On Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., MSUM professors Terrie Manno and Kevin Zepper will present a free performance that combines Manno’s music and Zepper’s poetry in Fox Recital Hall in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts on the MSUM campus. 

The two faculty members call themselves “Lines&Notes.” Already in their second year of actively creating work and performing, Manno and Zepper’s collaboration has garnered local and national attention. They recently performed at the International Conference on the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Education in Honolulu.

Along with using Manno’s own compositions, the duo also uses music by other composers, such as Satie, Bach and Beethoven, to suit some of Zepper’s work.

“Each musical composition enhances the poetry with programmatic elements, creating a mood, evoking emotions, and building tension and release that supports the content of the poetry,” Manno said. “It’s really a very effective collaboration that enlivens the spoken word.”

“Music and poetry both share a common language when you describe aspects of either: rhythm, tone, image, etc. The most obvious example would be the song,”

Zepper said. “What we do is a step back. Most of the pieces I write aren’t lyrical. When we practice, you can hear the nature breaks in the music, places to embellish based on the words and how they are expressed. When we start with a musical piece, I try and find the word based on what I feel in the piece.”

Television is also in the near future for Manno and Zepper as they will soon be featured on Prairie Public Television.

Manno teaches music in MSUM’s School of Performing Arts, and has toured as a piano soloist in the United States and throughout Europe. Zepper teaches in MSUM’s English Department. His work has appeared on “The Beat” on KAXE.org, Northern Community Radio. He also works with Poets Across Minnesota, an initiative sponsored by the Northern Lights Library Network.

“With Lines & Notes, I hope we can perform a variety of places: universities, coffee shops, conferences, workshops, where we can,” Zepper said. “Terry and I will present and perform until we feel we’ve said what we want and then do something else.”