Modern Meets Traditional in Next Sunday Recital

March 13, 2018

The Sunday Recital Series at Mary Baldwin continues on March 18 with clarinetist Lynda Dembowski and pianist Lise Keiter. The recital is at 3 p.m. in Francis Auditorium.

They will perform a varied program that includes the beautiful Five Bagatelles by English composer Gerald Finzi, French composer Francis Poulenc’s appealing Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, and new works by American composers Stella Sung and Scott McAllister.

“We have really enjoyed putting this program together and think the audience will enjoy the music too,” says Dembowski. “Some works are more traditional, while others are more modern. Overall, we selected pieces where the focus is on ensemble playing — the clarinet and piano have equal weight in carrying the melody forward.”

“The works by Finzi and Poulenc are personal favorites for both of us,” explains Keiter. “Both pieces are very approachable, with appealing melodies and harmonies. Stella Sung’s Abstractions is a much newer work, but it is still very accessible. Plus, it features the basset clarinet, which is actually the instrument for which Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto was written. The basset clarinet is a lovely instrument and not often played today, so this is a great chance to hear it!”

“Scott McAllister’s Black Dog has been especially fun to put together,” says Dembowski. “For this virtuosic piece, we are stepping outside of the box to borrow sounds from rock music that push the boundaries of classical playing.”

Dembowski is a clarinetist with the U.S. Naval Academy Band, where she serves as Leading Chief Petty Officer of marching and ceremonial units and Enlisted Conductor. She has performed with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, American Sinfonietta Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, and Londontowne Symphony Orchestra. She became a charter member of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra in 1993 and has been a featured soloist. A native of Waynesboro, Virginia, she holds degrees from James Madison University, Duquesne University, and the University of Maryland.

Keiter, a pianist, has performed throughout the U.S. and in Europe, and she is very active as a solo recitalist, collaborative artist, and soloist with orchestra. Her recent performance engagements have taken her to New York City, North Carolina, Maryland, Wisconsin, Idaho, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina, and throughout Virginia, including recent performances with the Heifetz Institute and with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. She is on the faculty at Mary Baldwin University and holds degrees from Indiana University and the Oberlin Conservatory.

Single tickets for March 18 may be purchased at the door and are $5 for the general public and $4 for students and seniors (free for Mary Baldwin students). For more information, please visit or call 540-887-7294.