Eastern Music Program to Host 11 Spring Concerts

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WILLIMANTIC, CT (02/21/2018) The Music Program at Eastern Connecticut State University will hold 11 spring concerts in the months of March and April. From jazz music to opera performances, a piece inspired by a famous painting, a show by the University's premiere vocal ensemble and more, guests are in store for music from many genres and eras. All concerts will be performed in the Fine Arts Instructional Center (FAIC) Concert Hall--admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted at the door.

On March 2 at 7:30 p.m., music professor Emily Riggs will present a solo faculty recital of songs and arias from opera and musical theatre. Riggs is a soprano singer and has recorded and translated more than 50 songs by world-class composers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Perú and Venezuela. The recital will also feature adjunct faculty member David Ballena.

On March 9 at 7:30 p.m., the Eastern Wind Ensemble will present a concert featuring classics of the wind band repertoire. The Eastern Wind Ensemble is the newest instrumental ensemble at Eastern and is designed to provide students with a unique, student-centric instrumental playing experience. This ensemble is a smaller wind ensemble that performs music from the wind ensemble/chamber winds repertoire as well as more contemporary works.

On April 6 at 7:30 p.m., Eastern music faculty Okon Hwang, Eric Ouellette, Matt Bronson and Jeffrey Calissi will present "Maslanka: This is the World," an epic work for two pianos and two percussion performers based on Edward Hopper's 1942 painting "Nighthawks."

Hopper said that Nighthawks was inspired by "a restaurant on New York's Greenwich Avenue where two streets meet." "Nighthawks" is one of the best-known images of 20th century art, and despite its seemingly simple appearance featuring three costumers lost in their own thoughts,

the painting has a timeless, universal quality that transcends its particular locale. The musical piece performed by Eastern faculty will capture the strength and enduring nature of the American experience.

On April 15 at 2:30 p.m., the Eastern Chamber Singers, who will have recently returned from a musical tour of Puerto Rico, will accompany the Concert Chorale in presenting a variety of accompanied and unaccompanied choral music. Eastern Chamber Singers is Eastern's premiere vocal ensemble and is composed of 20-25 auditioned singers from various departments throughout the University. Repertoire performed by Eastern Chamber Singers encompasses chamber music from more than four centuries. An annual Spring Tour is also part of the students' experience, and serves to bring our music beyond the boundaries of the University and enrich the musical lives of audiences both near and far. The Concert Chorale is a larger ensemble open to Eastern students, faculty, staff and community members that focuses on choral and orchestral masterworks.

On April 23 at 7:30 p.m., students enrolled in Riggs' Chamber Music Repertoire course will perform chamber music from the Baroque period to the present. The majority of ensemble members are enrolled in private lessons as vocalists or instrumentalists and contribute their talent to the Chamber Music Recital to entertain students, faculty, staff and the local community.

On April 25 at 7:30 p.m., the Eastern Concert Band will present an evening of entertaining classics and lighter fare from the wind band repository. The Concert Band is a unique blend of more than 80 musicians composted of Eastern students, faculty, alumni, local music educators and talented musicians from the eastern Connecticut area. Performance repertoire includes classic band literature as well as challenging works from contemporary composers.

On April 27 at 7:30 p.m., the Eastern Jazz Ensemble will perform a variety of big band music featuring multi-talented student soloists. This ensemble is a traditional Big Band that plays music from a variety of styles and eras in the jazz idiom. Focusing on traditional and contemporary jazz composers, the ensemble also incorporates jazz improvisation into their unique and entertaining performances.

On April 28 at 2:30 p.m., the Eastern Opera Workshop will present "The Things We Do for Love," featuring an afternoon of scenes from opera and operetta. From comedy to tragedy, student performers will perform scenes that explore "the crazy things we do for love."

On April 29 at 2:30 p.m., the Eastern Percussion Ensembles will perform a concert featuring the Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Group and World Percussion Ensemble to entertain audiences with a variety of music for large and small percussion ensembles from different eras and cultures.

On April 29 at 7:30 p.m., the Music Program will present "New Music at Eastern," featuring performances of new compositions by several talented student musicians.

On April 30 at 7:30 p.m., student performers of the 3 O' Clock Band will celebrate International Jazz Day with a performance of jazz tunes from a variety of eras, ranging from standards and bebop to modern jazz and rock. The Jazz Combo "3 O'Clock Band" is a small student ensemble that focuses on improvisation.

"These performances highlight the variety of music study occurring on our campus every day - in our studios, practice rooms and rehearsal halls," said Riggs. "From opera to global percussion, whatever your interests, you are certain to find something on our calendar that excites you!"

Written by Jolene Potter


Eastern is the state of Connecticut's public liberal arts university, serving more than 5,300 students annually at its Willimantic campus and satellite locations. In addition to attracting students from 163 of Connecticut's 169 towns, Eastern also draws students from 20 other states and 29 other countries. A residential campus offering 40 majors and 65 minors, Eastern offers students a strong liberal art foundation grounded in an array of applied learning opportunities. Eastern has been awarded "Green Campus" status by the Princeton Review eight years in a row. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu.

It is the policy of Eastern Connecticut State University to ensure equal access to its events. If you are an individual with a disability and will need accommodations for this event, please contact the Office of University Relations at (860) 465-5735.