As the Bowdoin community emerges from its Thanksgiving food coma and the reality of finals sets in, two musical performances provide an opportunity to take a break from the stressful prospect of papers and tests this weekend.
The Bowdoin Chorus, directed by Senior Lecturer Anthony Antolini '63, and the Bowdoin Jazz Ensemble and Polar Jazz Big Band, directed by Applied Music Instructor Frank Mauceri, will unleash their holiday spirit at the Studzinski Recital Hall this weekend and next week.
The Bowdoin Chorus, comprised of students, faculty and members of the Brunswick community, will perform Bach's "Magnificat in D." The concert is dedicated to Joel Cartwright '06 who passed away last summer.
"Joel was not a member of the chorus but was very active in other music department events," Antolini said. "Joel is best remembered as having started the organic gardens that provide produce for the Bowdoin Food Service and offer students an introduction to organic gardening methods. Gordon Bok's 'Oh I Am Calling' is especially dedicated to Joel as it is an evocation of the Maine landscape that he loved so much."
The featured work on the program is J.S. Bach's "Magnificat in D" with soloists Christina Astrachan, soprano, Ruth Barnett, alto, Martin Lescault, tenor, and Peter Allen, bass. The Bowdoin Chorus will be joined by visiting group the Lincolnaires, from Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, who will sing four Christmas songs. Later in the show, they will sing with the Bowdoin Chorus accompanied by the Bowdoin Orchestra. The concert will take place tonight and Saturday at 6:45 p.m. at Kanbar Auditorium in Studzinski Recital Hall.
The Bowdoin Jazz Ensemble and the Polar Jazz Big Band will perform on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Led by Mauceri, the jazz ensembles are made up of small groups of students who focus on improvisation. The groups employ a variety of different styles such as swing, bossa nova and funk.
"These groups perform in concert at the end of each semester," Mauceri said. "In addition, they play occasionally for campus events such as the parents weekend brunch."
The Polar Jazz Big Band was originally a student organization that has since branched out into the community and now includes many Brunswick residents.
Big band jazz, which was widely popular in the 1930s and 1940s, still has its place in the Bowdoin and Brunswick music community today. Typically consisting of 12-25 members, instruments usually include trumpets, saxophones, trombones and a percussion section.
"The group focuses on class big band arrangements leaders such as Ellington, Basie, Kenton and Oliver Nelson," Mauceri said.