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Ars Nova celebrates the art of music with Slaton residents

By Melissa McCaghren

Slatonite GM

The sancturary of First United Methodist Church was near full capacity – both in people and music – as eight members of the Ars Nova Choir sang a variety of folk, traditional and new music Wednesday evening (June 22).

The choir, which is from Kecskmet, Hungary, was in the area to participate in the West Texas Kodály Conference, conducted June 18-25.

Ars Nova presented music in Hungarian, German, English and other languages. Among songs performed included two from Dr. Sarah Brumfield, who was in attendance Wednesday, and George Orban, a Hungarian composer.

Members of Ars Nova are conductor Katalin Kiss, Áron Maczák, Gábor Róbert, Dániel Viktor, Gyöngyvér Jánoskuti, Szilvia Fenyvesi, Ágnes Baunoch, Zoltán Megyesi and Zsófia Megyesi.

Zoltán Megyesi said the choir was smaller than normal, due to COVID and strife near their country. “We are already 14 to 16 (members) and due to the latest events were not able to come – just half of it, eight people,” he said.

That said, Rebecca Hays, a soprano in the Texas Tech University School of Music, and others also performed in the concert.

She said this was a joint effort with several people to make it happen. “Dr. Susan Brumfield, Texas Tech School of Music Professor, is the director of the West Texas Kodály initiative. Together with the Lubbock ISD and the Texas Tech University School of Music, they coordinate this annual conference,” she said, adding Brumfeld knew Kiss, who was the founder of the choir.  TTU partnered with LISD for the Kolady Conference.

The conference was to teach the Kodály method. “Hungarian composer and pedagogue Zoltán Kodály believed music education could engage students on a spiritual, cultural, and emotional level,” she said.

For more information, please read the Thursday edition of The Slatonite.

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