Maria Newman to Perform Friday at UM Library

Artist and ensemble will perform original music, film score

Maria Newman, award-winning composer and critically acclaimed violinist, played some of her own original works at the Malibu Coast Music Festival at the Montgomery Arts House on Saturday. (Photo credit: Juan Tallo)

OXFORD, Miss. – Acclaimed classical composer, violinist and violist Maria Newman is set to perform in concert Friday (Sept. 20) at the University of Mississippi.

Sponsored by the university’s Department of Archives and Special Collections, the event begins at 3 p.m. in the Faulkner Room of the J.D. Williams Library. Admission is free.

“Having Maria Newman include the University of Mississippi in her concert tour across Southern states is truly an honor,” said Jennifer Ford, associate professor and head of special collections. “Her family ties to the state of Mississippi deeply influenced her music and are sure to resonate with the local audience.”

Newman’s performance is themed “Unlocking the Secrets of Louise Moss Montgomery,” a musical tribute to her maternal grandmother who was the poet laureate of Mississippi from 1973 to 1978. She is touring the South this month with esteemed members of the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra on a grant from the Malibu Friends of Music.

Featured ensemble members for the tour are flutist Hal Ott, distinguished professor at Central Washington University; mezzo-soprano Diana Tash, professor of music/voice at Los Angeles City College; violinist-violist Scott Hosfeld, conductor and music director of the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra and the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra; and the Montgomery Arts House Percussion Ensemble.

“Tom Sawyer,” a silent short film released in 1917, will be screened as a part of the ensemble’s repertoire. The music, an original score by Newman, will be performed live to the film.

Daughter of nine-time Academy Award-winning composer and conductor Alfred Newman, Maria Newman grew up amidst the sounds of Hollywood. Her Southern-born and raised grandmother became her muse. Montgomery penned a newspaper column entitled “Poems of Simple Things” and published numerous volumes of poetry.

Inspired by Montgomery’s colorful verse, Newman’s concert works include “A Breath of Mississippi,” “Southern Town Duos,” “Songs on Motherhood,” “A Little Book of Southern Carols,” “Sing We of Music,” “Trail of Years” and “Appalachian Duets.”

For more information about the Department of Archives and Special Collections, call 662-915-7639.