The spring splurge of concerts at the University of Rhode Island continues this week with six more concerts over five days, April 26-30. Two are free to the public, two are choral/vocal concerts, and all offer a wide variety for music lovers. They will be held in the in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston.
Except for the free concerts, admission is $10 general public, $5 students, with tickets available at the box office on a first-come basis starting 45 minutes before each concert.
Directed by Brian Cardany, the URI Concert Band will perform on Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m. Their program includes works with themes related to elemental and/or primal forces, including Elements by Brian Balmages (four movements, Air, Water, Earth, and Fire); two pieces by Frank Ticheli: Nitro inspired by the characteristics of the element nitrogen, and Vesuvius inspired by the volcanic eruption that destroyed ancient Pompeii; and Of Sailors and Whales by W. Francis McBeth, a five-movement work inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
The URI Concert Choir and the 70-voice University Chorus will offer their spring concert on Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m. Directed by Mark Conley, the Concert Choir will perform music of Eastern Europe from the early Twentieth Century to today, including music from Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Georgia. The music will be both sacred and secular and will feature works by composers such as Bartok, Konjovic and Augustinas. The University Chorus, under new director Paulette LaParle, will perform a lively spring program including My Dancing Day by Mark Burrows, Brahms’s In Stiller Nacht, I Will Be Earth by Gwyneth Walker, Wade in the Water arranged by Moses Hogan, A Celtic Blessing by Oave Riley, and more. LaParle was the Choral Director and Co-Department Chair at Barrington High School for 32 years and is a multi-award-winning teacher.
URI’s acclaimed Symphonic Wind Ensemble directed by Gene J. Pollart will perform on Sunday, April 28 at 3 p.m. They will play Pageant by Vincent Persichetti, Suite Of Old American Dances by Robert Russell Bennett, and Shadowcatcher by Eric Ewazen (featuring the URI Brass Quintet), a new work reflecting the Native American experience. They will also perform Sheltering Sky by John Mackey, and Symphony No. 1, “New Day Rising,” by Steven Reineke, a work that evokes the spirit of the city of San Francisco before, during and after the great earthquake of 1906.
A concert of new music by students in the URI composition program will be offered on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. This concert is free, and will present new works-in-progress in a wide variety of musical styles. Participants will include Ian Otenti, Madison Cardoza, Bruce Hagist, Connor Ragas, Shaun Cayabyab, John Nolan, Alex Barnhart, Tom Peppard, and Brandon Winrich, all studying with Eliane Aberdam. Geoffrey Gibbs and Kirsten Vollness are also faculty members with students in the program.
The URI Percussion Ensemble, directed by Keith Aleo, will perform for free on Monday, April 29 at 5 p.m. Their program includes: Overture for Percussion by John Beck, a bravura to open the concert, and Worker Union by Louis Andriessen, a semi improvisational piece; Ravel Mother Goose Suite arranged for keyboard percussion by Gabe Cobias; Strange Loops by Patrick Long, for a quartet of all non pitched percussion instruments; and Drum Odyssey, by Nate Tucker.
The last April concert will be presented by URI’s elite small vocal ensemble, Lively Experiment, on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. They will offer a slightly unusual program, performing songs almost entirely in English. They will sing a madrigal from the time of Queen Elizabeth I to compare with two "madrigals" written for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. They will also perform songs of springtime written by contemporary American composers Randall Reese and Elizabeth Alexander, and English folk songs arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Four more concerts remain on the schedule for May, three of them with free admission.
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, please contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431 or check the website www.uri.edu/music.