2012-13 Community Performance Series Brings Together Seasoned Artists with a Knack for Innovation


The Turtle Island Quartet will perform alongside dancers from Luna Negra Dance, and present their own program, “Have You Ever Been…?” through CPS’s 2012-13 Guest Artist Series.

The 2012-13 Community Performance Series will be all about ensemble and storytelling. With no less than one duo, two quartets and two quintets, not to mention theatre, dance and music collaborations in store, the Guest Artist Series season promises something for everyone. The Meet the Arts Series will bring together storytellers from all genres, inspired by fairy tales, children’s books and modern novels, plus the ever-popular Orchestra of Northern New York outreach performance.

CPS is pleased to announce its upcoming season, featuring three Grammy Award-winning artists and a world premiere performance, as well as inspiring and hilarious programs for children and family members of any age. The 2012-13 season begins this September and will continue through May 2013 at SUNY Potsdam.

CPS will open its Guest Artist Series with the explosive tones of Doc Severinsen and the San Miguel Five on Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. The vivacious trumpeter is most famous for leading the bandstand on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for 30 years. This fall, he brings a group of talented musicians to the North Country. The band’s latest project boasts classical Spanish sounds, with a hint of jazz flavoring. Audiences will be treated to gorgeous Latino and American ballads, as well as popular movie music and some gypsy jazz, à la Django Reinhardt.

Aquila Theatre’s production of “Cyrano de Bergerac” will come to Potsdam on Oct. 2. The New Yorker raved the staging of the play was “beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing and crystalline in effect.”

The 13th Annual L. Felix and Helen Miller Ranlett Organ Recital on Oct. 14 will feature Bruce Neswick, who has won major awards from the San Anselmo Organ Festival, the Boston American Guild of Organists and the Rochette Concours at the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva, Switzerland.

Calefax, the Netherlands-based reed quintet, will present a concert on Nov. 11. The New York Times called Calefax “five extremely gifted Dutch gents who almost made the reed quintet seem the best musical format on the planet.”

A world premiere event following the holiday season will delight audiences with a multifaceted array of talent. The Luna Negra Dance and Theatre Company will illuminate the Snell stage with a movement-based performance featuring the Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. In addition to their collaboration with Luna Negra, on Feb. 2, the much-lauded Turtle Island Quartet will perform their Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane program, entitled “Have You Ever Been…?” Cellist nonpareil Yo-Yo Ma has proclaimed the group to be “a unified voice that truly breaks new ground—authentic and passionate—a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”

Jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington will bring her celebrated program, “The Mosaic Project,” to Potsdam on Feb. 22 with guest female instrumentalists and vocalists. As with the mosaic art technique, the project vibrantly connects colorful pieces, using thoroughly composed song forms, some abstract improvisation and the human voice to create “sharp shapes with blurred edges.”

America’s reigning bel canto tenor, Lawrence Brownlee, will present a recital with collaborative pianist Martin Katz on March 15.

Finally, The LA Guitar Quartet will close out the CPS Guest Artist Series season with a concert on April 4. Their inventive, critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground.

In addition to its many Guest Artist Series events, CPS’s 2012-2013 Meet the Arts Series will invite and encourage children of all ages to learn through the art of storytelling. Beginning with the innovative production of David Gonzales’ “Sleeping Beauty” on Oct. 21 and 22, the 2012-13 CPS Meet the Art Series will feature multi-media events with an emphasis on imaginative, interactive learning.

In “Sleeping Beauty,” nationally acclaimed storyteller David Gonzales and his pianist depict multiple characters from the original tale (in rhyme, no less). This interactive piece features vibrant projections exploring the world in which the princess is woken by true love’s kiss… or not.

On Jan. 18 and 19, the Griffin Theatre Company will present “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales,” based on the popular book inspired by “Jack and the Beanstalk.” After being captured by the giant, Jack tries to talk his way out of being a meal by telling fairy tales with his own little twist. By the end of this tale, you won’t be able to look at your old storybook characters the same way again!

The Orchestra of Northern New York will present its annual instrument petting zoo and concert on March 8, with the beloved work for orchestra and narrator, Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.”

The National Players will return to campus on May 9 with their production of a play based on George Orwell’s political allegory novel, “Animal Farm.” The audience can follow the characters on a journey of revolution and triumph as they unite to bring about change. But they may leave wondering if the grass is really greener on the other side.

The 2012-13 CPS Meet the Arts Series will conclude on March 11 with a production of “The Kite Runner,” based on the bestselling novel by Khaled Hosseini about two boys growing up in tumultuous 1970s Afghanistan.

Teachers interested in CPS education outreach performance tickets for these and other Meet the Arts events should contact the CPS Box Office for more information on availability. Tickets to Meet the Arts events range from $5 to $10.

Guest Artist Series season tickets are now on sale, and can be purchased through the CPS Box Office, located in Sara M. Snell Music Theater on the SUNY Potsdam campus, or by calling (315) 267-2277 or visiting www.cpspotsdam.org. Individual event tickets will be available for purchase beginning Aug. 15. Guest Artist Series tickets range from $6 to $50.

Become a Guest Artist Series subscriber by purchasing tickets to all eight events and receive the best seat options, best prices, and invitations to special events. New subscribers will save 40 percent and returning subscribers save 25 percent.

For more information on the 2012-13 season and artists, log on to www.cpspotsdam.org, or check out the CPS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cpspotsdam.

Community Performance Series is a college-community partnership presenting world-class performing artists and arts education opportunities in Northern New York. This rich mixture of programming links communities, classrooms and audiences of all ages and preserves access to the performing arts for future generations.

The 2012-13 Community Performance Series season is as follows:

2012-13 CPS Guest Artist Series:

• Doc Severinsen and the San Miguel Five, Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall: The vivacious trumpeter and band leader Doc Severinsen is best known for leading the NBC Orchestra on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He currently leads the San Miguel Five in an evening of sophisticated Latin rhythms and jazz.
• Aquila Theatre, “Cyrano de Bergerac,” Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater: Beautifully funny, poignant and often heart-wrenching, “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand is one of the most famous romantic adventures in world literatures. Cyrano is an excellent swordsman from Gascony, a region of France famous for producing stubborn, courageous and grandiose soldiers.
• 13th Annual L. Felix and Helen Miller Ranlett Organ Recital, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: Bruce Neswick, a member of the church music and organ faculty at Indiana University and previous director of music at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City, will perform. His refined skill at improvisation has won him prestigious prizes for performance.
• Calefax Reed Quintet, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: Established 25 years ago, Calefax is now in great demand worldwide, not least because of their unique instrumentation: oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet and bassoon. The Amsterdam-based ensemble has won a number of prestigious prizes and can be heard frequently throughout Europe and further afield.
• Luna Negra Dance and Theatre Company and Turtle Island Quartet, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Snell Theater: Founded by Cuban-born dancer and choreographer Eduardo Vilaro, the Luna Negra Dance and Theatre Company celebrates the richness and diversity of Latino culture through the creation of works by contemporary Latino choreographers and through intensive, hands-on education programs that encourage discovery and exploration of personal and community identity. For this work, Luna Negra will collaborate with the bold and ingenious Turtle Island Quartet.
• Turtle Island Quartet, “Have You Ever Been…?,” Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Snell Theater: The two-time Grammy Award-winning string ensemble will perform their program “Have You Ever Been…?,” focusing on the music of John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix. Since its inception in 1985, the Turtle Island Quartet has been a singular force in the creation of bold new trends in chamber music for strings.
• Terri Lyne Carrington, “The Mosaic Project,” Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: The Grammy-nominated jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s “The Mosaic Project” is a celebration of female artists. Joined by some of today’s most celebrated female instrumentalists and vocalists, Terri Lyne will assemble a unique ensemble to celebrate women’s voices both musically and from a social perspective.
• Lawrence Brownlee with Martin Katz, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: Lawrence Brownlee is one of the most consistently sought-after tenors on the international scene. He is lauded continually for the beauty of his voice, his seemingly effortless technical agility and his dynamic and engaging dramatic skills. On this program, he is joined by the inimitable collaborative pianist, Martin Katz.
• LA Guitar Quintet, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall: The LA Guitar Quintet turned 30 years young in 2011. The Grammy Award-winning LAGQ is one of the most multifaceted groups in any genre. It is comprised of four uniquely accomplished musicians, including John Dearman, Matthew Greif, William Kanengiser and Scott Tennat, bringing a new energy to the concert stage with programs ranging from bluegrass to Bach.

2012-13 CPS Meet the Arts Series:

• David Gonzalez, “Sleeping Beauty,” Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. and Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. in Snell Theater: Nationally acclaimed storyteller David Gonzalez and his pianist take the classic fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” and transform it into a multimedia, musical extravaganza. Recommended for children in grades 2 to 6.
• The Griffin Theatre Company, “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Stories,” Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. in Snell Theater: Based on the book of the same title by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, this show loosely follows the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Recommended for children in grades Pre-K to 3.
• The Orchestra of Northern New York, “Peter and the Wolf,” March 8 at noon in Hosmer Hall: “Peter and the Wolf” is Prokofiev’s renowned musical tale of a boy’s adventures in the forest. On his journey, Peter encounters numerous animal friends, a dangerous wolf and hunters, all with their own unique musical themes. Complete with narration, “Peter and the Wolf” provides a fun and accessible introduction to a traditional orchestra. Recommended for youth of all ages. The instrument petting zoo prior to the performance is for children in grades 3 to 5.
• The National Players, “Animal Farm,” May 9 at 9 a.m. and noon in Snell Theater: Heading into their 64th season, the National Players brings another fascinating piece of literature to the stage—George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm.” The story is depicted in a time leading up to World War II and weaves a tale of leadership, morality and corruption through the animals’ confined farm life. Recommended for youth in grades 6 to 12.
• “The Kite Runner,” March 11 at 3 p.m. in Snell Theater: From the first novel about contemporary Afghanistan to be written in English, this performance dramatically portrays the relationship of two boys—Amir, a privileged Pashtun, and Hassan, a Hazara servant. Surprising events occur, with the backdrop of 1970s Afghanistan in turmoil. Recommended for youth in grades 9 to 12.

For more information, visit www.cpspotsdam.org.

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam’s arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community.