NO TEARS SUITE, commissioned by OXFORD AMERICAN being performed tonight

In September 2017, Oxford American premiered a 60-minute jazz composition entitled No Tears Suite, written by Little Rock jazz pianist Chris Parker and vocalist Kelley Hurt. The duo created the work in honor of unity on the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis.

In this reprisal, Parker and Hurt will again be joined by five exceptional jazz artists, including GRAMMY-winning jazz drummer Brian Blade, who played in the original 2017 ensemble, in addition to fifteen members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra who will premiere the new, expanded symphonic arrangements of the No Tears Suite written by GRAMMY-nominated arranger, composer and bassist Rufus Reid.

The program starts at 8pm tonight at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 W 9th Street.  Tickets may be purchased here.

The artists include:
Geoffrey Robson, conductor
Kelly Hurt, vocalist
Chris Parker, piano/composer
Rufus Reid, bass/arranger
Brian Blade, drums
Bobby LaVell, tenor saxophone
Marc Franklin, trumpet
Chad Fowler, alto and baritone saxophones

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Art of the String Quartet featuring ASO musicians tonight at the Clinton Center

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fourth concert of the 2018-2019 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music season with The Art of the String Quartet, Tuesday, Feb. 26th at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center.

ASO’s resident string quartets, Rockefeller String Quartet and Quapaw String Quartet, will perform Janáček’s “Kreutzer Sonata,” Mozart’s String Quartet No. 12, along with Puccini and Verdi’s string quartets.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Quapaw String Quartet was founded in 1980 as the ASO resident string quartet. Responding to what was clearly a statewide need, the ASO and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation began a partnership in 2000 to form the Rockefeller String Quartet. The quartets have developed a reputation for providing quality school programming, as well as performing statewide as a chamber ensemble and with the Arkansas Symphony. The quartets’ primary responsibilities include string education and outreach throughout the state reaching more than 26,000 Arkansas school children each year.

River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Concerts are held in the intimate setting of the Clinton Presidential Center’s Great Hall. A cash bar is open before the concert and at intermission, and patrons are invited to carry drinks into the concert. The Media Sponsor for the River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series is UA Little Rock Public Radio.

General Admission tickets are $23; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Clinton Presidential Center beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1.

 

Artists

Quapaw String Quartet

  •   Meredith Maddox Hicks, violin
  •   Charlotte Crosmer, violin
  •   Ryan Mooney, viola
  •   David Gerstein, cello

Rockefeller String Quartet

  •   Trisha McGovern Freeney, violin
  •   Katherine Williamson, violin
  •   Katherine Reynolds, viola
  •   Ethan Young, cello

Program
MOZART – String Quartet No. 12 in B-flat Major, K. 172 (Rockefeller)
JANÁČEK  – String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata” (Quapaw)
PUCCINI – String Quartet in D Major (Quapaw)
VERDI – String Quartet (Rockefeller)

ODE TO JOY and Spoken Word winners presented by Arkansas Symphony Orchestra this weekend

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor Philip Mann present the fourth concert of the 2018-2019 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks season, Beethoven’s 9th: Ode to Joy on Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th at the Robinson Center.

The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The program opens with a spoken word performance presented in partnership with the Central Arkansas Library System. After the spoken word segment, more than 300 singers from eight Arkansas collegiate and professional choirs will take the stage with ASO for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which also features vocal soloists soprano Maria Fasciano, mezzo soprano Christin-Marie Hill, tenor Vernon Di Carlo, and bass Adam Cioffari.

All concert ticket holders are also invited to Concert Conversations, a pre-concert talk one hour before each Masterworks concert in the Upper Tier Lobby of the Robinson Center. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Tickets are $16, $36, $57 and $68; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Robinson Center street-level 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 https://www.arkansassymphony.org/freekids.

Philip Mann, conductor

Spoken Word Performers
Osyrus Bolly
Brooke Elliott
Rosslyn Elliott
Red Hawk
Kristy Ikanih
Jamee McAdoo
Dariane LyJoi Mull
Marvin Schwartz

Beethoven Soloists 
Maria Fasciano, soprano
Christin-Marie Hill, mezzo soprano
Vernon Di Carlo, tenor
Adam Cioffari, bass

Arkansas Intercollegiate and Professional Chorus
Arkansas Chamber Singers, John Erwin, director
Arkansas State University, Cherie Collins, director
Harding University, Cliff Ganus, director
Lyon College, Michael Oriatti, director
Ouachita Baptist University, Gary Gerber, director
Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, David DeSeguirant, director
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Jerron Liddell, director
University of Central Arkansas, John Erwin, director

Program
VARIOUS – Spoken Word Performances
BEETHOVEN – Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

Tonight’s OXFORD AMERICAN “Americana” concert features Dom Flemons

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument and guitarThe Oxford American is excited to welcome Dom Flemons to Little Rock tonight (February 21).

Dom Flemons is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area. He is known as “The American Songster” since his repertoire of music covers nearly 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes. Flemons is a music scholar, historian, record collector and a multi-instrumentalist.

This is the third show in their 2018-19 Americana Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsor Stella Boyle Smith Trust.

Additional season partners include Chris & Jo Harkins, J. Mark & Christy Davis, UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, EVO Business Environments, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Stacy Hamilton of Pulaski Heights Realty, Margaret Ferguson Pope, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Capital Hotel, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery of Little Rock.

Tickets are $25 (General Admission), $32 (Reserved), and $34 (Premium Reserved). Please take a look at this very important ticketing and seating information before purchasing your tickets (view reserved seating chart)

2019 Grants announced by National Endowment for the Arts

Three Little Rock organizations were announced today as recipients of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  They are: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, and the Oxford American magazine.

Each year, more than 4,500 communities large and small throughout the United States benefit from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants to nonprofits. For the NEA’s first of two major grant announcements of fiscal year 2019, more than $25 million in grants across all artistic disciplines will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These grants are for specific projects and range from performances and exhibitions, to healing arts and arts education programs, to festivals and artist residencies.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc.
$10,000
Challenge America
To support concert performances and related outreach activities.

Chamber Music Society of Little Rock
$10,000
Challenge America
To support a series of chamber music performances and related educational programming.

Oxford American Literary Project
$20,000
Art Works — Literature
To support payments to writers for The Oxford American magazine.

In addition, three other Arkansas organizations and one Arkansas artist received funds. TheatreSquared of Fayetteville, received $30,000 for the Arkansas New Play Festival, the King Biscuit Blues Festival of Helena received $25,000, the Ozark Foothills Film Fest received $10,000, and Geffrey Davis of Fayetteville received $25,000 for a Creative Writing fellowship.

Tonight at 6:30, CALS presents Sounds in the Stacks with the ASO Quapaw Quartet at the CALS Williams Library Branch

Sounds in the Stacks: Quapaw QuartetExperience the beauty of string music of the highest caliber with the Quapaw String Quartet of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra!

This free concert at the CALS Williams Library will be a lovely way to take a break from the work week or introduce kids to the magic of violin, viola, and cello.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Quapaw Quartet includes Meredith Maddox Hicks, violin; Charlotte Crosmer, violin; Ryan Mooney, viola; and David Gerstein, cello.

It is today (February 12) from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at the CALS Sue Cowan Williams Library, which is located at 1800 South Chester Street.

Rock the Oscars 2019: James Earl Jones

Actor James Earl Jones has made several appearances in Central Arkansas over the years.  He has appeared at Robinson Center with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  On February 12, 1999, he narrated Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” and Alexander Miller’s “Let Freedom Ring” with the Symphony in a concert at Robinson Center.  (It was the 190th birthday for Lincoln.)

Born in Mississippi, he spent most of his childhood in Michigan.  After service in the Army during the Korean War, he moved to New York to study theatre.  In the late 1950s he started alternating between Broadway (where he often played a servant) and Off Broadway (where he played leading roles).  His first film appearance was in Dr. Strangelove….  From the 1960s onward he has alternated between stage, film and TV.  In the 1980s, he added voice work to his repertoire.

In 1969 and in 1987, he won Tony Awards for Actor in a Play (The Great White Hope and Fences, respectively).  His other Tony nominations have been for revivals of On Golden Pond and The Best Man.  He was nominated for an Oscar in 1970 for reprising The Great White Hope on film.  He received two Emmy Awards in 1991 – the only actor to ever win two in the same year.

In 2008, he won the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2011 he was given an Honorary Oscar.  In 2002, he was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient.

He is probably best loved for his work as the voice of Darth Vader in many of the Star Wars films as well as his voicework in The Lion King.