Performer Profiles - Fall 2018 Season



★  40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON  ★


Coming August 29:



Monk Rowe Trio


Monk Rowe, saxophone
John Hutson, guitarist
Tom McGrath,
percussionist

About the Performers:


Monk Rowe
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.

John Hutson was born in Indiana and attended college in Boston. College graduation was followed by five years of constant musical performance in and around the Boston area. A visit to L.A. turned into a 19-year stay during which John further honed his musical skills by graduating with honors from The Guitar Institute of Technology. Following graduation, John racked up many hours in the studio working with the likes of George Benson and Freddie Hubbard. The years in southern California ended when John relocated to the Utica area and his musical progress continued. John is a skilled recording engineer and a guitar teacher, where he engages students in the “blues you can use” approach to playing. His versatility makes him an in-demand player throughout Central New York

Percussionist Tom McGrath has performed in a variety of musical settings, from theatrical stages, intimate music clubs and state-of-the-art performance spaces. Since the summer of 2005, he has taken up residence in Central NY State where he continues a busy performance schedule, playing with some of Central NY’s finest, including Monk Rowe, John Hutson, Tom Townsley, Don Goodness and the Do Good Big Band. Tom has also released two recordings of original music: Ten Shades of Blue and Pictures at the Family House. He has performed both live and/or in the studio with numerous songwriters and instrumentalists including the folk duo Minus Ted, Walter Egan, Carmin Turco, the Queen of Soul (Aretha Franklin), and the graceful and kind, Odetta.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

The Monk Rowe Trio
 
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Coming September 12:



Dominic Fiacco, organist, pianist


About the Performer:


Dominic Fiacco, 13 year old resident of the small Adirondack foothills village of Poland, New York, began studying music at the age of 4. His curiosity about the organ began after attending an organ recital at age 8 at First Presbyterian Church in Utica, immediately after which he was invited to try the organ and then began lessons. Although he could not at the time reach the pedals, his inherent musical sensitivity and remarkable determination resulted in rarely seen progress and during the following years of lessons with First Church organist Stephen Best, Dominic progressed to the point where he is eagerly seeking the most difficult challenges, choosing pieces of significant complexity.

Dominic has a special love for French romantic music, especially the works of Louis Vierne, and he is presently deciding which symphony he wants to learn in its entirety.
He recently performed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and has been invited for a return visit. This season he will play at the Cadet Chapel at West Point, location of the third largest organ in the world, as well as presenting recitals in Ilion and Saratoga Springs. He is also assistant organist at St. Joseph and St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Utica. He and his five younger siblings are home schooled.

As a pianist, Dominic studies with Hamilton College lecturer Sar-Shalom Strong. His achievements are astounding on his second instrument as well, tackling repertoire rarely explored by pianists before college: currently, his passion is for Cesar Franck’s Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue! He has twice been a winner in the Central New York Music Teachers piano competitions, and this summer was invited to perform for a second time on Society for New Music’s Rising Stars programs, premiering new pieces on both piano and organ. He also has performed for A Little Summermusic, Spring Farm Cares, and given a volunteer performance at the Presbyterian Home of Central New York.


Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Dominic Fiacco
 
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Coming September 26:



Reeds and Keys


Judy Marchione, bassoon
Colleen O’Neil, clarinet
Jo Ann Krant Geller,
piano

About the Performers:


Judy Marchione, bassoon, holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of George Goslee and Ronald Phillips and a Master of Music Performance degree from the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman she was a student of K. David van Hoesen and Philip Kolker. She also served as K. David van Hoesn’s teaching assistant which included teaching through the Continuing Education Division as well as conducting wood-wind technique classes for University of Rochester Music Education Majors. Currently Ms. Marchione performs with the Utica Symphony, Catskill Symphony, and Binghamton Philharmonic. She has performed over the years with such orchestras as the Buffalo Philharmonic, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, Ohio Ballet, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony, and the Evansville Philharmonic.

Colleen O’Neil has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Performance from Ithaca College, and a Master of Music in Music Education from Syracuse University. A native of Rome NY, she has taught instrumental and general music in public and parochial schools in the Mohawk Valley area for eighteen years and has played previously as a sub/extra with the Utica and Catskill Symphony Orchestras. She is co-founder of the Rome Concert Band, Jewel Winds Quintet and Alliance Classical Players.

Jo Ann Krant Geller, a native of Chester, Pennsylvania, while in high school studied piano with Jon Carlin at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania graduating with a degree in Musicology. As a student at Penn, she studied piano under Vladimir Socoloff at the Curtis Institute of Music, and accompanied the choir under the direction of William Smith, assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jo Ann continued her piano studies in Munich, Germany under Leonard Shure. Returning to the United States, she became a member of the performance faculty at the Wilmington School of Music, Wilmington, Delaware. Later, she worked for a time as an assistant editor at the Theodore Presser Music Publishing Company in Philadelphia. Formerly an adjunct professor at MVCC, Jo Ann has an extensive piano studio in Rome, and has appeared in numerous performances throughout New York State as soloist, accompanist, and in chamber ensembles.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Macfarlane Auditorium
Event calendar listing →

Judy Marchione
Colleen O'Neil
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[NOTE: SPECIAL TIME AND LOCATION]

Coming October 3:



Christine Kitano poet



About the Author:


Christine Kitano is the author of the poetry collections Sky Country and Birds of Paradise. She is an assistant professor at Ithaca College where she teaches creative writing, poetry, and Asian American literature. Recent work appears in The Portland Review, A Women's Thing, and Wildness. She received her Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing from Texas Tech University (2015); her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University (2010); her B.A. in Creative Writing from University of California, Riverside (2007).

From an interview on Writers Recommend: “When I’m managing to write regularly, I always have a collection of poems in translation on my desk. I’ll usually begin a writing session by reading a few poems from the collection and copying out the lines that speak to me. Then, I’ll re-organize those lines into a new poem, editing the lines or improvising my own language. During this process, I usually stumble upon a new phrase or image, which I’ll then use as the starter for a new draft. I often sense distance in a translated poem, and it is precisely this distance that frees me to experiment with the language.”

EVENING PROGRAM - 7:30 P.M.

SPECIAL LOCATION - Carbone Auditorium
Event calendar listing →

Christine Kitano
 
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Coming October 17:



Sar Strong, piano and Shem Guibbory, violin


About the Performers:


Sar-Shalom Strong is well known to east coast audiences as both a soloist and a collaborative pianist. He has had the privilege of collaborating with international artists such as flutists Judith Mendenhall and Gary Shocker, trombonist Joseph Alessi, violinist Sarah Crocker, singers Helen Boatwright, Peter Vandergraaf, and Sanford Sylvan, as well as multitudes of the fine musicians who live and perform throughout upstate New York. He has been involved in the premiere of many new works, and also appears on programs for Civic Morning Musicals, the Skaneateles Festival, A Little Summermusic, The Oasis Center of Syracuse, Hamilton College, and Utica College. He has performed orchestral keyboard with virtually all the orchestras in the area, most notably for almost ten years with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and is a founding member of both the Jewell Piano Trio and the Southwick Trio. Recorded performances with Society for New Music on Innova Records and with soprano Janet Brown on Russetbush Records have met with considerable acclaim. He is currently Lecturer in Piano and Coordinator of Staff Pianists for Hamilton College, and previously associated with Colgate and Syracuse Universities. He is also active as an adjudicator and vocal coach.

Shem Guibbory started to play as a substitute in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at the age of 21, sitting on the last stand of the 1st violin section for a performance of Strauss’ Die Frau Ohne Schatten with Karl Böhm conducting. Since then, he has been privileged to be a part of hundreds of amazing performances. Throughout his career, Mr. Guibbory has explored ways in which music combines with other disciplines. This exploration is influenced by opera, no doubt, as well as by his early training at CalArts where the intrinsic unity between all the arts is viewed as a fundamental. With Director Margaret Booker and playwright Robert Schenkkan he has created a new music/theater work A Night at the Alhambra Café (2010) and is currently developing another work entitled Accidental Heroes. Mr. Guibbory’s personal recording credits include solo and chamber music on ECM, Gramavision, Opus 1, DG, Albany, Bridge, MSR Classics and CRI. He has performed as a soloist with a number of fine orchestras including the New York Philharmonic. For over three decades he has served as a faculty member of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, serving as their Music Director for nine consecutive seasons.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Sar-Shalom Strong
Shem Guibbory, violin
 
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Coming November 7:



“Doctuh” Woods Jazz Ensemble


About the Performer:


"Doctuh" Michael Woods is a bassist, educator, composer, lecturer and clinician. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious grants and awards for performance, education, composition, scholarship and leadership. Doc has written more than 700 compositions in styles including choral, orchestral and chamber, jazz combo and big-band. His works have been performed by the Albany Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Ensemble, Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, Midland Symphony Orchestra, Utica Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra, Little Rock Symphony, Anderson Symphony, North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony, Central New York Jazz Orchestra, Tulsa Philharmonic, Pro Musica Orchestra, Salt City Jazz Collective and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. "Doc" Woods is the Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Music at Hamilton College. Woods has taught at the university level since 1980, and joined Hamilton College in 1993. He is the musical director and bassist for the Zoe' Jazz Band and the Omniverse Jazz Ensemble.

The six piece Jazz Ensemble will be playing mostly original compositions that are catchy and clever but not distant or aloof with plenty of high energy solo improvisations: Jeff Stockham on trumpet, Bob Cesari on saxes, Joe Handy on guitar, Tom Witkowski on piano, Rick Compton on drums, and “Doctuh” Michael Woods writes the charts and plays bass. The selections will make up a suite of about eight movements as a “blend of fun meets social statement.”

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →


Doctuh Michael Woods

 
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Coming November 14:



Shira Dentz, poet


About the Author:


A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and before earning her Ph.D. in creative writing and literature from the University of Utah, Shira Dentz worked as a graphic artist, typesetter, and Assistant Art Director in NYC, mainly in the music industry. She was Drunken Boat‘s Reviews Editor and curated DB blog’s feature, “What I’m Reading Now…” from 2011-2016, and now curates this feature Tarpaulin Sky where she is currently Special Features Editor. Shira Dentz is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently how do i net thee (Salmon Poetry) and the sun a blazing zero (forthcoming, Lavender Ink/Diálogos). She is also the author of the full-length collections door of thin skins (CavanKerry, 2013) and black seeds on a white dish (Shearsman, 2010), and the chapbooks FLOUNDERS (Essay Press, 2016) and Leaf Weather (Shearsman, 2012). She teaches at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and lives in New York.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Macfarlane Auditorium
Event calendar listing →

Shira Dentz
 
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Coming November 28:



Utica College Concert Choir

Debora Holling, director
Alane Varga,
accompanist

About the Performers:


Debora Holling, Adjunct Lecturer of Music, begins as the Utica College Concert choir director this semester, Debora is a veteran teacher of 38 years, having graduated from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY with concentrations in music education, choir directing and musical theater. She began her career at the Schenectady Light Opera Company in Schenectady, NY. Since then she has directed, music directed, stage managed, as well as worked as a light/sound board technician at a variety of Upstate New York theaters. Debora spent four years at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in directorial and technical positions and most recently works with Rome Community Theater and Utica College's musical production of Jekyll and Hyde last spring. The bulk of her teaching experience has been spent in directing school choirs. She served a two year period as the Director of the Adirondack Children's Chorus in Saranac Lake, NY.

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 →

Debora Holling
Dean of Students Alane Varga
 
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[NOTE: SPECIAL TIME / LOCATION]

Coming November 29:



Levis Keltner, novelist


About the Author:


Levis Keltner is an author, editor, educator, and musician from Chicago living in Austin, Texas. He is the editor-in-chief at Newfound, an online publication devoted to literary, visual, and artistic perspectives and interpretations of the physical world. Using fiction, essays, poetry, and visual art Newfound explores how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding. Mr. Keltner teaches writing at Texas State University.


SPECIAL EVENING READING: 6:30 P.M.
SPECIAL LOCATION: BARNES AND NOBLE, NEW HARTFORD
Event calendar listing →
 
Levis Keltner

 
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Coming December 5:



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