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Saturday, March 2, 2019

This week and beyond, lots of music this spring

URI Music Department to present 50 concerts this spring semester
Symphony Orchestra cellists perform
University of Rhode Island Symphony Orchestra cellists perform during a concert on the Kingston Campus. URI photo by Michael Salerno.

From Medieval masterpieces to modern jazz, the University of Rhode Island’s Music Department is offering an eclectic array of performances this spring concert season.

All performances will be held at the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, located at 105 Upper College Road, Kingston Campus.

“Our department is proud to provide well over a hundred concert events every year. We hope everyone will feel welcome to ‘come as they are’ and experience the best of our live music scene,” said Mark Conley, professor of music, department chair, director of choral activities. 

“There is something for everyone, and even if you come to one of our full weekends with seven or eight programs in three days, I can guarantee every one of them will be a different experience, each with something you have never heard before.”

University of Rhode Island Big Band at the Newport Jazz Festival.
The University of Rhode Island Big Band, which will be featured in two shows on the Kingston Campus, performs at a recent Newport Jazz Festival. URI Photo by Joe Giblin.

Here is a preview of some of the performances. Check out the full schedule.

The URI Big Band, directed by Joseph Parillo, professor of music, director of graduate studies, and director of jazz studies, will present a night of jazz music featuring URI faculty guitarist Jay Azzolina Friday, March 1 and Thursday, April 25 at 8 p.m. Parillo will conduct performances by the URI Jazz Combos Monday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m.

The 19th Annual Rhode Island Percussion Ensemble Festival, led by Kyle Forsthoff, artist and teacher in classical percussion, will perform Saturday, March 2 at 1 p.m. The event is free.

The URI Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ann Danis, professor of music, director of Orchestral Activities, and teacher of violin and viola, will perform Saturday, March 2 and Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform Sunday, March 3 and Sunday, April 28 at 3 p.m. Among the works to be featured will be “Ritual” by Joseph Turrin, and “The Colonial Song” by Percy Grainger. Jazz and blues will be infused in the ensemble’s performance of Frank Ticheli’s “Blue Shades.” The ensemble will conclude its performances with composer Herman Bellstedt’s “Napoli” and “Trittico,” which was composed in 1963 for the University of Michigan Symphonic Band.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is directed by Gene Pollart, professor of music and director of bands.
“Piano Extravaganza: URI Pianists in Recital,” conducted by Manabu Takasawa, concert pianist and director of URI’s piano program, will take the stage Friday, March 29 at 8 p.m. The program has grown in size and quality since it was first established in 2003.

Eliane Aberdam will perform “The Power of the Invisible” as part of The University Artists Series on Sunday, March 31 at 3 p.m. Aberdam teaches composition and theory at URI and her works are performed in Israel, Europe and the United States. 

The program will feature a world premiere of Aberdam’s trio, performing “Terpsichore” for cello, flute and clarinet, two electro-acoustic pieces (one for tuba, the other for soprano), an East Coast premiere of her quintet “Figurines,” an oboe solo piece, a duet, “Coriander and Safran,” and her percussion quartet led by Kyle Forsthoff.

The University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival 2019 directed by Adam Levin, prize-winning classical guitarist and instructor in the department of music at URI, will take place Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7. 

This year’s international artists come from France, Ireland, Greece, Belgium, Australia, Russia, and the Netherlands. For more information and ticket prices, visit:

The URI Chamber Ensemble, coordinated by Theodore Mook, URI music instructor and cellist, will perform Sunday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. URI music students will perform chamber music from the standard repertoire: brass, woodwinds, strings, guitar and mixed ensembles. 

Mook will also direct the URI String Ensemble performance Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m. Both events are free.

The URI Concert Band, conducted by Brian Cardany, associate director of bands and director of athletic bands, will perform Friday, April 26, at 8 p.m. The URI Concert Band performs an eclectic program of wind band repertoire and is primarily made up of non-music majors from the URI community who share a common interest and enthusiasm in performing concert band music.

The Concert Choir, directed by Mark Conley, professor of music, department chair, director of choral activities, will perform Sunday, April 28 at 7 p.m. The choral group, “Lively Experiment” will perform Tuesday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. Lively Experiment is a small choral concert group that explores the gamut of choral and vocal chamber music, embracing many styles from Medieval to vocal jazz.

The URI Brass Quintet, led by Cathryn Cummings, artist and teacher in French horn, will perform Saturday, May 4 at 6 p.m. The event is a student, faculty, and coach-initiated ensemble. This event is free.

To end the semester, the Contemporary Arts Festival will be presented by Kirsten Volness, lecturer and teacher in composition Sunday, May 5, sponsored by the URI Art Department and the URI Art History Department. 

The event begins at 1 p.m. and is free. This year’s festival features students, faculty, and alumni artists from the Art and Art History, English, and Theatre Departments to join and present their work alongside new music.

Unless otherwise noted above in the specific listings, tickets for concerts can be purchased at any time here or one hour prior to the performance at the Box Office located at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston Campus. 

General admission $12; Students $7; Seniors (60 and older) $7; Children 12 and under free.