URI musicians to perform all over R.I. this fall

From Woonsocket to Wakefield in recognition of URI’s 125th anniversary

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That Ram Marching Band. Photo by Michael Salerno Photography

KINGSTON, R.I.- September 22, 2017- So you missed your chance to see the University of Rhode Island’s Big Band at the Newport Jazz festival or the smaller URI jazz ensemble performances at six community shows this summer. Luckily, there are opportunities to enjoy URI’s talented jazz musicians again, as well as performances by That Ram Marching Band and the URI Symphony Orchestra-Choir.

All of the performances are part of URI’s 125th Anniversary celebration this fall and all but the Symphony Orchestra-Choir Concert are free and open to the public. Tickets for the performance on Nov. 4 are: general admission, $12, student and senior citizen tickets, $7 and children under 11 can attend for free.

The musical celebrations start Sat. Sept. 23 at WaterFire Providence. The jazz ensemble will perform at the Waterplace Park Basin Stage from 5:30- 6:30 p.m., leading up to the Ring of Fire ceremony. URI is a lead sponsor of WaterFire on that date, and there will be numerous other activities to mark URI’s 125th celebration in Providence.

Also at WaterFire, URI Theatre Instructor Lila Kane and four URI Theatre students will perform Broadway show tunes from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Steeple St.

On Sat. Oct. 7, URI’s Big Band will perform at Wakefield’s Oktoberfest from 6 to 7 p.m. at The Contemporary Theater, 327 Main St., Wakefield. Come for great music, original art, food, and fun.

During that same holiday weekend on Monday, Oct. 9, That Ram Marching Band will headline the AutumnFest Parade in Woonsocket. The 1.9-mile, 2-and-a-half-hour parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at Diamond Hill Road Plaza and ends at noon at the World War II Veterans Memorial Park on Social Street, where AutumnFest continues with music, food, arts and crafts and more. URI alumni are invited to gather near the park entrance on Social Street.

That Ram Band is comprised of students from different areas of study and levels of musical experience. The band is also a major supporter of URI Athletics and is a positive representation of the University as a whole.

“That Ram Marching Band is honored to be the headline band for this signature Woonsocket and Blackstone Valley event,” said Brian Cardany, URI associate director of bands. “To be able to celebrate the University’s 125th Anniversary as participants in a great Rhode Island tradition such as Autumnfest will be a treat for our musicians. For years, That Ram Band has featured students from northern Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts, so it is only fitting that we perform. We’ll bring plenty of Rhody spirit and talent for the enjoyment of the hundreds who line the parade route.”

The 125th Anniversary musical celebrations will end with the URI Symphony Orchestra-Choir Concert on Sat. Nov. 4 from 8 until 10 p.m. at the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road. The concert will feature a new piece commissioned by the College of Arts and Sciences to mark the anniversary. Oratorio Universalis was composed by Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Gibbs. The performance will feature a guest performance by soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon of Cornell University.

“The work is dedicated to Winifred Brownell, retired dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Gibbs. “The 30-minute oratorio is a celebration of higher education with texts taken from the period when the idea for land grant colleges was still fresh in the minds of Americans.”

Following her more than 20 years as a professor of Communication Studies, Brownell served as interim dean for 3 years and associate dean for 5 years. She was appointed dean in 1999.

Gibbs was a member of the URI faculty from 1965 until 2001, when he retired at the age of 61 to fully devote himself to composition projects.

Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release