Tagged: School of Music

“Devilry and Drink: The Virtuoso Thomas Baltzar (1631?–1663)”

December 11th, 2012 in CFA, Music

Boston, MA – The Center for Early Music Studies at Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) is pleased to announce “Devilry and Drink: The Virtuoso Thomas Baltzar (1631?–1663),” a lecture by School of Music Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology, Patrick Wood Uribe.

CEMS Lecture: “Devilry and Drink: The Virtuoso Thomas Baltzar (1631?–1663)”
Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 5pm
College of Fine Arts, Room 171 (855 Commonwealth Ave.)
Patrick Wood Uribe

Free and Open to the Public

Upon his arrival in England in the 1650s, Thomas Baltzar instantly astonished audiences with his extraordinary faculty of the violin. In fact, a historical account quotes one listener’s marvel as he examined Baltzar’s feet to see if they were cloven hooves. In 2008, Professor Uribe released the first recording of Baltzar’s unaccompanied violin music, and in 2012, published the first edited collection of his solo works. Professor Uribe will reflect on Baltzar the man, his music, and the world around him as part of this special presentation from the Center for Early Music Studies.

About the Center for Early Music Studies
The Center for Early Music Studies at the School of Music at Boston University College of Fine Arts is dedicated to the cultivation and dissemination of performance, scholarship, and new pedagogical practices involving music of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods, and supports a regular cycle of lectures, concerts, visiting artists, and workshops.

Institutional Biography
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic, and intellectual activity.

To request press tickets, interviews, high resolution photos, or additional information, please contact either:
Brooke MacKinnon at 617.353.3349 or brookelm@bu.edu
Laurel Homer at 617.353.8783 or lhomer@bu.edu

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BU Band Celebrates Opening of New Band Room

September 19th, 2012 in CFA Newsmakers, Music

Unusual ribbon-cutting: Willy Tsai (CAS’15) (from left), Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, College of Fine Arts Dean Benjamin Juarez, and Danielle Hibbard (COM’14) cut the ribbon on September 17 marking the official opening of the new BU Band facility at 300 Babcock St. The scarlet ribbon consisted of a string of band T-shirts. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky BU Today

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Sarita Lilly (CFA’13) Debuts on Broadway in Porgy and Bess

July 20th, 2012 in CFA, Music

Sarita Lilly (CFA’13) made her Broadway debut last month in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Photos courtesy of Sarita Lilly

Sarita Lilly (CFA’13) made her Broadway debut last month in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Photos courtesy of Sarita Lilly

When Sarita Lilly didn’t make the cut for the chorus of the Broadway musical The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, she took it hard. Having appeared in the American Repertory Theater’s pre–New York run of the classic musical last year, the College of Fine Arts vocal performance doctoral student had high hopes of joining the Broadway cast, which included much of the original Cambridge lineup, including her idol, Audra McDonald, as an incandescent Bess. When the show, directed by Diane Paulus and written by Pulitzer-winner Suzan-Lori Parks, won the 2012 Tony Award for best revival of a musical, Lilly’s Porgy pals told her, “This award is yours, too.”

Lilly kept her head high and moved on—that’s show biz. But so is this: on her way to her job at the CFA dean’s office one June morning, she got the kind of call actors dream of.

The events of that long day—June 14, her sister’s birthday—still seem unreal, she says. It was four days after the Tony Awards, and with those involved in the show still basking in the glory, four of the female singers were ill. “I received a call saying that the girls from the ensemble were out sick, and they were desperate to have someone—me—to be in that night’s performance,” recalls Lilly (CFA’13). She packed in a frenzy and boarded the next Amtrak to New York City, arriving at the theater by 5 p.m.—in time to meet with the assistant stage manager. An hour later, she was onstage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, learning the blocking and preparing to sing her heart out on Catfish Row.

“My adrenaline was pumping consistently for at least a good 12 hours,” Lilly says. “I just wanted to look like I belonged on that stage.”

It was odd to be back at work with the company that had strung her along for months, then turned her down, saying she wasn’t what they were looking for, then called her up briefly, then let her go again. It was a roller coaster, and exhausting. But when it comes to singing on Broadway, she says, there’s no place for stubborn pride. She sang two chorus roles that night and had a few lines, filling in for both the funeral and the picnic scenes, with lines a beat apart—spoken by different characters. “So I had to deliver both lines in two different areas of the stage within two minutes,” she says. “It seemed completely nuts.” The director told her she didn’t have to be on stage for all of the four numbers if she didn’t feel comfortable, but Lilly had something to prove. “I was determined that it was going to be the best swing experience ever,” she says. “As a singer and actor you want to be stretched as far as you can—especially when they didn’t have the initial confidence in you.”

Sarita Lilly (left) with Norm Lewis (Porgy)

Sarita Lilly (left) with Norm Lewis (Porgy)

Lilly didn’t just hold her own. She triumphed. The Broadway production has signed her on as a swing—an understudy for chorus roles—for the rest of the summer and possibly through the remainder of the musical’s run. Despite an exhausting scramble for Manhattan housing and a heap of teaching and scholarly obligations back in Boston, she’s walking on air. After her debut, she was up in her hotel room until 3, replaying her exuberant turn on stage.

“This is the cake and this is the icing,” says the 35-year-old singer, who ended up on stage playing three different roles within a 48-hour window. “My Broadway debut consisted of me doing two featured ensemble roles in the same night with less than 12 hours’ notice.”

But she was ready. “I knew the show backwards and forwards from attending the Cambridge show as a swing every night, and I knew Porgy and Bess from being a singer and having done the songs in other venues,” she says. “I felt like I was up to the challenge.”

Lilly knows her way around a stage. She holds a master’s degree in voice performance from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s in voice from the University of North Carolina. She has studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and made her international opera debut in the title role of Puccini’s Suor Angelica in Urbania, Italy. Other leading roles include Mrs. Ford in Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Dido in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. A string of master classes at BU has paired her with opera giants Grace Bumbry (CFA’55) and Simon Estes, a former CFA professor of music.

“We’re so proud of her,” says Benjamin Juarez, dean of CFA. Lilly is “an exceptional diva with no ego,” he says, who “captivates, commands, and seduces as much with her soft, engaging voice as with her collaborative skills.”

“You never know about life’s twists and turns,” says Lilly’s voice teacher, Jerrold Pope, a CFA associate professor and chair of the School of Music voice department. “Sarita was ready for this one, and no one deserves it more than she. I couldn’t be happier.”

Her casting in Porgy is also a priceless learning experience, says Lilly, who recently hired an agent. “Being able to watch Audra McDonald every night is better than any master class,” she says. “Not in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get a chance to do anything but see McDonald in a concert, and now I have a rapport with her.” Lilly says she’s learning a lot from the “genuine, caring” stage and television star, whose Bess won her the Tony for best actress in a musical, but the most important lesson: “You can live your dream and still be you.”

As Juarez puts it, “This is Sarita’s moment to truly shine.”

Article written by Susan Seligson for BU Today.

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