Free Performance Celebrates 150 Years of UNH Music, Theatre and Dance

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Thursday, November 2, 2017
UNH aerial dancers

Courtesy photo

DURHAM, N.H. – More than 150 music, theatre and dance students at the University of New Hampshire will celebrate 150 years of the arts in a free performance at The Music Hall in Portsmouth Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public but registration for a complimentary ticket is required.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to share the excellence of our students in the arts with a wider audience,” said Jenni Cook, professor of music and chair of the department. “It will be an incredible evening that allows us to showcase the depth and breadth of our talented students in everything from aerial dance and ballet to theatre and singing.” The evening will feature students of the UNH Orchestra, Chamber Singers, Wind Symphony, Jazz Combo, Ballet and Aerial Troupes, Acting and Music Theatre. 

In addition to performances by the UNH Wind Symphony (Finale from Symphony No. 6) and aerial dance troupe, scenes from two recent theatre productions will be acted. “The Bone Bridge,” winner of the 2016 Woodward International Playwriting Prize, was written by Trina Davies. Set in 1990s Bosnia, by turns searing and morbidly funny, it tells how a handful of Bosnians, victims and perpetrators alike, try to mend their lives in the aftermath of the genocide and associated atrocities. “Shrek the Musical” is based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and book by William Steig.

The UNH Orchestra and ballet dancers will join forces to present Reminiscence, featuring works by composers Amy Beach (1867-1944), a New Hampshire native, and Edward Elgar (1857-1934). Beach was the first American woman to compose a symphony and have her works performed by major orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. Her “Masked Ball” was composed and first performed in 1893. UNH is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Beach’s birth this year with a series of events.

The UNH Chamber Singers will perform two pieces: “Liszt Ferenchez” by Zoltan Kodály, a Hungarian who was one of the finest choral composers of the 20th century, and “Irish Tune from County Derry” arranged by Percy Grainger. “Liszt Ferenchez” was written for the 50th anniversary of the death of 19th century Hungarian composer Franz Liszt. Grainger was a well-known collector and arranger of folk songs. He is most famous for his arrangement of what is known as “Danny Boy.”

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.