Special Art Song Recital features Vickie Ford and Heather Antonissen


Adams State College alumna Vickie Ford will be returning to campus with guest soprano Heather Antonissen for a special concert of classical art songs. The recital starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, in Leon Memorial Hall.

Ford, a 1971 music major, studied with piano professor Dr. Robert Neill and provided studio accompaniment for Dr. Richmond while in college. "I learned more about phrasing, playing with emotion and music interpretation from Dr. Richmond than I did from anyone," Ford said. In addition to piano, Ford also played flute in the orchestra and in the Adams State woodwind quintet. "Dr. Robert Fought, who was director of bands, founded the woodwind quintet, and we toured throughout Colorado. It was quite a wonderful and educational experience."

After graduation, Ford was a private piano and flute tutor, in addition to the bookkeeping and accounting for the family farm. She played the piano for personal enjoyment and occasionally for funerals and weddings. A few years ago, a mutual friend introduced Ford to Antonissen. "We hit it off immediately, and all my Dr. Richmond training came back. I really enjoy accompanying people, and working as a team to make beautiful music. Details like phrasing and breathing correctly are very important and getting them right result in moving musical experiences."

Ford is looking forward to bring Antonissen to Adams State. "Heather is one of the very best vocalists I have ever played for, and I've played for a lot of good ones." According to the website heatherantonissen.com, Antonissen was classically trained at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She has traveled throughout the United States in a variety of mainstage productions and venues including Chautauqua Opera, Opera San Jose, North Bay Opera, West Bay Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Longwood Opera, Bay Shore Lyric Opera, Livermore Opera, Masterworks Chorale and the San Francisco Choral Society.

The recital is in many ways a return to Antonissen's roots in music. "Art song is a powerful form of music," she said. "These are poems set to classical music so they are intimate and refined, yet they express a great variety of emotion, mood and tonal color. This collection we are presenting is particularly exciting. There will be familiar favorites as well as a few new pieces that will bring smiles and pleasure to the audience."

For this recital, the duo will perform everything from Handel to Poulenc. Richard Strauss songs, pieces by contemporary American composer Richard Hundley, and some Spanish selections by Obradors will also be presented. "The music is quite accessible and enjoyable," Ford said. "The Hundley pieces in particular are quite a find. Humourous, touching, and beautiful, this concert is going to be an event to remember."

The concert is free and open to the public.