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Six Appeal, World-class A Cappella

Six Appeal, an award-winning, six-member young men's vocal ensemble that performs with the energy of a rock band, but without instruments, will give a free, public concert on at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, in Herrick Chapel.

The versatile vocal band from Minnesota is one of the most popular touring a cappella groups in the nation. In fact, Six Appeal achieved the title of National Champion at the 2012 National Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival in San Rafael, California.

6 Appeal members hamming it upThe six members of the ensemble — Jordan Roll, Michael Brookens, Trey Jones, Nathan Hickey, Reuben Hushagen, and Andrew Berkowitz — met at Concordia College in Minnesota. Performing together since 2006, the group became a professional ensemble in 2010. The band has released two records, including covers, original songs, and holiday music.

The Grinnell concert will span decades of music, featuring classic oldies, current chart toppers, and catchy original tunes.

Although the March 8 concert is free and open to the public, tickets are required for admission. They will be available starting March 2 in the box office in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accessible parking is available in front of the chapel. You can request accommodations through Conference Operations and Events.

Carnival and Creativity

February 11-12, 2016 at Grinnell College

Queen ReesieOn August 23, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. Roughly five years later, on January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake rocked the small island nation of Haiti.

These cataclysmic events, this shared experience of trauma, added a further layer of connection between these two regions, already linked by their shared African and French heritage, the legacy of colonialism, and the experience of slavery that made Louisiana and Haiti home to vibrant, thriving Afro-diasporic communities.

February 2016 represents the 10th and 5th anniversaries (respectively) of the first Pre-Lenten celebrations – Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Carnival in Haiti – to follow these social and environmental catastrophes.

Bennie Pete and Hot 8 Brass BandIn New Orleans and Port-Au-Prince alike, Carnival did what Carnival always does: it gave the community a chance to come together in solidarity in the face of struggle; it provided an opportunity to heal from trauma; and it offered a moment for people who are often ignored – especially within the upper echelons of global social and economic power – to give voice and movement to their struggles and their triumphs through song and dance and celebration.

These Mardi Gras and Carnival celebrations showed us the remarkable power that music, dance, and art have to heal and to empower individuals and communities.

On February 11-12, 2016, we will pay tribute to those individuals and communities with a series of events that mark the 10th and 5th anniversaries of the 2006 and 2011 Carnival celebrations:

Thursday, Feb. 11

4:30-6:30 p.m., Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Lawson Hall, Room 102
New Orleans Brass Band Workshop with Bennie Pete, tuba and co-founder, Hot 8 Brass Band
7:30-9 p.m., Bucksbaum Center, Lawson Hall, Room 152
"If You Don't Like What the Big Queen Says, Just...": An Evening With Queen Reesie (Cherice Harrison-Nelson, curator of the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame and Big Queen of the Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians)

Friday, Feb. 12

4:15-6 p.m., Bucksbaum Center, Lawson Hall, Room 152
Carnival and Creativity Roundtable Discussion
  • Gage Averill, University of British Columbia
  • Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame
  • Tess Kulstad, Grinnell College
  • Bennie Pete, Hot 8 Brass Band
  • Moderated by Mark Laver, Grinnell College
8-9:30 p.m., Bucksbaum Center, Sebring-Lewis Hall
The Grinnell Jazz Ensemble Plays the Music of New Orleans, featuring Bennie Pete and Cherice Harrison-Nelson. Directed by Mark Laver.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Music, the Center for Humanities, the Center for International Studies, and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

Schubert's 'Winterreise'

Baritone John Rommereim and pianist Ian Moschenross will perform Schubert's "Winterreise" at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 7.

"Winterreise," or "Winter's Journey," tells the story of a young man who has been rejected in love and who sets out on a journey, with his destination unknown. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Sebring-Lewis Hall in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

A series of 24 songs sung without interruption, "Winterreise" follows the young man through the course of his travels as he experiences a wide range of emotions, from tender nostalgia and feelings of affection, to bitterness and regret. The work includes some of Schubert's best-loved songs, and it is a supreme example of the successful combination of poetry and music. 

Rommereim is Blanche Johnson Professor of Music at Grinnell College. In addition to his appearances as a singer, he is also a noted composer and choral conductor. Celebrated choirs across the nation, such as the Princeton Singers and Magnum Chorum, have performed his original choral works.

Moschenross is an accomplished pianist, active recitalist, chamber musician, and accompanist throughout the Midwest. He is an applied music associate at Grinnell College. A gifted professor, he also teaches applied piano, music history, theory, appreciation, and interdisciplinary courses at Monmouth College, where he is an associate professor of music.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accessible parking is available at the south entrance to the Bucksbaum Center. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

Join the Grinnell Oratorio Society

Chapel stage with instruments

First meeting will be Monday, January 29, 2016, 7 p.m., Sebring Lewis Hall at Grinnell College's Bucksbaum Center for the Arts

RSVP to join the Oratorio Society

The Oratorio Society is open to all – students, faculty, staff, and community members - to get together on Mondays and have a good time singing tuneful, spirited music. Music should not be a spectator sport! Here is a valuable opportunity to get involved. We’ve got an exciting array of music to continue the 2016-17 year. This year, in the fall, we will be preparing to perform Handel’s Messiah with a professional orchestra and soloists on December 4.  We will also perform several selections for a special concert during Family Weekend on September 17: a love song by Johannes Brahms, a powerful setting of the Lord’s prayer, sung in the original Aramaic, by Lebanese-American composer Ilyas Iliya, and a rousing folk hymn, “Halelluia,” by Shawn Kirchner. In May, we will join forces with the Grinnell Symphony Orchestra to perform Johannes Brahms’s German Requiem.   Please take a moment to sign up to let us know you are interested.

The Grinnell Oratorio Society rehearses Mondays 7-9 p.m. in Sebring Lewis Hall.  

Renaissance Compline Concert

Jennifer Williams BrownThe Grinnell College Collegium Musicum will perform a 30-minute candlelit concert, featuring English and Latin chants interspersed with vocal and instrumental pieces by English Renaissance composers Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. The compline concert, based on evening prayers, is free and open to the public. It starts at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1026 State St., Grinnell.

The Collegium Musicum is an ensemble that studies and performs Early Music, including pieces from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods of Western European music history. Including both vocalists and instrumentalists, the ensemble gives students a unique opportunity for hands-on learning about early Western music. Instrumentalists learn and perform on Grinnell College's first-class collection of replica period instruments under the direction of director Jennifer Williams Brown.

Brown is an associate professor of music. She specializes in the history and performance of Baroque music, especially 17th century Italian opera. An acclaimed scholar, Brown was awarded the American Musicological Society Claude V. Palisca Award for the best scholarly edition or translation in the field of musicology in 2008. She also has received numerous fellowships and grants for her work. She has been published in several journals, including The Cambridge Opera Journal, The New Grove Dictionary of Music, and The Journal of Musicological Research.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. St. Paul's Episcopal Church has an entrance through the office door for people with disabilities. Parking is available on the street and in the parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church across the street at 1025 Fifth Ave.

Hallelujah! Sing/Play Along

Celebrate the last day of classes and the holiday season by joining the 11th annual read-through of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts' Rotunda.

Singers and instrumentalists are invited to participate; non-musicians are invited to listen. John Rommereim, Blanche Johnson Professor of Music, will conduct. The free, public event will last about 15 minutes.

Music will be provided for singers and instrumentalists, and all instruments are welcome. Instrumentalists, please email Jennifer Brown, associate professor of music, in advance to make sure there is a part that works for your instrument. Please bring your own instrument; chairs and stands will be provided.

Joy, Joy, Joy: An Organ Reflection

Grinnell College Organist Linda Bryant will present "Joy, Joy, Joy: An Organ Reflection" at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, in Herrick Chapel. The performance is free and open to the public. 

Most of the program will be carol-based music, reflective of the quiet and exuberant moods of the holiday season. Bryant will be playing the 59 rank Aeolian-Skinner organ installed in 1949 and completely restored in 2009. 

"Take a break from whatever you are doing," Bryant says, "and enjoy 45 minutes of respite during this busy holiday season."

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations and Events.

The Yellow Ticket

Grinnell College will host a live, multi-media concert on Saturday, Nov. 21, featuring a screening of the silent film The Yellow Ticket with a klezmer score performed live by its composer, renowned violinist Alicia Svigals, and award-winning pianist Marilyn Lerner.

Klezmer, the spirited folk music introduced to America by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, is best known as the style of music performed in Fiddler on the Roof. Svigals composed The Yellow Ticket score, which is as fresh, vital, and contemporary as the music she has performed as a solo violinist and with the Grammy Award-winning ensemble known as The Klezmatics.

The event will start at 7 p.m. in Herrick Chapel. Tickets are required for this free public concert, and will be available starting Nov. 17 at Bucksbaum Center for the Arts Box Office.

The Yellow Ticket, a 1918 drama set in Poland and czarist Russia, portrays a woman’s struggle to overcome adversity in a story of secret identities, heroic measures and triumphant love.

Svigals, considered the world's premier klezmer fiddler, received first prize at the International Klezmer Festival in Safed, Israel. Her debut solo album, "Fidl (Traditional Crossroads)" is the world's first klezmer fiddle CD. Her work as a composer earned her the 2014 MacDowell Fellowship.

Lerner, a jazz pianist, has earned international acclaim in creative improvisation, klezmer and 20th century classical music. She also has composed for film, theater, radio and television. Her piece titled "Healing Hands" received the Montreal International Jazz Festival award for best composition in 1994.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations and Events.

Tannhäuser, Live in HD

This fall Grinnell is streaming four of the Metropolitan Opera's productions live and in high-definition as the Met celebrates its 10th anniversary of Live-in-HD movie theater transmissions.

The opera talk for Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser starts at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 31, in the Harris Center Cinema, with the opera beginning at 11 a.m.

Otto Schenk directs the Met's first production of this early Wagner masterpiece in more than a decade. Experienced Wagnerian tenor Johan Botha takes on the complex title role alongside soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek as the heroine Elisabeth. The production takes place in and around Wartburg Castle, in Thuringia in central Germany in the 13th century. James Levine conducts. Kelly Maynard, assistant professor and department chair of European Studies, will present the opera talk.

The next opera of the season is Alban Berg's Lulu on Saturday, Nov. 21, with an opera talk by Eugene Gaub, associate professor of music theory and music history

Refreshments will be available for purchase in the lobby of the cinema before each opera.

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Bookshop, the Grinnell College Bookstore, and at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, children and Met Opera members.

The Office of the President has generously funded tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff, and students, and these tickets are available for free at all locations. Family members not employed by the College are required to purchase tickets.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.