KINGSTON, R.I. — September 23, 2019 — A cacophony of construction noises surrounds the University of Rhode Island’s Fine Arts Center as the Department of Music makes it own sweet noises in preparation for its new season.
The $12 million in renovations have not slowed down the department. Excitement and morale are as high as ever, and the department is fully prepared to present its usual wide selection of choral, band and ensemble concerts this season.
With at least 64 events scheduled for the fall semester alone, the URI Department of Music certainly has an extensive lineup. All concerts are open to the public and some are free. General admission for major shows is $12, and admission for students and seniors (60 and older) is $7. Children 12 and under are free.
Tickets for events hosted by the URI Department of Music can be purchased here, or one hour before performances at the box office.
“We showcase a wide variety of music, made by a wide variety of people,” said Mark Conley, the chair of the Music Department, professor of music, and director of choral activities. “Our ensembles are becoming better known in the University community, and there are many more non-music majors who are participating, which is wonderful.”
While concerts at the Fine Arts Center (or the FAC, as it is known by students) tend to attract the more musically-inclined, Conley wants to make it clear that this doesn’t need to be the case. “We certainly want the URI community and beyond to feel comfortable coming to concerts here. We try not to be too formal, and make the music very accessible. Oftentimes the pieces are explained on stage a bit, so people won’t be left wondering about the music they are hearing.”
The music is made accessible to those who are less familiar with the classics while performances retain their professional caliber.
“We are a flagship university with an extremely talented faculty, and because we are a little bit off the beaten path, we can showcase amazing performers and performances in a smaller, more intimate venue.
“These concerts offer cultural enrichment to our attendees,” he added. “The community is invited to think about some of the things that are being presented through our concerts. Sometimes we disclose an overarching theme for a concert, and sometimes we leave it to the concert-goers to ponder.”
Listed below are some highlights from the 2019 fall schedule. In Conley’s words, “Between student recitals, student ensembles, faculty concerts and marching band performances at our home football games, I truly believe there’s something for everyone. Come and hear the next generation of talented musicians perform.”
Concert Band– One of the most popular musical events of the year, Concert Band is a 90- piece ensemble directed by Brian Cardany, associate director of bands. October 18, 8 to 9 p.m.
Symphonic Wind Ensemble– Composed of 30 members, including elite wind players and percussionists. This concert will feature classic and contemporary band pieces directed by Gene Pollart, professor of music and director of bands. Oct. 20, 3 to 5 p.m.
Jazz Combos– A wide variety of jazz that’s sure to get you swaying to the groove. Directed by Joseph Parillo, professor of music and director of Graduate and Jazz Studies. October 22, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
URI Big Band – Enjoy some jazz music from this ensemble of winds, brass, piano, bass, guitar and drums. Directed by Emmett Goods, lecturer in Jazz Studies and Jazz Trombone. October 25, 8 p.m.
Symphony Orchestra – Both standard and contemporary repertoires will be performed by URI students, as well as musicians from across the University and surrounding area. Conducted by Ann Danis, professor of music and director of Orchestral Activities. October 26, 8 to 9 p.m.
Holiday Concert– Seasonal favorites for the whole family. Directed by Ann Danis. December 7, 8 to 9 p.m.
University Chorus – A 60-voice choir, including participants from the University and the surrounding community. Directed by Andrew Mattfeld, director of University Chorus. December 10, 7:30 p.m.
Find a full list of events here.
Lauren Poirier, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations and English major, wrote this press release.