Performer Profiles - Spring 2017 Season



Coming January 18:



Tuskegee Airman Herbert Thorpe


About the Speaker:


Herbert Thorpe was working with the Civilian Conservation Corps in Camden, NY, when on a fateful Sunday morning he heard that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. Like so many Americans, he would eventually enlist in the Army. But never did he imagine that he would rise above World War II-era racial discrimination and soar through the skies as part of the Tuskegee Airmen, heralded by the 2012 film, “Red Tails.”

Thorpe grew up in Brooklyn and returned there after the war, earning a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering at New York University. In 1959 he took a position as a radar systems engineer at Rome Air Development Center, where he worked until his retirement in 1982. Thorpe now lives in Westmoreland and is a 50-year member of First Presbyterian Church of Rome, a charter member and past president of the Rome Branch NAACP, charter member of Prince Hall Military Lodge 112, charter member of the Afro-American Heritage Association, and charter member and past president Mohawk Valley Frontiers Club.

As the Utica Phoenix aptly put it: “Thorpe was never deployed to fly in combat, but carries with him the rich history of a time when Black men proved to this nation and the world that truly all men are created equal, and that some are actually better than others at flying airplanes and overcoming adversity.” [from Bob Stronach]

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

SPECIAL LOCATION: Carbone Family Auditorium
Event calendar listing →

Tuskegee Airman Herbert Thorpe
 
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Coming January 25:



Susan Fox Rogers, nonfiction/memoirist


About the Author:


Susan Fox Rogers earned her B.A., at Pennsylvania State University; M.A., Columbia University; and M.F.A., University of Arizona. She is the Author of, My Reach (Cornell University Press, 2011). Editor of, Antarctica: Life on the Ice (Traveler's Tales, 2007; winner of Silver Medal, Society of American Travel Writers); Going Alone: Women's Adventures in the Wild (Seal Press, 2004); Two in the Wild: Tales of Adventure from Friends, Mothers, and Daughters (Vintage, 1999); Alaska Passages: 20 Voices from Above the 54th Parallel (Sasquatch Books, 1996); Solo: On Her Own Adventure (Seal Press, 1996; revised edition 2005); Another Wilderness: New Outdoor Writing by Women (Seal Press, 1994). Selected by the National Science Foundation to participate in U.S. Antarctic Artists & Writers Program during 2004–05 austral summer. Associate, Institute for Writing and Thinking (1993– ). She has been a Visiting Associate Professor At Bard since 2001.  


Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

MacFarlane Auditorium, DePerno Hall
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Susan Fox Rogers, nonfiction/memoirist
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Coming February 8:



Hamilton College Saxophone Ensemble


Monk Rowe, director


About the Performers:


The Hamilton College Saxophone Ensemble was established in 2005 as part of the active chamber ensemble program at the College. The Hamilton Music Department supports woodwind, brass, percussion and string ensembles that perform regularly on campus each semester. With ten participants this year, the saxophonists have divided into two quintets. The February 8 performance will feature our juniors and seniors performing music arranged specifically for the ensemble, highlighting the versatility of the instrument invented by Adolphe Sax in 1846.

Monk Rowe has been an adjunct instructor of saxophone at Hamilton College since 1992. He performs frequently as a solo pianist and as a saxophonist with a variety of ensembles. He is the Joe Williams Director of the Fillius Jazz Archive, gathering video interviews with jazz personalities and preserving their stories and experiences for researchers, authors and interested jazz lovers. With his wife, Romy Britell, he recently authored the book, Jazz Tales from Jazz Legends, published on Couper Press. Monk is a prolific writer and arranger and his work has been performed by the Utica Symphony, the SUNY Fredonia Alumni Jazz Ensemble and the Lavender Trio

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Monk Rowe, director
 
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Coming February 15:



Society for New Music


Ryan Chase, conductor, piano, composer
Janet Brown, soprano
Sar-Shalom Strong,
piano


About the Performers:


Ryan Chase (b.1987), an American composer, conductor and pianist, has had his music performed in venues ranging from dive bars to Carnegie Hall by such ensembles as Alaria, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, CIRCE, Contemporaneous, the IU New Music Ensemble, the Chelsea Symphony, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, and new music soprano Ariadne Greif.

Ryan's music has received national recognition from many of the country's most prestigious musical institutions, including two consecutive BMI Student Composer Awards in 2011 (William Schuman Prize for Most Outstanding Entry – Gold Rush) and 2012 (The Light Fantastic); the Audience Choice Award from the 2012 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Readings; 1st Prize in the 2011 National Association of Composers USA Young Composers’ Competition; the Jean Schneider Goberman Award; and the Bohuslav Martinú Award. Fellowships he has received include the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship in Composition from the Tanglewood Music Center, the ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fellowship for the Copland CULTIVATE program, and a Ford and Susan Schumann Fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival.

Janet Brown, soprano, received her undergraduate musical training at Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam. She did her graduate work at Boston Conservatory and Syracuse University. She has been praised by critics for her warm, clear voice and direct expression. Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe has called her "...one of our most treasurable artists. " On the opera stage she has performed roles with the Syracuse Opera Company, Oswego Opera Theatre, the American Repertory Theatre, the Boston Early Music Festival and PepsiCo Summerfare.

Janet Brown has premiered works by composers Gunther Schuller, Andrew Imbrie, Philip Glass, Grant Cooper, Nicolas Scherzinger, Wes York, Edward Cohen, Howard Boatwright and Ernst Bacon. In addition to her critically acclaimed compact disc release of selections from Spanisches Liederbuch of Hugo Wolf, she was featured on Fond Affection: Music of Ernst Bacon (CRI). Janet Brown currently serves as Academic Coordinator and Instructor in Voice At Syracuse University Setnor School of Music. She also teaches voice at Hamilton College.

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.

Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Ryan Chase

Janet Brown, Soprano

Sar-Shalom Strong, piano
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Coming March 1:



Sarah Yaw, fiction/novelist



About the Author:


Sarah Yaw’s novel You Are Free To Go (Engine Books, 2014) won the 2013 Engine Books Novel Prize and the 2015 CNY Book Award for fiction; her short work has appeared in Salt Hill. Sarah received an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She is an associate professor and coordinator of Cayuga Advantage at Cayuga Community College in Central New York.


Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

MacFarlane Auditorium, DePerno Hall
Event calendar listing →

Sarah Yaw, novelist
 
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[NOTE: SPECIAL TIME AND LOCATION]

Coming March 8:



Julie Shigekuni, fiction


About the Author:


Julie Shigekuni is the author of four novels: A Bridge Between Us (Anchor/Doubleday 1995), Invisible Gardens (St. Martin's Press 2003) and Unending Nora (Red Hen Press 2008). Her fiction has been translated into German, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian. Shigekuni was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award and the recipient of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. She has received a Henfield Award and an American Japanese Literary Award for her writing. Shigekuni received her B.A. from CUNY Hunter College and her M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. She is currently at work on a novella and short story collection entitled Beep on Me, and a 60-minute video documentary, Manju Mammas & the An-Pan Brigade, for which she has received funding from the California Council for the Humanities and the Skirball Foundation and sponsorship from Visual Communications, an all Asian media network. She is director of the creative writing program and Development Director of an Asian American Studies program being launched at the University of New Mexico.


SPECIAL EVENING READING: Event begins at 6:00 P.M.

SPECIAL LOCATION: Barnes & Noble in New Hartford
Location Directions →
Event calendar listing →

Julie Shigekuni, fiction
 
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Coming March 29:



Danan Tsan, Mezzo-soprano and Sar Strong, piano



About the Performers:


Danan Tsan, mezzo-soprano, graduated from Eastman (MM '00) with a classical degree and then took the logical next step: she joined the United States Army. After surviving basic training, Danan was assigned to the U.S. Army Field Band and joined the Soldiers' Chorus, later becoming lead singer for the same unit's rock band, The Volunteers. Danan toured for 5 years with these groups, including a memorable trip to Barrow, Alaska, a solo feature with the London Symphony Orchestra, and many features with The Chicago Pops, The Naples (FL) Pops, and The Cincinnati Pops. During the same time, Danan joined the Baltimore ska-punk band, 23 Skadoo, as lead vocalist and took the grungiest East Coast watering holes on a bender. She also provided lead vocals for a new age album by Annapolis based songwriter James Durham, Aeolian May. Danan is also a frequent performer with Syracuse Opera and is Associate Director of the Syracuse Community Choir.

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.


Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →


Danan Tsan

Sar-Shalom Strong, piano
 
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Coming April 5:



Junior B Sharp Musical Club


About the Performers:


The Junior B Sharp Musical Club was established in 1916 by the Senior B Sharp Musical Club to augment the musical offerings of the schools and private teachers for talented music students in the area. Through regular monthly meetings, the Jr. B Sharp Club gives its student members opportunities for solo and ensemble performance, contact with other outstanding area music students, and involvement in special feature programs and workshops presented by guest professionals. Membership is comprised of, but not limited to, students from the following school districts: Clinton Central Schools, CCS ; New Hartford Central Schools, NHC; Oneida High School, OHS; Oriskany High School, ORS; Proctor High School, PHS; Remsen Central School, RCS; Sauquoit Valley, SV; Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, VVS; Whitesboro Central Schools, WCS, and School HME.


Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

Library Concourse
Event calendar listing →

Junior B Sharp Music Club
 
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[NOTE: SPECIAL TIME AND LOCATION]

Coming April 11:



Adam LeFevre, poet

Winner: 2016 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize

About the Author:


Adam LeFevre’s latest poetry collection is A Swindler’s Grace (Western Michigan University Press). His other books include Starting Gate Award winner Ghost Light (Finishing Line) and Everything All at Once (Wesleyan University Press). Also a playwright and actor, he has appeared on Broadway and in more than a hundred screen roles, including Return of the Secaucus Seven, Philadelphia, You Can Count On Me, Hitch, Fool’s Gold, Taking Woodstock, and a dozen episodes of Law & Order. (Source: WordCafe.us)


SPECIAL EVENING READING: Event begins at 7:30 P.M.

SPECIAL LOCATION: Carbone Family Auditorium
Event calendar listing →
 
Adam LeFevre

 
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Coming April 12:



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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Coming April 19:



Benjamin Garcia, poet


About the Author:


Benjamin Garcia, a CantoMundo fellow, completed his MFA at Cornell University. His work has appeared in PANK, The Collagist, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. He works as a Community Health Specialist providing HIV/STD prevention education to at-risk communities throughout New York's Finger Lakes region


Event begins at 12:30 P.M.

MacFarlane Auditorium, DePerno Hall
Event calendar listing →

Benjamin Garcia, poet
 
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Coming April 26:



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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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