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News Release 042

Contact: Steph Deidrick, 573-751-9392
                steph.deidrick@dnr.mo.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2014 Volume 42-14-042 

Enjoy music and history of William H. Pommer April 4-5

Jefferson City, Mo. - Deutschheim State Historic Site will celebrate the music and history of musician William H. Pommer on April 4-5. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, the events include concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings and a symposium Saturday afternoon at the Hermann Festhalle located at 237 E. First Street in Hermann. The events are free and open to the public.

Visitors will have the opportunity to experience Pommer’s music and learn about his life and works. Pommer was the grandson of Caroline Pommer, who built Deutschheim State Historic Site’s Pommer-Gentner House in 1840. Pommer was a classically trained musician, studying in Vienna and Leipzig, Germany, before returning to St. Louis as a composer and performer. Well known in Missouri during his lifetime, many of his compositions were published and performed.

On Friday, April 4 at 8 p.m., a concert will be held featuring Pommer’s “Gondoliera” for piano and cello and “Five Pieces for Violin and Piano”. The following evening at 7 p.m., a concert will be held featuring Pommer’s “String Quartet in G Minor” and a double duet from the comic opera, The Fountain of Youth. Both concerts will feature performers from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, the University of Missouri, and Columbus State University in Georgia, along with other musicians.

The performances are possible thanks to the interest and research of Professor Lisa Feurzeig, the Student Summer Scholars program at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and Professor Janice Wenger, as well as the collections at the Missouri History Museum and the State Historical Society of Missouri.

On Saturday, April 5 at 3 p.m., a symposium will be held. Presentations and discussions include “The Life and Work of William H. Pommer,” presented by Professor Janice Wenger of University of Missouri; “German Influences” presented by Holly Cassell, a summer scholar at Grand Valley State University; “Pommer and his Operas” presented by Professor Lisa Feurzeig of Grand Valley State University and “The Link to Hermann” presented by Cynthia Browne of Deutschheim State Historic Site.

A special exhibit will be on view at the Festhalle prior to each event, highlighting the life and music of William H. Pommer and the piano-fortes made in Philadelphia by his grandfather, Carl Pommer.

Sponsors for the special event include Missouri State Parks, Hermann Arts Council, the German American Club of Hermann, Dierberg Educational Foundation and the Deutschheim Verein.

The event was also made possible thanks to a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council. The MHC is the only state-wide agency in Missouri devoted exclusively to humanities education for citizens of all ages. It has served as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities since 1971. For more information about the grants and programs of the Missouri Humanities Council, call 314-781-9660 or 800-357-0909 or write to the MHC, 543 Hanley Industrial Court, Suite 205, St. Louis, Mo, 63144-1905.

Deutschheim State Historic Site will be open for guided tours of its historic houses, including the 1840 Pommer-Gentner House from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm every day. Tours are offered at 10:00, 12:30 and 2:30, with the exception of Saturday afternoon during the symposium.

Deutschheim State Historic Site is located on West Second Street in Hermann, 15 miles south of I-70 on Highway 19. For information on the event, call the site at 573-486-2200. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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