Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dr. Seuss At Peru State College

Peru State College President Dan Hanson and Elaine Hanson join Ted Harshbarger and student performers as they administer the "Dr. Seuss Readers' Oath" as part of the Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration held in the PSC College Theater.

This year, PSEA (Peru State Education Association) students--sponsored by Dr. Judith Ruskamp--organized four shows over two days--February 25 and 26--that entertained some 1,400
students from over twenty area schools from Nebraska City to Falls City.

As they did last year, the PSC students put together fun-filled shows in the children-rocked theater.

I posted quite a few photographs of Day One and of Day Two; for those unfamiliar with these postings, you can download single (and large) files or the entire album--with a minimum of "clicks."

In addition to two excellent student-organized skits from Dr.
Seuss books and posted on You Tube--Hunches and Bunches and Do You Know How Lucky You Are?--the students invited me to serve as Master of Ceremonies.

And the students allowed Chet Harper and me to "perform" Green Eggs and Ham. Chet and I are always happy to make fools of ourselves in front of hundreds of children.

The production also featured costume and dance contests, free books for all the youngsters, a book reading, and the "Dr. Seuss Readers' Pledge" led by Ted Harshbarger mentioned beneath the photograph that tops this post.

All enjoyed a wonderful time in the Peru State Theater and everyone involved in this worthwhile effort should feel very good.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Twyla Hansen Visits Peru State Again

Twyla Hansen

Today at 11:00 in the CATS Conference Room, the Creative Writing Series and the English Club sponsored a visit by one of Nebraska premier poets, Twyla Hansen. I last saw Twyla read in Brownville, three years ago, when I initially began posting on this blog.

The previous link will take you to images from her reading in Brownville and to pictures from Twyla's last visit to Peru, in 2005.

Dr. Dan Holtz's Nebraska Literature class attended the reading and enjoyed a conversation with Twyla about her craft.
I recorded two sets of poems from Twyla's reading. The first group contains two poems linked by disaster, "We Are On Nine-Mile Prairie When" and "Corn."

You can read the first poem on the
Nebraska NIT page, which contains contrasting photographs, for Twyla wrote the poem at the time of the 9/11 horror; on that day, Twyla walked Nine-Mile Prairie with a group of fourth graders.

"Corn's" introduction sets that poem's context well.

The other group contains "Eddie" and "Hail Storm," two poems about youth and a certain innocence and experience.

I posted a few photographs from the reading and hope that you enjoy the excellent poetry.

2010 Peru State College Honor Choir Choral Festival

A day-long preparation

With wonderful performances from 2009 and 2008, the Peru State College Honor Choir Choral Festival lived up to its reputation, with high-school singers from area high schools joining the Peru State College Concert Choir and The Misty Blues for an evening of celebration.

For proud parents and others, I provide a good many photographs and tried to get everyone who participated into at least one picture.

The Misty Blues got the evening underway with vim.

This time, I recorded three of the glittering group's numbers,
"Grand Illusion" and "Brand New You" because I had not filmed these fun pieces.

I also recorded once again, Eli's Comin', the final number of the performance--you can enjoy the Misty Blues knock out this Laura Nyro song from early in the fall term--before their costumes arrived.

The high-school singers spent the day working with Dr. Tom Ediger, Denis Plutalov, and the Peru State singers, practicing for the evening's performance.

The Peru State College Honor Choir

What absolute fun to hear the stage filled with voices.

The Honor Choir performed the identical pieces from Sunday afternoon's concert--the Peru State singers did not get much down time between shows, to be sure.

Listen and enjoy the Honor Choir's performances of Mozart's "Gloria in Excelsis" and Mark Hayes' arrangement of "America, the Beautiful," the same pieces I recorded on Sunday.

Enjoy the music and the voices.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Choral Concert, 21 FEB 2010 Peru State College

Denis Plutalov on Piano

Those who braved the inclement weather--cold and nasty--on Sunday afternoon to attend the Choral Concert in the Peru State Theater received a just reward for their efforts.

The Madrigal Singers, the Concert Choir, and the Misty Blues warmed everyone. You might want to take a look, too, at last year's concert and the one from 2008.

I posted photographs from Sunday's festivities.

Concert Choir

With Dr. Tom Ediger and (soon-to-be Dr.) Denis Plutalov behind the piano, the Concert Choir began the evening with with a flourish.

I uploaded to You Tube two of the many fine pieces the choral group performed, Wolfgang Mozart's stirring "Gloria in Excelsis" and Mark Hayes' uplifting arrangement of "America, The Beautiful."

Madrigal Singers

I always enjoy filming the Madrigal Singers, especially when they and their costumes take center stage each Holiday Season for the fun-filled Madrigal Dinner.

You will find two of the group's offerings on You Tube: "Which is the Properest Day to Sing" and "You are the New Day."

Misty Blues

As always, the Misty Blues closed the evening's concert with glitter, fanfare, song, and dance.

What fun.

This time around, I uploaded two numbers for your watching and listening enjoyment: "Higher Love" and "Don't Rock the Boat."

Enjoy the show.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fat Tuesday with Soul Specimen

In November, I posted on this blog about Soul Specimen's
inaugural performance at Cotty's--a most successful debut, as the videos and the images attest.

And the group offered an enthusiastic Fat Tuesday crowd at Shooter's--right across the street from Cotty's in cozy Peru--a fun-filled and musically satisfying evening.

Soul Specimen--John Hnida, Guitar; Phil Chinske, Drums; Pat Fortney, Bass; David Norris, Keyboard--offered a compelling variety of music

Take a look at the many images from the night I collected on Gallery.

Peru State College Music Faculty Recital

On Tuesday evening at 7:30, members of the Peru State College music faculty provided viewers in the college theater an hour-long treat that featured a trombone, a soprano, piano, and trumpet in wonderful variety.
Tom Ediger (Piano), Dave Edris (Trumpet), Charlotte Shields (Soprano), Kenneth Meints, (Trombone)

(Owing to an unfortunate accident, Debra DeFrain could not play piano for the recital, and we all wish her a very swift recovery.)

As always, you will find a series of images from the concert published on My Gallery. And give a look to the Music Faculty Recital from October 2008.

The evening opened with a performance of Concert Etude, Opus 49 (Alexander Goedicke) performed by Aeolian II, the partnership formed by Tom Ediger and David Edris in 1979.

You can listen to this stirring piece on You Tube.

Following this piano and trumpet combination, I made of film of Charlotte Shields singing to the accompaniment of Tom Ediger on Piano.

Charlotte sang "Rhodora" a number Tom Ediger wrote as part of his dissertation project that featured musical scores based on poetry by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

This piece appears as well on You Tube.

Next, I filmed Aeolian II again, this time the final two sections of Sonata Francais, by Franklin Deong, Andante and allegro scherzando, to which you can listen on You Tube.

The evening concluded on an impressive note, with Kenneth Meints' masterful trombone playing underscored by Tom Ediger's magic fingers.

The two combined to thrill the audience with Concert Piece, Op. 88, by Alexander Guilmant. Wow!

Enjoy the beautiful music on You Tube.