Hello! My name is Jackson Harmeyer and I will be the blogger for MusicCentral. The primary function of MusicCentral is to introduce readers to music-related events happening around the Central Louisiana region. I also see this as an important opportunity to introduce readers to more general musical concepts in an attempt to educate music lovers who know little about the discipline and perhaps even teach those who are familiar with the discipline something new. Ultimately, my hope is that MusicCentral will provide a forum where readers can interact both with other readers and with me, sharing our common interest in music.
About myself: I am a recent graduate of the Louisiana Scholars’ College – the state’s designated honors college – which is located on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. While there, I studied music history, writing my undergraduate thesis about the influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers. After graduation, I journeyed to Leipzig with the Bach Society Houston for the BachFest Leipzig. Since my return from Germany, I have moved to Alexandria where I will be working as a member of TicketCentral and writing program notes for the Rapides Symphony Orchestra.
In my studies, I often prefer to focus on the music of the late Baroque Era and the twentieth century. My listening interests, however, extend to all periods of music history, and some of my favorite composers include J. S. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, Igor Stravinsky, and Dmitri Shostakovich. While I prefer to listen to and study classical music, recently I have also gained a tremendous respect for serious jazz – here, I am thinking of Duke Ellington in his later years and a few of the other post-World War II jazz composers. Besides being an avid listener and music scholar, I have also ventured into composition, and have had several of my works performed, including several chamber works and two large-scale organ preludes.
Now that you have a better understanding of who I am, I want to briefly mention a few of the musical events coming this fall. On Saturday, September 14, the Rapides Symphony Orchestra will present its annual Pops on the River; this year’s concert will pay tribute to Frank Sinatra. On Friday, September 20, St. James Episcopal Church will host Ars Lyrica Houston for Menus Plaisirs, a concert of music from the French Baroque. On Thursday, October 3, the Arts Council of Central Louisiana will welcome the Shreveport Opera Xpress for an evening of opera arias and Broadway show tunes called Some Enchanted Evening, and then, on Tuesday, October 29, the Arts Council has invited Kermit Poling and his West Edge String Quartet to perform Poling’s new score for Tarzan of the Apes in conjunction with the film screening. If that’s not enough, this October will also feature the Fifth Biennial Louisiana International Piano Competition.
As these and other concerts draw nearer, I will announce them here while sharing my personal hopes and expectations for each. As the blog goes on, I hope you will come to appreciate just how much Central Louisiana has to offer the music lover. Looking forward to exploring music with you here at MusicCentral!