Home for the Holidays with the ASO and Maestro Philip Mann this weekend

Maestro Philip Mann and the musicians of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra welcome singers Maria Fasciano and Vernon Di Carlo, Arkansas Chamber Singers, and the Episcopal Collegiate School Steel Drum Band to take the Robinson Center Performance Hall stage on December 14-16.

Kids aged one to one hundred will enjoy fun holiday favorites like “Silver Bells,” “O Holy Night,” and “White Christmas,” fun selections from The Nutcracker featuring steel drums, brassy Henry Mancini arrangements and winter-themed orchestral music.

Concerts are tonight at 7:30, Saturday, December 15 at 7:30 and Sunday, December 16 at 3:00.  Because Sunday’s show is nearly sold out, the Entergy Kids’ Ticket program has been extended to tonight’s concert.

ANDERSON – Sleigh Ride
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV – Dance of the Tumblers from The Snow Maiden Suite
LIVINGSTON/EVANS arr. Holcombe – Silver Bells (Vernon Di Carlo, vocal)
MANCINI – Joy
ADAMS/Ryden – O Holy Night (Maria Fasciano, vocal)
BERLIN/Moss – White Christmas (Vernon Di Carlo, vocal)
BIZET – IV. Farandole from L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2
TYZIK – Twelve Gifts of Christmas (Maria Fasciano, vocal)

~INTERMISSION~

MANCINI/Hayes – Christmas Rhapsody
TCHAIKOVSKY – Selections from The Nutracker (with the Episcopal Collegiate School Steel Drum Band)
RICHMAN – Hanukkah Festival Overture
STYNE/Hayes – The Christmas Waltz (with chorus)
COURTNEY – Festival Gloria (with chorus)
HERMAN/Hayes – We Need a Little Christmas (with chorus)
FINNEGAN – Singalong

Extras!
Pre-concert happenings in the marble lobby:

  • Friday: Concertmaster Andrew Irvin’s violin caroling ensemble
  • Saturday: Brent Shires (ASO horn) leads his Hornaments ensemble
  • Sunday: Annual Children’s Fair (begins at 2 p.m.)
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Arkansas Gives today from 8am to 8pm

If you are like me, you’ve been receiving notifications about Arkansas Gives Day for months.  Well, today is the day!  From 8am until 8pm, you can help grow the love for Arkansas’s nonprofit organizations by making a donation to the charity of your choice.  The event is sponsored by the Arkansas Community Foundation.

As a special incentive to give, each gift made through ArkansasGives on April 6, 2017, will be matched with additional bonus dollars; the more you give, the more bonus dollars your favorite charity will receive.

Nonprofit organizations and other tax-exempt charitable organizations may participate if they:

  • Are headquartered in Arkansas or have a base of operations in Arkansas.
  • Have 501(c)(3) tax exempt status under IRS code AND are qualified as a 509(a)(1), (a)(2) or (a)(3) organization or as a private operating foundation.

The minimum amount is $25; there is no maximum amount you may give. You may designate up to 10 charities per transaction.

Accepted Forms of Payment: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards online.
You will receive an email receipt of your gift; please retain it for tax purposes. Unless you choose to remain anonymous, your donor information will be sent to the nonprofits to which you give.

Here is a list of cultural organizations which offer services within the boundaries of the City of Little Rock.

 

There are MANY MANY MANY other worthy nonprofits which are participating. But since this is a culture blog, only the cultural institutions are listed.  But please consider visiting the website and perusing the entire list.

Black History Month – Kristin Lewis & Christin-Marie Hill with Arkansas Symphony at Robinson Center

aso-mahler-soloTonight at Robinson Center, soprano Kristin Lewis and mezz-soprano Christin-Marie Hill will be soloists as the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony.  The concert will be repeated tomorrow.  Under the baton of Music Director Philip Mann, these two ladies and the ASO will be joined by combined choirs from UA Little Rock, UCA, Lyon College, Hendrix College and the Arkansas Chamber Singers.  Yesterday the two soloists hosted a Brown Bag Lunch at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center as a way for the community to meet them.

Kristin Lewis is a native of Little Rock.  A lyrico-spinto soprano lauded for her interpretations of Verdi heroines, she began her vocal studies at the University of Central Arkansas under the guidance of Dr. Martha Antolik. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, she continued with her Master of Music studies at the University of Tennessee with Ms. Kay Paschal and Mr. Andrew Wentzel. Her postgraduate instruction was led by Dr. Jonathan Retzlaff. She currently lives in Vienna, Austria, and is a student of Carol Byers.

A recipient of many honors, Ms. Lewis was recently awarded the 2015 College of Arts and Sciences Divisional Achievement Award for the Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She was awarded the Orazio Tosi Prize 2012, given by the Club Lirica Parma, at the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi. Ms. Lewis was named the 2010 recipient of the Artist of the Year Award by the Savonlinna Opera Festival. In addition, she was voted a 2010 recipient of the coveted “Oscars of the Opera” by the Foundation of Verona for the Arena. She is a two-time National Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. She has also been a finalist of the “XLVI Concours International de Chant de la Ville de Toulouse”, a winner of the “Internationalen Gesangswettbewerb Ferruccio Tagliavini” and a winner of the “Concorso Internazionale Di Musica Gian Battista Viotti”. Ms. Lewis also won the Opera Prize and the Audience Award in the “Concorso Internationale di Canto Debutto A Meran.  In 2015, she made her Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with Mahler’s Second Symphony.

Christin-Marie Hill previously sang with the ASO in Verdi’s Messa de Requieum and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.  Career highlights  include singing with the Minnesota Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Kansas Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Tanglewood Festival, and as a soloist with the Mark Morris Dance Company.  An avid concert and oratorio soloist, Ms. Hill’s extensive list of concert credits include appearances with the Memphis Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Utah Festival Opera Orchestra, and Atlanta Symphony.

A native of Evanston, Illinois, her distinctions include a fellowship in voice from the University of Illinois as well as career grants from the San Francisco Opera, the Rislov Foundation, the Kaplan Foundation, and the 2005 Elardo International Opera Competition. Ms. Hill holds bachelor’s degrees in French literature and sociology, and a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Illinois.

Bernstein and Brahms this weekend with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

ASO B&BThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth concert of the 2015-2016 Masterworks series: Bernstein & Brahms, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 27 and 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 28 at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center at Maumelle High School. Eight collegiate choruses join the ASO to perform Brahms’s German Requiem and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Bernstein & Brahms is sponsored by CHI St. Vincent. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.

Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at www.ArkansasSymphony.org/freekids

Choral Ensembles
The ASO will collaborate with choirs from around the state of Arkansas for Bernstein & Brahms. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir is featured on Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Brahms’s German Requiem features choirs from Arkansas State University, Harding University,  Lyon College, Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Central Arkansas, and the Arkansas Chamber Singers.

Concert Conversations
All concert ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert lecture an hour before each Masterworks concert. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Shuttle service is available
The ASO provides shuttle service from Second Presbyterian Church in Pleasant Valley to the Maumelle Performing Arts Center and back after the concert. For more information and to purchase fare at $10 per rider per concert, please visit https://www.arkansassymphony.org/concerts-tickets/shuttle-service

 

Program
Bernstein            Chichester Psalms
with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir

Brahms                 Ein Deutsches Requiem
with mass collegiate choir and the Arkansas Chamber Singers

Program notes
Bernstein composed Chichester Psalms during a sabbatical from conducting in 1965. In his own words, “I wrote a lot of music, twelve-tone music and avant garde music of various kinds, and a lot of it was very good, and I threw it all away. And what I came out with at the end of the year was a piece called Chichester Psalms, which is simple and tonal and tuneful and as pure B-flat as any piece you can think of.” Ein Deutsches Requiem was not composed for the people of Germany, but in the German language and was intended to be addressed to all mankind. Breaking from the historic requiem form, in which there is a strong focus on Judgment and the seeking of forgiveness, Brahms instead concentrates on offering consolation to the living who are mourning their departed loved ones.

2015 In Memoriam – Helen Caruthers

1515 CaruthersHelen Caruthers loved classical music. It was one of her life’s callings. (Another was being devoted to her family.)  After graduating with a degree in Music Education from Mississippi State College for Women, she was a music educator the rest of her life.

She was involved in music teaching and performing in Tennessee, Georgia and Colorado before arriving in Little Rock in 1977.  Once she arrived in Arkansas, she made her mark here. As someone who had served as a church organist and sung in many church choirs, it was no surprise that she created and led the children’s choir at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

But liturgical music was not her only interest.  She was interested in many kinds of music, but especially classical.  She taught piano to several generations of students. Along the way, she instilled other lessons into the students such as the value of practice, concentration, diligence and doing your best.

Helen was a tireless volunteer for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Chamber Singers, the Little Rock Musical Coterie, and countless other musical organizations. She was also a member of the Aesthetic Club. She pursued all these endeavors with a gentle voice and a graceful poise that charmed all who knew her.  Even as she endured a six year battle with ovarian cancer, she would attend as many musical events as possible to show support for the musicians and to enjoy the music.

The photo on the right (which was used for her obituary) captures the essence of Helen Caruthers. She holds a musical score in her hands, while pausing by the door with purse and keys. She is either on her way out or on her way back, but in either case – you can tell she was a woman on a mission. But she also is glad to pause for a second to smile graciously and gracefully for the camera. It is helpful to remember to take those pauses in life.  Much like in a musical score, rests are essential to help us enjoy the rest of the music.

Music of the Night this weekend in Little Rock presented by Arkansas Chamber Singers

acs nightThis weekend the Arkansas Chamber Singers present their first concerts of the season.  Entitled “Music of the Night,” they will take place at St. Edward’s Catholic Church on Friday evening at 7:30pm and at St. James United Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm.

Under the leadership of John Erwin, artistic director and conductor, the concert features excerpts from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “All Night Vigil”, “Sure On This Shining Night” by Morten Lauridsen and “Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine” by Eric Whitacre. The choir will also perform “Dark Night of the Soul” by Ola Gjeilo and “Abendlied”, “O Schne Nacht” and “Sehnsucht” by Johannes Brahms.

Lynn Bauman is the accompanist, and Lisette Christensen is the executive director.

 

Tickets purchased in advance are $15 Adult and $10 Student; at the door they are $18 Adults, $12 Students.

10 Years of 2nd Friday Art Night

In March 2005, the first 2nd Friday Art Night took place. Tonight celebrates 10 years.

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of 2nd Friday Art Night, the Arkansas Times and venues are partnering to host the Art Can drive benefitting the Arkansas Food Bank.

Guests are encouraged to donate canned goods, canned/packaged meals, soup, peanut butter, cereal, 100% juice, pasta & pasta sauce, powdered milk, diapers and bath tissue at 2nd Friday Art Night venues on March 13 from 5 to 8 pm.

Among the highlights are:

Historic Arkansas Museum – The free opening reception of Recent Acquisitions from 5pm to 8pm will feature live music by The John Burnette Band.

Tulips have been donated for the anniversary celebration by the Downtown Little Rock Partnership and P. Allen Smith.

The Recent Acquisitions exhibition will feature objects acquired for the museum’s permanent collection from 2012 to late 2014. The exhibition includes both 2-D and 3-D historical artifacts as well as contemporary pieces relevant to Arkansas history and heritage.
The Year of Arkansas Beer, sponsored by Historic Arkansas Museum Foundation and presented by Arkansas Brewers Guild, continues with Ozark Beer Co.’s American Pale Ale.

 
Old State House Museum –  Tonight at 7, as well as Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 3, the Arkansas Chamber Singers’ third concert of the season, “Music of the Civil War Era.” Choral music composed during, performed during, or inspired by the American Civil War featuring music by Verdi, Brahms, Stephen Foster and many Civil War tunes arranged for choir.Admission is free, reserve your seat today by visiting the Arkansas Chamber Singers Web site.

 

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies A Different State of Mind: An Exhibition by the Arkansas Society of Printmakers (On view through June 27, 2015)

This exhibition presents a collection of prints in a variety of media by the members of the Arkansas Society of Printmakers (ASP). Print techniques featured include relief, screen printing, intaglio, photogravure, monoprint, and lithography. Artists whose work is presented include Daniel Adams, Dustyn Bork, Win Bruhl, Ernest Cialone, Warren Criswell, Paige Dirksen, Debi Fendley, Melissa Gill, Diane Harper, Neal Harrington, Tammy Harrington, Kristin Karr, Jennifer Perren, Jessi Perren, Regan Renfro, Dominique Simmons, Thomas Sullivan, David Warren, and Jane Watson.

Warren Criswell, whose work is featured in A Different State of Mind, will give a talk about linocut, his style of printmaking, at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 13, in Butler Center Galleries.

Featured artist: Angela Davis Johnson is best known for her vibrant narrative paintings that examine universal connections, identity, and historical occurrences through personal symbols.

Entertainment in the galleries will be provided by the Itinerant Locals, an accordion and tuba duo from Hot Springs.

2nd Friday Art Night began in March of 2005 to bring attention to downtown Little Rock as a growing arts and cultural destination with several galleries and museums within strolling distance of each other. In addition to highlighting existing art venues 2nd Friday Art Night has, over the past decade, contributed to the development of a vibrant nightlife rich with art, history, live music and shopping.

By encouraging galleries, museums and cultural institutions to keep their doors open late one evening each month, the event has contributed to the thriving business environment of downtown Little Rock, improved the quality of life of those who work, live and play downtown and welcomed travelers to experience Little Rock in a fun way.