Faculty Recital: Lisa Hearne, soprano; Joyce Strabala, piano

Soprano Lisa Hearne, professor of music, and Joyce Strabala, instructor of piano, will give a recital on Tuesday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Ringer Recital Hall of Armstrong Hall at Cornell College.  The program includes Hermit Songs by Samuel Barber, The Promised Land, a new work of American spirituals by Gwyneth Walker, art songs in French and German, and songs from musical theater. 

Lisa Hearne
Lisa Hearne

“We call the program ‘Love, God, and Death,’” said Hearne.  “It has long been a cliché that all songs fall into those three categories—but in this case, it really is true.”

The recital commemorates the 60th anniversary of the premiere of Barber’s Hermit Songs, debuted by African-American soprano Leontyne Price and accompanied by the composer.

Hearne said, “In my view, it is the greatest American song cycle of the 20th century.  It’s hard to imagine a song composer of today who has not been influenced in some way by Barber’s masterful compositional technique.”  The songs are based on poems and commentaries of Celtic monks—some pious, some more earthy and, according to Barber, “not always intended for the eyes of their Father Superiors.”

Hearne, director of choral music and professor of voice at Cornell, holds degrees from the University of Iowa, Arizona State University and Eastern Illinois University.  She is active as a singer, conductor, and clinician and has been on the Cornell faculty since 1992. Strabala graduated from Cornell College with a Bachelor of Music Performance.  She teaches studio piano and serves as the collaborative pianist for the choral ensembles and student soloists at Cornell.  In addition she is active as a performer throughout eastern Iowa.