2011-12 CPS Season Showcases New & Electrifying Artists

Community Performance Series Brings Béla Fleck and the Original Flecktones & NPR's 'From the Top' to Potsdam

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Béla Fleck and the Original Flecktones will perform on Nov. 5.

POTSDAM, NY (07/21/2011)(readMedia)-- Community Performance Series is pleased to announce its upcoming season, featuring renowned guest musicians, dance and programs for the whole family. The 2011-12 CPS season will begin this September and continue through May 2012.

The 2011-12 CPS Guest Artist Series will bring eight celebrated artists to the SUNY Potsdam campus this year.

"The 2011-2012 season offers a diverse mix of programs. All of these artists perform around the world in major music halls and theaters; each are experts in their genre," said CPS Executive Director Amy Flack. "Presenting such a varied season is exciting because every performance has the potential of reaching new audiences, allowing us to serve the greatest number of people in our region."

CPS launches its season on Sept. 17 with Broadway singer Linda Eder. Famous for winning 12 consecutive weeks on the hit show "Star Search" in 1987 and then later for her role as Lucy Harris in "Jekyll & Hyde" on Broadway, Eder will delight audiences with her powerful renditions of Broadway's best anthems.

On Sept. 20, Paul Taylor's ensemble Taylor 2 will offer the North Country a glimpse into the powerful and expressive world of modern dance with a repertoire unique to the Potsdam performance.

Organist Janette Fishell will continue the tradition of dynamic organ concerts as part of the 12th Annual L. Felix and Helen Miller Ranlett Organ Recital series this October. Her program will include works by Bach, Liszt and more contemporary composers.

Premiere banjoist and Grammy Award-winner Béla Fleck returns to Potsdam, playing with the original Flecktones, for a Nov. 15 performance. Fleck is widely acknowledged as one of the world's most innovative and premier banjo players. Together with his band the Flecktones, he combines the music of bluegrass, country, jazz, folk, classical, pop and spoken word -- making for one eclectic and entertaining concert experience. Fleck's total Grammy count is 11 won and 27 nominations, making him the most nominated musician in more categories than anyone else in Grammy history.

The New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet will also perform in November, as the McElheran Visiting Artists, to take part in a celebration of brass music at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music.

The second half of the season kicks off in February with the Juilliard-trained contemporary string quartet ETHEL, which will perform Philip Glass' suite from "The Hours."

In March, the SFJAZZ Collective will ignite the stage with their unique arrangements of pop music icon Stevie Wonder's repertoire. Unlike any other jazz band, the group features a changing lineup with each member hand-selected to contribute their own unique sounds, styles and voices.

CPS will culminate its 2011-12 Guest Artist Series with National Public Radio's hit show "From the Top" with host Christopher O'Reilly in April. Featuring young regional and national artists, this weekly music series is broadcast nationally to more than 700,000 listeners.

CPS also offers youth and family programming in its 2011-12 Meet the Arts Series. This fall, CPS will present modern dance with a school performance of Taylor 2 and "Danny, King of the Basement," a play about homelessness and the power of the imagination.

In January, CPS will present the musical adventures of fish friends Tank, Bubbles, and Dorsel in John Tartaglia's "ImaginOcean." In the spring, a kaleidoscope of music will be performed by the Orchestra of Northern New York, with a concert entitled "My Many Colored Days." The National Players will also present a dramatic adaptation of John Steinbeck's poignant novel "Of Mice and Men."

Tickets to Meet the Arts performances range from $5 to $10.

Guest Artist Series season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through the CPS Box Office, located in Sara M. Snell Music Theater on the SUNY Potsdam campus, or by calling (315) 267-2277 or visiting www.cpspotsdam.org. Individual event tickets will be available for purchase beginning Aug. 15. Guest Artist Series tickets range from $6 to $50.

Become a Guest Artist Series subscriber by purchasing tickets to all eight events and receive the best seat options, best prices, and invitations to special events. New subscribers will save 40 percent and returning subscribers save 25 percent.

For more information on the 2011-2011 season and artists, log on to www.cpspotsdam.org or check out the CPS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cpspotsdam.

The Guest Artist Series has been sponsored in part by SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, the Northern New York Community Foundation, North Country Public Radio, and Tom and Mabel Walker, with media sponsorship from 7 News/Fox 28 and Northern New York Newspapers. The Meet the Arts Series is made possible through generous underwriting from the Edward John Noble Foundation, with additional support from the Maresca Family Endowment, Stearns-Cottrell Endowment, Stewart's Shops and the Sweetgrass Foundation.

CPS is a college-community partnership in residence at SUNY Potsdam that presents world-class performing artists and arts education opportunities in Northern New York. This rich mixture of programming links communities, classrooms and audiences of all ages and preserves access to the performing arts for future generations.

The 2011-12 CPS Season is as follows:

2011-12 CPS Guest Artist Series:

  • Linda Eder, "Tribute to Broadway," Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall: Broadway and recording star Linda Eder comes to Potsdam to kick off the CPS Guest Artist Series and sing her tribute to Broadway.
  • Taylor 2, Paul Taylor's Dance Company, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Sara M. Snell Music Theater: This touring ensemble of modern dancers is known for bringing a mixture of athleticism, humor and range of motion to the stage.
  • 12th Annual L. Felix and Helen Miller Ranlett Organ Recital, Oct. 2 at 3 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: Janette Fishell, professor of organ at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, is featured in the annual recital series.
  • Béla Fleck and the Original Flecktones, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: This 11-time Grammy Award winner is known as an innovative banjo player around the world, and fans will be happy to hear that he will perform with the reunited original Flecktones.
  • The New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: The New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet features the legendary brass principals from the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States.
  • ETHEL, "Present Beauty," Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: These Juilliard-trained performers are acclaimed as America's premiere post-classical string quartet.
  • SFJAZZ Collective, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: This all-star jazz ensemble will perform the material of pop musician Stevie Wonder, presenting new arrangements of his work.
  • National Public Radio's "From the Top," April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: "From the Top" will present a live show showcasing America's finest young musicians, in NPR's most popular weekly music series.

2011-12 CPS Meet the Arts Series:

  • Taylor 2, Paul Taylor's Dance Company, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. in Snell Theater: Nationally acclaimed modern dance company Taylor 2 will introduce North Country young people to the world of modern dance during a daytime lecture/demonstration performance.
  • "Danny, King of the Basement," Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. in Snell Theater: This play explores issues of homelessness, poverty and the power of the imagination. The Toronto Star raves that "Danny" is "everything you want a show for young audiences to be."
  • John Tartaglia's "ImaginOcean," Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. and Jan. 9 at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Snell Theater: Puppetry and back-light techniques accompany this fun musical journey through the sea, where aquatic characters discover the greatest treasure of all -- friendship.
  • Orchestra of Northern New York, "My Many Colored Days," March 23 at noon in Hosmer Hall: Directed by Kenneth Andrews, ONNY will present a concert featuring selections from "The Purple Palace" and "My Many Colored Days," with narration from the best-selling book by Dr. Seuss.
  • National Players, "Of Mice and Men," May 4 at 9 a.m. and noon in Snell Theater: National Players celebrate their 62nd anniversary while bringing to life this classic novel written by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck.

For more information, visit www.cpspotsdam.org.


Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam's arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community.