‘The British are Coming’ to the Reiland SaturdayJamestown College’s Music Department’s chairman Dr. Rick Walentine is a multitalented vocalist and instructor. He’s been involved with many facets of Jamestown’s art and entertainment circles since arriving here more than a decade ago.
By: Sharon Cox, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown College’s Music Department’s chairman Dr. Rick Walentine is a multitalented vocalist and instructor. He’s been involved with many facets of Jamestown’s art and entertainment circles since arriving here more than a decade ago.
He’s helped with nearly every musical and theatrical performance presented in the DeNault Theater as well as helping with the musical component of performances at the Arts Center downtown. And nearly every year he has given at least one recital to the enjoyment of the large audiences his performance draws.
This Saturday, he will present a very special recital for the pleasure of Jamestown’s music aficionados — an exchange recital with a pianist from Valley City State University.
“The British are coming: Songs from the British Isles,” will be a joint venture with VCSU’s Jaime Namminga at the piano, accompanying Walentine. Namminga is married to JC’s chaplain, The Rev. Darin Namminga, and teaches music at VCSU.
The Jamestown performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Reiland’s DeNault Auditorium, and at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 the two will appear in the Vangstad Auditorium on the VCSU campus.
Their performance is divided into two sections: The first half will open with a setting of three Sanskrit hymns (translated into English of course) by Gustav Holst, who wrote The Planets — a big orchestral suite familiar to many music enthusiasts. The selections are called Vedic hymns: Ushas (Dawn), Varuna (Sky) and Maruts (Stormclouds).
The recital’s piece de resistance follows: a cycle of 10 poems by Thomas Hardy (he is of Tess D’Urbervilles fame) called “Earth, Air and Rain.” Their theme is love lost, regret and resignation (which is the theme of practically everything Hardy wrote) and the composer who set them to music is Gerald Finzi. According to Walentine, he is not a composer familiar to most people.
The second half of the pair’s performance is much lighter and shorter. They have selected four quick songs for the second half that range from pastoral themes, “The Merry Green Wood” to nursery rhymes, “The Mouse and the Bumblebee.”
It then follows with a set musical theater songs: “Sunset Boulevard” from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical of the same name, “Reviewing the Situation,” from Lionel Bart’s “Oliver,” and closing with “I am the very model of a modern major general” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance.”
Walentine (baritone) is actively involved in a multitude of organizations that focus on vocal pedagogy, opera, and music performance. An accomplished performer, he is known for his interpretation of French Art Song, comedic musical theater roles and the patter of Gilbert and Sullivan. An active member of National Association of Teachers of Singing, Walentine has served as treasurer and president of the North Dakota chapter for which he serves as district governor.
These two musicians will bring some works that are rare in the world of musical professionals and almost unheard of in the upper Midwest, outside a larger venue, such as Minneapolis, the east or west coast scene. It is an opportunity that Jamestown residents will be able to enjoy right here. It is free and open to the public.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.