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...to the Richter Arts Spring 2023 Performing Arts season!
All Richter Arts events are free and no tickets or reservations are required for attendance. We ask only that you consider making a modest donation to help us pay for the performances. Enjoy the shows!
Sunday, April 23rd, at 3:00pm.
Journey through the music and culture of Rock’n Roll in song and stories
with The Heart Of Gold Band’s Joan Bujacich and Joe Bilotti.
Starting with the roots of Rock’n Roll in the 1950’s, Joan and Joe perform music showing its evolution and development into its pinnacle decades, the 1960’s and 1970’s. You will hear songs from artists Chuck Berry, Elvis, Dion and The Belmonts, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Beatles, The Band, Joni Mitchell, Traffic, Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Peter Frampton and much more.
Joan and Joe joined forces a little over 20 years ago. At that time Joan was performing her original music and Joe joined her group as the lead guitarist. After 9/11, they took a pause from the original music scene, and they formed The Heart Of Gold Band which features music they both love, Classic Rock. Since Classic Rock is timeless and celebrated by all generations, The Heart of Gold Band, is still going strong as they rock many Festivals and Summer Concert Series in the NY Metropolitan Area!
Sunday, April 30th, at 3:00pm.
Pianist Margarita Rovenskaya has performed extensively in the US and abroad, with performances in Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Center, Zimmerli Museum, Ukrainian Museum, Teatro Machiavelli in Sicily, and Salmagundi Art Gallery, among others. Margarita is a prizewinner of the WPTA Finland International Competition, Constantine the Great International Competition, American Music Talent Competition, Mary Smart International Concerto Competition, and Chopin Society Malaysia Competition. Margarita also performs in several chamber concert series as well as the annual Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival, which celebrates the music of avant-garde Ukrainian composers. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at Oberlin Conservatory in May 2012, her Masters in Piano Studies at New York University in May 2014, and earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts at Rutgers University in 2022. She is based in NYC, where she performs and teaches. She is the Head of the Piano Department at Newark School of the Arts, faculty at the Spence School, and piano faculty at several summer festivals.
This concert honors the memory of Charlotte Barrows, a former Board Member of Richter Arts. Sponsored by Betty Bontempi, Maisi Summ, Gordon Gilbreath, and Linda Hansen.
Sunday, May 7th, at 3:00pm.
Richard, Mary, Adam & Friends: A Broadway Legacy
Featuring the songs of Richard Rodgers, Mary Rodgers, Adam Guettel
and their influential circle of friends.
Performed by Jeanine Pardey Levine, Claire Simard.
Musical director: Andrew Levine
Today’s program explores the theater lineage that runs through the songs of Richard Rodgers, his daughter Mary, and Mary’s son, Adam Guettel. This rich and colorful Broadway legacy is somehow able to encapsulate the essence of what we think of when we say the words, ‘Broadway Musicals’. Richard’s writing partners, Larry Hart and Oscar Hammerstein, Jr. helped create some of the greatest songs in the American songbook and the most iconic Broadway shows of the Golden Age of Musicals. Mary Rodgers, whose recent autobiography, Shy (with Jesse Green of The NY Times), proves that she’s a gifted story-teller. Mary was also a fine composer and lyricist herself, and her circle of friends and collaborators included Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince, and many more of theater’s finest talents. Adam Guettel (Light in the Piazza, Floyd Collins), is Mary’s son and a singular talent capable of taking music to its greatest heights. Adam, has a new show making its debut shortly, The Days of Wine and Roses.
Jeanine Levine’s performing experience spans concert and oratorio, opera, musical theatre and cabaret. Musical theatre experience includes Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music at CW Post Tilles Center, She Loves Me at the Opera Ensemble of New York (conducted by Jonathan Tunick), Anna Held in Tintypes, Elsa in The Sound of Music, and a featured performer in Fascinating Gershwin (semi-national tour). Concert credits include, CAMI Hall, The Walter Reade Theatre, Wave Hill, Trinity Church, and the Bruno Walter Auditorium in New York, as well as a season in Europe performing with the International Institute for Chamber Music. Her operatic roles include Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Baby Doe in The Ballade of Baby Doe and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, with the Brooklyn Opera Ensemble, and the Opera Ensemble of New York. Her work in higher education began in 2001 as a Professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design, developing a new musical theatre program and ultimately becoming Chair of the Media and Performing Arts Department. She has been on faculty and/or administrative positons at Molloy College, Manhattanville College and Adelphi University. She is currently a Teaching Artist in the Theatre Division of The Hartt School at the U. of Hartford.
Claire Simard is the Head of Music and Theater at the Wooster School in Danbury. She has appeared at Musicals at Richter as Elsa in The Sound of Music, Grace in Annie, Mamma Mia!(ACT), Noel Coward's Bittersweet, and Young Heidi in Follies. Claire has a B.M. in Vocal Performance from the Catholic University of America. Locally, Ms. Simard has been a guest soloist at Congregation Shir Shalom, the Richter Arts Association, and St. Stephen's Church in Ridgefield. She lives in Ridgefield with her husband Nick and their two children, Amélie and Gabriel. Since November 2021 Claire has been posting a song every day online @clairechanteuse.
Andrew Levine has enjoyed a multifaceted career in the performing arts, working as a performer/composer, arts administrator, educator and producer. Andrew served as managing director for the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in lower Manhattan after holding the role of Executive Director at the York Theatre Company. He played a major role in the development of new musical theater works at Perry-Mansfield in Steamboat Springs, CO partnering with ASCAP’s Michael Kerker and Stephen Schwartz. As a musical director/composer Andrew has worked at Long Wharf Theater, Prospect Theatre, American PlaceTheater, Goodspeed Opera, Cleveland Playhouse, NYMF, and New American Theater. At 10 years old he saw his first musical, the 1965 revival of Carousel. Years later he had the privilege of accompanying John Raitt in his musical biography concert and of learning from John’s wisdom and fearlessness. As an educator Andrew served as the resident musical director at the Savannah College of Art and Design for four years and was an adjunct instructor for the musical theater programs at PACE University and The Hartt School, at the University of Hartford.
Sunday, May 14th, at 3:00pm.
Voted Danbury's number 1 solo artist! Co-founder of the J&B Band and solo artist in his own right, Billy Michael has been marching to the beat of popular music from a very early age.
When he was just five years-old, Billy could be heard belting out Ray Charles’ hit “You Don’t Know Me,” which his mother, Dolores, had taught him. In the first grade he was known as “Little Elvis.” The nuns took him from classroom to classroom to sing Elvis’ 1956 hit song “Teddy Bear” for the other students. In high school, he started his first band, Downhill Tangerine, performing songs by Procol Harem and The Doors.
As a solo act, Billy performs a variety of popular music from all eras: The Beatles, The Kinks, Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Nat King Cole, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Lovin' Spoonful – and many more. You can hear Billy Michael perform nightly at area venues, where he brings the concept of audience participation to a whole new level. Among the many themes are Open Mike, Beatnik Night, Mardi Gras, to name a few. Billy often regales enthusiastic vacationers at the exclusive Club Getaway in Kent, Connecticut.
In addition to fronting the J&B Band, Billy is the leader of several other groups - Jazz For Juniors/All That Jazz and the ever-popular Fiddlers’ Brawl. Both groups appear regularly in the Danbury area.
Billy also provides tasteful guitar accompaniment and background vocals for local singers such as Erin and Laura Volpintesta (Wild Honey) and jazz vocalist Cheryl Boyd.
With Billy Michael, there's always something for everybody! And, who knows? Some night he may just call you up onstage to sing a Dusty Springfield tune...
Sunday, May 21st, at 3:00pm.
Metamusic plays an eclectic breed of classical music that explores the singing and coloristic possibilities of their unusual instrumentation: violin, saxophone, and piano. The sounds are lyrical, dance-like, at times jazz-infused, at times experimental, and always exciting.
The ensemble formed 9 years ago in New York’s North Country, and has now performed all over that region, as well as touring nationally and internationally. They have unearthed lesser-known pieces for their combination, commissioned new works, and borrowed and transposed others. They will present a program of delightful music, along with interesting and amusing commentary.
Jennifer Higdon - Wedding Hymn
Madeleine Dring - Trio for Violin, Saxophone, and Piano
Faure- Berceuse (Violin and Piano)
Carl Anton Wirth - Jephtha
Brian Dykstra - Three Rags
Kristina Arakelyan - Two Pieces for Violin, Saxophone, and Piano
Khachaturian - Sabre Dance
Sunday, May 28th, at 3:00pm.
Soprano Corinne Schaefer has performed a variety of operatic roles including Carlotta in the German production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, Die Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte, Beth in the European premiere of Little Women, Olympia, in Les Contes 'Hoffman, Gretel, in Hansel and Gretel, Nanetta in Falstaff, Musetta in La Boheme, Clotilde in Norma, and Norina in Don Pasquale.
On the concert stage, Corinne has appeared as a soloist with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Polizeichor Hamburg, Germany, Bucks County Symphony, Opera New Jersey, Opera at Florham, and on the behalf of the US Consulate in Hamburg, Germany. She has performed a variety of concerts and recitals throughout Germany, Austria, Italy, and the United States.
Corinne Schaefer is a graduate from Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music, where she received a BM in vocal performance. She is also an alumnus of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Corinne is the founder and artistic director of Creative OPERAtions, a 501 (c)(3) non profit dedicated to bridging the gap between classical music genres and communities who do not have regular or easy access to the art forms.
Rebecca Eng, pianist and teacher, studied at Wheaton Conservatory of Music (BM) and Eastman School of Music (MM) where she was awarded the Performer’s Certificate. After two decades of performing at Montclair State University as a collaborative pianist, she worked with The Opera Theatre of Montclair for seven years as the pianist and Assistant General Director. She now performs as a freelance accompanist in the New York metropolitan area and teaches piano privately. Rebecca also serves on the boards of the Music Educators Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Federation of Music Clubs.
Sunday, June 4th, at 3:00pm.
The Catoonah Street Jazz and Blues Society will bring the sound of New Orleans style Jazz to Danbury. They have been performing for more than 20 years, spreading happiness and joy through their music.
Note: OUTDOOR performance. Bring seating and picnic. Indoors if rain.
Sponsored in part by Al & Joan Mead.
Note: OUTDOOR performance. Bring seating and picnic. Indoors if rain.
Roger Post: Drummer, Band Leader Roger is a highly sought-after drummer/percussionist whose 52 years of experience have encompassed an incredible variety of styles and music. Big bands: New Haven Jazz Orchestra, Harold Zinno Big Band, Hartford Jazz Orchestra, Berkshire Big Band, Sonny Carroll Orchestra, Fairfield Counts, Rob Zappulla Orchestra, Bensen/Scott Big Band. Jazz Concerts with Bill Watrous, Marvin Stamm, Marshall McDonald, Houston Person, Bill Crow Broadway: 42nd St. (original), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (revival w/original cast), Cats, Saturday Night Fever, Falsettos, and Godspell revival.
Bob Kolb: Saxophone In 1966, Bob began working in jazz combos, big bands, and show bands. He has played in bands backing Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr., and many others. He has played in small groups with Dave Brubeck, Dave McKenna, Johnny Griffin, Sonny Stitt, JR Monterose, Sal Nistico, and other wonderful players. His style reflects the melodic inventions of the Masters such as Lester Young, Stan Getz, and Paul Desmond.
Bill Crow: Bassist During a long career as a bassist, Bill Crow has played with the big bands of Claude Thornhill, Ralph Flanagan, Louis Bellson, Gerry Mulligan, Benny Goodman, and even one concert with Duke Ellington. He was featured with many small jazz groups including the Stan Getz Quintet, the Terry Gibbs Quartet, the Marian McPartland Trio, the Gerry Mulligan Sextet and Quartets, the Ruby Braff Quintet, the Eddie Condon House Band, the Marty Napoleon Trio and Quartet, the Gene DiNovi Trio, Jay and Kai, the Al Cohn and Zoot Sims Quintet, the Bob Brookmeyer and Clark Terry Quintet, the Walter Norris Trio, the Carmen Leggio Quartet, and several small groups of his own. Crow also played many Broadway shows, doubling on bass and tuba, including the long runs "The King and I" and "42nd Street." He is currently a freelancer in the New York area jazz field. He is also the author of two books on jazz, “Jazz Anecdotes” and “From Birdland to Broadway,” both published by Oxford University Press.
Dave Childs: Piano Dave performs full-time in the tri-state region and has shared the stage with jazz greats Jimmy Heath, Eddie Bert, James Moody, Lionel Hampton, Larry Ridley, Roswell Rudd, Dick Oatts, Bill Watrous, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, to name a few.
Dave’s performances span a variety of venues including New Haven Jazz Festival, Jazz on the Green, Long Wharf Theatre, Quick Center for the Performing Arts, Silvermine Tavern, Stamford Forum, Le Cirque, the Glass House NYC, Le Chateau, St. Peter’s Church NYC, Branford House on Avery Point, Bartlett Arboretum, Pequot Library, the Graduate Club, and many others.
Over the years, Dave has been featured on a variety of recordings including three of his own full-length CDs. His most recent CD is a jazz trio with sax and bass recorded in 2013.
Dave’s interest in a variety of musical genres has led him to various positions as a church musician, including at Hastings on the Hudson Lutheran and Rowayton Methodist Churches. For over 6 years, Dave has been the pianist for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport where he combines jazz, classical, pop, folk, and world music for services and other events. In addition to performing, Dave teaches piano at Fairfield University and the Cider Mill Conservatory in Wilton, Connecticut.