Holiday Concert and more music at URI Dec 4-6

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 18, 2010 — The annual Holiday Concert offered by the University of Rhode Island Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir is always a popular event for music fans and their families. Traditionally held on the first Saturday of December, this year it shares the weekend with two other concerts. On Sunday, Dec. 5, the URI Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform at 3 p.m. and new works by students in the URI composition program will be showcased at 7 p.m. All three concerts will be in the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston.

The Holiday Concert on Dec. 4 starts at 7 p.m., earlier than usual Saturday concerts, to accommodate families with children. The concert program presents a potpourri of seasonal music for orchestra and chorus. The orchestra’s portion will include A Christmas Festival and Sleigh Ride, both by Leroy Anderson. The orchestra and choir will combine for several selections including music from L’Enfance du Christ by Berlioz, and the Choir will sing additional pieces. Admission is $10 general, $5 students. Tickets are available on a first-come basis starting 45 minutes to one hour before the concert, and as this concert often sells out, attendees are advised to come early.

URI’s highly regarded Symphonic Wind Ensemble, directed by Gene J. Pollart, will open their concert at 3 p.m. on Dec. 5 with Brant Karrick’s J.S. Jig, a dance that fuses two themes by J. S. Bach into a lilting Irish jig rhythm. Much of the piece is based on Bach’s well-loved “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring”. Their program also includes Grand Central Station by Michael Torke, a piece inspired by the tremendous energy, swirling patterns, and mix of old and new in the recently renovated station; An American Elegy by Frank Ticheli, composed in memory of those who died at Columbine High School in 1999 and in honor of those who survived, offered as a tribute to their great strength in the face of a terrible tragedy; Colorado Peaks by Dana Wilson, which suggests a climber’s arduous journey; and Mt. Pilatus: Mountain of Dragons by Steven Reineke, inspired by local legends about the spirit of Pontus Pilate and the dragons who inhabit the mountain.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble consists of the most outstanding wind and percussion players at the university. Since its inception in 1963, the ensemble has been dedicated to presenting the finest literature from all musical periods to its audiences. They recently performed at the Music Educators National Conference. Concert admission is $10 general public, or $5 for students with ID.

The Student Composers’ concert, which is free, offers a wide variety of music styles, from jazz and contemporary to classical, all in brand new works that are often still in progress. Students in the program are assigned to study under particular composition faculty members. Among those participating in the concert are students coached by Eliane Aberdam: Peter Waite– solo trumpet piece (3 movements) performed by Seth Bailey; Angela Cardarelli: chamber piece for piano, baritone, two flutes, cello, viola and violin; and Philip Mazza: trio for piano, violin and saxophone: 2nd movement.

Jazz Studio students coached by Eric Hofbauer will include: Kevin Bodurtha – The Lost Jig (a four part mini suite of theme and variations on a Welch Folk melody), and graduate students Mark Medeiros – original jazz composition for jazz septet (untitled) and Philip Mazza – original jazz composition for jazz sextet (untitled). Additional participants will include students coached by Geoffrey Gibbs: Brandon Winrich -“Untitled” for piano, Timothy Coffey- first movement from Sonata for Trombone and Piano, with the composer performing on trombone, and Amy Hubbard-first movement from Sonata for Flute, Clarinet, and Piano. Other coaches in the program include Dominique Schafer.

In addition to these concerts, on Monday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m., students will perform in the concert hall for their teachers and peers, in a free evening convocation that is open to the public.

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: