Jazz for the Holidays on Performance

On December 2, 2018, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center invited a quintet of talented local musicians to play a special holiday show on the Starr Center stage. “Jazz for the Holidays” comprised a wide assortment of Christmas music arranged for their easy jazz style.

The group included Emily Austin and Dianna Cole as featured vocalists. Tim Austin played drums, Carl Cole played piano, and Andrew Cole was on bass.

The show was recorded in its entirety and will be aired on the December 20th episode of Performance.

Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

Lydia Bruhn Concert on Performance

On December 2, 2019, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center invited local musician Lydia Bruhn to play an intimate concert at Emerson House. Lydia Bruhn has a master’s degree in horn performance and has played with a number of ensembles and orchestras around the region. In the small space of Emerson House, Lydia was accompanied by pianist Lisa Miller and her husband Andrew Bruhn on trumpet.

The concert was recorded in its entirety and will be aired on the December 13th episode of Performance. Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

A Shining Night of Barber on Performance

Samuel Barber (1910 – 1981) was an American composer. He won the Pulitzer Prize for music twice: for his opera Vanessa (1957), and for his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1962). Adagio for Strings has been called “the saddest classical work” and was played following the deaths of Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. On November 1, 2019, Rulee Stallmann organized a concert for the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, featuring local musicians playing a selection of Barber’s repertoire on the Main Stage.

Rulee began the concert accompanying soprano Sarah Simmons as she sang “Sure on this Shining Night”. Matt Guschl performed Canzonette for Oboe and Strings Op. 48. A string quartet made up of Rachel Handlin and Paul Zafir on violin, Betty Lewis on viola, and Michael Beert on cello accompanied bass-baritone Joel Ross for “Dover Beach Op. 3”.

The second half of the concert featured a choral version of “Sure on this Shining Night” with sopranos Rachel Handlin and Sarah Simmons, altos Debra Dew and Margo Stedman, tenors Tim Anderson and Joe Sweeney, and bass singers Timm Adams and Joel Ross. Joel Ross and Rulee Stallmann combined their talents on one piano keyboard to play elements from “Souvenirs: Ballet Suite Op. 28”.

Probably the highlight was a complete performance of Barber’s opera “A Hand of Bridge”. The opera clocks in at around nine minutes long and featured Rulee on piano while Timm Adams, Tim Anderson, Sarah Simmons, and Margo Stedman played cards and sang of delights and regrets. Finally, cellist Mike Beert returned to the stage to play a solo version of “Sure on this Shining Night”.

The concert was recorded in its entirety and will be aired on the August 2nd episode of Performance. Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

Little Big Band on Performance

The Little Big Band is a seven piece group from Rockford. The band consists of Cary Sheley (trombone), Ken Stein (tenor saxophone), Randy Schneeberger (trumpet), Ken Kilian (baritone saxophone), Tom Stein (piano), Guy Fiorenza (bass), and Dave Sterner (drums). On May 19th, 2019, the Little Big Band closed out the 2019 MPAC season with a concert at the Starr Center featuring mid-century jazz from the likes of Miles Davis, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington.

The concert was recorded in its entirety, and will be aired on the July 5th episode of Performance. Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

David Kalhous Featured on Performance

David Kalhous is an acclaimed pianist. On April 12, 2019, he played a concert on the Main Stage at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. He began the program with material from Beethoven and Czech Composer Leos Janacek. However the bulk of the concert featured works by Chopin. He played four pieces by Chopin during the main program and then performed two additional Chopin works as an encore.

The show was recorded in its entirety and will be aired on the June 7th episode of Performance. Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.

Emerald Wind to be Featured on Performance

The duo Emerald Wind celebrated the release of their third CD (entitled “Journey with Your Heart”) by hosting a free concert at the Starr Center on Sunday, July 21st. The concert included appearances by local musicians and mentors: Ron Holm and Jannie Nelson (Trinadora), Danny McDade (Danny’s Gone Rogue) and Jodi Beach along with her husband, Jim McDowell.

WBOM recorded the concert for a future episode of Performance. Performance airs Sunday nights at 7:00 pm and features complete concerts from local venues, including the various stages of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. If you’re interested in finding out when an artist will air on the show, check our Facebook page or sign up for our newsletter.