Music lovers know it’s spring when the concert schedule at URI fills the calendar. From April 21-26, five concerts offering great variety are on the schedule, including orchestra, chamber ensembles, opera and jazz.
All but one will be held in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. The Jazz Series concert on April 24 will be held in the more intimate Rehearsal Hall, Room C100 in the music wing of the Center. Admission is $10 general public, $5 students, with tickets available at the box office on a first-come basis for each of these concerts except for the Chamber Ensembles concert on April 22. That concert is free.
Director Ann Danis will lead the URI Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m., in a program that includes Roman Carnival Overture by H. Berlioz, and Russian Easter Overture by Rimsky-Korsakoff. In addition, two pieces will be led by guest conductors. Festival Prelude by B. Balmages will be conducted by Jennifer Armstrong, who is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting Performance and Music Education at URI. A Narragansett resident previously from Enfield, Conn., she is studying Choral Conducting under Mark Conley and Orchestral Conducting under Ann Danis. The first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 will be conducted by URI graduate Charles Kalajian, who received his Bachelor of Music degree in Performance (Percussion) last May. He is from East Greenwich.
The URI Chamber Ensembles will perform at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. The URI Oboe Band (Jane Murray, faculty coach) will offer Trio No 2 by Graham Powning, performed by Lauren McDonough and Stephanie Vanable, oboes and Gianna Hayes, English horn. They will also play Beethoven’s Variations on ‘La ci darem la mano’ for two oboes and English horn, performed by Ben Negrete and Drew O’Connors, oboe, and Theresa Procopio, English horn. The Clarinet Ensemble (Kelli O’Connor, faculty coach) will play Petite Suite Pastorale by Désiré Dondeyne (b. 1921). Ensemble members are Emilie Bard, Anne Veeger, Stacey Snow, Charles Larson, and Madison Cardoza.
The URI Flute Ensemble (Susan Thomas, faculty coach) will play Changes by Lowndes Maury. Ensemble members are Dalita Getzoyan, Lukas Chaves, Alexandria Tichy, Olivia Dolphin, Vanessa Landes and Rachel Steyert. The URI Trombone Choir (Gabe Langfur, faculty coach) will perform “Canzon Primi Toni” from Sacrae Symphoniae 1597 by Giovanni Gabrieli, as well as Ecce veniet dies illa by Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina and a premiere by Zach Friedland for trombone choir and percussion. Ensemble members are Timothy Alberg, Timothy Coffey, Victoria Giroux, Kevin Harrington, Maureen Hayden, David Marrocco, Michael Rayner, Kirk Silver, and Matthew Westefeld, with Gabriel Langfur, director, Zach Friedland, assistant director and conductor, and Michael Rayner, assistant director.
The URI Guitar Ensemble (John Dennewitz, faculty coach) will perform works by Luigi Boccherini, Maurice Ravel, and Joseph Williams II. The ensemble consists of freshmen Bruce Hagist and Connor Ragas, junior Tom Alger, URI alumnus Raffi Donoian, and Graduate Student Jared Maynard.
The URI Opera Workshop will present their program, "Mozart and the Americans" on that Sunday evening at 7:00pm. They will perform Act II from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, featuring Rebecca Cunha as Susanna, Olivia Mathis as Countess, Molly Brown as Marcellina, Andrew Gribbin as Figaro, Devon Morin as Count, Vinnie Joyce as Antonio, Marcus Haynes as Bartolo, and Tony Malerich as Basilio. They will also perform six partial scenes from operas by American composers. Two are from operas by Carlisle Floyd: Susannah, based on the Apocrypha and set in Tennessee, and Of Mice and Men, based on the Steinbeck novel. The others are a scene from Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe set in Colorado, and three excerpts from Stephen Sondheim's The Ballad of Sweeney Todd. Pianist Laura Hibbard will accompany the scenes. Costumes will be by Marilyn Salvatore, and Rene de la Garza directs.
Following the B101 Big Band concert on Friday, April 20 (previously announced), the last two concerts in the Spring Jazz Series will be offered on Tuesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 26. Both concerts are at 7:30 .pm. On tap for the Tuesday night session in the Rehearsal Hall are The Standards Combo coached by bassist Dave Zinno, the URI Thelonious Monk Ensemble coached by trumpeter Mark Berney, and The World Jazz Ensemble, coached by percussionist Steve Langone. The C100 Big Band and the URI Percussion Ensemble will perform on Thursday night.
The Standards Combo features Nick Suchecki on tenor sax and flute, Bruce Hagist on guitar, Harrison Hartley on double bass, and Christopher Cooney on drums. They will perform jazz standards and selections from the American Songbook. The Thelonious Monk Ensemble will be performing Monk’s album, "Brilliant Corners", which has five tunes. Members are: Ben Marcoux on tenor sax, Clay Nordhill on guitar, Will Johnson on piano, Matt Passeroni on bass, Mich Muller on drums, and Mark Berney on trumpet. The World Jazz Ensemble leans toward the Afro-Cuban and will offer Mixing by Airto Moreira, Think of One by Thelonious Monk, My Favorite Things by Rogers and Hammerstein, How Insensitive by Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Star Eyes by Don Raye and Gene DePaul. Performers are Chris Zimmerman, bass, Chris Botelho, tenor sax, Alex Lovett, guitar, Josue Rodriguez, drums, and John Christy, percussion.
On Thursday, the C100 Big Band, directed by John Monllos, will be performing a wide variety of big band swing music in the tradition of Benny Goodman with hits such as Sing, Sing, Sing, and Solo Flight. Featured vocalist Bianca Sperduti will perform classic songs including Orange Colored Sky and Mambo Italiano. Chase Ceglie, a Rogers High School tenor saxophonist will also be featured with Misty. The band will also be presenting a modern composition by Pat Metheny entitled It’s Just Talk.
The URI Percussion Ensemble, directed by Craig McNutt, will also perform. Their program includes: Pantechnikon by James Romig, Suite for Percussion by William Kraft (1. Fanfare, 2. Ostinatos, 3. Toccata, and 4. Cadenze) plus Thyme by Mark Yancich. Members of the ensemble are Marc McPhillips, Nate Porteus, Elizabeth Procopio, and Chris Vinciguerra.
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, contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431, or check www.uri.edu/music.