University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ students Christian Giddings, Megan Rounds and Sydney Walker spoke with WABI (Channel 5) about the school’s spring break production of the child-friendly folktale “Baba Yaga and the Black Sunflower.” The students are performing the play on campus March 22, as well as at several schools around the state. Walker said performing the play is a nice way to be able to give back to the community. Carol Korty, professor emerita at Emerson College and a guest artist at UMaine, wrote and directs the play about a young girl who doesn’t fit in, and a witch that lives in a walking house. Korty told WABI the tour is a good learning experience for the students to see what it’s like to be on the road.
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The Maine Music Teachers Association and the University of Maine School of Performing Arts announce the second biennial Monster Piano Festival on Saturday, March 8, at Minsky Recital Hall on the Orono campus.
What is a monster piano? It’s 113 students in grades 4 through 12 and several adults simultaneously playing 11 pianos. That’s 226 hands, or 1,130 fingers tickling 968 keys.
After a day of rehearsals with UMaine music instructor and conductor Ginger Yang Hwalek, the 113 people from 18 piano studios in Maine will perform in concert at 5 p.m. Donations will be accepted at the door.
Two or three pianists will be seated at each of the 11 pianos on stage during the concert, which will include a mix of classical and jazz and pieces written by composers who specialize in creating music for emerging pianists. Music teachers will also play a selection.
WVII (Channel 7) reported University of Maine School of Performing Arts students will perform the child-friendly folktale “Baba Yaga and the Black Sunflower” on campus March 22, as well as at schools around the state during spring break. Carol Korty, professor emerita at Emerson College and a guest artist at UMaine, wrote and directs the folktale about a young girl who doesn’t fit in, and a witch that lives in a walking house. Korty said she hopes the performances will be a learning experience for audience members and the UMaine students in the play. “For our college students, they see the effect of theater on young children, and notice the difference,” she said.
WABI (Channel 5) reported a list of the University of Maine Singers’ spring tour dates. Over spring break the group will perform five free public concerts in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The tour kicks off March 10 at First Baptist Church in Bar Harbor, Maine.
University of Maine School of Performing Arts students will perform “Baba Yaga and the Black Sunflower” at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Al Cyrus Pavilion Theatre on campus.
Carol Korty, professor emerita at Emerson College and a guest artist at UMaine, wrote and directs the folktale recommended for children 8 and older. It contains themes about getting along with others, intuition, imagination and courage.
Two main characters are Baba Yaga, a wise, feared witch, and Maryushka, a young girl who feels like she doesn’t fit in. Baba Yaga is a Russian folktale character. She brews magic potions, is rumored to eat misbehaving children and lives in a five-sided talking hut that walks on giant chicken legs. She flies through the deep forest in a giant mortar that she steers with a pestle. Maryushka, who loves nature and is scared of it, has gotten into trouble and is determined to find a way out.
Korty hopes the play captures the essence of a traditional Russian Baba Yaga folktale as well as the feeling that she had and that other adolescents have of living in two different worlds — one with family and one with schoolmates.
During UMaine’s spring break, the cast and crew of “Baba Yaga and the Black Sunflower” will stage free performances at area schools, including in Bangor, Ellsworth, Hermon, Lincoln and Presque Isle. Tickets are available at the door for the March 22 performance at UMaine. Cost is $5 per person, or free with a valid student MaineCard.
The Village Soup advanced the March 11 University of Maine Singers concert that will take place at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. The show is one of five free public concerts the group is performing in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts over spring break. The Maine Edge also carried a report on the group’s tour.
During March, the University of Maine Singers will perform five free public concerts in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Dennis Cox, UMaine director of choral activities, will lead the 70-member select choir on its annual spring trip, which will also include daytime performances at elementary, middle and high schools.
The public portion of the tour debuts at 7 p.m. Monday, March 10, at First Baptist Church of Bar Harbor, Maine. Several Singers will be performing in and near their hometowns throughout the tour, including Katherine Parsons of Bar Harbor and Sarah Stanley of Southwest Harbor on opening night.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, the Singers perform at the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine. Eleven Singers hail from the vicinity — Sierra Ventura and Sarah Bowen of Belfast, Rosaleen Erwin of Brunswick, Morgan Cates of Camden, Dana Douglass of Phippsburg, Kristen Alberts of South China, Alecia Griffin of Randolph, Greg Kritzman of Topsham, Paige Courtney of Somerville and Sara Phillips of Thorndike.
The concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, is at the First Parish Church of Christ in Saco, Maine, which is the hometown of Singers Olivia Bean, Philip Kolmar, Cain Landry, Forrest Tripp and Katherine Lees and close to Allen Prout’s hometown of Biddeford.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, March 13, the Singers perform at Winnisquam Regional High School in Tilton, N.H., hometown of member Robert Laraway and adjacent to Northfield, hometown of Victoria Eaton. The tour concludes with a concert at 7 p.m. Friday, March 14, at Lasell College in Newton, Mass. Singers who hail from nearby communities are Hope Milne of Hamilton, Rebecca Bylaska-Davies of Worcester and Stephanie Beatrice of Ashburnham.
Every four years, the Singers perform abroad; in 2012, the group sang in Switzerland, Italy and Austria. Auditions are held each fall for the Singers, nearly half of who pursue majors outside of music.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
It will be a homecoming for two University of Maine students when UMaine’s Concert Band performs a run-out concert Thursday, March 20, at Wagner Middle School in Winterport.
Aaron Beaulieu, a first-year mechanical engineering student, began playing the trumpet in the fifth grade. Jay Baines, a civil engineering major also in his first year at UMaine, began playing percussion at the same time. Both students have returned to the direction of their first teacher, Dana Ross, who conducts the UMaine Concert Band and is band and chorus director at Wagner Middle School.
“It’s safe to say that without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today in my music,” Baines said.
The Concert Band will perform at an afternoon assembly at the school and at a free public concert at 7 p.m. The performances will feature arrangements by Clare Grundman, Henry Fillmore and Frank Ticheli. Wagner’s band will join UMaine’s Concert Band for the finale.
The music program at Wagner includes more than 100 instrumentalists and almost 100 vocalists, out of a total student body of 220.
Ross is in his fourth year as conductor for the Concert Band, a nonauditioned group that performs both on and off campus in a variety of communities, especially public schools.
Dennis Cox, professor of music and director of the Choral Music Program at the University of Maine, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) about preparing for his final tour directing the University Singers. Cox, who came to UMaine in 1978, announced he will retire at the end of the school year. Daniel Williams, associate director of planned giving at the University of Maine Foundation and part-time faculty member in the School of Performing Arts, spoke about a fund that will be established in Cox’s name to benefit the University Singers. Tori Mason, UMaine student and president of the University Singers, said the endowment will allow the group to continue the tradition of touring.
The Maine Edge published a review of the University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ production of “Grease.” The review states “the cast consistently came together.” Remaining performances of the show are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20, 21, 22, and 2 p.m. Feb. 23 in Hauck Auditorium.