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"From Last Year..." A Song Cycle By Kevin Class And Rebecca Parr, Premieres On March 25th

In the Spring of 2020, UT professor, pianist, and composer, Dr. Kevin Class, suddenly found himself with a lot of time on his hands, thanks to Covid-19. He decided to begin a project that was presented to him as an idea, years ago, by poet, social activist, and long-time production manager of UT Opera Theatre, Rebecca Parr. That project was to write an opera, setting Parr's poetry to music. As an opera is a very large undertaking, Class decided to try writing a song cycle and requested some poems from Rebecca, who then sent a few in an email with the subject line of "from last year..." 

What began as an experimental project to compose some songs ended as a multi-disciplinary collaboration between the University of TN School of Music and the University of the Philippines, Manila. The end result was not only a collection of newly composed songs reflecting moments in a woman's life, but also a recording by pianist, Kevin Class and soprano, Stephanie Quintin-Avila, an accompanying art film, created by Alegria O. Ferrer, professor of voice and a stage and film director at the University of the Philippines, and a documentary film that follows the process of creating and recording this music across the globe during a pandemic (Ms. Quintin-Avila resides in the Philippines). 

"From Last Year..." will premiere on Youtube on March 25th https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RUHDDv0ZZo" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RUHDDv0ZZo and will be featured on the UT School of Music Virtual Concert Series on March 26th. More information can be found onilne at http://www.kevinclass.com/events

Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.