Tag: Lawrence Conservatory of Music

Seraphic Fire, Spektral Quartet Present Lenten Tribute in Lawrence University Artist Series Concert

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Seraphic Fire

Twice Grammy Award-nominated vocal group Seraphic Fire and the string ensemble Spektral Quartet collaborate in a Good Friday performance of Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ,” a Lenten work offering choral/instrumental treatments to each of the seven last utterances of Jesus on the cross, in a Lawrence University Artist Series concert April 18 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $22-24 for adults, $20-22 for seniors and $17-19 for students, are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

One of America’s leading vocal ensembles, Miami’s Seraphic Fire is best known for repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to newly commissioned works and has produced a discography that includes 10 recordings.

“Quigley has a strong background in Renaissance and Baroque music, but he’s not a ‘museum curator,’” said Stephen Sieck, Lawrence assistant professor of music and co-director of choral studies. “He creates singularly vibrant performances and often finds masterworks that had gone under the radar for centuries.”

In 2012, Seraphic Fire received Grammy Award nominations for Best Choral Performance for its rendition of Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem,” which debuted at no. 7 on Billboard Magazine’s Classical Charts, and Best Small Ensemble Performance for “A Seraphic Fire Christmas,” which NPR hailed as “just fabulous” in a review. Seraphic Fire was the only choir in North or South America to be nominated for a Grammy Award in 2012. It also was also the sole classical ensemble to be nominated for two separate projects.

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Spektral Quartet

The Chicago-based Spektral Quartet has been praised for “leading the charge toward progressive, high-caliber contemporary classical music” by The Chicago Reader. The group’s performances focus on eliminating the divide between classical masterworks and present-day compositions, staging intimate concerts with carefully curated set lists emphasizing the “conversational” potential contemporary and classical pairings.

The quartet holds an artist-in-residency at the University of Chicago and often undertakes unique musical projects. For its “Mobile Miniatures” initiative, the quartet commissioned 40 composers to write ringtone-length pieces of music for use on mobile devices.

“If ever there was a combination of ensembles that could provide the very highest of musical refinement and offer it in a new and impactful way, this is that,” said Sieck.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Jazz Legend Pat Metheny Plays Lawrence Memorial Chapel March 15

Nearly 30 years after his first appearance at Lawrence University, legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny returns to campus — with his touring band Unity Group — Saturday, March 15 for an 8 p.m. Lawrence Jazz Series concert in the Memorial Chapel.

Tickets for Pat Metheny Unity Group, at $30 adults, $15 students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or online.

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Chris Potter, saxophone; Giulio Carmassi, multi-instrumentalist; Ben Williams, bassist; Antonio Sanchez, percussion; Pat Metheny, guitar.

Metheny first performed at Lawrence in the fall of 1984, two years after he won the first of his 20 Grammy Awards. His most recent Grammy was awarded in 2013 for best jazz instrumental album with Unity Band. During a four-decade career, Metheny has enjoyed near unparalleled success. His impressive resume includes:

35 Grammy award nominations in 12 different categories.

• 20 Grammy Awards, with wins in an amazing 10 different categories, the only musician ever to earn a Grammy in that many categories. He also won an unprecedented seven Grammys in a row for seven consecutive Pat Metheny Group recordings. Founded in 1977, the Pat Metheny Group has won a total of 10 Grammy Awards.

3 Gold Records — “Secret Story,” 1992;  “Letter From Home,” 1989; and “Still Life (Talking)” 1987.

42 recordings totaling with 20 million records sold worldwide.

Three-time “Guitarist of the Year” Award winner (2009, ’10 and ’11) in DownBeat Magazine’s Readers Poll.

Inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in November, 2013.

2014 Goya Award — Spain’s equivalent of the Academy Awards — for Best Soundtrack for the film “Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.”

“One of the greatest musicians on the planet”

“I have always loved the music of Pat Metheny, which has always simultaneously surprised me and left me with a feeling of familiarity,” said Steve Peplin, adjunct professor of jazz guitar in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “Pat has taught us that the true medium of the musician/composer isn’t just sound, but the human spirit. Aside from being the heavyweight champ of jazz guitar, he has changed the sound of the guitar several times as a sound innovator.

“Pat is a great composer who always manages to create the thing we really want: the feeling. I have never once heard Pat without being moved,” Peplin added. “To hear Pat with the masters in the Unity band is…should be…illegal.”

The Unity Band, which will join Metheny on the Chapel stage, features its own line-up of stellar musicians:  saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams; percussionist Antonio Sanchez, and multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, who plays everything from piano and keyboards to woodwinds and brass, guitar, bass and drums.

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Pat Metheny

Metheny has called his collaborations with Unity Band “life changing.”

“With Guilio added to the core four of us,” said Metheny, “with Chris Potter, in addition to being one of the most exciting soloists in jazz on any instrument and one of the most versatile woodwind players in history, he also happens to be a killer piano player and very good guitarist, with Ben Williams being equally great on both acoustic and electric basses, and with Antonio Sanchez, one of the greatest drummers in the world right now, just about anything will be possible.”

Internationally renowned musician and composer John Zorn calls Metheny “a living legend—one of those rare lights in the universe. His incredible facility and dedication, indefatigable energy and focus, imagination, and never-ending curiosity have distinguished him as truly one of the greatest musicians on the planet.”

In 2013, Metheny collaborated with Zorn on “Tap: The Book of Angels, Volume 20,” for Zorn’s ambitious project “Masada Book Two.” The album, a tour de force showcase of Metheny’s versatility, features him playing guitars, bass, bandoneón, electronics, flugelhorn, keyboards, orchestrionics, percussion, sitar, tiples and others.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Cellist Miles Link Wins State Competition

Lawrence University cellist Miles Link earned first-place honors at the recent (Jan. 26) Wisconsin Cello Society Solo Competition conducted at UW-Stevens Point.

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Miles Link ’16

A sophomore cello performance and economics major from Wilmette, Ill., Link competed in the competition’s Young Artist division (age 18-25). He received a $500 prize for his winning performance, which featured Bach’s “Prelude from the Suite in D major” and Tchhaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33.”  Students in the competition perform 10-15 minutes of music of their own choosing.

Link’s winning performance was played on the college’s Cox cello, an instrument built by master luthier Douglas Cox of West Brattleboro, Vt. Allen Greenberg, a music lover from Chevy Chase, Md., commissioned the instrument, along with two violins and a viola, after visiting Lawrence in 2006 with his son, a prospective student and string musician.

Link was one of three Lawrence students selected as finalists for the competition, joining senior Claire Bachman, Minneapolis, Minn., and sophomore Alex Lessenger, Golden, Colo. All three study in the cello studio of Janet Anthony.

Founded in 2000, the Wisconsin Cello Society is a state-wide organization that promotes the art and appreciation of cello playing, furthers the musical development of its members and provides performance opportunities for professional, amateur and student cellists.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Acclaimed St. Louis Brass Quintet Opens Lawrence’s 2013-14 Artist Series

The St. Louis Brass Quintet, one of the country’s oldest ensembles of its kind, opens Lawrence University’s 2013-14 Jazz Series Friday, October 11 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $22-20 for adults, $19-17 for seniors and $17-15 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 920-832-6749.

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St. Louis Brass Quintet

Originally formed in 1964 by members of the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Louis Brass’ current lineup features Melvyn Jernigan, the only founding member still in the group, on trombone, Allan Dean and Ray Sasaki on trumpet, Thomas Bacon on horn and Daniel Perantoni on tuba.

While the quintet has performed more than 2,700 engagements in its 41-year history, this will be its first appearance at Lawrence.

Each artist boasts a distinguished resume outside the quintet. Dean, Sasaki and Perantoni are professors of music at Yale, the University of Texas and Indiana University, respectively. Bacon appears alongside Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong in the book “Twentieth Century Brass Soloists.” In addition to St. Louis Brass, Jernigan also was a founding member of the internationally renowned Summit Brass.

The quintet’s repertoire spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods to contemporary works as well as popular Western music and jazz arrangements of Ellington/Strayhorn, Gershwin and Cole Porter standards. More than 75 compositions have been written or arranged for the group, which has released two albums, six CDs and a DVD.

The SLBQ annually plays three, 10-day concert tours across the United States and also has performed throughout the world, including India, Japan, Mexico, Norway and Sweden.  Though the quintet has received international acclaim, its unique identity as a St. Louis mainstay is among its distinct characteristic. Hometown newspaper St. Louis Post-Dispatch deemed the quintet “a wonderful ensemble, both in the technical sense and as an atmosphere that emanates from the stage.”

James DeCorsey, horn professor at Lawrence, echoes that assessment.

“Saint Louis Brass is one of the most distinguished brass ensembles in the world,” said DeCorsey. “My colleagues and I have enormous respect for these elite musicians, each of whom is an outstanding teacher as well as virtuoso performer. These wonderful brass players always connect strongly with the audience, who can expect to hear a varied and sophisticated program delivered with charm, vibrancy and a touch of humor.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Conductor David Becker Leads Lawrence Symphony Orchestra Final Time Saturday May 26

Professor of Music David Becker works his baton for the last time as conductor of the 102-member Lawrence Symphony Orchestra at its concert Saturday, May 26 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.  The concert is free and open to the public.

Becker, who has served as director of orchestral studies at Lawrence since 2005, is retiring at the end of the current academic year.

Director of Orchestral Studies David Becker

“The time has arrived in my life for my personal and professional journeys to head in a new direction,” said Becker, who is in his second stint at conductor of the orchestra, having spent four years at Lawrence early in his career in the mid-1970s. “The distinguished faculty, administration, cherished friends and exceptional students have all made my tenure at Lawrence a most cherished highlight in my professional career.”

Becker says each time he’s taken the stage with the orchestra over the past seven years has been a career highlight for him.

“Whatever repertoire we’re doing at the moment, to me is the pinnacle and the high point, so this next concert is the pinnacle and the high point. I don’t live very much in the past. They are all very important memories, but I’m totally absorbed right now in this group and this repertoire and what we can share together. So the pinnacle for me is to share this concert with these students. It’s going to be a tremendously emotional time. I have a suspicion that I’m going to see a number of these students in the future in various places.”

Becker, recipient of Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at the college’s 2010 commencement, plans to dedicate his post-Lawrence time to guest conducting, workshops and clinics around the country, including leading the NAfME All-International Honors Orchestra in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in June.

Saturday evening’s concert program will feature works by Debussy, Paulus and Tchaikovsky. Senior Daniel O’Connor, organ, the co-winner of the LSO 2011-12 Student Concerto Competition, will be the concert’s guest artist.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries. Follow us on Facebook.

Lawrence Student Pianist, Wind Quintet to Perform on Wisconsin Public Radio

Six Lawrence University students will reprise their winning performances from the recent Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition on Sunday, April 29 at 12:30 pm in a special recital at the Wisconsin Union Theater on the UW-Madison campus. The recital will be broadcast statewide by Wisconsin Public Radio on the Classical Music Network ad can be heard locally at 89.3 FM or online.

A woodwind quintet — Kelsey Burk, oboe, a senior from Stacy, Minn.; Jake Fisher, bassoon, a senior from Lake Forest, Ill.; Kinsey Fournier, clarinet, a senior from Conway, Ark.; Sam Golter, flute, a senior from Springfield, Va.; and Emma Richart, French horn, a senior from Olympia, Wash. — will perform works by Alexander Scriabin and Franz Liszt. Cameron Pieper, piano, a sophomore from Fond du Lac, will play pieces by Vincent Persichetti and Elliott Carter.

Vocalist Rachel Holmes, who has completed her master’s degree in music at Colorado State University, and  cellist Chris Peck, a sophomore at UW-Madison, will join the Lawrence musicians as part of the winner’s recital.

Wisconsin Public Television will tape the concert for later broadcast on their Wisconsin Channel.

The Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition was established to recognize young Wisconsin performers of classical music who demonstrate an exceptionally high level of artistry.  It is supported by a grant from the estate of the late University of Wisconsin Madison professor Eduardo Neale-Silva, a classical music enthusiast who was born in Talca, Chile and came to the United States in 1925.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.

 

Lawrence Spotlights Latin American Music, Art, Culture in Week-Long Festival

An artist-in-residency by award-winning Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra and the Arcos Trio highlight a week-long celebration of Latin American music, art and culture Nov. 4-12 at Lawrence University.  All festival events are free and open to the public.

The Latin American Chamber Music Festival will feature more than a half dozen performances by the Arcos Trio during the week, including the world premiere performance of Sierra’s piano trio composition “Trio IV ‘La noche’” Thursday, Nov. 10 in Harper Hall of the Music-Drama Center. Sierra will discuss his works in the context of Latin American music in a pre-concert address at 6:30 p.m.

The concert also will feature works by Brazilian composer Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez, Uruguayan composer Miguel del Aguila and arrangements of the popular tangos by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla. A reception with Latin American cuisine provided by Appleton restaurant Antojitos Mexicanos follows the concert.

Roberto Sierra

Sierra’s works have been part of the repertoire of many of the leading orchestras, ensembles and festivals in the United States and Europe for more than 30 years. His “Fandangos” was performed at the inaugural concert of the 2002 world renowned Proms in London by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert that was broadcast by both the BBC Radio and Television throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

His music has been performed by many of the leading orchestras in the country as well as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, the Spanish orchestras of Madrid, Galicia, Castilla y León and Barcelona, among others.

“Roberto Sierra is representative of a dynamic cultural phenomenon created by one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the United States,” said Professor of Music Anthony Padilla, who has organized the festival. “His compositions are characterized by the cross-fertilization of American and Latin American music. Trio IV ‘La noche’ creates a fantastic tone picture of a tropical night in Puerto Rico, evoking the mysterious atmosphere of dusk, the sounds of creatures of the night and Caribbean dance rhythms. It will help fill an increasing demand in America for concert works that reflect and celebrate the contributions of Latin American culture.”

In addition to performing the premiere of “Trio IV ‘La noche’” the Arcos Trio will conduct a master class and perform several “preview” concerts in the community.

Arcos Trio — Seunghee Lee, Carl Donakowski and Anthony Padilla

Arcos Trio — pianist Padilla, violinist Seunghee Lee and cellist Carl Donakowski — was formed in 2005 with a mission to present an expanded canon of standard piano trio repertoire.  The Latin American Chamber Music Festival is the trio’s current project and will be reprized with performances in Michigan and Virginia.

The complete schedule includes:

• Friday Nov. 4 — Steinway and a Sandwich Series: Arcos Trio preview performance: Heid Music, Appleton, 12 noon.

Saturday, Sunday Nov. 5-6 — Arcos Trio preview performances, St. Therese and St. Pius X Catholic Churches weekend masses, Appleton.

• Sunday, Nov. 6 — Arcos Trio preview performance, Neenah Public Library, 2 p.m.,

• Monday–Friday, Nov. 7–11 —Mexican print collection display: Quirk Print Study Room, Wriston Art Center Galleries, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Digital reproductions of this collection will be shown in Harper Hall lobby, Music-Drama Center.

• Monday Nov. 7 — Arcos Trio community outreach preview performances: Appleton East High School, 8:45 a.m. and 9:40 a.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 — Arcos Trio community outreach preview performance: Appleton Classical School, 12:50 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 — Master Class: Arcos Trio, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 4:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, Nov. 9 — Preview Performance: Arcos Trio and Lawrence Conservatory students play works by Latin American composers, Harmony Café, downtown Appleton, 7 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 10 —Pre-concert lecture: Guest composer Roberto Sierra discusses his works in the context of Latin American music, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 7 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 10 —Arcos Trio Concert: Premiere performance of “Trio No. 4 ‘La noche’” (2011), by Roberto Sierra, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 8 p.m. Reception with Latin American cuisine from Antojitos Mexicanos follows.

• Friday, Nov. 11 —Question-and-answer session with guest composer Roberto Sierra, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 4:30–5:30 p.m.

• Saturday, Nov. 12 — Spanish department and Latin American studies program presentations:  Gustavo Fares, professor of Spanish, “Tango! And nation building”; Jake Frederick, assistant professor of history, “The ‘New World’ of Latin America”; and Javier Guerrero, postdoctoral fellow in Spanish, “Sangrita Mexicana: Blood Weddings in Contemporary Mexico,” Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 1 p.m. A reception with Latin American cuisine from Antojitos Mexicanos follows.

Saturday, Nov. 12 —Student recitals: Lawrence students perform works by Latin American composers, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 3 p.m.

The Latin American Chamber Music Festival received collaborative financial support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fox Valley Community Arts Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.

Lawrence University Conservatory of Music Presents Kaleidoscope Concert

The Lawrence University Conservatory of Music presents its first-ever Conservatory Kaleidoscope concert at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, October 21 at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, downtown Appleton. Tickets for the concert are $12 for adults and $7 for senior citizens and students. Tickets are available at both the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749, and the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Box Office, 920-730-3760.

The concert will showcase most of the university’s 365 music majors as well as young musicians from the Lawrence Academy of Music in a theatrical 75-minute show, performed in a continuous single set with no intermission. There will also be art displays in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center by Lawrence University student artists as well as local school children who are participating in ArtsBridge America, an arts and education outreach program that offers hands-on experiences in the arts to school-age children, placing university students in kindergarten through high school classrooms as instructors and teaching-artists.

“The Conservatory has grown dramatically over the past two decades, and we offer hundreds of public concerts and recitals each year. It’s impossible for anyone, even those of us working at Lawrence, to attend all of them. The Kaleidoscope concert presents a broad mix of Conservatory offerings in one concert,” said Fred Sturm, director of jazz and improvisational music at Lawrence University. “So many folks attending our Lawrence musical performances have expressed interest in a ‘sampler’ program featuring multiple facets of the Conservatory’s offerings. Kaleidoscope is a public platform in which most of our musical groups can strut their stuff in a single performance.”

The concert will feature 16 different student groups performing “in the round” utilizing the main stage, orchestra pit, eight side balconies, main floor, and upper balcony of the Performing Arts Center. “Kaleidoscope is a three ring musical circus in a slam-bang sequence of events. You won’t have time to applaud between selections, for as one group finishes, another will begin. You’ll be turning your head north, south, east, and west to watch groups on stage, in the orchestra pit, on the eight left and right side balconies, and behind you in the grand balcony above. It makes for a theatrical high-tech performance in the round, the likes of which we’ve never previously staged at Lawrence,” Sturm said.

Designed to both entertain and educate the public, the Kaleidoscope program will appeal to families and first-time concert attendees as well as regular Lawrence audience members. Accessible classical repertoire, musical theater, opera, jazz, and world music will be presented by six Lawrence large ensembles, eight chamber groups, a solo guitarist, and six hands performing on a single grand piano.

“Our ensemble conductors and faculty coaches have selected music that’s entertaining, accessible, and educational. It’s music that speaks to first-time concertgoers and general audiences, particularly families that love to experience live music together,” Sturm said.

Significant works spanning music history by Gabrieli, Verdi, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Hindermith, and Bernstein will be joined with selections by American blues artist Charles Calhoun and contemporary Broadway composer Rupert Holmes. World music by Argentine Tanguero Astor Piazzolla, Brazilian samba master Anibal Augusto Sardinha, the Bulgarian Mystery Voices, and Cuban bata drummers will also be featured.
University President Jill Beck will present the opening welcome and Dean of the Conservatory Robert Thayer will conduct the full Kaleidoscope cast in “Make Our Garden Grow,” the finale from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.

The Kaleidoscope concert is sponsored by The Boldt Company. Lawrence University is deeply grateful to The Boldt Company for its generous support of this unique community arts showcase.