Concert organist and Frostburg State University Professor Joan DeVee Dixon, who presented concerts across the Czech Republic for six weeks this spring, will present a Polka Mass at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Frostburg. The concert will be held on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 4 p.m. She will be joined by the Frostburg State University Chamber Choir, led by director Dr. Karen Sarnaker-Soderberg.
Dixon has conducted extensive concert tours of the US, England, France Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Palestine and Japan. In 2008 she spent six weeks touring the Czech Republic as a featured soloist for the American Spring Festival, under the auspices of the International Dvorak Festival. She will return to the Czech Republic again in 2009.
The Mass for Spillville (Polka Mass) by Dixon was commissioned by the Czech Heritage Partnership in Spillville, Iowa. The world premiere was given at St. Wenceslaus church, the same congregation where Dvorak spent his famed Iowa summer in 1893. Dixon’s Mass setting is not limited to polkas and instead draws upon several influential Czech hymns, waltzes and chants. Although the term Polka Mass in its strictest definition would apply only to the Catholic Mass, polka services now happen with great frequency in non-Catholic churches too, especially throughout the Midwest.
St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 58 Broadway, Frostburg. This musical performance and Mass in honor of St. Wenceslaus Day will be celebrated by The Reverend Rick Morley. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact St. John’s Episcopal Church at (301) 689-6634 or the FSU Department of Music at (301) 687-4115. You may also visit www.joandeveedixon.com.
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