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Pre-Performance Lecture: “Blue Roots” Free, public lecture before Songhoy Blues

October 26, 2019 • 7:00 pm

Port City Music Hall, Portland

Songhoy Blues is acclaimed for its guitar mastery in the “desert blues” genre of contemporary North African music. The African rhythms underlying the music we know and love as “the Blues” traveled to the Americas via the Trans-Atlantic enslavement and trafficking of Africans. Join us pre-performance at Port City Music Hall as Marc Chillemi highlights…

  • portland freedom trail walk

The Freedom Walk

November 2, 2019 • 1:00 pm

Green Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church

To welcome Kingdom Choir and better understand their musical selections, presentation, and history join us for a walk along Portland’s ‘Underground Railroad’ lead by artist Daniel Minter, Reverend Kenneth Lewis, and Portland City Councilor Pious Ali, concluding with an engaging talk by Reverend Lewis. What is the “gospel” in gospel music and what are Maine’s…

  • reverend lewis gospel music lecture

Public Lecture: “The Gospel in Gospel Music” Free, public lecture following "The Freedom Walk"

November 2, 2019 • 3:00 pm

Green Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church

Why did Enslaved African’s sing with so much emotion and spirit? Simple, it’s a form of resistance to captivity, enslavement, and oppression. Given the right format, emotions are safe to express. Gospel music was the safest way to express the pains and hopes of enslaved Africans in the United States. Reverend Kenneth L. Lewis will…

Pre-Performance Panel & Conversation Free, pre-performance panel before Palaver Strings

November 3, 2019 • 4:00 pm

Indigo Arts Alliance

Join Palaver Strings, the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, and Portland Ovations to hear stories of courage, resilience, travel, and transition from three of Maine's immigrant communities. Facilitated by Marty Pottenger, guests will be invited to share their own experiences and how and why they call Portland home. The afternoon will kick off Welcome Home,…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “The Trans-Atlantic British Influence on African Music” Free, public lecture before The Kingdom Choir

November 9, 2019 • 6:45 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Were you awed by Kingdom Choir’s ethereal performance of “Amazing Grace” at the royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry to Meghan Markle last year? Prior to the Choir’s performance, explore the history and British origins of this iconic song within the context of the African “call and response” tradition in the creation of gospel music,…

  • shaker music lecture

Pre-Performance Lecture: “The Legacy and Songs of the Shakers” Free, public lecture before Boston Camerata

December 1, 2019 • 3:00 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

Brother Arnold, one of only three remaining Shakers all based in Sabbathday Lake, Maine, shares the history and context of the seven Shaker songs included in the Boston Camerata’s performance. Through his personal experience and history, Brother Arnold breathes life into the stories of each song.   The pre-performance lecture takes place at Hannford Hall…

Panel Discussion: “The History and Impact of Immigration in Maine” Free, panel discussion lecture before Gabriela Montero

January 18, 2020 • 1:00 pm

Maine Historical Society

Venezuelan award-winning pianist Gabriela Montero pays homage to the physical, cultural and psychological emigration westwards of three early twentieth century Russian pianist-composers: Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Stravinsky. The panel discussion will focus on the history of Maine’s immigration from the colonial America’s to the ongoing influx new Mainers through migration and immigration. What is driving the…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “Hot off the Keyboard” Free, public lecture before Gabriela Montero

January 25, 2020 • 3:00 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

In a pre-performance lecture, “Hot off the Keyboard,” University of Southern Maine’s Dr. Laura Kargul dives deep into Montero’s repertoire to explore the ways some of the greatest classical composers were renowned for their improvisational skills at the keyboard. Works such as the Bach toccatas, Mozart variations, Chopin nocturnes and Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies often sound…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “Lyrical Expressionism of Chinese Drumming” Free, public lecture before GuGu Drum Group

February 15, 2020 • 6:00 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Drums speak. They have been used for centuries to communicate from area to area and people to people around the world. In “Lyrical Expressionism of Chinese Drumming,” Dr. Chao Ling, a professor of Chinese literature and culture and native of Shanghai, explores the language and history of drumming as both art form and means of…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “How Vocal Folk Traditions Found their Seat at the Table” Free, public lecture before Avi Avital & Bridget Kibbey

February 18, 2020 • 6:45 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

Béla Bartók is, alongside Franz Liszt, regarded as Hungary’s greatest composer and one of the most important of the 20th century—as well as a skilled pianist and ethnomusicologist. Bartók’s music provides Dr. Robert Lehmann, Professor of Music and Director of Strings Studies and Orchestral Activities at the University of Southern Maine School of Music, an…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “A Most Extraordinary Noise: New Orleans and the Birth of Jazz” Free, public lecture before New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

February 20, 2020 • 6:15 pm

Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Jazz, a musical form native to the United States, was born in New Orleans’ rich cultural mix of traditions. In preparation for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s tribute to jazz master Allen Toussaint and the Music of Congo Square, Dr. Ashley Towle, whose scholarship focuses on the experience of African Americans in the South during…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “Remembering Cuba” Free, public lecture before Malpaso Dance Company

February 26, 2020 • 6:30 pm

Westbrook Performing Arts Center, Westbrook

Malpaso Dance Company arrives from Cuba at a time when U.S.-Cuban relationships and travel are again experiencing severe political restrictions. During the last several years when these restrictions were relaxed, many Maine residents traveled to Cuba to experience its rich and unique culture. Mark Vogelzang, CEO and President of Maine Public, lead 20 Mainers on…

Pre-Performance Lecture: “Quartets and Four-ness” Free, public lecture before New York Philharmonic String Quartet

April 5, 2020 • 3:00 pm

Hannaford Hall, USM Campus

Quartets involve four players and are written in four “voices." But even when all the players are playing, there may be only one or two things going on in the music. Or there may be more than four. Composers tend to have characteristic ways of playing with these numbers and the relationships between the voices.…

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