned by TCU. The composer will be onstage for a discussion of his work.

Tickets for each are $10 (free with valid student ID) and are available at the door or online at https://wwwb.is.tcu.edu/upay2/music_event/.

*Stephen Holden, writing in The New York Times has said, “If the music of Ricky Ian Gordon had to be defined by a single quality, it would be the bursting effervescence infusing songs that blithely blur the lines between art song and the high-end Broadway music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim…It’s caviar for a world gorging on pizza.”

The composer/lyricist is known for his body of work that spans the past two decades with its originality:

Operas, including “Rappahannock County” that takes on the Civil War and “The Grapes of Wrath” based on the John Steinbeck novel and “Twenty Seven” about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.

Song cycles, performed by Audra McDonald, Dawn Upshaw, Renée Fleming and Todd Palmer, among others.