All five concerts will be held in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. Admission is $10 general public and $5 students for all concerts except the Student Composers, which is free.
The URI Concert Band leads off on Friday, April 27 at 8 pm. Directed by Brian Cardany, the band will play Overture to “Candide” from Leonard Bernstein’s musical based on Voltaire’s story; Canticles of the Creatures by James Curnow, based on writings of St. Francis of Assisi; Bayou Breakdown by Brant Karrick, a “jazzy” piece that includes fugue-like polyphony; and Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion by P.D.Q. Bach (Peter Schikele), a four-movement parody. P.D.Q. Bach is Schikele’s fictional creation and is billed as a long lost son of the famous J. S. Bach. His bio is posted on the Internet at www.schickele.com/pdqbio.htm.
The URI Concert Choir and the University Chorus will perform on Saturday, April 28, at 8 pm. In anticipation of their upcoming trip to Spain, the Concert Choir’s portion of the program is themed as a trip around the world, including three pieces from Russia (by Sveshnikov, Chesnokov and Glinka), four folk songs from Germany arranged by Max Reger, and a sacred work by early baroque German composer Heinrich Schutz. “Ramkali” is a piece for the men of the choir written by an American but using a raga from India (named for the raga used for the composition). Balancing that is a piece for the women of the choir that is an arrangement of the Chinese folksong “Cai Diao” arranged by Zhang Yi-Da. Mark Conley directs.
The University Chorus, which is directed by Andrew Howell, will perform The Thirteenth Morning, an original work by Peter Waite, Graduate Assistant Conductor and a URI Master’s Degree candidate, who will conduct the piece. They will also offer Famine Song, arranged by Matthew Culloton; Daemon Irrepit Callidus by Gyorgy Orban; and Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, featuring Devon Morin, baritone. Pianist Melissa Woolverton will accompany the chorus.
The URI Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert is set for 3 pm on Sunday, April 29. URI alumnus Gregg Charest, a former Stabile student who is now band director at Exeter-West Greenwich High School, Zachary Friedland, a senior Percussion Major at URI, and faculty ( to be announced) will offer a brief remembrance of Ron Stabile. The URI Percussion Ensemble, which Stabile directed, will open the concert with two works: a marimba ensemble arrangement of J. S. Bach’s Air on a G String, which calls for four players on two marimbas; and Japanese Fantasy, a work based on three Japanese folksongs originally arranged by Gene J. Pollart in 1972 and updated for this performance. Pollart will direct the ensemble for this concert.
The Symphonic Wind Ensemble, directed by Pollart, will continue the concert with four more works: The Hounds of Spring by Alfred Reed, a concert overture based on a tragic poem of young love; Spiritual by H. Owen Reed, this composer’s first attempt at incorporating bebop jazz into a work for concert band; the second movement of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 Jeremiah, “The Profanation of Jeremiah” composed in 1942 (wind band score completed by Frank Bencriscutto); and a medley showcasing the jazz roots of film scoring master John Williams, including Cantina Band from “Star Wars;” the main theme from “Catch Me if You Can” and the rousing Swing, Swing Swing from the movie “1941.”
Students in the URI Composition Program present new works in a variety of styles, performed by fellow students and faculty, once each semester. At 7 pm on Sunday, April 29, the spring concert will feature: 421 (for Solo Guitar) by Garrison Hull of Providence, performed by guitar soloist Benjamin Christie; String Quartet No. 3 ‘Fjardinsvägar’ by Peter Scartabello of East Greenwich, performers to be announced; and Her Grace by Ian Otenti of Providence, for Bb Clarinet, two pianos, performed by Madison Cardoza, Ian Otenti, and maybe someone’s foot [sic].
Other offerings will include: Zeitgeber by Bruce Hagist of Saunderstown, performed by Jared Maynard, Tom Alger, and Connor Ragas, guitars, with William Hagist and Mich Muller, percussion; Down the Rabbit Hole by Connor Ragas of Lakeville, MA, performed by Emilie Bard, Bb clarinet, and Madison Cardoza, bass clarinet; Last Duel by Madison Cardoza of Bristol, performed by clarinet choir (Emilie Bard, Anne Veeger, Stacey Snow, and Charles Larson on Bb clarinet, and Madison Cardoza on bass clarinet); and Shim’u ki ne’eenacha ani by Drew O’Connors of North Kingstown, performed by Kilian Mooney and Ryan Casperson, tenors, and Devon Morin or Alex Gorelick, baritone, plus Allison Dubois, violin, Annie Lagace or Christina Stavrakas, viola, and Emily Johnston, cello. Admission for this concert is free.
URI’s premiere small vocal ensemble, Lively Experiment, will offer their spring concert on Monday, April 30 at 7:30 pm. Directed by Mark Conley, they will be “celebrating all things Spring” with English Madrigals, German folksongs by Max Reger not sung in the Concert Choir performance, Spring Revels by Elizabeth Alexander, and a few jazz pieces including the debut of a surprise piece written this semester for Lively Experiment. For more information, please contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check the website: www.uri.edu/music.