URI music events run back-to-back, April 16-22

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KINGSTON, R.I.—April 16, 2009— Music lovers benefit every spring when the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Music runs its “spring slam” of back-to-back concerts to end the academic year. This year music will fill the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road in Kingston every night from April 17 to April 29.

The concerts during the first week of the “slam” include a combined concert featuring three of URI’s largest ensembles; a showcase of recent works by Eliane Aberdam, two evenings of Student Chamber Ensemble offerings, and a separate concert by the Guitar Ensemble, along with the middle two concerts in the Spring Jazz Series (April 14, 17, 21, 23) already announced. Concert admission is $8 general audience, $2 students with ID unless otherwise noted.

The URI Concert Choir, University Chorus, and University Symphony Orchestra, together with North Kingstown High School’s Concert Choir, will present two major works in a concert on Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m. This is a change from this concert’s originally announced program. Instead of the scheduled Mass in the Time of War by Franz Josef Haydn, they will perform Haydn’s Te Deum in C, directed by Mark Conley, URI’s director of choral activities, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de confessore, directed by Ann Danis, director of orchestral activities.

Soloists for the Mozart will be Carey Shunskis, soprano, a junior from Upper Darby, PA; Elise deFusco, mezzo-soprano, a sophomore from Wakefield; George Ryan Cranston, tenor, a senior from North Kingstown; and Michael Ottaviano, bass, a junior from Hope Valley. Some members of these choral ensembles will perform these pieces again at Carnegie Hall on May 23 under the direction of Mark Conley and William Wyman, choral conductor at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

The orchestra will also perform Somerset Rhapsody by Holst, High Places by Michael Mauldin, conducted by graduate student Stephen Grueb of North Kingstown, and Sonata for Marimba and Orchestra by Tanner, conducted by orchestra assistant director Brian Cardany, Assistant Director of Bands. The marimba soloist is David Clemons, a senior from Hanson, MA.

The University will present “Chamber Music of Composer Eliane Aberdam” as a University Artist Series Concert Sunday, April 19 at 3 p.m. Showcasing eight major works dating from 1985-2009 by Aberdam, who is an international composer and assistant professor of music at URI. The concert will include two world premieres: Triumphant Gems (2008) and Bas et Hauts Bois (2008), and three Rhode Island premieres. Faculty artists Gary Buttery, tuba, Margaret Frazier, soprano, Elizabeth Gates, French horn, Jean Maxon, piano, and Jane Murray, oboe, English horn and oboe d’Amor, along with guest artists Christine Harrington, violoncello, Eric Mazonson, piano, and Alexey Shabalin, violin, will be featured performers.

A free lecture about this concert, “Emerging Voices with Eliane Aberdam,” will be presented Thursday, April 16 at 4 p.m. as part of the URI College of Arts and Sciences “Emerging Voices” lecture series. Aberdam, who holds a Ph. D in composition from U.C. Berkeley and whose works performed in the U.S., France, and Israel include commissions for chamber ensembles and electronics, chamber orchestras, and even opera, will discuss the music to be presented in her April 19 concert, with musical examples performed by University and guest artists.

The first of two free evening concerts featuring the Student Chamber Ensembles will be held at 7 p.m. on Sunday April 19. The Bach Ensemble members (Carey Shunskis, soprano, Alyson D’Amato, oboe, Alysa Berbey, violin, Scott Benson, cello, and William Grueb, harpsichord) will perform the Bach Cantata BWV #202 Wedding Cantata and Quantz Trio Sonata in C major. The Arundo Donax Oboe Ensemble (Alyson D’Amato, Drew O’Connors, Ben Negrete, and Theresa Procopio, oboe, with Khrystalin Hall and Theresa Procopio, English horn) will perform Trios by Johann Wenth and Joseph Triebensee. The Guitar Ensemble (Kate Bentley, Jesse Coppa, Jake Davenport, Raffi Donoian, Jared Maynard, and Kevin Turko) will perform Sensations by Claude Gagnon (1975)and Trios for Guitar by Jurgen Ulrich (1972) in advance of their separate concert on April 22, and the String Ensemble will also perform.

On Monday, April 20, the Chamber Ensemble performances will continue at 7:30 p.m. The URI Clarinet Choir will play two selections: one by Gordon Jacob, featuring junior Megan Vallee of Chepachet as soloist, and the second by Vaclav Nelhybel called “Chorale and Danza.” Several different flute groups in the Flute Ensemble will play pieces by Doppler, Dubois, Delibes, Tcherepnin, di Lorenzo and others, and the Trombone Ensemble will also perform. Admission is free.

Following the jazz concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the Guitar Ensemble will present an expanded concert on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m., with free admission. The ensemble members (listed above) will perform Farewell to Stromness by Peter Maxwell Davies (1968), Four Dances by Mychal Gendron (2006): “Lydia’s Rag,” “Triple Helix Habanera,” “Off-Beat Waltz,” and “The Impossible Dance”; and solos from works by J.S. Bach, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Yuquijiro Yocoh, in addition to reprising the Gagnon and Ulrich pieces being performed on Sunday.

All events except the Guitar Ensemble Concert will be held in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. The Guitar Concert will be held in Room C100, the rehearsal hall in the Fine Arts Center.

Seating for all concerts is on a first-come basis. The box office opens 45 minutes before each concert. The concert hall is handicap accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center. For more information, call the URI Music Department at 874-2431.