Multitalented Musician Will Be More Than Instrumental at Concert
Biology Freshman to Play Cello, Then Sing Beethoven Solo During Musica Nova Ensemble Performance

Alissa Dover stands with cello in the Jonsson Performance Hall

Cellist and singer Alissa Dover will perform with Musica Nova — the University's Advanced Orchestra and Chamber Music Ensemble — on Friday, April 27.

UT Dallas freshman Alissa Dover will showcase her musical versatility at the upcoming Musica Nova orchestra concert. She will perform much of the program as a cellist. But at one point during the concert, she will put down her cello and move to center stage to sing a solo.

That, according to Dr. Robert Xavier Rodríguez, is quite a feat.

“Instrumentalists and singers draw on the same set of musicianship skills, but it is rare for a musician to be both an instrumentalist and a singer,” he said.

The dual performance will occur Friday, April 27, when Musica Nova, the University’s Advanced Orchestra and Chamber Music Ensemble, performs the music of Beethoven. Rodríguez, Chair in Art and Aesthetic Studies and professor of music in the School of Arts and Humanities, directs the ensemble.

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2018 Spring Student Arts Festival

The Spring Student Arts Festival — now through May 4 — showcases the works of students from more than 40 courses as well as art exhibitions and musical performances. See the schedule here.

Dover has been playing the cello since she was in kindergarten. She said she has been singing for most of her life. Her mother has extensive training in musical performance, which inspired her to keep singing. At the concert, she will sing “Ich Liebe Dich.”

“I enjoy the challenge of doing both,” Dover said. “There are people from my high school who came here, and who were in orchestra in high school, but they stopped when they started college, which I think is kind of sad.”

Dover is majoring in biology in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, which means she has had to balance a lot on her plate.

“The fit has worked well. Sometimes it is hard to find time to practice and learn everything you need to learn, but it just comes down to time management,” she said.

Rodríguez said Dover is exactly the type of student he likes to attract in the ensemble.

“Alissa is talented and dedicated and, since her major is biology, she is making music with us not as a requirement but simply because she loves music. Most of our students are scientists. They are brilliant, and, as musicians, they bring special qualities to their work as scientists: They have discipline, imagination and digital dexterity — good qualities for anyone,” he said.

Dover said she is considering a career as a physician assistant and would look forward to working with patients. But she hopes to continue her music on the side.

The Musica Nova performance, A Celebration of Beethoven, will be at 8 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Admission is free.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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