Social conscience in solo piano theme of next Faculty Forum

Dr. Ruth Morrow, the Bolin Distinguished Chair of Piano at Midwestern State University, says music for solo piano that represents human rights is scarce, but the pieces that do exist are powerful. For the next Faculty Forum event, Morrow will present "In Speech Beyond Words: Creating a Call for Conscience and Inclusion in Music for Solo Piano" at 7 p.m. Monday, March 6, in Akin Auditorium.

"Without the direct use of text to communicate words within a performance, it is up to the performers and audience members to connect the extra-musical associations that a piece or group of pieces relate as the composer intended," Morrow said.

Before her performance, Morrow will discuss past and present composers whose works attempt to bring the plight of those less fortunate to light. Musicians to be discussed include Louis W. Ballard, a Native American composer, and Frederic Rzewski, an American composer known for exploring socio-historical themes. Performers highlighted include Helene Grimaud and Gabriela Montero, two pianists known for their human rights activism.

Also among the composers discussed will be Margaret Bonds, one of the first black composers and performers to earn recognition throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Morrow will perform Bonds' "Troubled Water," a piece she calls a fantasia on the spiritual "Wade in the Water," which is now seen as code for telling those using the Underground Railroad how best to avoid discovery and capture.

Admission is free. For more information, call 940-397-4267.