Guitar legend Joe Bonamassa coming back to the Weidner on Thursday, March 12

GRAMMY®-nominated blues-rock guitar icon, Joe Bonamassa, returns to the Weidner Center March 12, 2020 in support of his all-original studio album “Redemption.” Hailed worldwide as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, Joe Bonamassa has almost single-handedly redefined the blues-rock genre and brought it into the mainstream. Tickets are on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Weidner Center website.

Save the date: Upcoming at the Lawton Gallery

Save the date for the following events occurring at the Lawton Gallery located in Theatre Hall at UW-Green Bay:

Topographies: Work by Jessica Calderwood, Sarah Gross, Debbie Kupinsky, Michelle Tobia and Valerie Zimany, March 2 through 30
Opening Reception: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 2, 2017

Each artist seeks to create an experience that allows viewers to contemplate the meaning of their own personal terrains and challenge them to consider the cultural, physical and spiritual notions of topography. The artists were chosen for a diverse approach to concept, material, surface and form. Featured artists include Jessica Calderwood, an associate professor at Ball State University; Sarah Gross, an assistant professor at the University of Kansas-Lawrence; Debbie Kupinsky, an assistant professor at St. Norbert College; Michelle Tobia, a studio artist in North Wales, Pa.; and Valerie Zimany, an assistant professor at Clemson University.

Bill Sallak, Gallery Concert, Noon, Friday, March 3
UW-Green Bay Assistant Prof. Bill Sallak (Music) teaches percussion, recording technology and world music. Sallak will be performing Michael Pisaro’s Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds for solo crotales and sine tones. The Lawton Gallery serves as a fantastic acoustic space in which to enjoy this delicate and ambient work. Audience members are invited to come and go as they please, and walk around the Lawton Gallery space to enjoy the piece’s many subtleties. Sallak will give a short talk at noon before playing.

Strong reviews for Theatre’s ‘Wonderful Life’

We thought it was an entertaining production (with a spectacular set, great 1940s costuming and strong student performances)… and so did WFRV critic-at-large Warren Gerds. In his review of Thursday night’s UW-Green Bay Theatre, Dance and Music production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Show,” Gerds summarized the evening as “something special at the Weidner.”  The second and final show is tonight (7:30, Nov. 20) in Cofrin Family Hall. See review. 

Brass, Hand Drumming ensembles share concert Nov. 24

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music program brings the fall semester to a close with an eclectic concert offering music from classical brass to African-inspired percussion as the Phoenix Brass Ensemble and Hand Drumming Ensemble share the bill at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 24) at the University Theatre in Theatre Hall on the UW-Green Bay campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

The student brass ensemble performs under the direction of Associate Prof. Adam Gaines, the trumpet and jazz studies director for the UW-Green Bay Music program. Prof. Cheryl Grosso, a percussion and world music specialist, directs the student drum ensemble.

The Phoenix Brass Ensemble will open the program with Daniel Hodgson’s “Three Marches of the American Revolutionary Days” featuring the General Green March, Banks of the Swale, and Shellpott Hill. Next up is “Divertimento for Brass and Percussion” by Karel Husa. The group will also perform “Pange Lingua” by Anton Bruckner, “Fanfare & Chorus,” by Dietrich Buxtehude, “Introduction and Allegro” by Robert Beadell, “March of a Marionette” by Charles Gounod, and “Satin Doll,” by Duke Ellington.

After a brief intermission, the UW-Green Bay Hand Drumming Ensemble will begin with “Rock Etude 16,” by Bill Douglas, followed by selections from Prof. Grosso’s Rhythm Chant series. Compositions featured will by “Rhythm Chant C&Rm,” Rhythm Chant MM,” “Rhythm Chant 14,” and “Rhythm Chant GG,” along with the composition “Rhythm Chant Finito,” arranged by members of the student ensemble.

UW-Green Bay is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. See the UW-Green Bay Music site for more information.


UW-Green Bay Theatre presents “It’s a Wonderful Life”

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Theatre and Dance and Music presents the beloved holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.

The performances of It’s A Wonderful Life will take place Thursday and Friday, Nov. 19-20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cofrin Family Hall at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Frank Capra’s classic holiday film was adapted for the stage by Joe Landry in 2006 and quickly became an anticipated annual event in cities across the country. Performed as a live radio broadcast set on Christmas Eve, 1946, audiences are transported to the days of Old Time Radio. An ensemble of 11 actors play dozens of characters, perform commercial jingles and create sound effects to tell the story of Bedford Falls’ George Bailey as he is given a great gift by Clarence Oddbody one fateful Christmas Eve.

Feature-Wonderful-LifeProduction Director and Professor of Theatre, Laura Riddle, is excited to bring It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play to the Weidner Center on the UW-Green Bay campus as a part of the University’s 50th Anniversary celebration. “I have always been a fan of Old Time Radio and tune in to Wisconsin Public Radio every Sunday night to hear rebroadcasts of old radio shows, stories told in a way that invite the listeners to imagine the action in great detail through enhanced underscoring and sound effects. Our production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play treats the audience to a look “behind-the scenes” for a live radio broadcast. The audience sees actors changing characters using only their voices and sound effects are created live at a Foley table using objects from corn flakes to water basins.”

All elements are performed live and include a live band playing popular music and holiday songs from the 1940’s. It’s a Wonderful Life is a collaboration of UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance and UW-Green Bay Music. The original score by Kevin Connors has been custom tailored for the UWGB production by Nick Schommer and Kelsie Holtzheimer, UW-Green Bay Music students who have composed new arrangements and original compositions.

It’s a Wonderful Life directorial/production team: Laura Riddle (Director), Courtney Sherman (Musical Director), Denise Carlson-Gardner (Choreographer), Nick Schommer and Kelsie Holtzheimer (original compositions and arrangements) Jeffrey Paul Entwistle (Scenic Designer), Kaoime E. Malloy (Costume/Make Up Designer), R. Michael Ingraham (Lighting Designer, Technical Designer), Dana Mehlhorn (Sound Designer), Jeff Chesebro and Paul Heim (Foley Designers), David Cook (Assistant Technical Director) Bri Wolfe (Stage Manager).

Wonderful-life2It’s a Wonderful Life cast: Emily Ahrens (Roscoe, IL), Selena Deer (New Berlin, WI), Max Frost (De Pere, WI), Ashley Gutting (Ashwaubenon, WI), Nick Schommer (Jackson, WI), Millie Haushalter (Brillion, WI), Adam Rosenow (Shawano, WI), Talor Sohr (Green Bay, WI), Kit Honkanen (Green Bay, WI), Daniel Taddy (Sturgeon Bay, WI), Tyler Wood (Pulaski, WI)

It’s a Wonderful Life orchestra: Courtney Sherman (Conductor), Laura Cortright, flute (Green Bay, WI), Keton Jennings, sax (Poynette, WI), Gatlin Grimm, trumpet (Green Bay, WI), Joe Russett, trombone (Green Bay, WI), Collin Catalano, upright bass; Bobby Magers, drums (Green Bay, WI), Kyle Sweeney, piano (Fox Point, WI), Ryan Dummer, piano (Green Bay, WI)

It’s a Wonderful Life crew: Matthew Beecher (Assistant Stage Manager) (Milwaukee, WI), Erin Pagenkopf (Assistant Stage Manager) (Sussex, WI), Jake Gerlikovski (Master Electrician) (Green Bay, WI), David Cook (Scene Shop Supervisor), Elizabeth Galba (Costume Shop Supervisor) (Cascade, WI), Cody Von Ruden (Wardrobe Head, Makeup Crew) (Cashton, WI), Katy Kluever (Menasha, WI) and Cody Galligan (Campbellsport, WI) (Wardrobe Crew), Zeb Burks (Sound Technician) (Ettrick, WI), Scene Shop Practicum Students (Carpenters and Costume Technicians), (Electricians and Paint Crew).

Tickets for It’s A Wonderful Life range from $25 to $35. Special pricing for UWGB students is $20. To purchase tickets.


Jazz ensembles celebrate UW-Green Bay’s 50th with ‘That ‘60s Show’

jazz-poster-webGREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin Green Bay Music program pays tribute to the school’s 50th anniversary with instrumental and vocal jazz ensembles combining in concert to present “That ‘60s Show,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 14) in the University Theatre, located in Theatre Hall on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Performing will be three student ensembles:  Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Ensemble II, and the Vocal Jazz Ensembles, all under the direction of Associate Profs. of Music John Salerno and Adam Gaines.

Admission is $10 for the general public, $5 for seniors and free for students of all ages. Tickets may be purchased at the door on the night of the performance.

Gaines’s Jazz Ensemble II will open the concert with a heavy dose of the Beatles — jazz arrangements of the classic Lennon and McCartney tunes “Michelle,” “And I Love Her” and “Norwegian Wood” — along with a swingin’ version of the Bobby Troup hit “Route 66” and a performance of the classic American blues tune “House of the Rising Sun,” made famous in the 1964 hit by the British rock group The Animals.

Following intermission, the 10-member Vocal Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Salerno, will perform vintage 1960s jazz-tinged selections, as announced from the stage. The vocal jazz set will be followed by Salerno’s top instrumental group, Jazz Ensemble I, who will close the concert with selections to be announced from stage.


Jazz concert, this Saturday

We’ll have more details in our next issue, but don’t forget the Jazz and Vocal Jazz concert this Saturday (Nov. 14) at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre, in Theatre Hall. Performing will be Jazz Ensemble II under the direction of Adam Gaines, and Jazz I and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble directed by John Salerno, both professors of music.

Sousa and Zeppelin music, faculty solo, new instruments highlight band concert

The University of Wisconsin Green Bay Music program will present a concert by the student Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, conducted by Prof. Kevin Collins, director of bands.

The evening will begin with the UW-Green Bay Symphonic Band performing “Encomium” by George Sweet, a piece known for its fresh harmonic palette and rhythmic energy. They will follow with “A Gaelic Ballad” by Frank Erickson, which begins with a sweet flute solo which is handed off to each section, in turn, allowing the opportunity for all to contribute to the soothing ballad. The Symphonic Band will conclude its concert with “Renaissance Suite” by Tielman Susato and “Foshay Tower Washington Memorial March,” by John Philip Sousa arranged by Dan Dorff, dedicated to the famous Minneapolis landmark and first Minnesota skyscraper.

Following intermission will be the UW-Green Bay’s Wind Ensemble. They will begin their portion of the program with the piece “Arabesque,” the well-known composition by Sam Hazo incorporating Middle Eastern themes in honor of Hazo’s ancestry. The next work features Prof. Eric Hansen on clarinet in “Black Dog,” a piece by contemporary composer and clarinetist Scott McAllistar inspired by the hard rock sounds of Led Zeppelin and other groups of the late ‘60s and ‘70s. The concert finale will be a second Sousa March, “Wisconsin Forward Forever March,” which Sousa dedicated to the students, faculty and alumni of the University.

Collins notes that Friday’s concert marks the first use of many new professional-quality wind instruments purchased through a generous grant from the 1923 Fund. Several of these will be featured in the concert, including a new Haynes flute, P. Mauirat saxophones, an Oleg bass saxophone, Getzen cornets, Bach trombones and Meinl Weston tubas.

“It has transformed our sound,” said Collins. “There is nothing like the timbre of true cornets in a concert band context, and the low brass and new saxophones give us a much fuller and resonant low end. It’s like having a subwoofer for the first time. We’ll be featuring them on the final march.”

“The students are excited to play on such fine instruments. Many of them are first-generation college students… they are working their way through school and don’t always have a great deal of flexibility in their budgets… so we’re thrilled to provide instruments to students who might not otherwise be able to afford them.”

Tickets to Friday’s concert, general admission are $10 dollars for adults, $5 dollars for seniors. (K-12 and college student tickets are free at the box office.) Tickets may be purchased in advance through the University Ticketing and Information Center (920.465.2400) or online, or purchased at the Weidner Center Box Office before the performance.


Gerds reviews Theophilus North: ‘Excellent play, excellently done’ 

Veteran critic Warren Gerds of took in opening night of the Theatre and Dance program’s production of “Theophilus North” on Thursday and loved it. Based on characters by Wisconsin native Thornton Wilder, the play chronicles the adventures of a young free spirit dropped into the somewhat dysfunctional lives of the wealthy 1920s residents of tiny Newport, Rhode Island. The cast, playwright and director John Mariano draw plenty of praise. The show continues today and Saturday, Oct. 16-17, and Oct. 21-24, in the Jean Weidner Theatre. To read the full review.