The United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, March 31 at the Collins Center for the Arts. The University of Maine School of Performing Arts and the Bangor Daily News are sponsoring the show, which will include 16 UMaine students as guest performers and Christopher White, UMaine Symphonic Band director, as a guest conductor for one piece.
The United States Army Field Band has been performing for more than 60 years and travels nationally and internationally to perform. Since its formation in 1946, the Field Band has appeared in all 50 states and in more than 30 countries on four continents. The Field Band’s 65 members are selected by competitive audition and are called “The Musical Ambassadors of the Army.” The United States Army Soldiers’ Chorus was founded in 1957 and is the vocal complement of the United States Army Field Band.
Tickets for the event are free, but are limited to four tickets per request. Tickets can be obtained by mailing a request in a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
ATTN: U.S. Army Field Band Tickets
University of Maine School of Performing Arts
5788 Class of 1944 Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5788
For more information on the performance or to request a disability accommodation, call the School of Performing Arts at 207.581.4703. More information on the musical performers of the band and chorus is available online.
The Bangor Daily News published a review of the University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ spring production of “Grease.” The review states the “actors dig deep for nuanced and near flawless performances.” 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.
The Weekly and The Maine Edge advanced the University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ spring production of “Grease.” Seven February performances of the musical are slated in Hauck Auditorium on campus. Admission is $15; tickets may be purchased online at umaine.edu/spa or at the door.
University of Maine music professor Stuart Marrs has begun a five-country tour to teach master classes in percussion.
The European leg began earlier this month at the Paris Conservatory of Music, where he offered master classes on the solo timpani works of Elliott Carter — pieces Marrs recorded on an interactive pedagogical DVD in 2006.
Carter’s works were also featured in Marrs’ master classes in Germany with students from Tübingen and Stuttgart.
This month, Marrs also is conducting musicological research at the Paul Sacher Foundation Archive in Basel, Switzerland, where the last manuscript of “Ionisation,” by Edgard Varèse is housed. Marrs is working on a critical performance of the piece, considered a monument of 20th-century music, and the results of the research will comprise a definitive recording with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Percussion Ensemble and an article in the international trade journal, “Percussive Notes.”
In March, Marrs will travel to Singapore. In conjunction with master classes, he will be directing and recording with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Percussion Ensemble. Marrs will also be performing in the percussion section of the Singapore National Symphony Orchestra in one of its Young Persons Concerts.
His tour will end in Costa Rica at a school where he was one of the founding faculty members. In the 1970s, Marrs was part of the “Musical Revolution” in Costa Rica, founding the school of percussion playing there and which is still active today. He and two former students were invited back to Costa Rica by Bismarck Fernández, also one of Marrs’ former students and now head of the percussion department at the National Institute of Music, for a celebratory festival.
Marrs says it’s rewarding to be asked to return to the school where he spent 11 years teaching and working with students who might not otherwise have been exposed to music.
“The bond created through those years with this talented group of young people is incredibly strong,” says Marrs.
“As a teacher I feel most fulfilled when I can contribute something relatively unique to my field, so that I know I have helped the art form continue to develop,” Marrs says.
The Bangor Daily News published a review of the play “One Blue Tarp,” which is currently being presented by the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor. The play was written by Travis Baker, who teaches English at the University of Maine, and stars UMaine theatre instructors Tom Mikotowicz and Julie Lisnet.
Sandy, Danny and the rest of the characters from Rydell High take the stage for seven February performances of “Grease” in Hauck Auditorium at the University of Maine.
Sandra Hardy, professor of theatre at UMaine, is directing the ensemble show. She is joined by Danny Williams, music director; Jasmine Ireland, choreographer; Dan Bilodeau, set designer; Joseph Donovan, technical director; Samantha Paradis, stage manager; and Adam Medelson, lighting designer.
“While virtually everyone knows and loves the musical ‘Grease,’ and it certainly is a universal comment on adolescence, I am hoping that our ‘Grease’ says something more about the nature of adolescence — the pain of growing, in particular,” Hardy says.
Music education major Hope Milne of Hamilton, Mass., has the role of Sandy. Milne most recently played Wendla in UMaine’s February 2013 production of “Spring Awakening.” Music major Ira Kramer of Veazie, Maine, plays Danny. Kramer recently finished playing Prince Charming in Penobscot Theatre’s production of “Cinderella: A New Telling of an Old Tale.”
Music major Allisen Donovan, of Presque Isle, Maine, plays Rizzo, leader of the Pink Ladies. It’s an interesting role for Donovan, who is also a member of a local roller derby team. Music major Andrew Cotterly of Bangor, Maine, plays Kenickie, one the Greasers.
“Grease,” a 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, was once the longest-running show on Broadway. The production features a rock-and-roll score, including the songs “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightning,” and “We Go Together.” Set at fictional Rydell High School in 1959, the plot follows a group of teenagers as they explore nuances of love, relationships and social expectations. Themes are appropriate for mature audiences.
Performances are scheduled for Feb. 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. Admission is $15; tickets may be purchased online at umaine.edu/spa, or at the door. For disability accommodation requests, call 207.581.1781.
The Bangor Daily News spoke with Travis Baker, who teaches English at the University of Maine, about the inspiration for and creation of his award-winning play “One Blue Tarp.” Baker’s play was named Best Play for the state of Maine in the 2013 Clauder New England Playwright Competition. “One Blue Tarp” runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 16 at the Penobscot Theatre in Bangor. Tom Mikotowicz and Julie Lisnet, both theatre instructors at UMaine, will star in the play.
University of Maine alumnus David Demsey will play the saxophone with the Bangor Symphony on Saturday, Feb. 1 and host a master class with six UMaine School of Performing Arts saxophone students on Jan. 31. During his visit, Demsey will also work with the UMaine Jazz Ensemble.
Demsey is a professor of music and coordinator of jazz studies at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music education from UMaine in 1977, he received a master’s in music from the Juilliard School and earned a doctorate at the Eastman School of Music.
For more information and to order tickets for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s performance of “The Music of John Williams,” visit the BSO’s website.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the retirement of Ludlow Hallman, a music professor and conductor at the University of Maine. Hallman conducted his last Oratorio Society concert Jan. 20 at the Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center in Hampden. Hallman, who plans to spend the first year of his retirement in Italy, said this is a good time to say goodbye and try something different. His longtime colleague Anatole Wieck said Hallman has created an environment in which all the good things he has worked for will continue.
WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ presentation of “Ein deutsches Requiem” by Johannes Brahms at the Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center in Hampden. Retiring Professor Ludlow Hallman conducted the concert, which was dedicated to the memory of those killed during the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as well as in tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Soloists Kelly Scheetz, soprano; and Justin Zang, baritone, spoke about the concert and Hallman.