International Singing

July 18th, 2014 by Lynn

    Georgia Noonan is pictured with children of Chile during her May visit to the South American country with her singing group from Plymouth State College. Courtesy Photo.

    Raymond resident Georgia Noonan will be a junior this September at Plymouth State University where she is part of the college’s elite Chamber Singers. The group goes on an international tour every three years and were able to tour Chile for two weeks this past May. The students flew to Santiago and spent three days exploring the city. From there they took a bus to Viña Del Mar and Valpariso and spent three nights in host homes. In those cities the singers went to elementary schools to give concerts and workshops with the children.

    The trip then took them to Valdivia, which is in southern Chile. While visiting there they did workshops with students at the Universidad de Chile Valdivia and more elementary schools in the area. The final four nights were spent in Puerto Mont, which is very far south. The Universidad de Austral Puerto Mont paid for the group to stay in a nice bed and breakfast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Georgia is looking forward to another trip overseas during her senior year at Plymouth.

     

    Piano Monster Camp at PSU celebrates 22nd year

    June 19th, 2014 by Lynn

      Student concerts on June 25 and 29 open to the public

      PLYMOUTH — A summer festival devoted to teaching aspiring pianists is celebrating its 22nd year on the campus of Plymouth State University.

      The Piano Monster Festival serves as an intensive learning experience for piano players in grades five through 12. Sponsored by the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance, the camp gives students the opportunity to spend time with peers, learn to perform in an ensemble setting, and work under the direction of a conductor. The camps conclude with final concerts at Silver Center for the Arts. Junior campers will perform on Wednesday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m., and Seniors on Sunday, June 29 at 4 p.m.

      Piano Monster founder and Director Carleen Graff, PSU Professor of Music, noted anyone who appreciates music is urged to attend the concerts:

      “The public will enjoy the unique experience of hearing and seeing multiple pianos played simultaneously by 32 hands, or 160 fingers, under the direction of a conductor. Numerous interesting pieces will be performed, including The Pink Panther theme, rags, marches, selections from the Sound of Music, works by classical composers Grieg, Tchaikovsky, and Moszkowski, and original compositions by Robert Vandall. In addition, the Festival Chorus will sing at the Junior Camp concert, and a vocal ensemble and hand bell choir will perform at the Senior Camp concert. Both concerts will include digital keyboard orchestras,” Graff explains.

      Internationally recognized composer Robert Vandall is returning for his third year as instructor and conductor. Vandall has travelled extensively throughout the US, presenting workshops to teacher groups and directing large piano ensembles.

      Tickets are available for $8 at the Silver Center Box Office, 535-ARTS(2787) or (800) 779-3869, or may be purchased online at http://silver.plymouth.edu.

       

      PSU Theatre presents staged reading of “King Lear”

      February 20th, 2014 by Lynn

        PLYMOUTH — The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Plymouth State University will host a staged reading of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22 in the Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center for the Arts.

        The program features professional director and actor John Briggs, a well-known and highly praised director and adaptor of Shakespeare’s plays, as King Lear. Briggs has created and directed provocative adaptations of Shakespeare for Georgia Shakespeare Festival, including “Hamlet, Godfather of Brooklyn”; “The Merchant of Venice: 1938”; “Macbeth” and “Richard III”; the “Cowboy Comedy of Errors,” and “Julio Cesar” (for which he received critical recognition in the prestigious Shakespeare Quarterly. At Plymouth State, Briggs has directed “Ah! Wilderness,” “Eleemosynary,” “Ghost Sonata,” and “Illyria” (a musical adaptation of “Twelfth Night”).

        A staged reading “ … is concerned with the play proper, without visual elements and other production values. The audience is expected to hear the ideas and intent of the playwright through the actors’ interpretation, and that is its beauty,” according to Briggs.

        PSU Director of Theatre, Paul Mroczka, says Lear is an amazing character.

        “He’s king of a great realm and a father with a very big ego. He makes a fatherly mistake when he misinterprets his daughter Cordelia’s decision not to praise him with overly zealous proclamations of love as a sign that she does not love him at all. His other two daughters have openly proclaimed their love for him, but Cordelia thinks their praise is hollow. Lear, in a fit of fatherly anger and kingly misguidance, banishes Cordelia who really does love him, and gives his kingdom to the other two daughters who soon turn against him, making him a homeless and aging man,” Mroczka says.

        Mroczka says “Lear” is about love, both false and true, and how parents can interpret praise as love and misinterpret truth as a lack of love.

        “It’s a human tale about fathers and daughters, families and united and divided nations,” he says.

        Other readers include PSU Theatre Arts majors Andrew Kelley, a senior from Westminster, Mass.; Tomer Oz, a senior from Exeter; Chase Perkins, a senior from Manchester; Beau James, a senior from Nashua; Evan Grande, a junior from Kingston, Mass.; Hayden Sterns, a junior from Windham, Ct., Danielle Aucoin, a senior from Hudson; Katrina Chamberlain, a senior from Candia; Jackie Goodrich, a sophomore from Newfields; and Meg Anchukaitis, a senior from Walpole, Mass. Also, Eben Brown, a senior Music Education Major from Dorchester.

        Ensemble readers are Theatre Arts majors Leo Curran, a first-year student from Braintree, Mass.; Kayla Fernekees, a senior from Salem; and Julia Arey, a junior from Tewksbury, Mass.

        Tickets for this staged reading are $6 for all seats, at the Silver Center Box Office, 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.

        Information about the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance is online at www.plymouth.edu/department/mtd.

        General information about programs and events at Plymouth State University is online at ThisWeek@PSU, http://www.thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.

        PSU Theatre Program presents “The Pleasure Men” Nov. 21-24

        November 21st, 2013 by Lynn

          PLYMOUTH — The Department of Music Theatre and Dance at Plymouth State University will present “The Pleasure Men” Nov. 21-24 in the studio theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts.

          “The Pleasure Men” is a deconstruction of Mae West’s infamous 1928 play, “The Pleasure Man.” The production portrays West as a character, and connects the play in relevant and revealing ways to contemporary life.

          In addition to rehearsals, the cast is taking a course called “Actor as Creator” where they are learning the process and theory of devising a work. When rehearsals begin, they will have opportunities to apply the theory they learn in class.

          “The Pleasure Men” is a physical theatre work containing original music, popular jazz music, acrobatics, aerial silks, drama, improvisation, comedy and fabulous drag queens and kings.

          Director Robin Marcotte ’00 explains that West’s original production was the first to “queer” Broadway by inviting drag queens from Harlem to portray themselves on the Broadway stage. Police raided the production and the entire cast, as well as Mae West, was arrested and charged with indecency. All were eventually acquitted by a jury.

          “This production is for mature audiences, and those who do not blush easily,” Marcotte says.

          In his career, Marcotte has focused on creating socially engaged works for theatre. “Sexuality and status are of keen interest in an undergraduate experience and well beyond. This creation process is a way for the students to explore, comment and express their views artistically,” he says.

          The production includes Darcy Graham, a junior theatre arts major from Manchester, as the stage manager and Kyle Quirion, a senior music education major from Derby, Vt., as music director.

          Cast members are Jason Faria, a senior theatre arts major from Hudson, Mass. as Paradise; Evan Grande, a junior theatre arts major from Kingston, Mass. As Terrill; and Sarah LaCount, a senior theatre arts major from Manchester as Mae West. Also Julia Arey, a sophomore theatre arts major from Tewksbury, Mass., Alexa Pervanas, a senior theatre arts and communications and media studies double major from Bedford; Beau James, a senior theatre arts major from Nashua; Nicky Mandiola, a senior theatre arts major from Merrimack; Chase Perkins, a junior theatre arts major from Manchester and Rebecca Martin, a senior theatre arts major with dance minor from Rochester.

          Tickets for “The Pleasure Men” are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and youth at the Silver Center Box Office, 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.

          Information about the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance is online at Plymouth.edu/department/mtd.

          General information about events at Plymouth State University is online at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.

          Start your winter holiday season with “A Joyful Noise!” presented Dec. 8 by PSU Chorale and Chamber Singers

          November 21st, 2013 by Lynn

            PLYMOUTH — The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Plymouth State University will offer an annual winter-holiday treat Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., when the University Chorale and Chamber Singers present A Joyful Noise! Professor Dan Perkins directs the choir.

            The central work of the concert will be “Laud to the Nativity,” an early 20th Century neo-Romantic piece by Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. It tells the story of Mary’s visitation by an angel, and continues on through the visit of the wise men at the manger. The piece will feature a small chamber orchestra of two flutes, two oboes, two bassoons and four-hands piano (performed by PSU collaborative pianist Charles Blood and his daughter Elizabeth).

            Student soloists are Rachel Pantazis, soprano, an English major with music minor, from Manchester; Laura Daigle, mezzo-soprano, a theatre arts major from Salem; and Jason Faria, tenor, a theatre arts major from Hudson, Mass.

            Sarah Salis said in Vox3 Collective, “Respighi set out to elicit the mystery, the magnitude, and the ancient setting of his subject matter by borrowing musical ideas from the past. … As we do not have an existing record, other than written descriptions, of music from ancient times when the Nativity would have taken place, Respighi reached as far back as he could to adopt musical idioms that capture the feeling of a far distant past in Italy. … Respighi created a soundscape that conjures up images of Italy’s history – both religious and secular.”

            Other works on the program follow a theme of light, including:

            “Lux aurumque” by Eric Whitacre; “Omnia sol” by Stroope; “Northern Lights” by Gjeilo and “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” by Dolly Parton.

            The concert will conclude with familiar Christmas carols.

            Tickets for A Joyful Noise! in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center are $15-$13 for adults, $13-$11 for seniors and $11-$9 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.

            Information about the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Plymouth State University is online at Plymouth.edu/department/mtd.

            General information about events at Plymouth State University is online at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.

            An evening of dance with the PSU Contemporary Dance Ensemble Dec. 6 and 7 at the Silver Center

            November 21st, 2013 by Lynn

              The Plymouth State University Contemporary Dance Ensemble will present an evening of dance in two acts, Dec. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts.

              PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth State University Contemporary Dance Ensemble will present an evening of dance in two acts, Dec. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts.

              Act I will present works by student choreographers on humanistic themes ranging from love to hate as well as relationship building and teamwork. Musical selections for the works “represent a broad selection from spoken word to pop,” according to Amanda Whitworth, PSU director of dance. Whitworth says the works were selected through an adjudication process and showcase several genres of dance including contemporary, performance art, theatrical, jazz and lyrical.

              Student choreographers are Danielle Aucoin, a senior theatre arts major from Hudson, Mass.; Jeannette LaPlant, a senior psychology major from Sutton, Mass.; Tayleia Meader, a sophomore undeclared major from Swanzey; Rebecca Martin, a senior theatre arts major from Rochester; and Mariah Rasmussen, a sophomore health education major from Pomfret Center, Conn.

              Act II will unveil a collaborative performance piece created by PSU dance faculty Lisa Travis, Lenore Sousa and Whitworth. The 40-minute uninterrupted work was inspired by the “schizophrenic qualities of lucid dreaming,” according to Whitworth. More than 30 dancers will participate in this monumental work that includes a physical wall the dancers manipulate and break open to reveal pivotal scenes and ideas.

              “In the spirit of American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, and American composer, writer and artist John Cage, the dancers are challenged further by performing elements of the dance through chance,” Whitworth says. “The movement phrases are cut into chunks or sections and the dancers will find out the order of the work by drawing slips from a hat. The drawing will take place during intermission so the dancers will be forced to act spontaneously and with calculated risk.” Through this experience, the dancers will exhibit their level of mastery in the use of muscle memory while remaining fluid and relaxed, similar to the lucid sleeper who has the ability to consciously manipulate their dreams.

              Pieces of the musical score have been created and edited by both dancers and choreographers to add a layer of tonal and rhythmic sophistication to the work.

              Tickets for the evening of dance are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and youth, and $8 in groups of 15 or more, at the Silver Center Box Office, 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.

              Information about the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Plymouth State University is online at Plymouth.edu/department/mtd.

              General information about events at Plymouth State University is online at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.

              Les Miserables on Stage at Plymouth State University

              October 18th, 2013 by Lynn

                PLYMOUTH — Students in the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Plymouth State University will present a musical theatre version of Victor Hugo’s famous story Les Miserables, October 24–27 in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts.

                The Tony Award-winning musical is the ultimate romantic story of oppression, justice, freedom, duty and longing. The Broadway production of Les Miserables premiered in 1987 and remains the fourth longest-running Broadway show of all time.

                After spending years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread, Jean Valjean is released and discovers that despite his best attempts to live a good life, it is impossible to leave his past behind. No one will hire the former convict. Against a backdrop of the revolution brewing in France, Valjean finds himself pursued by his former jailor, Inspector Javert. Honor, love and humanity are celebrated in the heart-wrenching finale of this mega-musical with a popular score of beautiful melodies and stirring anthems that includes I Dreamed a Dream, Master of the House and On My Own.

                PSU faculty member Sharon Paquette is directing the production, which she says poses a range of challenges, from meeting patrons’ preconceived expectations for this familiar show, to getting all 37 cast members on stage for ensemble numbers, to guiding students as they learn the intricacies of blending the music and stage movement. The show is sung all the way through—there is no spoken dialog.

                Paquette says that along with music director Professor Kathleen Arecchi and choreographer Lisa Travis, she is pushing the actors to find the grittiness of the story. “We are not sugar coating it at all. Each day we realize how many of the themes in the play and novel are still plaguing our country, and we work with the students to think about that and include those thoughts process in their creation process.” She says the students are working diligently, have wonderful ideas and are courageous. “It’s their passion,” Paquette says.

                Principal players in the cast include:

                Mike Dodge, a senior music major from Northwood as Jean Valjean; Brad Fernald, a senior communication studies major from Hudson as Inspector Javert; Eben Brown, a senior music education major from Dorchester as Thenardier; and Sam St. Jean, a junior theatre arts major from Goffstown as Enjolras. Also Alyssa Dumas, a senior theatre arts major from Manchester as Fantine; Georgia Noonan, a sophomore music education major from Raymond as Cosette; Olivia Opal, a sophomore theatre arts major from Hampden, Mass., as Eponine and Danielle Aucoin, a junior theatre arts major from Hudson, Mass., as Mme. Thenardier. Nineteen other students depict multiple ensemble roles.

                Area children in the cast are Ainsley Towers of Thornton as Gavroche, Mackenzie Jolli of Bridgewater as Young Cosette and Kayla Sassan of Meredith as Young Eponine.

                Performances are October 24 and 26 at 8 p.m., October 25 at 7 p.m. and October 26 and 27 at 2 p.m.

                Tickets for Lis Miserables are $21 for adults, $17 for seniors and $15 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.

                PSU to present October recitals

                October 4th, 2012 by Michael

                  PSU music faculty perform in October

                  September 27th, 2012 by Michael

                    Students grab the spotlight at PSU with one-act plays

                    September 20th, 2012 by Michael

                      Featured in Plymouth Magazine

                      Example Image

                      Student Spotlight: Mae Williams ’14G A Twenty-first-century Preservationist

                      When Mae Williams ’14G enrolled in the Master of Arts in Historic Preservation program in the fall of 2012, she was drawn to the strength of a program in which, she says, “The professors are not academics locked away amidst a pile of books, but are actually out in the field on a daily basis, […]

                      Example Image

                      Ut Prosim: Burton for Certain

                      Ray Burton ’62 lived all his years in the North Country of New Hampshire. Few elected officials have ever understood the lifestyle and character of their constituents as well as he did or have known so many of them by name. On December 14, 2013, hundreds of Burton’s fellow citizens joined dozens of past and […]

                      Example Image

                      Arts: Digital Repository Puts PSU’s History and Culture at Your Fingertips

                      Where can you get a close look at a photo of Babe Ruth standing in front of the Draper and Maynard Building, peruse a 1905 copy of Plymouth Normal School’s literary magazine The Prospect, and examine an aerial view of Plymouth State’s campus in 1960? Thanks to PSU’s digital repository, these historical treasures—along with 15,000 […]