The fruits of fall in January
FLC cellist and friends open 2007 concert season

Cellist Katherine Jetter Tischhauser, associate professor of cello and music theory at Fort Lewis College, will be performing her faculty recital “All About Dances” this Sunday./Photo by J. Reynolds

by Judith Reynolds

Katherine Jetter Tischhauser says she’s crazy about dance music. That’s one reason her annual faculty recital next Sunday is titled: “All About Dances.”

Associate professor of cello and music theory at Fort Lewis College as well as chair of the department, Tischhauser will offer a range of dances in Roshong Recital Hall. Then before you can say “pop rock,” she’s off to play entirely different music Friday night in the Community Concert Hall.

Like many of her faculty colleagues, Tischhauser is a crossover musician who performs in a variety of styles and has multiple lives. If you ask her, teaching comes first. Then her professional career as a cellist finds her giving solo recitals. She’s also an ensemble musician: founding member of the Red Shoe Piano Trio and principal cellist of the San Juan Symphony.

So what about her band, Formula 151? Along with her buddies – songwriter, vocalist and guitarist David Mensch; percussionist Steve Dejka; and bassist Mike Kornelson – Tischhauser plays in this local acoustic-rock band. On Jan. 19, the band will host a party-concert to announce the completion of its new CD, “Yesterday’s Tomorrow.” The band has been together about three years, Tischhauser said, a year in this particular formation.

Last summer, Formula 151 jammed regularly at Durango Joe’s coffee house to the delight of patrons and passersby. Then in September, Tischhauser left on a planned sabbatical, touring colleges and universities in her role as a professor/performer. For the last four months, she’s been giving classical recitals as well as teaching master classes and doing faculty observations. From the Southwest to the East Coast, she also delved into musical archives, tracking down cello music.

After a round of recitals and classes at universities in the Southwest, Tischhauser headed east. She set up a schedule to include large state institutions as well as small, prestigious colleges. One of her favorite stops turned out to be at the historic ivy-league campus of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.

“They have a large, special collection of cello music,” Tischhauser said. “I wanted to look at duo (cello) readings, in particular. Doug Williams (a faculty member there) and I played through many of them.”

As luck would have it, while there Tischhauser joined a pick-up quartet, the kind chamber musicians dream about. “The principal cellist from the Boston Symphony happened to be in town, so with one more faculty member, we made a quartet. We spent an afternoon reading (playing) all kinds of music. It was wonderful.” (Professors on sabbatical should all be so lucky).

Tischhauser in her other incarnation with local acoustic rock band Formula 151./Courtesy photo

In Greensboro, N.C., Tischhauser spent two weeks “digging through the largest collection of cello manuscripts in the world.” Her goal, she said, was to expand the repertoire and find new music to work on with her students. While here, she chanced upon a performance by world famous violinist Itzhak Perlman at the North Carolina Symphony, where she was greeted with another pleasant surprise. “I ran into (classical pianist) Norman Krieger,” she added, before going on to describe a major exhibition of French Impressionism at the university.

Now that she’s back in Durango, Tischhauser’s solo recital draws from a rich fall harvest. Like other FLC faculty concerts, this one features one professor and is augmented by others. In Tischhauser’s case, she’s invited pianist Lisa Campi to join her as well as her former student and sabbatical replacement, cellist James Jon Bader.

Tischhauser and Campi will open with a gavotte written by the famous German-Czech teacher-composer, David Popper. Then Tischhauser will perform six solo cello pieces from Bach’s Suite No.5, the central work she offered while touring the country.

Before intermission, she will play cello transcriptions of three Bulgarian dances “with a title no one can pronounce,” Tischhauser said: “Haidushko Horo.”

After intermission, Tischhauser will air her own transcription of a piece about that strange dance form: clogging: “When I was in North Carolina, I heard this work performed, and I thought it was appropriate to include it since it’s by an American composer, Robert Ward,” she sad. “The moment I heard it, I decided to transcribe it for cello and piano.”

Three tangos by Latin American composers and one arrangement of a flamenco dance scored for two celli will follow. Tischhauser and Campi will close with Alberto Ginastera’s “Pampeana No. 2: Rhapsody for Violincello and Piano.”

“All about Dances” begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, in Roshong Recital Hall. “Yesterday’s Tomorrow” begins at 7:30 p.m. on Fri., Jan. 19, in the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. Augmenting the core band will be string players Tennille Taylor, Teresa Lundgren and another crossover musician you’ll hear Sunday, J.J. Bader. •




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