The annual Holiday Concert and four other concerts set for December 7-10 will rev up the music scene at the University of Rhode Island just as the fall semester winds down. Offering themes ranging from Pearl Harbor Day (Concert Band) to exotic places (Wind and Percussion Ensembles), or simply celebrating the spirit of creativity (Student Composers and also Lively Experiment), all five concerts will be held in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. One concert is free as noted below, and admission for each of the others is $10 general public, $5 students, with tickets available at the box office on a first-come basis starting 45 minutes before the concert.
The URI Concert Band performs on Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., offering a program of works inspired by incidents of World War II, since the concert falls on "Pearl Harbor Day." The band will perform At Dawn They Slept by Jay Bocook, In Memoriam: Babi Yar by Elliot Del Borgo, Symphony No. 1 (In Memoriam, Dresden, 1945) by Daniel Bukvich, and March from "1941" by John Williams. Band director Brian Cardany will conduct.
URI’s annual Holiday Concert is a joint effort by the URI Symphony Orchestra, directed by Ann Danis, and the URI Concert Choir, directed by Mark Conley. This year the concert will be performed on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. in Kingston, but for the first time will also be offered in Attleboro, Mass. at the LaSalette Shrine on Wednesday, Dec. 12. The orchestra will perform holiday favorites such as Winter Wonderland, Sleigh Ride and a sing along, also Russian Christmas Music and Carol of the Drum. The Concert Choir will sing the Charpentier Messe de Minuit, along with other holiday selections, some in combination with the orchestra, soloists TBA.
The concert at The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, 947 Park Street, Attleboro, will be part of the Shrine’s 2012 Christmas Festival of Lights Five Unforgettable Nights Concert series. The Dec. 12 performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Shrine’s Welcome Center Concert Hall with tickets at $10. For more information on this concert, call the Shrine office at (508) 222-5410.
Two concerts will be offered at URI on Sunday, Dec. 9. First, the URI Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the University Percussion Ensemble will offer a joint concert beginning at 3 p.m. The Percussion Ensemble, directed by Keith Aleo, will open with David Mancini’s Suite for Solo Drum Set and Percussion Ensemble, a work with both Latin and Afro-Cuban patterns and many places for improvisation and solos. The drum set soloist will be senior percussion major Michel Muller. The group will also perform The Swords of Moda-Ling by Gordon Peters. The highly-acclaimed Symphonic Wind Ensemble, directed by Gene J. Pollart, will follow with a program of pieces that reflect exotic locales such as the towering Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa, the island of Bali (by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Michael Colgrass), a Samuel Hazo piece built on the mystical sounds of Middle Eastern music, and more.
The Fall Student Composers Concert, which is free, follows at 7 p.m., reflecting the creativity and variety of the URI composition program. Coached by Eliane Aberdam, Geoffrey Gibbs and Kirsten Volness, students offering new works in the concert include: Amy Hubbard, Thomas Peppard, John Nolan, Jack Rametta, Madison Cardoza, Thomas Ferrari, Brandon Winrich, Alexander Barnhart, Connor Ragas, Ian Otenti, Bruce Hagist, and Shaun Cayabyab. Their works cover a wide range of styles including songs, piano pieces, a fugue for saxophone quartet, works featuring strings, flute, clarinet, trombone, and more, performed by students in the URI music program.
Lively Experiment, URI’s elite small vocal ensemble directed by Mark Conley, will perform their fall concert on Monday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. The program will feature creative "recycling,” pieces written by one composer that were then used or reworked by another, as well as concepts and ideas that have recurred over the centuries. Works will range from a Renaissance motet to an a cappella jazz setting of a song by Jobim. The singers will also include a few holiday favorites, and invite the public to join them in celebrating the last day of classes at URI for Fall 2012.
One more concert remains in the URI schedule: the Undergraduate Honors String Quartet on Dec. 16, details TBA.
Ticket proceeds from URI Music Department concerts benefit URI music scholarship funds that help talented musicians further their education. The URI Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center, off Bills Road. For more information, please contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431 or check the website www.uri.edu/music.