posted April 15, 2008

Concert to Celebrate Legacy of Anthony Kooiker

The department of music at Hope College is celebrating the legacy of one of a colleagues with the Anthony Kooiker Memorial Concert on Saturday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Kooiker was a member of the Hope music faculty for 37 years, retiring in 1987. He died on Oct. 18, 2007.

The program will feature a variety of HopeCollege faculty and students performing a range of pieces which reflect Kooiker's own diverse musical interests.

Faculty member Charles Aschbrenner, who is retiring at the end of this academic year, will perform Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune."

The Hope College Orchestra will perform the "Allegro molto moderato" section of the "Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16," by Edvard Grieg. Hope College freshman John Donkersloot of Zeeland will be the featured pianist.

Three faculty members--Linda Strouf, harpsichord, Linda Dykstra, soprano, and Gabe Southard, flute--will perform "Sweet Bird," by George Fredric Handel.

Aschbrenner will then perform Claude Debussy's "Petite Suite," a four-hand piece, with pianist Joan Conway, professor emerita of music.

Hope College faculty member Mihai Craioveanu, violin, will perform Johannes Brahms's "Sonatensatz (Scherzo) in C Minor, Op. post" with Aschbrenner. Craiovenau will also perform the solo piece "Souvenir d'Amerique, on 'Yankee Doodle,' Variations Burlesques Op. 17," by Henry Vieuxtemps.

Hope College organist Huw Lewis will perform Franz Liszt's "Fantasy and Fugue on the name BACH."

The concert will end with the Hope College Combined Choirs and the Symphonette performing the "Agnus Dei" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Requiem."

Kooiker was a professional pianist before coming to HopeCollege in 1950. During his time on the faculty he served as a professor of piano and harpsichord. He also directed the college's Women's Choir for 20 years, and was an active performer in West Michigan throughout his time at Hope, appearing regularly in solo and faculty chamber music concerts. In addition to his work at the college, he taught piano students of all ages from throughout the greater Holland area.

In 1951, with colleague Jantina Holleman, he helped reorganize the college's Christmas Vespers program, which had started in 1941, into the form in which it continues today as one of Hope's most beloved and popular traditional events. Interest in the event is so high that the college has scheduled four services each year for several years.

His service to the college's music program included helping to build the theory and piano departments, and developing the holdings of the music library, in addition to chairing the department of music from 1973 to 1977.

Among his many honors, in 1964 he received the Hope College Den Uyl Award for his contributions as a teacher. In 1968 he was named "Teacher of the Year" by the Michigan Federation of Music Clubs and he was also named "Teacher of the Year" by the Holland Piano Forum in 1982.

A reception in Snow Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music, sponsored by Marie Blauwkamp, who studied with Kooiker, will follow the performance.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located 277 College Ave., at the corner of 12th Street and College Avenue. Nykerk Hall of Music is located in the central Hope campus on the former 12th Street between College and Columbia avenues.