Quick Center for the Arts celebrates its 10th anniversary


Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts will celebrate its tenth anniversary season when many of the talented performers who have appeared here in past seasons return to its stage, including: Bela Fleck, Pilobolus Dance Theatre and Dr. John and Leon Redbone. In addition, the welcome mat has been extended to several master artists who will grace our stage for the first time, such as: Christopher Parkening; Garth Fagan, choreographer of Broadway's "The Lion King;" Tuck and Patti and Leo Kotte. The Quick Center's popularity has grown tremendously in the past decade with the support of the university and especially the people throughout the region.

New and interesting theater productions are scheduled as well as several dance groups, classical musicians, jazz, children's theater, exciting new outreach programs and a holiday performance of "The Messiah" by the Quick Center's 2000-01 Chorus in Residence.

The exhilarating season begins on Friday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m., with Christopher Parkening, one of the world's pre-eminent classical guitarists and the recognized heir to the Segovia tradition. His rare combination of dramatic virtuosity and eloquent musicianship has captivated audiences worldwide.

The dance component of the season leads off on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m., with the return of the electrifying Parsons Dance Company to the Quick Center stage. The remarkable success of the company can be attributed not only to the strength, precision and passion of the dancers but also to the company's innovative choreography.

The gray November landscape will brighten on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m., with the creative force of Windham Hill recording artists Tuck and Patti, whose stunning guitar/vocals fill the room with their astonishing melodies, funky grooves and adventurous improvisation. They will share the evening with Leo Kotte, one of the nation's foremost acoustic guitar soloists, who never fails to stir the soul with his velvet-hammer style of playing.

Solas, a bold new generation of Irish musicians, will capture your soul with their haunting Celtic refrains on Friday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. Each player is a master soloist and, as a group, they remain faithful to traditional sounds yet intertwine new and global influences into their music.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center returns to the Quick Center for their eighth season on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 8 p.m., playing glorious selections from Mozart, Copeland and Brahms. An enlightening "Art to Heart" pre-concert lecture with Bruce Adolphe, educational director, will take place at 7 p.m.

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' exciting and virtuosic banjo-driven mix of jazz, bluegrass, R&B, funk and worldbeat will delight the audience with two concerts on Friday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. The aforementioned and other musical idioms have won them Grammy Awards and an increasing legion of fans in sold-out concerts throughout the world.

Irish eyes will be smiling on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m., when Irish tenor John McCormick croons favorite melodies from the "Old Sod" to the audience. All proceeds benefit the Irish scholarship fund at Fairfield University.

The Quick Center's 2000-01 resident chorus, the Mendelssohn Choir, will herald the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m., with the glorious sounds of the beloved Handel's "Messiah." The ensemble of 90 choral singers, known for their stylish and stylistically correct performances, will sing under the baton of Carole Ann Maxwell, artistic director.

Adding to the Christmas sparkle, Leon Redbone and Grammy Award-winner Dr. John, will thrill the audience Saturday, Dec. 16, at 8 p.m., with a holiday concert featuring their animated brand of old-time blues/jazz/vaudeville, assuring an evening of great music, fun and festivity.

Jazz lovers can start off the New Year right on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m., with Regina Carter, one of the most significant, versatile and innovative violinists to emerge on the jazz scene in decades. Along with her Quintet, she will bring you sounds that are wonderfully listenable, probingly intelligent and, at times, breathtakingly daring.

Ireland's hottest new acoustic group, "Lunasa," will make waves with their exciting, innovative Irish music on Friday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. The all-star quintet features veterans of such top Irish bands as the Waterboys, Sharon Shannon and Moving Cloud.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's second concert of the season on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 8.m., welcomes guest artist, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, who will perform a Stravinsky Divertimento. Also scheduled are cellist Garry Hoffman, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, and a pre-concert talk by music critic Robert Sherman.

The Garth Fagan Dance Company, whose namesake won a Tony Award for choreographing the Broadway hit "The Lion King," will combine modern dance, Afro-Caribbean movement, ballet, and rule-breaking experimentation on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. The dynamic program also includes a collaboration with Wynton Marsalis' new work, "USAfrica."

Upcoming superstar, pianist Awadagin Pratt, will bring his masterful technique and musical insight to a virtuoso performance on Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m., guaranteed to evoke an intense audience response. Pratt will also entertain the younger set that morning at 10 a.m., in a Quick Center Outreach program.

Steep yourself in the culture of Ireland at the Quick Center's annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration, this year featuring fiddler Eileen Ivers, on Friday, March 9, at 8 p.m. From her star musical turn in "Riverdance" to her 30-plus medals in the All-Ireland Championships, Ivers has established herself among the pre-eminent exponents of the Irish fiddle in the world today. A post-show St. Patrick's party in the lobby is scheduled.

A tribute to the "King of Hi-De-Ho," Cab Calloway, is planned on Friday, March 16, at 8 p.m., by his daughter, Chris Calloway, a highly regarded vocalist who, with the Hi-De-Ho Orchestra, will pay homage to his timeless music and the extraordinary musicianship of the big band sound.

Experience movement in its most glorious form when the acclaimed Pilobolus Dance Theater returns to Fairfield for two shows on Friday, March 23, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, March 24, at 8 p.m. A major American dance company, Pilobolus is recognized for its varied repertoires and innovative works with their startling mix of humor and invention. The Quick Center will serve as co-commissioner for a new piece to be performed at this program.

Rounding out the season is the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's final concert of the year on Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m., with guest artist, soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, and a performance on Friday, April 27, at 8 p.m., by gifted violinist, Corey Cerovesk, whose recordings consistently receive rave reviews. Stay tuned for additional concerts to be added throughout the year.

The final event on the Quick Center's calendar is another performance by the center's 2000-01 resident chorus, the Mendelssohn Choir, which has become a magnet for choral singers in the area. The choir's repertoire embraces selections from all major periods of music history and its performances and collaborations have been heralded as exceptional.

The Quick Center for the Arts is one of the few theaters in the area to offer free parking in one of three nearby lots, and the well-lighted Fairfield University campus is patrolled by security guards to ensure a safe and enjoyable performance.

Before each event, audiences are encouraged to tour the exhibits in the Quick Center's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery. Past shows have ranged from gorgeous Old Master paintings and classical sculpture to the experimental and avante garde. Or, patrons can just relax in the spacious lobby as concessions are open an hour prior to each performance.

Upcoming art exhibits include: "Universal Dimensions: Scrolls and Screens," by Wang Ming, from Sept. 14-Dec. 17; "The Mystical Arts of Tibet," from Jan. 21-Feb. 28; "Studio Art Student Exhibition," from March 20-May 14; and "Contemporary Realism," paintings and photographs by Betty and Sam Roberts, from June 10-Aug. 1.

Discounts are available to subscribers and groups. For ticket information or a copy of the Quick Center's 2000-01 calendar, call the box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll-free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 16, 2000

Vol. 32, No. 223