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Texas Boy Community Soloist
Van Katwijk Concert Event for Thursday

Two soloists start the new year for Dallas music lovers in McFarlin Auditorium concerts when Mack Harrell, young Texas-born baritone, is presented in the Community Series, at 8:15 PM, Tuesday, and again when Paul van Katwijk, Dean of the School of Music at SMU, gives a piano concert at 8:30 PM, Thursday.

Mr. Harrell, who became a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company by winning the Metropolitan Auditions of the Air for 1939, was born in Celeste, Texas. He began his career as a violinist, and in his late teens earned money for his music lessons by playing with theater orchestras, first in Texas and then later in Oklahoma, where he attended the State University.

Shortly after graduating from the university, he was awarded a scholarship to study violin in Philadelphia with Emanuel Zetlin. As a side interest, he began taking vocal lessons with Robert Lawrence Weer, and it was not long before he gave up the violin to concentrate on his voice. At the Juilliard Graduate School in New York, he studied with Madame Scholen-Rene.

His appearance in 1935 as soloist in a performance of Snegourotchka with the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra at a Children's Concert directed by Ernest Schelling was his first important public engagement. Following this, he gave several recitals in the East.

In 1937, he went to Europe where he gave a number of concerts. When he returned to the United States, he appeared twice as soloists with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitzky, also with the National Orchestral Association. He also sang under Eugene Ormandy at the Montreal Music Festival in June, 1939.

Participating in last season's "Auditions of the Air," he was named victor in April of 1939, and was awarded a $1,000 prize in addition to a contract for the current season.

Brooks Smith will accompany Mr. Harrell.

(January 5, 1941, The Dallas Morning News)

Submitted by Sarah Swindell

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