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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI announces monthly noontime concerts at Memorial Union
Restored Steinway to play a key role

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 11, 2002 -- There will be some "grand" music this semester in the University of Rhode Island’s Memorial Union. URI’s recently restored 1916 Steinway baby grand piano will serve as the centerpiece to monthly concerts in the main lounge. The concerts, held on the first Wednesday of each month, are free and open to the public. Here’s the schedule:

o Wednesday, February 6:

Audry Kaiser of Warwick, adjunct professor of music, will give a solo piano performance. Also Carolyn Sovet of South Kingstown, assistant director of Student Life, will sing accompanied by graduate music student Dawn Chung of Narragansett.

o Wednesday, March 6:

Daniela Gongora of Belize, a member of URI’s Honors String Quartet who will earn her bachelor’s in music and performance this year, will play the violin. Heidi Burchett of Exeter, an undergraduate music student, will accompany her. Also, Manabu Takasawa of Narragansett, an assistant professor of music specializing in piano, keyboard and music theory, will give a solo performance called "Fur Elise: Piano Classics (Dedicated to Every Music Student, One Time or Another.)"

o Wednesday, April 3:

Joan Thibodeaux of Wakefield, an undergraduate student in music and music education, will play the flute accompanied by Katherine Chester. Also students of Manabu Takasawa will give a performance of piano music for multiple hands.

o Wednesday, May 1:

Jackie Kelly of Fall River, Mass., a music student, will play the flute, accompanied by music student John Norigian of Cranston. Also Joe Parillo of North Kingstown, director of jazz studies at URI, will perform with the Joe Parillo Jazz Trio.

The $11,200 piano restoration effort was spearheaded by Bruce Hamilton, director of the Memorial Union, and Winifred Brownell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Hamilton had been concerned about the out-of-tune Steinway sitting out of the limelight on the Memorial Union ballroom stage; Brownell was looking for sites that music and non-music major students could practice and perform. Students, that is, who were "Steinway" worthy as determined by Joe Parillo, jazz pianist and director of jazz studies at URI.

The piano, valued at $25,000, was restored with authentic Steinway parts and was made fit as a fiddle last fall, thanks to support from the Memorial Union, the College of Arts and Sciences, the President’s Office, the Student Senate, the Union Board, the Alumni Association, and the Parents Council,

"We were delighted to help restore the Steinway so that students with exceptional keyboarding skills, regardless of their major, could have access to this exquisite instrument," said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Winifred Brownell. "Everyone will be able to enjoy the results of our collaborative efforts through the new lunchtime express concert series featuring students, faculty, and alumni who will perform on the Steinway."

"It was well worth doing. Live music brings an added dimension to the Memorial Union and gives us a chance to showcase the wonderful talent on this campus," said Hamilton.

The concerts are funded by the Steve Rubin and Jean Moore Fund for the Humanities and the Arts, established by Steve Rubin who graduated from URI with a degree in English in 1964 and is chair of the English Department at the University of South Florida at Tampa, and his wife, Jean Moore.

For Information: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

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