University Artist Series Opens With “Faculty Collage” Concert, Oct. 10

KINGSTON, R.I.—October 1, 2009— The concert season at the University of Rhode Island will open on Saturday, October 10, with a University Artist Series “collage” concert showcasing members of the URI Music Department faculty, beginning at 8 p.m. The concert will be held in the Concert Hall of the URI Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. Tickets are available at the box office on a first-come basis starting 45 minutes before the concert, with admission of $8/general public and $2/students.

The idea of the concert’s format is borrowed from the world of visual arts, where a collage represents a single vision made up of a variety of contrasting pieces. The “Music Faculty Collage” will feature performances by Susan Thomas, Margaret Frazier, Manabu Takasawa, Susan Robison, Mark Conley, and Michelle Beaton, in a fast-paced concert of approximately one hour, uninterrupted by applause between pieces and without an intermission.

Flutist Susan Thomas will perform Suite for Solo Flute, by Rhode Island composer Richard Cumming, who is known locally for his work with the Trinity Repertory Theater Company. Soprano Margaret Frazier will perform A Suite O Bairnsangs by Thea Musgrave (b. 1953), five short songs on poems by Maurice Lindsay, accompanied by Manabu Takasawa on piano. In addition, Frazier will sing “Schweight, ihr Flöten, schweight, ihr Töne” from Cantata No. 210 by Johann Sebastian Bach(1685 – 1750), with accompaniment by Susan Thomas, flute, and Michelle Beaton, piano. Manabu Takasawa will perform Stone Gate by Yoshihiro Kanno, a piece Takasawa commissioned and premiered in Tokyo in 2003.

The program will also include Susan Robison, cello, performing Hungarian Rhapsody by David Popper, accompanied by Manabu Takasawa, piano, as well as performances by tenor Mark Conley and Michelle Beaton, piano.

Manabu Takasawa is an international artist who recently performed in the Czech Republic, Italy, United Kingdom and Japan. He is also the creator and director of the URI Piano Extravaganza!, an annual festival of concerts and a competition for young pianists in southern New England. Margaret Frazier is a noted performer and recording artist who tours with the Boston Camerata, and cellist Susan Robison is a member of the faculty at The Hartt School in Connecticut.

Award-winning soloist Susan Thomas is an active orchestral, solo and chamber musician in the New England area, and plays principal flute with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Tenor Mark Conley, Director of Choral Activities, recently conducted at Carnegie Hall. Accompanist Michelle Beaton holds advanced degrees in accompanying and chamber music from Westminster Choir College and the University of Michigan.

The URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall is handicap-accessible, and parking is available in the lot behind the building, off Bills Road.

For more information, contact the URI Department of Music, 874-2431.