Archive for the ‘School of Performing Arts’ Category

SPA Students to Perform Child-Friendly Folktale

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

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.

Media Report on University Singers’ Spring Tour

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

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.

University Singers Tune Up for Spring Road Tour

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

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

UMaine Concert Band to Perform at Wagner Middle School in Winterport

Monday, February 24th, 2014

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.

Cox Talks to WVII About Preparing for Final University Singers Tour

Friday, February 21st, 2014

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.

School of Performing Arts’ Production of ‘Grease’ Reviewed by Maine Edge

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

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.

United States Army Field Band, Soldiers’ Chorus to Perform at Collins Center

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

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.

BDN Reviews School of Performing Arts’ Production of ‘Grease’

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

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.

Weekly, Maine Edge Preview UMaine Production of ‘Grease’

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

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 or at the door.

Marrs on International Percussion Tour

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

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.