April 7, 2016, Blue Bell, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) invites the community to a series of student performances starting with the Dance Ensemble Concert on Saturday, April 23, followed by the Chamber Strings Concert on Sunday, April 24, and concluding with the Performing Arts Showcase concerts on April 25, 27 and 28. All performances are held in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.
The concerts are free and open to the public, but tickets are required. To reserve your seat, visit mc3.edu/arts/student-performance or call the box office at 215-641-6518. The Performing Arts Showcase, Dance and Chamber Strings concerts are presented at the end of every semester.
On Saturday, April 23, at 8 p.m. the Dance Performance Ensemble will present “Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up,” as well as several student-choreographed dances. This production of “Peter Pan” pays tribute to both the baby boomer generation and the current youth culture by interweaving music of the 60s and 70s with today’s popular music. In this version, the Native Americans have been re-envisioned as flower children. Students in MCCC’s Graphic Design classes created the backdrops for the show. This family friendly performance will be enjoyed by all ages.
MCCC’s Dance Performance Ensemble. Photo by Sandi Yanisko
On Sunday, April 24, at 4 p.m., the Chamber Strings Concert will feature the 30-piece orchestra under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Guerriero. The performance will feature the music of Frederick Chopin, George Gershwin and Peter Warlock. An ice cream social will be held following the concert.
The featured soloist for the concert is pianist Dr. Soh Lee. A native of Seoul, Korea, Dr. Lee studied her undergraduate and graduate music program at Han Yang University in Seoul. She then came to United States and enrolled at West Chester University, where she studied with Dr. Veleta and received master’s degree in piano pedagogy. She continued her musical studies at Rutgers University and completed her doctoral degree in piano performance. With a lifelong commitment to church music, she presently is pianist at Pughtown Baptist church in Pughtown, Pa. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, a national music honor society, and has been actively teaching and pursuing effective pedagogical methods. She is currently a faculty member at MCCC and Ursinus College.
On Monday, April 25, at 12:30 p.m. students will present a one-hour matinee preview of the full shows, including selections from the music and dance programs.
On Wednesday, April 27, at 7 p.m. the Performing Arts Showcase concert will feature the MCCC Choir and Chamber Choir. The program,“From Shakespeare to Sondheim,” will feature musical settings of Shakespearean texts, some written and performed by students in the MCCC music program, along with a rousing medley of highlights from the Sondheim/Bernstein classic, “West Side Story.” In addition, the choir will reprise excerpts of their recent well-received performance of the Mozart “Requiem.”
Members of MCCC’s Choir performing with Maestro Thomas Hong in March 2016. Photo by Sandi Yanisko
On Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m. the Performing Arts Showcase will feature the MCCC Jazz Lab Band and the Performance Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Robin Haffley. The ensembles will be performing some contemporary vocal and instrumental interpretations of classic jazz compositions by Henry Mancini, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Miles Davis, and Dave Brubeck, among others.
The featured guest soloist will be Philadelphia jazz legend, Larry McKenna. A tenor saxophonist, McKenna has performed as soloist with many jazz greats such as Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Buddy DeFranco, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Peter Nero & the Philly Pops and many more. He is currently an instructor of jazz theory, harmony, and saxophone at the Community College of Philadelphia, and has numerous advanced private students, many of whom are well-known professional musicians. One of his CDs, My Shining Hour, has received critical acclaim from reviewers all across the United States and Canada. Music arranged by McKenna has been played on “The Tonight Show,” with Johnny Carson, and in the 1984 movie, “Birdy,” starring Nicholas Cage.
About MCCC’s Dance Program
MCCC is accepting registration for fall for its Associate in Arts degree program in Dance offered at its West Campus in Pottstown. This 63-credit program provides both a liberal arts background and dance courses comparable to classes offered during the first two years at a four-year institution. Classes include modern dance, ballet, jazz, hip hop, dance improvisation, dance composition, dance repertory and performance, dance wellness and fitness and dance history. The Associate in Arts degree program in Dance allows students to transfer into a baccalaureate program in dance at many colleges and universities.
Dance classes are open to all students, regardless of their majors, and will meet core education requirements for Exercise and Health Sciences and Aesthetic Sensibility and the Arts.
About MCCC’s Music Program
Montgomery County Community College’s Music Program offers students a broad variety of opportunities to explore music. The AA program enables graduates to seamlessly transfer and pursue their baccalaureate music degrees at many four-year institutions, including West Chester University, Temple University, University of the Arts, and Mansfield University, to name a few. For composers or producers who wish to bring their craft to the next level, we have music theory and digital music classes that are taught in state-of-the art music labs, with access to professional studios. All classes are open to all students, regardless of their majors. Students who want to continue their music interests for sheer enjoyment or those who want to enrich their music knowledge and appreciation will find a variety of opportunities to do so.
Additionally, performers have many options at Montgomery County Community College. Singers are encouraged to join one of the choral ensembles. Instrumentalists have several groups to choose from. The Chamber Strings welcomes all players of violin, viola, cello, and string bass. The Jazz Ensembles are open to saxophone, trumpet, trombone, keyboard, guitar, bass and drum set players. The Wind Ensemble is available to brass and woodwind players and percussionists. Guitar and piano classes are available at every level, from beginner to advanced musicians.
- Diane VanDyke