Performer Profiles - Spring 2018 Season


Coming January 17:



Alden “Max” Smith


Presented in conjunction with Dr. Martin Luther King commemorative events

About the Speaker:


Alden “Max” Smith is an independent Medicare Insurance Consultant credited with United Health Care and former Mayor of Oneida. Max is Co-Chair of the Gerrit Estate's annual Emancipation Day Celebration and an active member for the Rome Chapter of the NAACP. “We are free today, but much work needs to be done. History can guide and inspire us in our quest to see America live up to the true meaning of its creed that all men and women are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights."

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Macfarlane Auditorium
Event calendar listing →

Alden Smith
 
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Coming January 31:



Sungmin Kim, pianist and Edgar Tumajyan, violin


About the Performers:


Sungmin Kim will be attending graduate school in the fall, continuing studies in collaborative piano, choral conducting, and organ. Music will include Liszt, Scarlatti, and Poulenc’s Piano Sonata for Four Hands [with Sar-Shalom Strong] as well as Brahms’ Sonata No. 2 for piano and violin.

Edgar Tumajyan is a native of Yerevan, Armenia. He began his violin study at age 8, at the Tchaikovsky Specialized Music School. His Bachelor's Degree is from the Yerevan State Conservatory; his Master's Degree from Syracuse University, where he worked with Symphoria Concertmaster Peter Rovit. He attended the Aspen Festival as a festival fellowship awardee. His past symphonic experience has been with the orchestras of Cheyenne, Fort Collins, Tuscaloosa, and Mobile. Mr. Tumajyan has served as Associate Concertmaster of the Armenian National theater of Opera and Ballet for three years. His solo and chamber music touring ensemble travels have taken him to Russia, Greece, Lebanon, Jordan, and to Bolivia as winner of the University of Wyoming concerto Competition. He currently is a member of the Allentown Symphony and Symphoria violin sections.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Sungmin Kim
Edgar Tumajyan
 
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Coming February 7:


[PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED]



Emily Fridlund, fiction


About the Author:


Emily Fridlund’s first novel, History of Wolves (Atlantic Monthly Press), was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, one of USA Today’s Notable Books, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and a #1 Indie Next pick. The first chapter won the McGinnis-Ritchie Award. Her collection of stories, Catapult, was awarded the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and will be published by Sarabande Books. Fridlund’s fiction has appeared in a variety of journals, including ZYZZYVA, Boston Review, FiveChapters, New Orleans Review, Southwest Review, and Sou'wester, among others. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Macfarlane Auditorium
Event calendar listing →

Emily Fridlund, fiction
 
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Coming February 14:



Rick Compton and Friends Smooth Jazz Trio


Rick Compton, flugelhorn and percussion
Monk Rowe, piano
Cosmo Costellano, bass


About the Performers:


Rick Compton, flugelhorn and percussion, has a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and a Master's Degree in Percussion Performance from Binghamton University. He is best known as one of the region’s foremost performing drummer/percussionists, backing dozens of iconic jazz figures; also as an educator for the Utica School District, directing the Proctor High School Jazz Ensemble for 25 years. He also was percussion instructor at Hamilton College and SUNY Binghamton. He is the author and publisher of Jazz Drumming-Time and Improvisation, a drum set method book. For decades Rick has admired and studied the wonderful melodies and harmonies created by the masters of jazz. After several years of playing trumpet and the flugelhorn, he is still playing the music he loves so much; not just with a pair of sticks, but straight from the heart, and his horn is the messenger.

Monk Rowe, piano and saxophone, is a 1972 graduate of SUNY Fredonia and played in the saxophone section of the Fredonia Jazz Ensemble for four years. During those years he composed original music for the FJE and he continues to write for jazz ensembles, chamber groups and orchestras. Monk has been the Joe Williams Director of the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College since its inception in 1995. In this capacity, he has conducted videotaped interviews with over 325 jazz artists across the country. With his wife Romy, he has recently authored a book entitled Jazz Tales from Jazz Legends, drawing on the resources of this oral history collection. He works in the field of aesthetic education and served as the Artistic Director of the Utica Arts in Education Institute. Monk has recorded a CD of original music entitled Jazz Life and a solo keyboard CD, At the Piano.

Cosmo Costellano, bassist, has played on the PBS television show All American Jazz and locally on WKTV along with numerous other gigs throughout the state. He has  backed up shows for Al Martino, Fred Travolina, comedian Pat Cooper, Roger Williams, the Utica Symphony Orchestra, and others. Cos has also played with several jazz stars, including pianist Marian McPartland and Tonight Show artists Bob McCoy (trumpet) and drummer Ed Shaughnessy.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →



Rick Compton, flugelhorn, percussion

Monk Rowe, saxophone
Cosmo Castellano, bass
 
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Coming February 28:



Chosen Generation Gospel Choir


Astena Smith, soprano and “Doc” Woods

About the Performers:


“Doctuh" Michael Woods has written more than 700 compositions in styles that include choral, orchestral and chamber works, and jazz combo and big-band charts. His works have been performed by the Albany Symphony, the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Central New York Jazz Orchestra, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Salt City Jazz Collective and the central New York Jazz Orchestra. Woods is director and bassist for the Zoe Jazz Band, and bassist for the Omniverse jazz ensemble. Both groups perform his compositions. He majored in composition and minored in string bass at Indiana University (M.M.), and the University of Oklahoma (D.M.A.) and was the first African-American to receive a doctorate in composition from Oklahoma.

“Doc” Woods will be joined by the Chosen Generation Gospel Choir of St. Matthew's Temple Church of God in Christ, Utica, NY, in a program of Spirituals and readings commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King and Black History Month. The group has been singing together for the last 10 years in their unique sound and style and always strive to leave the audience with a smile, a sense of peace and a true understanding of what black history is all about.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Doc Woods
 
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Coming March 21:



Rob Mango, artist


Artist Talk

About the Artist:


Robert Mango is a New York City-based artist, whose exhibition will open on Thursday, March 22 at the Barrett Art Gallery. His work is in many private collections and his solo exhibitions include Duane St. Gallery, New York; Walter Kelly Gallery, Chicago; Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign; Galerie L’Orangeraie, St. Paul DeVence, France; and RADOST Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Rob Mango - Teetering II, 1997. 48 x 84 in., Oil on canvas
 
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Coming March 21:



Bronwen Dickey, nonfiction


About the Author:


Bronwen Dickey is a contributing editor at The Oxford American and the author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016). Her writing has also appeared in Best American Travel Writing 2009, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Newsweek, Outside, Men's Journal, Slate, Garden & Gun, Popular Mechanics, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. She is the recipient of a Hearst Editorial Excellence Award in reporting, a Lowell Thomas Award in travel journalism, and in 2017 she was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in feature writing. Dickey lives in North Carolina.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Macfarlane Auditorium
Event calendar listing →

Bronwen Dickey, nonfiction
 
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Coming March 28:



Chen Chen, poet


About the Author:


Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and out now from BOA Editions. His work appears or is forthcoming in Poetry, The New York Times Magazine, Poem-a-Day, The Best American Poetry, Bettering American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, among other places. He received his MFA from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a PhD at Texas Tech University. For more, visit chenchenwrites.com.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Macfarlane Auditorium
Event calendar listing →

Chen Chen
 
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[NOTE: SPECIAL EVENING EVENT]

Coming April 4:



Sarah Rose Nordgren, poet


About the Author:


Sarah Rose Nordgren is the author of Best Bones, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and Darwin’s Mother, both from University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poems and essays appear widely in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, and American Poetry Review, and she creates intergenre video and text art in collaboration with Kathleen Kelley under the name Smart Snow. Native to North Carolina, Nordgren is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati and an Associate Editor at 32 Poems.

SPECIAL EVENING READING:

Event begins at 6:30 P.M.

SPECIAL LOCATION: 
Barnes & Noble in New Hartford

Event calendar listing →


Sarah Rose Nordgren, poet

 
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Coming April 11:



Jewel Trio

Sar-Shalom Strong, piano
Greg Wood, cello
Peter Rovit, violin


About the Performers:


Sar-Shalom Strong is well-known as both a soloist and a collaborative pianist. For over 30 years he had the privilege of collaborating with many international artists as well as multitudes of the fine musicians who live and work in upstate New York. He has been soloist with the Utica Symphony, Hamilton College Orchestra, and Symphoria. He frequently performs with the Society for New Music where he has been involved in the premiere of many new works, as well as Civic Morning Musicals, The Skaneateles Festival, Cazenovia Counterpoint Festival, A Little Summer Music, The Oasis Center of Syracuse, Hamilton College, Utica College, and the Walker Lecture Series (Concord, NH). Mr. Strong has performed orchestral keyboard with virtually all the orchestras in central New York, most notably for almost ten years with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and is a founding member of the Jewell Piano Trio and the Southwick Trio. Mr. Strong is a Lecturer in Piano and coordinator of Staff Pianists for Hamilton College where he has taught since 2001, and was previously associated with Colgate University and Syracuse University. He is committed to teaching and mentoring aspiring younger musicians: pianists, singers, instrumentalists, and composers. He is active as an adjudicator and vocal coach. In 2012 he was a judge for the Humans in Space Youth Art and Music Competition sponsored by NASA.

A graduate of Knox College and Syracuse University, Mr. Strong is a member of MTNA and the American Federation of Musicians. He recently saw the release of eight recordings with Ronald Caravan, clarinetist/saxophonist, which has been highly acclaimed.

Gregory Wood is Assistant Principal Cellist of Symphoria and was Assistant Principal Cellist for 2014-2015. He was Assistant Principal Cellist of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. He is currently a member of the Fingerlakes Opera Orchestra and has recently performed as substitute cellist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He was also Principal Cellist of the Cincinnati Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, and performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Wood is instructor of cello and coaches chamber music at the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. In addition to SU, he is also instructor of cello at Onondaga Community College, and has a private teaching studio. Mr. Wood received his Bachelor of Music Degree in performance at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, studying with Lynn Harrell, Jack Kirstein, Zara Nelsova, and the LaSalle Quartet.

He has performed as soloist with the Syracuse Symphony, and as winner of the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music concerto competition. He received the 2006 Excellence in Chamber Music Performance award from Civic Morning Musicals, and has performed solo and chamber music recitals with the Jewell Trio, the Jewell Chamber Players, the Southwick Trio, the Society for New Music, the Skaneateles Festival, the Cassatt String Quartet, Civic Morning Musicals, and Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music. Mr. Wood has performed recently with Josh Groban in Albany, Syracuse, and Buffalo, and with the Trans-Siberia Orchestra, including an appearance on Good Morning America. In September 2016, at Yale University, he will be performing in “Grace Notes,” a collaboration of eight musicians, singers, and dancers, and photography/videography by Carrie Mae Weems.

Peter Rovit, violinist, received his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University; Masters in Music from Hartt School; Professional Studies from Julliard; and Doctor of Musical Arts from SUNY, Stony Brook. He was among the last students of Joseph Gringold at Indiana University where he also studied Baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie. Other teachers have included Mitchell Stern, Philip Setzer (Emerson Quartet), Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Kantor and Donald Weilerstein.

As a chamber musician, recitalist, and soloist, he has performed throughout the United States and at music festivals such as Aspen, Taos, Yellow Barn, Hot Springs, Skaneateles, and Music Spring in Saint Petersburg (Russia). A concerto competition winner at both the Hartt School and at SUNY Stony Brook, Mr. Rovit has also performed as soloist with the Montgomery Symphony, the Fort Smith Symphony, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the Tuscaloosa Symphony. He was a recipient of the prestigious Montgomery Symphony Violin Fellowship, and has been a member of the Quartet Oklahoma, Associate Concertmaster of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and Concertmaster of the Tuscaloosa Symphony.

Mr Rovit also loves to share his knowledge and experience with young musicians and has been on the string faculty of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Alabama. His students have gone on to study at schools such as Julliard and Rice, and have won positions in professional orchestras, as well as the Chicago Civic Orchestra. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and finding imaginative ways to cook up those garden vegetables so that his children will eat them, Since having moved to Syracuse, he and his family have also enjoyed getting involved in winter sports such as snowshoeing, skating, and skiing.


Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Sar-Shalom Strong, piano
Gregory Wood
  Peter Rovit
 
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Coming April 18:



Utica College Concert Choir

David A. Kolb, director
Alane Varga,
accompanist

About the Performers:


David A. Kolb, adjunct lecturer at Utica College, and voice teacher, is a graduate of Hamilton College with double concentration in mathematics and music. He has studied voice with Lauralyn Kolb and Timothy LeFebvre and directed choirs for the Utica Maennerchor and Stone Presbyterian Church in Clinton. He is currently the Director of Music for First Presbyterian Church in Rome. David has been a soloist with the Hamilton College and Community Masterworks Chorale, the Greater Utica Choral Society, the Mohawk Valley Choral Society, and the Catskill Choral Society. He is also a frequent performer in community theater productions, including as Javert in the Rome Summerstage production of Les Misérables.

Alane Varga, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, attended Slippery Rock State College for her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and her Master’s in Counseling Services. Alane began her career at Utica College in fall 1983, as a counselor in the Academic Support Services. She was cofounder with Dr. Della Ferguson of the Woymn’s Resource Center at Utica College. From 2011 to 2014 Alane served as Dean of Students at Utica College. Since then she has served as Dean of Diversity and Student Development. Her musical experience includes serving as accompanist in a variety of venues, including community coffee houses, musicals performed at Utica College reflecting her love of Broadway, and the UC Lunch Hour Series.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

David Kolb
Dean of Students Alane Varga
 
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[NOTE: SPECIAL EVENING EVENT]

Coming April 19:



Lucia Cherciu, poet


Winner: 2017 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize

About the Author:


Lucia Cherciu was born in Romania and came to the United States in 1995. She has a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2000) and is a Professor of English at SUNY / Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She is the author of two books of poetry in English: Train Ride to Bucharest (Sheep Meadow Press, 2017), Edible Flowers (Main Street Rag, 2015), which was a finalist for the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize, and three books in Romanian: Lalele din Paradis / Tulips in Paradise (Editura Eikon, 2017), Altoiul Râsului / Grafted Laughter (Editura Brumar, 2010), and Lepădarea de Limbă / The Abandonment of Language (Editura Vinea, 2009). Her poetry received Honorable Mention for the Steven A. DiBiase Poetry Prize and was nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net. Currently, she is looking for an agent for her first novel. Her web page is http://luciacherciu.webs.com.


SPECIAL EVENING READING:

Event begins at 7:30 P.M.

SPECIAL LOCATION:
Carbone Family Auditorium, ECJSC Building
Event calendar listing →

Lucia Cherciu, poet
 
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Coming April 25:



Utica College Concert Band

Michael J. Dimeo, director

About the Performers:


The Utica College Concert Band was founded by Dr. Louis Angelini in 1981. Frank Galime directed the band until his retirement. Since then the band has been directed by Michael J. DiMeo, retired director of bands from New Hartford High School. Mr. DiMeo received his B.S. and M.S. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He is a veteran Utica area performer and instructor, having spent 30 years as an educator in Westmoreland and New Hartford central school districts. At New Hartford High School, Mike helped their marching band become State Champions on four occasions. He has devoted his time to several competitive marching band circuits and received two outstanding soloist awards as Head Brass Instructor/Soloist for the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps. In addition to directing the Utica College Concert Band, Mike conducts the New Hartford Citizens Band in the summer and was a member of the versatile group “Classified” (which was recently inducted into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame.). In addition to regular performances in the Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series, the band plays an annual Concert for Veterans, a combined concert with Mohawk Valley Community College Concert Band, and at local events and at senior citizen communities such as the Masonic and Presbyterian Homes.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Michael DiMeo, director

 
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Contact

Jackson Lunch Hour Series
School of Arts and Sciences

(315) 792-3347
New York State Council on the Arts
The Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series is sponsored by the Utica College Social Cultural Committee and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502