School of Music

USM School of Music Announces Concert Lineup for Spring 2014 Semester

Corthell Hall

January 8, 2013

GORHAM, Maine – The University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Music has announced a dynamic lineup of concerts, guest artists and public programming for the spring 2014 semester.

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.

“People who come to Gorham this semester will join us on a musical journey from winter into spring,” said Alan Kaschub, director of the USM School of Music. “The USM Faculty Concert Series begins in frozen January with Schubert's ‘Die Winterreise’ and we'll celebrate the spring thaw with his ‘Trout Quintet.’ In between, there will be exciting performances by our faculty, students and youth ensemble members that will warm our souls and prepare us for another beautiful Maine spring.”

The USM Faculty Concert Series will include performances by Malcolm Smith, artist faculty in voice; Anastasia Antonacos, artist faculty in piano; Wren Saunders, artist faculty in bassoon; and Robert Lehmann, artist faculty in violin and viola and director of string studies and orchestral activities. The artist faculty members will perform works by Franz Schubert, Franz Liszt, Leoš Janáček, modern composer Cecilia McDowall, Beethoven, François Devienne, Béla Bartok and Bohuslav Martinů.

The USM School of Music and Department of Theatre co-produce a musical or opera each year and this season it will be “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” a sassy and saucy “who-dunnit” musical murder mystery that has the audience playing detective and even guessing who the murderer is!

Portland Ovations, in collaboration with the USM School of Music, will present the world premiere of “The Summer King,” with music by Sonenberg, and libretto by Sonenberg and Daniel Nester, this coming May at the Merrill Auditorium. The National Endowment for the Arts recently awarded a $15,000 grant to Sonenberg, which will be used to produce the premiere. USM School of Music faculty will comprise the majority of the orchestra for the opera.

Several guest artists will take to the Corthell Concert Hall stage this semester. Paul Wyse, Maine pianist and portrait painter, will perform in the USM Faculty Concert Series; Irina Muresanu, Boston-based Romanian-American violinist, will hold a master class in violin; and Ronald Lantz, prominent Maine violinist, will present a Valentine’s Day concert with Laura Kargul, USM professor of music and director of keyboard studies.

The School of Music will offer online ticketing for the first time starting this month. In the past, patrons were able to reserve seating online, but had to arrange a separate payment. Reservations and payment can now both be made via the School of Music website: There is a $1.50 surcharge for online ticketing. Patrons can continue to make seating reservations and payment via phone by calling (207) 780-5555 or in person at Corthell Hall on the USM Gorham campus.

The USM School of Music 2013-2014 season includes the following corporate and patron sponsors: Aramark; Gorham Savings Bank; Macpage LLC; Macy’s; Murray, Plumb & Murray; Norway Savings Banks; Portland Volvo; Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution; Dr. Dahlia and Arthur L. Handman; and the USM School of Music Advisory Board.

2014 Winter/Spring Season At a Glance

All events are open to the public and take place in the Corthell Concert Hall on the USM Gorham Campus, 37 College Avenue, Gorham, unless otherwise noted.


  • An Evening of Schubert’s “Die Winterreise”
    8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 24 (Snow date: 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31)
    As snow envelopes southern Maine, we invite you to join artist faculty Malcolm Smith, bass, and guest artist Paul Wyse, piano, to embark on a winter journey with Franz Schubert’s timeless song cycle, “Die Winterreise.”
    Ticket A


  • Violin Master Class with Irina Muresanu
    2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8 (Snow date: 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 9)
    Irina Muresanu, Boston-based Romanian-American violinist, is a top-prize winner of numerous international violin competitions, including the Queen Elizabeth Violin, Montreal International and Washington International. She has won the hearts of audiences and critics alike with her exciting, elegant and heartfelt performances of the classic, romantic and modern repertoire. Muresanu will work with USM School of Music violin students in her Master Class. Students from all disciplines and the general public are welcome to attend. Free and open to the public. 
  • Highlights from Handel’s “Acis and Galatea”
    8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8 (Snow date: 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12)
    The Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Lehmann, USM director of string studies and orchestral activities, will perform Edward Grieg's “From Holberg's Time” and Alan Hovhaness’ “Psalm and Fugue,” which will be guest conducted by Sam Lyons, senior USM music education major. In collaboration with the USM Opera Workshop, directed by Ellen Chickering, USM professor of voice, the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra will present highlights from George Frideric Handel’s baroque opera “Acis and Galatea,” conducted by Lehmann.
    Ticket B 
  • Valentine's Day with Lantz and Kargul: "To Clara, With Love"
    8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14 (Snow date: 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15)
    Violinist Ronald Lantz and pianist Laura Kargul, USM professor of music and director of keyboard studies, will explore the highly charged and intriguing relationships between Robert Schumann, Clara Wieck Schumann and Johannes Brahms by sharing their intimate letters and passionately romantic works. 
    Ticket A


  • “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
    A musical by Rupert Holmes
    Directed by Wil Kilroy
    Musical Direction by Edward Reichert
    Choreography by Vanessa Beyland
    A co-production of the USM Department of Theatre and School of Music
    March 14-March 23
    7:30 p.m., Friday, March 14 and March 21 
    7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 15 and March 22 
    5 p.m., Sunday, March 16 and March 23 
    10 a.m., Tuesday, March 18 (high school matinee) 
    5 p.m., Wednesday, March 19 (all seats $10) 
    7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 20 
    Russell Hall, USM Gorham campus, 37 College Ave., Gorham
    Charles Dickens died before he could finish his extraordinary murder novel, and that is only the beginning of the mystery. Both sinister and hilarious, this Tony Award-winning musical picks up where Dickens left off. This is like no theatre you’ve ever seen, where the audience plays detective and even votes on who the murderer is. Come see the show that is never the same twice!
    Tickets: $21, general public; $15, seniors, USM employees and alumni; $10 students. . Wednesday, March 19 matinee: all seats are $10. 
    Call (207) 780-5151 or go to:
  • “Something Old, Something New”
    CD Pre-Release Concert

    8 p.m., Saturday, March 15 (Snow date: 8 p.m., Sunday, March 16)
    Anastasia Antonacos, USM School of Music piano artist faculty, presents an evening of both classical and contemporary works, featuring compelling selections by Leoš Janácek and Franz Liszt and an expressive modern piece by British composer Cecilia McDowall.
    Ticket A 
  • Graduate Showcase Concert
    8 p.m., Friday, March 21
    USM School of Music students poised to graduate in the spring of 2014 will display their tremendous talent and skill in this annual showcase concert. Numerous musical styles will be featured, under the direction of Ellen Chickering, USM professor of voice.
    Free and open to the public. 
  • An Evening of Chamber Music for Winds and Strings
    8 p.m.,Friday, March 28
    Corthell Concert Hall, USM Gorham campus, 37 College Ave., Gorham
    Bassoon artist faculty Wren Saunders presents an evening of masterworks including Saint-Saens' “Sonata for Bassoon and Piano;” one of Beethoven's most treasured chamber works, “Septet in E-flat, Op. 20”; a delightful piece for bassoon and string trio by the "French Mozart," François Devienne; and the fabulous and fun “Till Eulenspiegel, Einmal Anders!” ("For once differently!"). Saunders will be joined by several USM School of Music artist faculty including: Robert Lehmann, violin; Kimberly Lehmann, viola; John Boden, horn; Tom Parchman, clarinet; William Rounds, cello; George Calvert, bass; and George Lopez, piano.
    Ticket A 


  • USM Chamber Singers Spring Concert
    7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 8
    Williston-Immanuel United Church, 156 High St., Portland
    The USM Chamber Singers are the university’s premiere a cappella vocal ensemble. Their annual spring concert, conducted by Robert Russell, professor of music and choral activities, will feature three selections from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s“All-Night Vigil,” Murray Schafer’s atmospheric “Epitaph for Moonlight,” Eric Whitacre’s “Water Night,”the continuation of the premiere season of USM sophomore music major Matthew LaBerge’s “Guiding Light,” and spirituals from the African-American tradition.
    $12 suggested donation at the door; open seating
  • USM Youth Ensembles Spring Instrumental Concert
    7 p.m., Thursday, April 10
    Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland
    This annual spring concert is a wonderful showcase of the talent and skill of Southern Maine’s young musicians. The performance includes:
    - Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Lehmann;
    - Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, conducted by Norman Huynh;
    - Portland Youth People's String Consort, conducted by Deborah Dabczynski;
    - Portland Youth Junior Orchestra, conducted by Ferdinand Liva.
    $8/$5 suggested donation at the door; open seating.
    This concert is sponsored by Macy’s.
  • Schubert’s“Trout Quintet”and Others
    8 p.m., Friday, April 11
    Robert Lehmann, USM School of Music violin artist faculty, presents one of the most prized chamber works of all time, Schubert's “Trout Quintet.” Truly a piece to be performed with and for friends, the work overflows with a combination of Schubert's innate Viennese elegance and charm, his endless variation techniques and songful lyricism.  A short journey to the east brings works by Béla Bartok and Bohuslav Martinů, each filled with eastern European folk flavors and brilliant colors. Lehmann will be joined by Kimberly Lehmann, viola; Eliza Meyer, cello; George Calvert, bass; and George Lopez, piano.
    The concert is sponsored by the USM School of Music Advisory Board. 
    Ticket A 
  • University Chorale Spring Concert
    2 p.m., Saturday, April 12
    Woodfords Congregational Church, 202 Woodford St., Portland
    The University Chorale is a group of more than 70 singers conducted by Robert Russell, USM professor of music and choral studies. In this annual spring concert, the group will perform Bach’s “Jesu, der du meine Seele,” the premiere performance of emerging composer Travis Ramsey's “Be Not Afeard” and the premiere of the revised edition of Stuart Gillespie's “Song of  Freedom.” 
    Ticket B
  • 37th Annual Honors Recital
    8 p.m., Saturday, April 12
    The 37th Annual Honors Recital recognizes excellence in undergraduate solo perfor­mance. A music student must be nominated and then selected by audition to perform.
    The recital is sponsored by Gorham Savings Bank.
    Free and open to the public; reservations recommended.
  • Opera Scenes Concert
    2 p.m., Sunday, April 13
    Each semester, students studying Voice Performance or Music Education join the USM Opera Workshop and work under the direction of Ellen Chickering, USM professor of voice. The group will perform in costume, featuring a variety of pieces from well-known operas, along with piano accompaniment.
    Ticket B
  • USM Jazz Ensemble
    7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 24
    The USM Jazz Ensemble is a student group that epitomizes “big band” sound, working under the direction of Christopher Oberholtzer, USM professor of music and director of jazz studies. The ensemble will perform traditional swing music, as well as innovative compositions and arrangements. 
    Ticket B 
  • USM Vocal Jazz Ensembles
    8 p.m., Friday, April 25
    The USM Vocal Jazz Ensemble is a chamber-sized group of students who work under the direction of Brent LaCasce, USM vocal jazz artist faculty. The ensemble will perform intricate arrangements of jazz standards, as well as pieces written specifically for vocal jazz ensembles. Per the ensemble’s custom, the performance will include improvised vocal solos.
    Ticket B 
  • Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra
    Featuring 2014 Concerto/Aria Competition Winners
    2 p.m., Saturday, April 26
    Gorham Middle School Auditorium, 106 Weeks Rd., Gorham
    The USM School of Music presents the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Lehmann, USM director of string studies and orchestral activities, in concert with the winners of the USM School of Music 2014 Concerto/Aria Competition.
    Ticket B 
  • Composers Showcase Concert
    8 p.m., Saturday, April 26
    The USM Composers Ensemble is a group of more than 30 students who work collaboratively to rehearse and debut pieces that each student individually composes, under the direction of Dan Sonenberg, USM associate professor of Music and resident composer. Each semester culminates with a final Showcase Concert, which features the ensemble performing wholly original work.
    Free and open to the public. 
  • USM Concert Band
    2 p.m., Sunday, April 27
    McCormack Performing Arts Center, Gorham High School, 41 Morrill Ave, Gorham
    The USM Concert Band will perform in the final student ensemble concert of the 2013-2014 USM School of Music season, conducted by Robert Lehmann, USM director of string studies and orchestral activities.


  • “The Summer King”
    An Opera on the life of Josh Gibson
    Music by Daniel Sonenberg
    Libretto by Daniel Sonenberg and Daniel Nester
    7:30 p.m., May 8
    Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland
    A Portland Ovations’ commission and world premiere, “The Summer King” is a new American opera by Maine–based composer Daniel Sonenberg, USM associate professor and resident composer, who co-wrote the libretto with poet Daniel Nester. Presented in concert form in collaboration with the USM School of Music, “The Summer King” is about the life and legacy of Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson. A hulking catcher, Gibson’s prodigious talent with a bat earned him the moniker “the black Babe Ruth,” and secured him a spot as the second Negro League ballplayer ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The opera portrays the injustice Gibson suffered at the hands of baseball’s “Gentlemen’s Agreement” and also the thriving culture, characterized by black-owned teams, stadiums and taverns, nightlife and humor.
    Tickets: $42; $35; $10, students.
    Call PortTix at (207) 842-0800 or go to:
  • USM Youth Ensembles Spring Choral Concert
    Wednesday, May 14 at 7 p.m.
    This annual spring concert brings together the Southern Maine Youth Chorale, conducted by Shannon Chase, and the Southern Maine Children's Choir, conducted by Paul McGovern. The chorale is comprised of singers in grades seven-12, and the choir is comprised of singers in grades four and up. The groups rehearse at the USM School of Music throughout the winter and spring and present a final concert to showcase their talent and musicianship.
    The concert is sponsored by Macy’s. 
    $8/$5 Suggested donation at the door; open seating 

For tickets and reservations go to: or call the USM Music Box Office at (207) 780-5555. For special accommodations, call (207) 780-5142, TTY: 780-5646.

Ticket A: $15, general public; $10, seniors, USM employees and alumni; $5 students.
Ticket B: $8, general admission; $5, students, seniors, USM employees and alumni.

Snow Dates and Inclement Weather
Several events scheduled in January, February and early March include snow dates. In the case of inclement weather, patrons should call (207) 780-4800. Cancellations or rescheduled concerts will be noted on the School of Music website:



Auditions for: Portland Youth Symphony Orchestras, Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, and Youth Choirs

USM Youth Ensembles

The USM Youth Ensembles invite young musicians and singers (ages 8-18) to audition for the following ensembles.

Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra
Portland Youth Wind Ensemble
Portland Youth Junior Orchestra
Portland Young Peoples String Consort
Southern Maine Youth Chorale
Southern Maine Children's Choir

Learn More


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