Wednesday, May 28, 2008

CONCERT: Music of Ross CARE


Letter To The World –

The Original Songs and Theater Music of Ross Care


Composer Ross Care (ASCAP) graduated from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and studied with Ben Weber (New York) and Harold Boatrite (Philadelphia). In Ventura the Ventura Master Chorale has performed several of his choral works, and his score for The Glass Menagerie was used in the Rubicon Theatre production with Susan Clark. His music for early films by Academy Award-winning (2007) animator, John Canemaker, may be heard on a recent DVD, and another of his short film scores won a “Best Score” award in the ASIFA-East Film Festival in New York. His musicals (Alice) Through the Looking Glass and The Prophet (after Gibran) have been performed nationally, the latter at Philadelphia’s Annenberg Center.

As an author/critic, Ross has written for the Library of Congress, and film journals such as Film Quarterly and Sight and Sound. Recently he wrote the liner notes for the acclaimed Film Score Monthly 2-disc CD restoration of the classic 1957 John Green/MGM score for RAINTREE COUNTY. For several years he wrote a regular music column for the cult genre magazine Scarlet Street.

Notes on the Music

Care has always been interested in the fusion of music and poetry in a somewhat neglected form, the modern art song. “Letter To The World” draws from both classic and modern texts. The settings in this concert are written for voice and piano and voices with piano, violin, and cello.


The concert’s opening segment features settings of poems by Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, William Blake, and Frank O’Hara. All of these poets are extremely modern in every aspect but the chronological. Frank O’Hara was also a noted art critic and a key figure in the New York school of contemporary poetry.

A. E. Housman is most famous for his popular volume, A Shropshire Lad from which two settings are drawn. Edward Lear is most famous for his nonsense verse, especially “The Owl and the Pussycat,” but he was also a noted visual artist. James Joyce is most well known for his complex novels but his small volume of poetry, Chamber Music, like Shropshire Lad, has been popular with modern art song composers.

Theater Music

Care’s original incidental score for The Glass Menagerie follows the detailed musical directions in Tennessee Williams’s original script. The new suite from this score has been arranged for solo violin, cello, and piano, and is a California premiere. Philip Vaiman, a concert and recording violinist from Los Angeles, will perform the work. Vaiman is also a part-time string professor at Ventura College.

From Care’s original musical version of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass comes a cycle of nonsense poems and rhymes. The theatrical version uses the Carroll poetry included in the original book, including the mysterious and much celebrated (and analyzed) “Jabberwocky”. Care faithfully adapted the script from Carroll’s second Alice book. NOT combining it with Alice in Wonderland as many more diffuse adaptations do.

Dianna Burdick and Molly Kohler Pei who will also be singing in the program have organized this concert. The third vocalist is Steve Perren, baritone. All singers have performed extensively in area concerts and theater. Guest instrumental soloists are Philip Vaiman, violin, and Maksim Velichkin, cello, both from Los Angeles. The composer will be at the piano.

Letter to the World, Original Songs and Theater Music of Ross Care, First Methodist Church, 1338 E. Santa Clara St, Ventura.

Sunday, June 8, 2.00 PM. Suggested donation: $15.00, net proceeds to benefit FUM Church Music Program.

More INFO, PHOTOS - contact Molly Pei:

Email:, phone: (805) 218-2042