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Composer Chinary Ung Composer Chinary Ung

VPA News

Faculty members from the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music will perform in “Auras,” the opening concert of the Syracuse Society for New Music’s 46th season, on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.

“Auras” features music by Cambodian-born composer Chinary Ung and Vietnamese-born composer Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ. Setnor faculty member Kathleen Roland will appear as a guest performer, while Setnor’s Kelly Covert, Darryl Pugh and Gregory Wood perform as part of the Society All-Stars ensemble. John Friedrichs, Jillian Honn, Sonya Williams, Ann McIntyre, Arvilla Rovit and Rob Bridge also perform as part of the ensemble, and Susan Ung and Elissa Johnston make guest appearances. Heather Buchman conducts.

Ung’s “Aura” is a 45-minute work celebrating the enlightenment of Buddha. It seamlessly weaves the capabilities of Western instruments and contemporary techniques into the traditional music of his homeland. “Aura” has two sopranos singing high-flying passages in Pali and Khmer, floating over a chamber orchestra in which nearly everyone is required to play additional percussion instruments, including bowed crotales, little cymbals common to the ancient world.

In addition to the 16-string zither (đànTranh), Võ will perform as soloist on the monochord (đànBầu), the bamboo xylophone (đànT’rung), traditional drums (trống) and many other traditional instruments.

Tickets for “Auras” and more information about the concert is available at