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Music to accompany program focusing on poet Robert Frost


September 9, 2012
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

The Wieting Theatre will host a benefit performance on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 2 p.m. featuring longtime STC teacher, Gary Zmolek, STC alumna Heather (Mallory) Huckleberry ('92), and her husband Alan Huckleberry.

The focus of Stopping By Woods will be the life and works of beloved American poet Robert Frost.

Zmolek will present brief biographical remarks about Frost and recite several of his poems. Heather and Alan Huckleberry will provide musical interludes on oboe and piano by Richard Strauss, Samuel Barber and Erinanno Wolf-Ferrari. Light refreshments will follow the presentation.

Zmolek originally produced the presentation to celebrate April as National Poetry Month at the Marshalltown Public Library. He believes poetry ought to be shared aloud, not just read from books.

"Robert Frost believed in the power of poetry to move people, to open their hearts and minds, to enrich their experience. It seemed like a natural thing to choose his work to share with the public to celebrate Poetry Month," Zmolek said. The success of that performance led to the development of the upcoming benefit production at the Wieting. Zmolek hit upon the idea of enhancing the experience by including musical interludes.

Heather Huckleberry, 1992 graduate of STC, earned an oboe performance degree from the University of Minnesota, and has served as principal oboist for the Grand Forks, Duluth, and Dubuque Orchestras. She is currently music librarian for Orchestra Iowa and an adjunct instructor at Clarke College.

Fact Box


WHAT:?Stopping By Woods performance featuring Gary Zmolek's reading of the works of Robert Frost with oboe and piano interlude provided by Heather and Alan Huckleberry.

WHEN:Sunday, Sept. 16, 2 p.m.

WHERE:?Wieting Theatre, 101 S. Church, Toledo.

Donations benefit the Wieting Renovation Project

Alan Huckleberry is currently associate professor of piano pedagogy and collaborative arts at The University of Iowa. There he heads the piano pedagogy program, which is now recognized as one of the leading programs in the nation. Praised for his "impeccable musicianship, exhilarating technique, and panache " (American Record Guide), pianist Alan Huckleberry is recognized as a multi-faceted artist on the classical music scene. He has performed both in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in Germany, England, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Spain, France, Costa Rica, Colombia and across the United States.

The pieces for oboe and piano were selected by the Huckleberrys because they were composed during the period when Frost was active as a poet and because they undercore the moods of the Frost poems Zmolek will perform.

The audience will hear some of Frost's most familiar works, along with numbers of them not widely known. "Frost cultivated an image of himself as a regional country writer, just plain-folks," Zmolek said. "In reality, he was a serious philosopher who confronted the largest issues of the 20th century and timeless concerns. That he managed to do this in standard poetic forms that seem effortless and off-the-cuff is a cultural miracle."

All donations will support the Historic Wieting Theatre Renovation Project.

"Having experienced Gary's Frost presentation, I can say that I found it informative,entertaining, and moving. Gary managed to interweave the life of the man with his poetry, andFrost's poetry, deceptively simple in words, explores humankind with a profoundunderstanding. Adding to the program is Gary's skill as a Thespian. He makes the poetry come to life." -Anne Michael

"Gary's presentation was masterful, interweaving Frost's life with Frost's poetry. Hisdramatic performance gave each poem a realistic voice and life of its own. No one will be able to come away from his performance and not be moved emotionally." -Mary Fasse-Shaw



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