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Spring Arts Guide 2017 Calendar: Music in March

Feb. 21, 2017
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“Salute to Broadway” (pops concert, student production)
Cardinal Stritch University
March 2

“Beethoven’s Triple Concerto”
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
March 3-4

“Celtic Legends”
Milwaukee Metropolitan Voices
March 3-5

“The Promise Of Living: Songs of the American Heartland”
Milwaukee Children’s Choir
March 4

“Inspired Spring”
Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra
March 4

“The 20th Century”
Kettle Moraine Symphony
March 5

Classical Music in the 20th century took many shapes—from the avant-garde of 12-tone, serialism and minimalism to more traditional-minded tonal music. The Kettle Moraine Symphony under their new maestro, Lindsay Riemer, sticks largely to the latter in their one-concert canvas of the music of the 1900s. Two American composers are featured, the more well known of them being Aaron Copland (1900-’90). His famous Fanfare for the Common Man was inspired by a wartime speech about the coming “century of the common man” (also scheduled is his Quiet City suite). The other American is Ferde Grofé, whose epic Grand Canyon Suite is as remarkable a piece of musical landscaping as is possible to conceive. The final work is British composer Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony. (John Jahn)

“Celtic MKE presents We Banjo 3”
Irish Cultural and Heritage Center
March 9

“Rise Up and Sing! Ruthie Foster and Heritage Blues Orchestra Quintet”
Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts
March 10

“Jeremy Denk plays Mozart”
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
March 10-11

“Community Festival: India”
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
March 11

Bel Canto Chorus
Broadway Theatre Center
March 12

Though a giant of early Romanticism, Felix Mendelssohn would have been quite comfortable composing in the much earlier Baroque Era, for there were his true masters—J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel—both of whom loom large over his stunningly beautiful oratorio, Elijah, Op. 70 (1846). Though undeniably modeled on same-genre works of the Baroque giants, Mendelssohn’s Elijah benefits in many ways from the sounds of its own age—its orchestral colors and lyricism in some ways even more pleasing to 21st-century ears than the yet more distant pieces. (John Jahn)

A German Requiem
Waukesha Choral Union
Carroll University Shattuck Hall
March 12

How often do you get the chance to be treated to a great classical masterpiece for free? Not often, but here’s just such a chance. Vast choral ensembles assemble at Carroll University, joining the Waukesha Choral Union to perform one of the most beloved works for chorus and orchestra ever written, Brahms’ A German Requiem. The WCU sings this inspiring, consoling work alongside the Jubilate Chorale, Hartford Community Chorus and East Troy Community Chorus. Michael Chapel conducts the orchestra, while Shallece Peters Stewart and James Barany provide the respective soprano and baritone voice solos. Did I mention it’s free? (John Jahn)

“Chamber Orchestra Extravaganza”
Milwaukee Musaik
March 13

“Jazz Festival”
Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
March 16-17

From the classroom to the concert stage, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s Jazz Festival offers invaluable educational opportunities for aspiring musicians and first-rate jazz for eager ears. After participating in clinics, workshops and interactive sessions on topics including improvisation, jazz styles, creating a bass line and drum set techniques, the swingiest student musicians will join Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch and the WC’s resident faculty sextet, We Six. (Tyler Friedman)

The Mikado
Milwaukee Opera Theatre
Next Act Theatre
March 16-26

When Milwaukee Opera Theatre decided to perform W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s Mikado in 2015, they chose to transcend the potential for controversy. “No kimonos or fans will be harmed in the production,” Artistic Director Jill Anna Ponasik joked at the time. The cast was dressed like a contemporary rock band in T-shirts and black jeans and played a battery of percussion, moving between instruments to create a kinetic energy mirroring the operetta’s infectious gaiety. MOT’s Mikado was so well-received that the 2015 cast has reunited for a second run. (David Luhrssen)

Don Giovanni
Florentine Opera
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Uihlein Hall
March 17 and 19

Wolfgang Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte’s two-act opera, Don Giovanni, is a classic tale of the egocentric libertine getting his comeuppance. As such, its somewhat moralizing plot may seem a tad dated, but there’s no denying the drama, the characters, the wonderful lyrics and the glorious music of this beloved opera gem. There’s just no denying the power of an opera that draws upon comedy, tragedy, melodrama and the supernatural. The Florentine hereby revives its well-reviewed 2006 production. It will be directed by John Hoomes, conducted by the irrepressible Joseph Rescigno, have scenic design work by Kris Stone and lighting by Noele Stollmack. (John Jahn)

We Six
Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts’ Club Series
March 18

The Young Irelanders
UW-Washington County
March 18

“Apollo’s Fire”
Early Music Now
March 18

“Between Two Worlds”
Master Singers of Milwaukee with Carthage Choir
North Shore Congregational Church and St. John’s Lutheran Church
March 18-19

An interesting common element in these concerts, on consecutive days in Fox Point and Brookfield, is guest conductor Marko Vatovec, Associate Director of the Academy of Music at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. “Our conductor, Eduardo Garcia-Novelli, has established a professional relationship with Marko Vatovec,” MSM’s Martha Dodds Stoner explains. “Garcia-Novelli went to Ljubljana last year and conducted Vatovec’s choir. In March, Vatovec will come to our area and work with the Carthage Choir and Master Singers to prepare for this concert,” the program of which “recognizes choral music from Slovenia as well as the countries that share borders with Slovenia.” Composers to be featured include Wolfgang Mozart, Claudio Monteverdi, Lajos Bardos, Franz Liszt and more. (John Jahn)

United States Navy Concert Band
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (Uihlein Hall)
March 22

“O Sole Trio—From Pavarotti to Pop” (cabaret)
Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts
March 22

“The World of Disney”
Milwaukee Metropolitan Voices
Tenth Street Theatre
March 24-26

We owe so much to Walt Disney—the entrepreneur, animator and film producer responsible for so many of our most wonderful childhood entertainment memories. From him we have Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, Song of the South (maybe forget that one), the Disneyland theme parks and all things Mickey Mouse. Not only do such things evoke wonderful characters, costumes and glorious, groundbreaking animation, but fabulous, memorable music as well. This concert features some of the wonderful world of Disney music by Milwaukee Metropolitan Voices—a choral ensemble founded in 2006 and dedicated to enriching the city’s cultural and musical life. Note that they’ll be appearing at In Tandem Theatre’s performance space and all ticket purchases will be handled through Next Act Theatre’s box office. (John Jahn)

“Musica Sacra II: Requiem”
Milwaukee Youth Chorale
School Sisters of St. Francis’ St. Joseph’s Chapel
March 25

The Milwaukee Youth Chorale and Milwaukee Children’s Choir Chamber Orchestra under Marco Antonio Melendez present a concert of solemn and meditative religious music from two very different composers. First is the Stabat Mater of 1736 by Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, a piece for soprano, alto, string orchestra and basso continuo that has long been firmly established in the choral repertoire. Then there’s British composer John Rutter’s Requiem (1985), a musical setting of parts of the ages-old Latin requiem mass with a sprinkling of additional English psalms. (John Jahn)

“Pandora’s Box”
Concord Chamber Orchestra
March 25

“Taiko Project and Ryutaro Kaneko: Interlocking Rhythms”
Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts
March 25

“Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project”
South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center
March 25

These days, Alan Lomax is recognized as one of the most important cultural documentarians of the 20th century. But in the ’30s, Lomax was both prescient and provocative in his belief that Bahamian sea shanties, African American a cappella, ancient Appalachian ballads and work songs from sea captains, cowhands and homemakers were worthy of being recorded and studied. In so doing, Lomax lit the fuse of the folk revival, which in turn influenced Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia and other musical movers and shakers of the ’60s. In celebration of Lomax’s achievement, two-time Juno-winning banjoist and composer Jayme Stone leads a group of collaborators to “recycle, re-imagine and recast traditional music.” (Tyler Friedman)

“Inspired by the Bard”
Festival City Symphony
Pabst Theater
March 26

Monte Perkins’ Festival City Symphony (FCS) joins many an arts group this season in recognizing the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Indeed, the works herein would not have been composed were it not for The Bard’s immense and immortal influence. Otto Nicolai may not exactly be a household name, even among Classical Music fans. He’s one of those opera composers whose works were huge hits in their day but survive today only through their sprightly overtures. The FCS performs Nicolai’s overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor. Pyotr Tchaikovsky owes two great tone poem-overtures to The Bard: The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet. The FCS also performs a suite from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet score. (John Jahn)

Florentine Opera: The Billy Goats Gruff (family friendly)
UW-Whitewater Young Auditorium
March 26

“Central Park Revisited: Simon and Garfunkel”
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (Wilson Theater)
March 30-31

Back to Spring 2017 Arts Guide


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