Hartt celebrates its alumni this spring with two alumni reunion concerts. On Thursday, April 21, three alumni of the Vocal Studies Division perform at 7:00 PM in Wilde Auditorium on the University of Hartford's main campus, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. On Monday, April 25, several alumni of Hartt's Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz perform at 7:00 PM in Millard Auditorium, also on the University of Hartford's main campus. Tickets for each concert are $20. Free tickets available for UofH students at the Box Office with University of Hartford ID. No other discounts are available. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu/hartt or contact the University of Hartford Box Office at 860.768.4228 or 1.800.274.8587.
Vocal Alumni Concert: Alumnus Marshall Robert Cooper, Marie Plette Streshinsky '86, soprano; Donald Osborne '77, baritone; and Janelle Anne Robinson '90, soprano, with collaborative pianists Doris Lang Kosloff and Julie McBride, present an alumni reunion concert and evening of fond reminiscence, followed by a special dessert reception, on Thursday, April 21, at 7:00 PM in Wilde Auditorium on the University of Hartford main campus, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Proceeds benefit Hartt's Vocal Studies Division.
Lirico-spinto tenor Marshall Robert Cooper has sung with opera companies in Annapolis, Chattanooga, and Alabama, and Eastern Opera Theater in New York City, Southern Regional Opera in Birmingham, Pennsylvania Opera Festival, Connecticut Opera, Whitewater Opera, and Lake George Opera. In Europe, he has performed with the Munich Soloist's Ensemble, The Fuerstenfeldbrueck Philharmonic, the Bavarian State Opera, and the Plauener Stadtsoper. Most recently, Marshall has performed the role of Ubaldo Piangi with the Hamburg, Germany production of The Phantom of the Opera, and in the European premiere production of Jeckyl & Hyde in Bremen, singing the role of the Archbishop of Bravenstoke.
Soprano Marie Plette is acclaimed in the major opera houses of North America and Europe for her compelling portrayals from Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly to Love Simpson in Cold Sassy Tree and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. Her recent performances of Madama Butterfly prompted the New York Times to remark, "The opera did partake of the other great unifying factor here: a star turn, by Marie Plette in the title role." For more information about Marie Plette, visit www.barrettvantage.com/artist.php?id=mplette.
Donald Osborne made his Metropolitan Opera debut in February, 1985, as Robbins in Porgy and Bess. Mr. Osborne's operatic repertory includes more than 40 roles and, in addition to his appearances at the Met, he has appeared with companies throughout the United States. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983 and has appeared in concert with many choral ensembles and orchestras, including a recent appearance as bass soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Orchestra of The Bronx. Osborne is a Regent of the University of Hartford and also, as lifelong classic car enthusiast, principal of Automotive Valuation Services.
Janelle Anne Robinson, currently in the cast of Broadway's Mary Poppins, also appeared in the 2002 Broadway revival of Oklahoma! In addition to her theatrical credits, Robinson has appeared in feature films such as Meet the Robinsons and The Pelican Brief and has extensive television credits.
Jazz Alumni Concert: On Monday, April 25, at 7:00 PM, in Millard Auditorium, alumni of Hartt's Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz join together for a concert and evening of fond reminiscence, followed by a special dessert reception. Proceeds benefit Jazz Studies at Hartt. Invited performers include: Stephen Benson '80, guitar; Mark Berman '82, piano; Jimmy Greene '97, saxophone; John Hahn '78, trombone/bass; Saul Rubin '81, guitar; Gary Seligson '83, drums; "Sweet" Sue Terry '82, saxophone; and Julius Tolentino '97, saxophone.
Stephen Benson '80, guitar, has remained active on the studio, jazz, and Broadway scene for twenty years. With degrees from Hartt and Manhattan School of Music, Benson has toured Europe as a member of the Giora Feidman Trio, and has performed at the Carnevale in Venice, Italy, and at the Grand Canyon Music Festival in Arizona. He has worked extensively on Broadway, in shows such as The Lion King, 42nd Street, and Wicked. He performs many styles of jazz from bebop to fusion to blues and R & B, and has worked with such notable artists as Phoebe Snow, John Sebastian, and Evelyn Blakey.
Mark Berman '82 is a sought after pianist, composer, arranger, and music director. He has written for, played with, and recorded with the proverbial who's who of jazz, pop, and rock artists, including such luminaries as Jackie McLean, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Wycliff Gordon, Betty Buckley, Hillary Cole, Houston Person, Nana Mouskouri, Petula Clark, Cornelius Bumpus, Leslie Gore, Gladys Knight, Hugh Jackman, Ben E King, Buster Poindexter, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Richie Havens, Helen Reddy, Jennifer Holliday, Phoebe Snow, and Phil Ramone. Berman officially achieved "pop culture glory" when he played piano on the world famous theme to "Sex and the City." On Broadway, he has conducted orchestras for Rent, Smokey Joe's Café, and Blood Brothers, and played lead piano/keyboards on The Boy From Oz, Hairspray, The Life, 42nd Street, Dreamgirls, Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar, and the recent revival of Hair. He was honored to serve as conductor and music director for several productions at the renowned Westport Country Playhouse under artistic director Joanne Woodward. Berman has played at The Blue Note, Birdland, The Rainbow Room, The Supper Club, Merkin Hall, and Carnegie Hall. www.markbermanmusic.com
The son of a Boston-area band leader, John Hahn '78 began his career in classical and contemporary music at an early age. Broadway credits include playing Bass Trombone/Tuba for Miss Saigon (ten years) and the Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. He also has toured internationally with Dream Girls, Les Miserables, The Wiz (with Stephanie Mills) and The Producers. John has played with many of New York's beast big bands including the Mel Lewis Big Band at The Village Vanguard, the Mingus Big Band at the Time Cafe, and the Bob Mintzer Big Band. His powerful sound lends some credibility to the band's name.
Saul Rubin '81 has worked in New York for more than 30 years as a musician and composer. In 1997 Saul started his own production company Zebulon Sound and Light, specializing in recording original music, audio/video production, multimedia, and animation. As a jazz guitarist, he has worked greats such as Roy Hargrove, John Hicks, Victor Lewis , Dave Schnitter, Alex Blake, Curtis Lundy, Clifford Barbaro, Wynard Harper, Candido, Bruce Cox, Sue Terry, Marion Cowings, Nora Jones, Marilyn , Tessa Souter, Avishai Cohen, Gregory Hutchinson, Joe Magnarelli, Ned Goold, Neal Caine, Darren Barret, Mino Cinelu, Leslie Harrison, Claudio Roditi, Jeff "Tain" Watts, David Budway, Ron Afif, Essiet Essiet, Badal Roy, Jerry Gonzalez, Victor Jones, Gerald Cannon, Paul Jeffrey, Jerry Weldon, Bobby Forrester, Craig Handy, Groove Collective, Sherman Irby, Thomas Chapin, Bill Ware, Ralph Lalama, Fabio Morgera, James Hurt, Eric Revis, Willi Jones III, Eddie Jones, Paul Brown, Dave Samuels, Steven Scott, Sergio Brandau. www.myspace.com/saulrubinmusic
Gary Seligson '83 currently plays in the 10-time Tony Award winning musical Billy Elliot: The Musical, and was chosen by Phil Collins to be the drummer for Tarzan, (composed by Collins). Gary was the original drummer for Broadway's Wicked (Grammy Award) and Aida (Tony and Grammy Awards). He also has played in Mamma Mia, Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening, Little Mermaid, Spamalot, The Lion King, Rent, Chicago, and many other Broadway shows. He has appeared in Cirque Du Soleil's "WINTUK," and has performed and/or recorded with Elton John, Phil Collins, Leann Rimes, Phoebe Snow, Brian Johnson (from ACDC), Ben Vereen, Heather Headley, Toni Braxton, Joel Grey, Taylor Dane, Billy Porter, Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. www.sabian.com/EN/artists/Gary_Seligson.cfm
"Sweet" Sue Terry '82 (pictured), Hartt's 2001 Alumna of the Year, specializes in jazz, improvisation, and composition whose primary instruments are alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet, flute, and wood/clay flutes. Sweet Sue has performed and/or recorded with jazz VIPs such as Art Blakey, Carmen McRae, Jon Faddis, Lew Tabackin, Wynton Marsalis, Lew Soloff, Ray Barretto and countless others. She has been a Jazz soloist with the National Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New York Pops, and has performed worldwide at venues such as The Montreux Jazz Festival, Nice Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Northsea Jazz Festival, the Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan, Quasimodo in Berlin, Germany, Marian's Jazzclub in Bern, Switzerland, and Spice of Life in London, UK. In the States she has been a frequent performer at venues such as The Kennedy Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her discography currently contains over more than 40 commercially released CDs. She's the author of several music instruction books, and has received a number of grants and awards for her songwriting. Catch her regular column in the quarterly Jazz Inside Magazine. Sue's other passion is for the martial arts; she is a longtime practitioner of Taiji Quan and Qi Gong. www.sueterry.net.