Second annual Collage Concert presents a colorful canvas of UNCSA musical talent

The second annual Collage Concert at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts  features music by the world’s greatest classical composers, plus contemporary jazz and percussion arrangements, with film and dance thrown in for good measure. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in the Stevens Center at 405 West Fourth St.

Tickets are $18 regular and $15 student and are available online or by calling the box office at (336) 721-1945.

From George Gershwin to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, from Richard Rodgers to Jerome Kern, this unique concert presentation is a rollicking, non-stop kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, said Music Director Christopher James Lees. “We showcase the virtuosity from throughout the School of Music with special cameos from the other arts schools as well,” Lees said.

Chris Lees

Christopher James Lees is Music Director and creator of UNCSA's Collage Concert.

“No matter what your taste, we’ve got something special for you in this unforgettable evening that displays our students’ talent fully ablaze,” he added.

Lees said Collage offers diversity that is not found in traditional concert formats. “In addition to composers revered and established, we offer contemporary American composers from all corners of the globe. Where else can you hear a beatboxing flutist, a solo guitarist, a live symphony orchestra, a saxophone quartet beside works by our own student composers with the ink still wet?

“Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin and Strauss are all represented, but I think people will be astounded by the music of composers like John Mackey and Jun Nagao they may not have met yet, Lees said.

“This concert format beautifully showcases the depth of talent we have in the School of Music, and the breadth and range of our repertoire,” said new School of Music Dean Brian Cole, who conducts the Symphony Orchestra to conclude the concert with Stravinsky’s Firebird Finale.

Brian Cole

School of Music Dean Brian Cole will conduct Stravinsky's "Firebird Finale." 

“It is a truly dynamic show that offers something for everyone. Our ‘Collage' is painted on a broad canvas, and we are sure that the audience will leave the Stevens Center satisfied,” Cole added.

In addition to every instrument taught in the School of Music, the concert will include dance and an animated student film.

“What makes UNCSA unique among arts conservatories is the range of disciplines that train here. No other school has this combination of music, dance, film, drama, design and theatre production,” Cole said. “The School of Music is proud to showcase all of that.”

The animated short film “Splash,” featuring music by graduate student composer Trinity Velez, will be shown. A 2016 third-year film, “Splash was written and directed by Gavin Lankford with animation by Lankford and Alek Kosinksi, produced by Noelle Aleman. The film, about bath toys who band together to save themselves after being left behind by their boy, recently screened at the Savannah (Ga.) Film Festival and is scheduled for the Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington Nov. 9-13 and the Carrboro (N.C.) Film Festival Nov. 19 and 20.

Jazz Ensemble

Members of the Jazz Ensemble perform during the first Collage Concert in April 2016 

Musical offerings during the Collage Concert include:

  • Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, student composer Alexander Umfleet’s Vilkyr’am, the Black Dragon and John Mackey’s Frozen Cathedral, all performed by the Wind Ensemble, conducted by Mark Norman;  
  • Kern’s “Yesterdays” and Rodgers’ “Lover,” performed by the Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Ronald Rudkin;
  • Giocchino Rossini’s William Tell Overture, performed by the Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lees;
  • Edgard Varese’s Ionisation, performed by the Percussion Ensemble, conducted by John R. Beck;
  • Kevin McKee’s Escape, performed by the Chrysalis Brass Quintet (Chris Williams and Lousson Smith, trumpet; Brittany Thomas, horn; Daniel Kane, trombone; and CJ Luke, bass trombone);
  • Greg Patillo’s “First Beat” from Three Beats for Beatbox Flute performed by Sami Eudy on flute accompanying dancer Katherine Neumann;
  • Jun Nagao’s Quatuor, for saxophones, II. Chercher performed by saxophone quartet of Caleb Carpenter, Timothy Bachman, Andrew Hasher and Kyle Greaney; and
  • Carlo Domeniconi’s Koyunbaba (Movement IV: Presto) performed by guitarist Drake Duffer.

by Lauren Whitaker

November 8, 2016