Connors will present concert April 28 at USD A free concert to celebrate the careers of two University of South Dakota distinguished musicians and educators, Professors Frank Aiello and Larry Torkelson, will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, in Slagle Auditorium on the USD campus in Vermillion.
Celebrated vocalist and Vermillion native Carla Connors will sing a medley of Irish traditional songs, accompanied by USD Music Professor Susan Keith Gray and the USD Community Orchestra. The concert is part of the College of Fine Arts yearlong "Ireland and the Americas" celebration, and is being sponsored by the USD Department of Music and College of Fine Arts.
The USD Department of Music and College of Fine Arts will officially announce the establishment of a scholarship endowment to honor the careers of the two educators during the concert. The Department of Music extends an invitation to all who know them to attend the April 28 event, as well as a second event to be held during Dakota Days 2002, to celebrate their illustrious careers.
Professor Frank Aiello, longstanding senior member of the vocal division, will retire after 33 years in the department of music. Professor Larry Torkelson retired last spring after teaching at USD for 30 years. Coming to USD in 1968 and 1971 respectively, these wonderful musicians and dedicated teachers have touched thousands of lives, and their students have taken their influence with them to the far corners of our land and beyond. Carla Connors is one of them, and to celebrate their careers she will also sing Mozart's joyful Exsultate, jubilate.
Connors studied under Aiello and sang in Torkelson's choirs while at USD. After graduation from The University of South Dakota, Connors earned master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Michigan. Acclaimed by the Detroit Free Press as "one of the best young sopranos of this decade," and "a fresh, steady lyric soprano" by the New York Times, Connors has made her mark in opera, with orchestras, and in recital. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2001 singing the soprano solos in masses by Mozart and Schubert. Other New York City honors include first prize in the Lola Wilson Hayes Vocal Artists Award and winner in the American Song Competition sponsored by the New York Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). This honor included a recital at Weill Recital Hall.
Her numerous accomplishments also include featured roles in major opera companies, including the New York City Opera, Glimmerglass, Atlanta, Orlando, Opera Carolina, and Chautauqua.
A second special event has been planned to recognize Aiello and Torkelson's long tenure at USD and the countless lives they have touched.
During Dakota Days on October 12, 2002, choral alumni will return to once again sing under the baton of Larry Torkelson. After the Coyote football game, the USD College of Fine Arts will sponsor a picnic on the grounds between Old Main and Slagle Hall, after which participants will briefly rehearse and then present their concert, accompanied by the USD Chamber Orchestra.
All those who would like to participate in this event should
contact the Department of Music, or return the interest card that has been mailed to them previously.