USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee

Current and recent projects supported by the committee

2018/2019 Music




2017/2018 TheatreAll Things Irish

A semester-long celebration of all things Irish, in keeping with the University of Southern Maine Department of Theatre's Spring 2018 season, featuring a musical collaboration between Theatre and the School of Music, A Man of No Importance, set in 1964 Dublin, Ireland, and The Importance of Being Earnest, a trivial comedy for serious people by Irish poet and playwright, Ocar Wilde. 

The Department of Theatre invites the USM and Gorham communities to join in our joyful celebration of the rich Irish culture of theatre, film, song, dance, and cuisine!





2016/2017 Art

 Indian on IndianGeorge Longfish: Indian on Indian

Artist, educator, writer, and curator George Longfish (Seneca/Tuscarora) has been instrumental in shaping the field of contemporary Native American art for over forty years. The gallery has commissioned a video interview of Longfish by one of his former students, filmmaker Asata Radcliffe. Along with the USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee, this exhibit is sponsored in part by the The Warren Memorial Foundation Visiting Artist Series.





Theatre, Music and Art

Molded By the Flow

Molded By the Flow: A Poetic, Visual and Musical Narrative

A poetic, visual and musical narrative inspired by Southern Maine’s rich natural and human history. Molded by the Flow explores how the state’s rivers, ocean, weather, plants and animals have inspired diverse groups of people to inhabit the area, and thereby shape the landscape and the history of Maine. A project of the Libra Professorship at USM.





2015/2016 Music (1) and Theatre (2)

Uhadi, South African Jazz

Uhadi, South African Jazz in Concert
April 10, 2016
Corthell Concert Hall

Uhadi is an all-star group of South African jazz musicians, most of whom are leaders of their own bands and have been fixtures of the South African jazz scene since the 1970's during Apartheid. They were formed in 2014, and toured Europe and the USA in 2015 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Apartheid's end. The tour included a week of performances at New York's famed Lincoln Center. The members are a virtual history of South African jazz and have performed throughout the African continent and Europe, and appeared on numerous albums both as leaders and as sidemen. Uhadi returned to the USA in the spring of 2016 and performed at Lincoln Center, as well as at Princeton University, Bard College, the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, and at the USM School of Music. Artist Faculty member Gary Wittner taught and performed with members of Uhadi in South Africa in 2006 and 2008 as a Fulbright Grant Recipient, and performed with the group in Woodstock, NY last April, and performed with them again on this tour both at USM and at Bard College. The concert at USM was be preceded by a Q/A session (at 5 p.m.) about life as an artist under apartheid in South Africa.

Uhadi is:  McCoy Mrubata (sax), Feya Faku (trumpet), Paul Hanmer (piano), Herbie Tsoaeli (bass) and Justin Badenhorst (drums).





USM Big Band Ballroom Bash

November 21, 2015
Hill Gym at the Costello Sports Complex, USM Gorham Campus

This event was the culmination of an Artists and Athletes initiative on the Gorham campus, hosted by the USM Department of Athletics, Department of Campus Life, School of Music and Department of Theatre. The Portland Jazz Orchestra and USM Jazz Ensemble, both directed by Christopher Oberholtzer, and the USM student ballroom dance studio of Maria Tzianabos, along with professional dancers, hosted this event for the greater community. Over 200 people were in attendance, and it was such a great success that it may become an annual event.





2014/2015 Music (1) and Theatre (2)

1. James Kallembach Residency at the USM School of Music
March 5, 6 and 7, 2015
Corthell Hall, USM Gorham Campus

James KallembachJames Kallembach is the Choral Director at the University of Chicago. He is a composer, conductor and champion of new music for voice. In his three day residency here at USM, he will work with our composers in individual meetings, work with our chamber singers on his own works, and give a masterclass that will be open to the public. His residency will conclude with a recital that will feature the world premiere of his song cycle “Four Romantic Songs” with Artist Faculty Elisabeth Marshall as the soloist and another world premiere of his a cappella choral work titled “Magnificat” which will be performed by the USM Chamber Singers.

Kallembach, as a composer of both art song and choral works is a composer who considers carefully the texts he is setting. This residency features Kallembach in a Friday evening presentation for the general student body. This presentation will focus on the art of setting text to music. In collaboration with the Department of English, this presentation will be designed to be of interest to students who are not necessarily music majors.

James Kallembach Residency events include:

Composition Master Class, James Kallembach
Featuring USM student composers

Friday, March 6
1 - 4 p.m.
Corthell Concert Hall

Setting Texts to Music, James Kallembach
Friday, March 6,
6 p.m.
Room 112 Corthell Hall

Concert: 21st Century American Song
Featuring two world premieres by James Kallembach
Elisabeth Marshall, soprano
Anastasia Antonacos, piano
USM Chamber Singers
Robert Russell, conductor
Saturday, March 7
8 p.m.
Corthell Concert Hall

The James Kallembach Residency is funded in part by the
USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee,
College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. 


Bill Bowers2) Bill Bowers Residency in the USM Department of Theatre
April 20 and 21, 2015
Russell Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Broadway credited Bill Bowers, (The Lion King), is coming to the USM Gorham campus to present a performance based workshop in the Department of Theatre that is open to all USM community members. His one-man show titled: It Goes Without Saying is open to the campus and general community. This 75 minute performance is a collection of autobiographical stories, documenting Bowers’ life from growing up in the wilds of Montana to national/international performances and his studies with the legendary Marcel Marceau.

Bowers will present as a guest in Theatre Workshop class, from approximately 2:15-3:15 on Monday, April 20. This talk will be open to the USM community. After the talk, students will be assigned to assist Bowers in the tech of his show, which will be presented in front of the As You Like It set with general lighting and a soundtrack which Bowers will provide. On Tuesday afternoon, Bowers will present a participatory workshop, open to all, and at 7:30 pm that evening, April 21st, his one-man performance - free and open to the public.

Bill Bowers Residency events include:

Public Lecture by Bill Bowers
Monday, April 20
1 - 4 p.m.
Main Stage, Russell Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Participatory Workshop with Bill Bowers
Tuesday afternoon

Evening Performance, It Goes Without Saying
Bill Bowers

Tuesday, April 21
7:30 p .m.
Main Stage, Russell Hall, Gorham Campus

The Bill Bowers Residency is made possible with funding from theUSM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee,College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Past projects:

2013/2014 Focus on Art

Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran

Contemporary Photography from Iran is an art exhibition of more than 60 works of photography and video installations by 20 of Iran’s most celebrated photographers. The exhibition is located in the Art Gallery on the USM Gorham campus, and the AREA Gallery located in the Woodbury Campus Center, Portland campus. Admission to each gallery is free.

The exhibition gathers personal perspectives of contemporary Iran filtered through individual sensibilities, while simultaneously addressing public concerns. Persian Visions was developed by Hamid Severi for the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran and Gary Hallman of the Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota and toured by International Arts & Artists in Washington, D.C.

Click here for more information.

This program is sponsored by the USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee, and supported in part by grants from the ILEX Foundation; the University of Minnesota McKnight Arts and Humanities Endowment; and the Department of Art and Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota.


Also in 2013-2014

Samba at USM

Visiting professor Philip Galinsky, Ph.D. (ethnomusicology) will lead a 90 minute performance workshop that will provide USM students with a unique opportunity to experience samba through performing it under the supervision of an expert on Brazilian music.The workshop will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26, 2013 in Corthell Concert Hall on the USM Gorham campus, and is is free and open to the public. Participation is open to USM students who attend.

Galinsky is the director of the well-known New York City group Samba New York!, which has performed on the Dr. Oz Show and the Today Show, among other venues. He has been traveling to Brazil for twenty years, as a researcher and performer, and leader of study abroad trips.

USM's Samba in Rio course is being offered in February 2014 by USM International Programs and led by Dr. Galinsky and USM's musicologist, Paul Christiansen. For more information about the winter course, visit:

This program is made possible with support from the
USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee and Bates College,
in collaboration with the USM School of Music.

2012/2013 Focus on Music

Da Capo Chamber Players Residency

Since its founding in 1970, the Da Capo Chamber Players has established itself as one of the foremost new music groups in the United States.  The group’s mission is to give new works the dedicated attention and exciting performances consistent with the highest musical standards in traditional repertoire.  Da Capo is a leader in building a strong heritage of present-day American chamber music: the group is known not only for exceptional artistry but also for the wealth of new compositions written for them.  Over the years, more than 80 chamber music works have been written especially for them by composers ranging from Philip Glass to Milton Babbit, Joan Tower, Jeffrey Mumford, and Su Lian Tan. The residency by this Naumberg Award-winning ensemble coincided with activities and events beneficial to students, faculty, and staff, and the general public.

This program was sponsored by the USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee, and made possible in part with public funds from the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.



In 2012-2013, the USM Gorham Cultural Affairs committee also supported the following Theatre project:

Acting With Archetypes

Ever present in classic mythology, literature, psychology, art, as well as in our own thoughts and memories, archetypes exist as energies and characters that have spanned time and culture. Utilizing breath, movement, voice, and imagination, participants explored several archetypes that enhance character development, deepen connection between text and action, and heighten intuition. The workshop culminated in a public performance of songs, stories, and activities that demonstrate this powerful work. Josh Chenard is an Assistant Professor of Acting at New Mexico State University.  Josh has taught workshops and classes all over the country from Los Angeles to Atlanta to New York.  A certified instructor of the Michael Chekhov technique, Josh is also an Associate Teacher candidate of Fitzmaurice Voicework®.

The Archetypes Workshop and Performance was held on Saturday and Sunday. Then on Sunday evening the public performance was held on the Russell Hall Main Stage.

For more information, contact Emmanuelle Chaulet, (207) 780-5146,

This event was sponsored by the  USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee



2011/2012 Focus on Theatre

[Un]Spoken Maine"[Un]Spoken Maine" The USM Theatre Department, Add Verb Productions/UNE, USM Gorham Cultural Affairs Committee, USM Campus Safety Project and USM Women & Gender Studies partner to sponsor [Un]Spoken Maine.

The [Un]Spoken Maine Project is a collection of student-written performances pieces about sexual health, communication, and safety. An ensemble of twelve actors will perform thirteen pieces that address such wide-ranging issues as first sexual experiences, domestic abuse, bystander intervention, and sexual identity. All of the actors are USM students.

Performances are free & one hour long

  • Monday, March 19, 2012 at 7:30 p.m, Russell Hall, USM Gorham campus
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at Noon, UNE Ludke Auditorium, Stevens Ave., Portland. 
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at Noon, UNE Ludke Auditorium, Stevens Ave., Portland.

The [Un]Spoken Maine Project formed the core of a new education program for incoming students with the goal of promoting healthy relationships and preventing and better responding to interpersonal violence in the campus community.
Following each performance all audience members are asked to fill out a brief survey assessing the impact, effectiveness, relevance, and overall presentation of the show.  Community feedback, particularly that of students is key to crafting an effective orientation program.