20 April 2003
To Whom It May Concern:
I enthusiastically recommend to you and your university students Norma Gentile's presentation covering the life and music of Hildegard von Bingen. Ms. Gentile has shared her expertise to great acclaim with both my freshman and sophomore Music Literature I and III survey classes at Eastern Michigan University the past two academic years.
Most recently, Ms. Gentile presented early in the year for both classes. After she set the stage with a brief overview of the historical context of the music and life of Hildegard von Bingen, Ms. Gentile sang several solo examples of the music before involving the students as performers themselves. The students then felt the power of the music in the room around them and coming from within, as they executed pedal points to Ms. Gentile's stylistic improvisations. Through guided question and answer, the students examined their personal experiences &endash; a re-creation of what took place originally so many centuries before.
Ms. Gentile is as engaging and articulate as she is informed. She performs this music with great love and understanding, with the authority of years of study of historical performance. Students respond with overwhelming delight and enthusiasm to the immediacy of being a part of this live performance. In addition to an historical perspective, they learn experientially concepts about music in society, and music and healing.
As this unique lecture-demonstration easily molds to different formats for various courses &endash; music history, music appreciation, music therapy, music and psychology, nursing, etc. -I look forward to discussing with you the rewards of incorporating this presentation into your curriculum. Contact me at your convenience with questions or for more information. I commend your choice of presenters.
Diane L. Winder, D.M.
Department of Music * Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
Phone: 734.487.4380 FAX: 734.487.6939