Summer 2017 Music Performances: Jazz, Opera & More

From Stamford to New Haven, UB's Music and Performing Arts Program is on the move this summer

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Bill Harris

This summer, musical talent honed at the University of Bridgeport’s Music and Performing Arts Program delights thousands across the Connecticut shoreline, as students, alumni, and faculty perform at treasured annual venues.

The summer events kicked off on July 12, when Aleecya Foreman ’18, a jazz vocalist, performed with Robbie Jenkins as the opening act for the legendary Dionne Warwick at the City of Stamford’s annual Wednesday Nite Live Series.

“I was at a loss for words,” said Foreman, a voice student of Professors Chris Coogan and Richard Weidlich. “I got to meet Dionne Warwick, whose music I heard at home throughout my childhood. She’s a legend. To perform on the same stage, in the same night, was amazing.” Added Frank Martignetti, Director of Music and Performing Arts, “Aleecya is a dedicated and proactive musician, and we’re delighted to see one of our wonderful students experience such a life-changing opportunity.”

Bill Harris
Adjunct Professor Bill Harris performed with The Four Tops on August 2, 2017.

A few weeks later during the same Wednesday Nite Live series, Bill Harris, Adjunct Professor of Woodwinds since 1998, performed with The Four Tops, of 1960’s Motown fame.

“It was a treat to return to Columbus Park, having played with The Temptations there in 2016,” said Harris, who is one of New York City’s leading reed players. “I was excited to play with the Four Tops for the first time in decades.” Harris was joined by UB alumni Bob Carlson, trombone and Jon Saxon, alto sax.

The weekend of August 2 also saw Marcel Ringold ’13 perform in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the 2017 National Black Theater Festival as an original cast member of the new musical, Something Like a Fairytale.

Next up, at 7 p.m. on August 19, Jimi Han ’12 will be singing as part of Opera-Palooza 2017 on the New Haven Green. Performing alongside the New Haven Symphony, Han — who studied voice at UB with Professor Emilie Roberts Hannon — will be singing “Una voce poco fa” from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

According to the Opera-Palooza website, the event is “a celebration of all things Italian in New Haven” and a tribute to the Italian immigrants who migrated to Connecticut during the late nineteenth century, specifically to the Wooster Street area of town.

“I am continually excited by the accomplishments of our students and recent graduates, as well as the notable achievements of our distinguished faculty,” concluded Martignetti. “The variety of these summer performances confirms that UB Music ranks among the most eclectic programs in the nation. Most importantly, such prominent exposure will lead to new and wonderful opportunities for each of these students and alumni.”

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