School of Music

USM Spotlight Concert features musical theatre and Broadway favorites

Marie Pressman and Ed Reichert, "Hear My Song"

Ed Reichert and Marie PressmanGuest vocalist Marie Pressman and USM School of Music professor, Ed Reichert, return to Corthell Concert Hall for one night only with their unique stylings of musical theater and contemporary composers. After a 10 year hiatus from cabaret/concert performances, the pair will reunite to entertain with newer music by Ryan Scott Oliver, Jason Robert Brown, Adam Guettel, and Maury Yeston, as well as fresh and exciting arrangements of songs by Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, & Stephen Sondheim. The program will also feature their signature song, Jonathan Wesley Oliver, Jr. by beloved composer and colleague, Tom Brown.

The concert will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 25, 2013 in Corthell Concert Hall on the USM Gorham campus. Tickets are $15 for the general public; $10 for seniors, USM employees and alumni; and $5 for students. Reservations can be made online at usm.maine.edu/music/boxoffice, or by calling the USM Music Box Office at (207) 780-5555.

Creating a production company called Big 2 Do Productions in the early 90s, the performing partnership of Pressman and Reichert impressed and delighted audiences when they created cabaret style entertainment in Portland. (Does anyone remember The Cave...downstairs lounge at Zootz?)  Their ground-breaking show Loved Her, Hated Him! lead to engagements at the famed NYC cabaret Eighty-Eights, Sanibel Island, and North Conway, NH.  The duo went on to produce and perform small cast musicals in Maine and Florida before returning to cabaret and concert hall shows. They earned praise for the numerous appearances, most notably performances of  Broadway composer Maury Yeston's song cycle, December Songs, as well as The Diva concerts at The Portland Museum of Art, LeFrak Concert Hall (Queens College), Nantucket, Roundtop Center for the Arts, and USM's Corthell Concert Hall.  They performed and recorded Yeston's song cycle about 6 years ago with Yeston sitting in the audience!

Back in the 90's, Ed & Marie were very active and supportive of the local chapter of The NAMES Project.  They produced annual benefits and performed at countless displays/celebrations with panels from The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.  The song Jonathan Wesley Oliver Jr. became an anthem for the Quilt with their help and Mr. Brown's blessing. 

Reichert, as director and Pressman as a cast member, met in 1990 when the pair gained notoriety with the musical, Nunsense, presented to sold out audiences at Portland Players and Catherine McCauley HS. Their talents drew them together professionally and personally, as life-long friends.

Pressman considers her work with Reichert always a collaboration: "The lens through which our selections are shaped is a combined effort but over the years, I have come to rely heavily on Ed's inventive vision and his incomparable directing and coaching. I may be front and center but our performances are like taking a breath together and holding hands over the sometimes rocky road of performing solo in front of a live audience."

This performance is a must-see for musical theater lovers!

Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, larsenault@usm.maine.edu. Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.

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Auditions for Community Area Musicians

Youth vocalists, Southern Maine Children's Choir (treble voices grades 4 and up) and Southern Maine Youth Chorale (middle/high school mixed voices) will hold auditions on Wednesday, September 3 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Schedule online.

Adult musicians, Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra auditions will be held on Wednesday, September 3 at 7 p.m. More information.

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