Historical instrument recital to be held at NSU Jan. 16


Guest artist Leighann Daihl Ragusa will perform with Northwestern State University faculty Dennette McDermott, Douglas Bakenhus and Francis Yang on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

Ragusa and McDermott will perform on baroque flutes, Bakenhus will play baroque bassoon and Yang will play harpsicord.

The program will be “Suite No. 1 in G Minor” by Pierre Danican Philidor, “Trio Sonata in D Major” by Johann Joachim Quantz, “Trio Sonata in D Major” by Georg Philipp Telemann and “Duetto a 2 Flauti in G Major” by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.

Ragusa is a historical flutist who has performed throughout the United States and central Europe as a soloist and collaborator in chamber and orchestral music. Her playing has been described as “invigoratingly fresh and perky” by Bachtrack and “sprited, stylish, and nuanced” by the Chicago Classical Review.

Ragusa regularly plays with Chicago’s top period instrument ensembles including the Haymarket Opera Orchestra, Newberry Consort, Bach and Beethoven Experience, Bella Voce Sinfonia and New Comma Baroque.

She was the recipient of a Netherlands-American Fulbright Grant and spent 2009-10 studying at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague.

McDermott is professor of flute and coordinator of graduate studies in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State. She made her European debut in 1992 in the Czech Republic with the Czech premiere of Jindřich Feld’s “Introduzione, Toccata e Fuga.” McDermott has performed in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, England, Canada, Honduras, Russia, Spain and throughout the United States, including numerous performances at National Flute Association Conventions, and also featured as a winner of the Convention’s Performers Competition in 1994, 1996, and 1999.

In 2008, she travelled to Moscow and recorded a CD, “Trio for Flute, Bassoon and Piano” for classicalrecords.ru with Katerina Zaitseva and Bakenhus. Her interest in baroque flute led to the opportunity to participate in the Tafelmusik Baroque Institute, an intensive training program on historical instruments, in 2015 and 2017.

Bakenhus is the music director and conductor of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony at Northwestern State. He teaches bassoon, aural skills, string methods, and conducting. His music degrees are from the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University-Commerce, and he has completed additional graduate courses in conducting and bassoon performance at the University of Michigan. Bakenhus has been the music director of the Northeast Texas Symphony since 2002, and he has held teaching positions at Texas Lutheran University and the University of Mississippi. He has made several recent guest conducting appearances throughout the region and abroad, including the Sinfonietta Bratislava in Slovakia and the San Pedro Sula City Chamber Orchestra in Honduras.

Yang, an associate professor of piano at NSU, has performed in London, Paris, Montreal, Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Quito, and Montevideo at events such as the 37th International Festival Encuentros in Buenos Aires, a lecture recital at London’s Royal Academy of Music, and the VIII Bienal of Contemporary Music in Cuenca, Ecuador. He has played with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca, and the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony. Yang has participated and played in numerous music festivals including the Mozarteum Sommerakademie,(Salzburg, Austria), the Orford Music Festival, (Magog, Quebec), the Gulbenkian International Music Festival, (Lisbon, Portugal) and the March International Music Days Festival, (Ruse, Bulgaria).