School of Music
A free film series, starting this Sunday afternoon and open to the public, will highlight the history of the American musical theatre and feature some of its top productions, from vaudeville to the latest Broadway hits. The series, which includes a range of movies from the first filmed version of “Porgy and Bess” to the award-winning “Rent,” is presented as part of a unique class being offered this semester at the University of Southern Maine School of Music, under the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
“Die Winterreise” is a cycle comprising 24 songs, which features lyrics from a Wilhelm Müller poetry collection. Schubert’s piece balances the role of the singer and the pianist equally; the lyrical interpretation and piano’s rhythm present an atmospheric story of yearning set amidst the beauty of nature cloaked in winter.
The schedule includes the popular USM Faculty Concert Series; a murder mystery musical co-produced with the USM Department of Theatre; USM Youth Ensembles; student ensembles; and the world premiere of “The Summer King, an opera by Daniel Sonenberg, USM associate professor and resident composer.
Each group will sing a variety of songs, including festive holiday favorites and audience sing-alongs.
The evening includes live music reflecting the theme of “A Venetian Season of Light” from start to finish, with School of Music student ensembles featured at every turn. A backdrop of holiday music will greet attendees as they arrive; a festive banquet includes tableside serenading; there is a grand centerpiece concert featuring works by Vivaldi, Gabrieli, Scarlatti, Rossini and Monteverdi; and the night concludes with dessert, coffee and a performance by the USM String Quartet.
The concert, conducted by Robert Russell, USM professor of music and choral studies, will feature timeless classics, exuberant and uncommon holiday pieces, a USM School of Music student’s world premiere and the group’s signature yuletide song, “Bethelehemu,” which invites School of Music alumni to join in.
Performance jitters are a given during music auditions, but local students will be able to learn exactly what to expect when applying to a top-flight music school through a unique collaboration between the University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Music and the Portland Conservatory of Music.
The concert, “Unfinished Masterpieces: Schubert’s ‘Unfinished Symphony’ and Mozart’s ‘Requiem,’” includes high school chamber groups from the following Maine towns: Freeport, Newcastle, Westbrook, Gorham and South Portland.
The melodies of Radiohead, Prince, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, and other contemporary pop and rock artists will fill the University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Music’s Corthell Concert Hall when Brent LaCasce, USM artist faculty in vocal jazz, and the USM Faculty Jazz Ensemble present “The New Standard,” later this month.
“The USM Youth Ensembles annual fall instrumental concert is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a vibrant musical community made up of talented young musicians, an engaged university and thriving music programs in area schools,” said Alan Kaschub, director of the USM School of Music.