URI Music Department to showcase student talent in April – Rhody Today

KINGSTON, Rhode Island – April 14, 2023 – Come see what University of Rhode Island musicians have in store for you in a full slate of concerts through the end of April.

The concerts will feature multiple ensembles, including the URI Concert Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Big Band, Concert Orchestra and more. All concerts will be held in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. Ticket prices are $15 for general admission; and $10 for students and seniors. Children under 12 are admitted for free.

The URI Concert Choir, under the direction of Mark Conley, opens the two-week period April 15, Saturday, from 8 p.m Mark Conley.

Concert Choir is URI’s premiere auditioned choral ensemble, said Conley, chair of the Music Department. The band explores different aspects of music – time period, language and different styles – that make the band unique.

Saturday’s concert will focus on the theme of “Being Fully Human,” Conley said. The choir will perform contemporary and classical music, some dating as far back as the Renaissance.

On April 21, Friday, at 8 p.m. Atla DeChamplain, Assistant Professor of Enhanced Voice, will direct the In The Pocket Jazz Choir. DeChamplain will be accompanied by David Gilliland, Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano. The concert is free.

The 17-member choir will perform jazz music with a special emphasis on hard bop. DeChamplain says hard bop jazz is known for being fun and accessible, with roots in gospel and blues. The choir will perform compositions including “Sugar” by Stanley Turentrix, “Centerpiece” by Harry “Sweets” Edison (with lyrics by DeChamplain’s mentor, jazz great John Hendrix) and “Village Blues” by John Coltrane.

In The Pocket is URI’s first vocal ensemble comprised solely of musicians studying jazz voice. In the past, the ensemble has participated in Jazz big band concerts.

DeChamplain says the ensemble’s performance of the music grows and develops each time they practice it.

“The interpretation evolves every time we sing the music,” she said. “Not only do we learn the parts and the style, but we learn how to groove and swing together, and how to listen very empathetically.”

On Saturday, April 22, The Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Samuel Hollister, will perform a wide-ranging show including classical pieces, a concerto for guitar and orchestra, and a chamber performance. The concert starts at 20:00

Acclaimed performer Autumn Casey, clarinet, will open the concert with a chamber performance, followed by the world premiere of a concerto for guitar and orchestra by Costa Rican composer José Mora-Jimenez. The piece will feature student Adrian Montero Moya on guitar.

The orchestra will also perform Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, Copland’s Four Dance Episodes and Emily Meyer’s Overture No. 3 in C major.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how this concert is coming together,” Hollister said. “The orchestra is extremely excited to have the chance to perform a program of such varied and important repertoire.”

On Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.mthe University Choir, conducted by Elizabeth Woodhouse, will perform music from a variety of styles and languages.

The chorus will perform a contrast of songs that Wodehouse calls “the bird set.” They will sing “The Blue Bird” by Charles Villiers Stanford and “Blue Bird,” a Korean folk song arranged by Jungsun Lee. They will also perform ‘Die Nachtigall’ by Felix Mendelssohn, ‘The Wedding Cantata’ by Daniel Pinkham, ‘How Can I Keep From Singing’, a Quaker hymn arranged by Gwyneth Walker and ‘We Are’ by Ysaye Barnwell.

What makes this concert so special, Woodhouse says, is that choir members are given the opportunity to learn about the history of these works and share those stories with the audience through their performance.

On Thursday, April 27, the Jazz Big Band will perform numerous songs by artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Steely Dan, Quincy Jones and The Doobie Brothers. This event will take place from 8 p.m

In choosing these songs, band director Emmett Goodes said he wanted to give the artists a chance to play music they know and relate to.

“The students love it. It gives them an opportunity to play things that they relate to more,” Goodes said. “The music we chose also gives them some really important lessons about being a musician in the current climate.”

He also said they were playing pop music in the hope that the event would feel more like a dance party than a jazz concert. “They will need the audience to interact,” he said. “They’re going to have to feel their energy.”

Goods said the 20-piece band is used to just one singer performing with the band. But for this concert, they will include a wide variety of vocalists.

The URI Wind Ensemble and Concert Orchestra will perform Friday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m.

As Director of Bands, Brian Cardany directs the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, along with the Ram Marching Band, Pep Band, Southern New England Honor Band (high school talent band) and the Alumni Wind Ensemble. In addition, he coordinates all music for URI’s graduation commencement.

He has been in this role since joining URI in 2002. However, this is his first year as conductor of the Wind Ensemble.

This joint performance will be the Wind Ensemble and Concert Orchestra’s finale of the year. Cardany believes this will be their most fun gig yet.

Comprised of “some of the most talented musicians on campus,” the 29-piece wind ensemble will join forces with the 53 high-level performers of the concert orchestra to stage a captivating production.

A Composers’ Concert will be held at the end of the music semester sunday, April 30 at 7 p.m The concert is free.

Eliane Aberdam, a professor of composition at URI for more than two decades, organized the event, along with Zakai Curtis, an artist and teacher of jazz piano and jazz and commercial music. The concert will feature the work of eight composition students who will present what they have been working on this semester.

According to Aberdam, this concert helps the students achieve two goals. This allows students to showcase their creativity and what they have composed, and as the event is recorded, it will allow them to build their portfolio.

This event differs from other concerts in the series in that it highlights what these students have created, not necessarily their performance skills. In fact, some of the composers won’t even perform their own works. Rather, they will hire friends or fellow musicians to perform the work they have composed.

Morgan Maleonski, an intern in the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Communication and Marketing and a senior double majoring in journalism and communication studies, wrote this press release.

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