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

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

Final Wildwood House Concert of Season tonight – Dreaming Sophia

WW dreamingDreaming Sophia will close out the Wildwood House Concert series tonight under the Pavilion on October 8 at 7 pm.

Dreaming Sophia came into being around six years ago.  Ted Williams had been a percussionist and flutist for many years when he picked up a guitar and transferred his knowledge and experience with world rhythms to a new chordal medium.  His wife Sonja would hear him combining chord with time, and inspired, began writing lyrics and melody lines to accompany his rhythm guitar.

The husband and wife song-writing team soon joined with violinist, Jason Choate, and proceeded to create an extensive repertoire of songs with gypsy, folk, jazz and alternative rock roots.   Drawing on universal themes with an Ozark twist, the song list expanded, as did the band.  Marvin Schwartz added mandolin, David Alexander brought in bass and, most recently, the band added Rand Retzloff’s drumming and percussion.

The songs of Dreaming Sophia are eclectic.  They are philosophically lyrical, yet as down to earth as an Arkansas morning.  Whether illustrating rekindled romance, the excitement of a child at a Southern fair, or coming back home, the songs pay tribute to longing, love, remembrance and compassion.

Admissions is a $15 suggested donation; doors open at 6:30 pm.  There will be beer, wine and snacks available for purchase.

MEMPHIS at Arkansas Rep is focus of Clinton School Program today at noon

THEREP_MEMPHIS (no credits)-page-001The Arkansas Repertory Theatre works in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service to participate in the UACS’s Distinguished Speaker Series, hosting educational panel discussions on various Rep productions.

The latest in these takes place today, Thursday, September 4 at 12 noon at Sturgis Hall in Clinton Presidential Park.

Join Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp, Memphis Director Lynne Kurdziel-Formato, cast members Brent DiRoma and Jasmin Richardson, and author Marvin Schwartz for a panel discussion on this Tony Award-winning musical.


Memphis opens officially on Friday evening and runs through Sunday, September 28.

“We Wanna Boogie” at Legacies & Lunch Today

we_wanna_boogieRockabilly great Sonny Burgess, of Newport, Arkansas, and his band the Legendary Pacers are the topic of We Wanna Boogie, a new release from Butler Center Books by Marvin Schwartz, who will speak at Legacies & Lunch, the Butler Center’s monthly lecture series, on Wednesday, September 3, at noon in the Main Library’s Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street. Books will be available for purchase; Schwartz, Burgess, and band members Jim Aldridge, Fred Douglas, Bobby Crafford, and Kern Kennedy will sign copies after the talk.

In We Wanna Boogie, Burgess and his band members tell of their original recordings for Sun Records in the 1950s and their shows with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others. Burgess, whose music evolved in the Silver Moon and other clubs around the Arkansas delta, has influenced rock and roll music internationally and has led the contemporary rockabilly revival in the U.S. and overseas. The book also tells the history of a once prominent and high spirited delta community of extensive agricultural wealth. Newport was home to numerous music clubs, which often housed both performances by national artists and illicit back-room gambling.

Legacies & Lunch is free, open to the public, and sponsored in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Attendees may bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided. For more information, contact 501-918-3033.