URI’s choral groups, wind ensemble wrap up concert season, April 30, May 3

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KINGSTON, R.I.— April 20, 2010 –- Concerts by the Concert Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and vocal group Lively Experiment will close out the spring concert season at the University of Rhode Island between April 30 and May 3. All three concerts will be held in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall at 105 Upper College Road, Kingston, with admission $8 general, $2 students with ID for each concert.

Directed by Mark Conley, URI’s Director of Choral Activities, the URI Concert Choir will perform on Friday, April 30, beginning at 8:00 p.m. The choir specializes in a variety of works from the Renaissance era to the present and performs frequent concerts for the University and community as well as on tour. The group, whose members are chosen by audition, was among those selected to perform at last year’s Eastern MENC Regional Conference.

The first half of this concert features choral music from across the centuries centering on the Biblical story of King David, from his days as a shepherd to his dying words. Works by Heinrich Schutz, Carlo Gesualdo, Randall Thompson, and Richmond Browne will be included, among others. The second half of the program will be a complete presentation of Edward Elgar’s set “From the Bavarian Highlands,” a postcard in sound from his vacation retreat at the turn of the last century.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will present their spring concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 2. This group has developed an exemplary reputation throughout the New England region. The members are selected by audition from the finest musicians attending the University. Their repertoire is drawn from the highest quality of literature from all musical periods, but with particular interest in rehearsing and performing American wind literature. The ensemble director, Gene J. Pollart, is Director of Bands at URI and is also the conductor and Musical Director of The American Band, one of the premier adult community concert bands in the nation.

The program for this concert consists of pieces by American and especially Rhode Island composers. It will include Michael Hennagin’s Jubilee, a dynamic opener full of energy and a myriad of time signature changes, followed by Fantasy In Syncopation, by R.I. composer George Masso, a long-time resident best known for jazz trombone. American Dreams is an elegy for the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, composed by Rhode Islander Zach Friedland in 15 sections, each with a separate theme representing parts of Kennedy’s life. Friedland is a URI student from West Kingston majoring in composition. In addition, David Gillingham’s Heroes Lost And Fallen, a moving memorial tone poem inspired by the tragic emotions of the Vietnam conflict, and Robert Smith’s three-section Brazil: Ceremony, Song And Samba, based on authentic Afro-Brazilian percussion grooves, will be performed.

URI’s very select small choral concert group, Lively Experiment, invites the public to join them for “An Evening at Home” on Monday night, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. in a program that will explore what it has meant across the centuries to make music with and among friends “at home.” This unique “concert-in-the-round” will blend the audience and performers together, with opportunities for questions and comments. This ensemble of top talent explores a wide range of choral and vocal chamber repertoire, embracing many styles from Medieval to vocal jazz. They will perform all together as well as in duets, trios and quartets, appearing with guest artists along the way. The audience will have opportunities to join in the fun from time to time as well, all in the pursuit of making music while feeling “at home.” The group is directed by Mark Conley, and all members are chosen by audition.

A free group recital premiering new works by students in the Composition Program, coached by Eliane Aberdam, Joseph Parillo, and Geoffrey Gibbs, will also be offered on Sunday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. Students and faculty perform.

All concert seating is on a first-come basis. The box office opens 45 minutes before each concert begins. The URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the building, off Bills Road. For more information, contact the URI Department of Music at 874-2431 or check: www.uri.edu/artsci/mus.