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An Evening With Broadway Star Rebecca Luker

Live Arts Maryland opens the 2019-2020 Season with Broadway Star Rebecca Luker on Saturday, September 14. An Evening with Rebecca Luker is a one night only event! Known for her many performances as well as her interpretation of the American Songbook, Ms. Luker will open the season. Ms. Luker has long been recognized for the skillful combination of her distinctive fine soprano voice and rare dramatic sensibility. 

After the concert, step onstage for a special reception celebrating the new season.


In honor of our 40th Anniversary, we interviewed Live Arts Maryland: 

Making Connections with Live Arts Maryland

Founding Resident Company Live Arts Maryland is approaching its 50th Anniversary! We talked with Artistic Director J. Ernest Green about what keeps their audience coming back year after year.

Tell us about your career and how you came to Live Arts Maryland.

​I was born in Baltimore and my family moved to Cleveland but I have a lifelong connection to Annapolis; every year I spent chunks of my summer visiting family here. In the ‘80s, I was the Orchestra Assistant at Peabody and assistant to my teacher. When I was finishing my doctoral work, my teacher said, “I want you to do this job with the Annapolis Chorale. It’s perfect for you.” Because I was also assisting with the Opera program, I had a reputation for working with singers and orchestras – it’s unusual to move easily between the two. My teacher thought I’d be the perfect fit for the Chorale and told me to go and make something of it. So I did!

Very quickly the orchestra established itself and the chorus became a really strong ensemble that was musically vibrant in the community. At the same time, I traveled back and forth to South America to conduct opera in Brazil. I did that for 4-5 years while also building the chorale. Guest conducting took me all over Europe and America. When I put down roots, I ended up at the Kennedy Center as conductor with the National Symphony for 12 years. From there, I began working with Marvin Hamlish developing part of my life as a pops conductor. Today, most of my guest conducting is orchestral and my residencies last a few days. “Live Arts” is now in the middle of what I consider its third or fourth iteration since I came in ’85.

What can an audience expect from your “fusion” programs?

In the classical concert music world, we’ve created a “museum repertoire.” The bulk of what we do was written in the mid 1800s to early 1900s. That’s over a 100 years old! That doesn’t always connect with us. So, our programs combine chorale traditions with new, contemporary pieces. Our goal is to find connections with music that may sometimes go unnoticed and share that with our audience. Doing new pieces and fusing them together ensures we’re creating something that is part of our time.

What are Live Arts’ keys to success?

We constantly re-evaluate and assess what we’re doing in the context of what the community needs. Not necessarily what it wants but what it needs and how to serve them. That’s the secret to longevity. It’s all well and good to do what you do, sing, perform music, dance, but you have to be careful that you’re not creating a museum. Last season, we did a tremendous amount of repertoire of this time and that resonated with our audience.

How do artists become part of the Orchestra and Chorale?

The chorus is a mostly volunteer chorus with some section leaders on staff. It is a community group of singers drawn from the region. To join, there is a quick voice placement audition and then they come and sing with us. The process is simple and not scary. We want to be as welcoming as we can.

The Annapolis Chamber Orchestra is made up of professional musicians from the area as well. They are some of the best players in the region. Our soloists are drawn from all over the country and the world.

The Chorale has a loyal following. What keeps patrons coming back?

In everything that we do, we try to share the joy that we have in making, sharing and presenting music. I want the audience to feel like they are welcome. They should feel like we’ve invited them into our house and we’re playing music. It’s just a slightly bigger house with lots of seats. Sharing a piece of music at a concert is a big statement and we embrace it. If our audience knows we’re excited about it, they become excited about it.

What is unique about the upcoming season?

We’re really focused on building connections across the season and across the repertoire that resonate with the audience. Connections unfold in that original program and across the whole season. The audience will see the music through the same lens we look through. They are an active participant in what happens on stage.

The Naval Academy Band returns to Maryland Hall to present a series of free concerts this Fall. Beginning Sunday, September 22 at 4 pm, with a Chamber Winds and Brass Ensemble Concert, the band will perform a total of four free concerts at Maryland Hall this Fall. 

"We are very pleased to be partnering once again with Maryland Hall to produce free public performances for our community by the outstanding musicians of this premier military band,” says Lt. Cmdr. Patrick K. Sweeten. "Both organizations’ dedication to the performing arts make our long-term collaborative efforts exciting for Annapolis and our region. We look forward to a continued association with Maryland Hall and are grateful for the opportunity to represent our Navy and the United States Naval Academy through upcoming performances."

Upcoming concerts at Maryland Hall include:

  • Friday, October 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm - Navy Birthday Concert (Main Theatre) | Reserve a Seat

  • Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 4 pm - Superintendent's Combo (Bowen Theatre) | Reserve a Seat

  • Monday, November 11, 2019 at 7 pm - Veterans Day Concert (Main Theatre) | Reserve a Seat

The Naval Academy Band has been providing music for the Brigade of Midshipmen and the surrounding community since 1852. Located at the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, this premier military band offers world-class ensembles which perform a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to contemporary. Naval Academy Band concerts are free and open to the public.

Advanced reservations at marylandhall.org are recommended. For more information, contact the Maryland Hall Guest Services Team at 410-280-5640. Box office hours are Monday - Friday from 9 am – 5 pm.  For more information about the band, please visit the band’s website at usna.edu/usnaband.

New Guitar Workshops with Professional Musician Bryan Ewald

Annapolis’ own Bryan Ewald is a musician that is difficult to pigeon hole. While constantly juggling multiple bands and projects of his own throughout his career (currently Starbelly, Jarflys, Meg & Bryan, Technicolor Motorhome, among others), and regularly working with many of the area’s finest artists (Eric Scott, Higher Hands, Doug Segree, Dan Haas, Brandon Hardesty & Bumpin Uglies, Greg Phillips, and many more...), he’s also an in demand "guitar for hire" for dozens of regional and national artists.

Bryan has been hired for live and/or studio work by over 150 artists as diverse as: Rachael Yamagata, Judd & Maggie, Pat Dinizio (Smithereens), Bobby Vega (Tower of Power, Santana, Sly Stone), Warren Zanes (Del Feugos), Walking Sticks (SHAED), Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, Shane Gamble, Mary Prankster, Pressing Strings, The Temptations (Damon Harris), David Cassidy, The Supremes, Bibi Bourelly, Kelly Bell Band, Yvonne Elliman, Thelma Houston, Mama Jama, David Pack (Ambrosia), Rita Coolidge, Native Run, Stephen Bishop, and countless others. 

For 30 years, he’s been an equally sought after instructor. Due to performing and travel schedules, he’s always had limited teaching availability…until now! We are excited to partner with Bryan to grow his offerings with a series of NEW guitar workshops. Twice a month, Bryan will offer one-time workshops ranging from Guitar 101 for beginners to Intervals and Scales for intermediate/advanced players. The sessions are designed as drop-in workshops or as a flexible series.

An artist with PRS Guitars since 2005, Bryan is also the primary demonstrator and clinician for the prestigious brand. Since 2012, PRS Guitars has utilized his skills for YouTube product videos and live demonstrations and clinics all over the world. He is one of the lead instructors of the Maryland Hall & PRS 2nd Annual Interactive Camp for Aspiring Museums.

When he’s not on the road or playing with one of the bands listed above, he can be found close to home doing solo gigs or performing with his two talented sons.

Now, YOU can join him in class!

2020 Schedule: 

Sessions for Ages 12 & Up |  Sessions for Ages 16 & Up 

ArtyFacts is a NEW comprehensive arts integration program for young children, dedicated to teaching through, with and about the arts.  Each Mini ArtyFacts class is designed with a theme which guides the curriculum, providing pathways to learning concepts developmentally appropriate for pre-k and kindergartners. Using art, music and movement along with bilingual storytelling, yoga and creative play, children have the opportunity to develop their imagination, literacy skills and creative problem solving while engaged in a diverse, fun and safe classroom.

NOW ENROLLING FOR WINTER/SPRING 2020:

For its debut, ArtyFacts will be offered as Sampler Workshops twice a month from February through May. Parents may sign their child for any or all of the eight workshops!  View the schedule and register here.

Each class will include stories, music time, art projects, yoga, movement, and dramatic play; while also introducing beginner Spanish vocabulary through songs and stories. Bilingual teaching assistant will encourage speakers of both English and Spanish to explore creatively.

 


 

LAURA BRINO

Program Director and Lead Teacher

Laura Brino is a freelance artist and singer/songwriter who studied illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art and art education at Towson University. Currently the Outreach Coordinator at Maryland Hall, she oversees many youth programs including Jovenes Artistas,  an after school arts program that gives youth facing adversity a safe environment for self-expression, confidence and motivation to stay in school. Prior to her work at Maryland Hall, Laura worked for Anne Arundel County Public Schools both as a Visual Arts Teacher as well as an Arts Integration Specialist. She is passionate about using the arts as a pathway for learning and is committed to providing dynamic programming for youth. She has presented at three national conferences about the healing power of arts.

Contact info: 410-991-3898 | lbrino@mdhallarts.org

 

ESTEFANI CASTRO

Teaching Assistant and Bilingual Lead

“My name is Estefani Castro. I am 19 years old. I graduated from Annapolis High School in 2017. I plan to go back to AACC and earn my Associates in Child Development. I began attending JA (Jovenes Artistas) in middle school up through the end of high school. When I first heard about the art program I decided to check it out since I never participated in any other after school programs. As a young teenager I was going through so many changes and sometimes I didn’t know how to deal with them but with JA I was able to express myself through art. It definitely kept my mind busy from having depressing thoughts. JA created a sense of belonging. It was like a second home. I had the chance to make new friends and work with them on awesome projects and for that I am very grateful. JA has helped me become a better person and   It helped me realize what my purpose in life is, which is to help kids and lead them through the right path."


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I want to give quality dance instruction and look back and feel it’s been a life well lived.” – Mary Slater

Not only did Mary teach me to tap, she taught me not to let others’ thoughts change my beliefs about myself.” – Tracy Inaldi, longtime student

Mary Slater Taps Into Our Hearts

Shared From our Winter/Spring 2020 Catalog

Mary Slater’s life as a dancer began at age four at the local fire department. She joined their majorette group and after two years began dancing at her teacher’s studio. Her path as a teacher wasn’t as clear cut. Though she started teaching in high school, she initially studied physical therapy at the University of Maryland. Mary says, “While I was in school, I was candy striping at Prince George’s Hospital. There I realized you couldn’t make everyone better and that was sad. At the same time, I was in the dance theater program at Maryland so I changed over to dance education.” Mary soon found herself creating her own places to teach. “I’m not the ‘traditional dancer’ so I had to be something unique,” she says gesturing to her 4’ 9” frame.

In the 70s, Mary’s dance journey took her to Columbia University in New York City where she studied modern dance and became immersed in the emerging tap scene. She studied under legendary Tony Award winning choreographer and dance instructor Henry LeTang. “I ended up the solo student in his tap classes because tap wasn’t popular at the time. As his Broadway career grew, the classes grew and I became one of his teachers,” Mary says.

When she wasn’t dancing with legends, she and her professional dance partner Wayne McCarthy got jobs by dancing on street corners along 5th Avenue. “Agents would put their cards in our hats and that’s how we got work. We performed in night clubs, on cruise ships and even did a show in Japan – I twirled Samoan swords in my baton days,” she says with a smile. Mary and Wayne made quite the duo; Chita Rivera herself attended their show in Japan.

Mary always had the intention to move back to Maryland with more education and experience. She discovered Maryland Hall in 1988. “I moved home to help my mom who had a knee transplant that went bad. There was an ad that Maryland Hall needed someone to do room bookings and I thought I could do that. Someone saw my resume and they offered me a teaching position,” she says. Mary never went back to New York except for visits. Before opening her own studio, Mary’s teaching circuit included MD Hall, University of Maryland and several performing arts schools in the region. “Maryland Hall has been the constant,” she says. 

When LeTang’s movie Tap starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. came out in 1989, Mary created “An Evening with the Masters of Tap” at MD Hall. She brought down the major players in Tap including LeTang, Bubba Gaines, Buster Brown and George Hillman for workshops and a show. It was a huge splash with the local paper featuring the event. After the show, Mary treated the men to a crab feast at her house. That’s when she knew MD Hall was her home. 

Over the years, Mary has taught all ages, even seeing students she taught as children come back as adults...or to sign up their own children for her class! Longtime student Tracy Inaldi says, “I met Mary 25 years ago when I was in high school. At that time, I was more of a ballet dancer. Before my first class with Mary, I warned her that other teachers told me that I’m just not a tapper. Mary laughed and lightheartedly said, ‘I’ll change that!’ Well, not only did Mary teach me to tap, she taught me not to let others’ thoughts change my beliefs about myself.” Tracy plans to enroll her toddler son in Mary’s tap class as soon as he’s old enough; he got his first taste of tap at last year’s ArtFest. “I honestly don’t know where I would be without Miss Mary. I am eternally grateful to her for the joy of dancing, the warm memories of performing, the encouragement to believe in myself, and for our friendship!”

“I try to create a family atmosphere for my dancers. I always encourage them to come back and visit after they go to college. It makes me feel good when they do because it lets me know they really enjoyed their time in the studio,” she says. A former boss once told Mary if you give to the community, they will give back to you. “I’ve always used that as my philosophy about everything and it’s been very true,” she says.

Mary’s favorite part of teaching dance is, “helping people find another means of expression and an outlet, creating a sense of joy in their life.” At MD Hall, this may apply most to her thriving Adult Jazz program. The classes offer exercise through learning and performing tap. Mary started a recent class inviting her students to join her for an upcoming anniversary screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club, another flick choreographed by LeTang. As the students started a combination, ease settled into their bodies, smiles spread across their faces and joy came through their feet. Some students have danced with Mary before and their feet haven’t forgotten the steps. For others, they’re trying it for the first time. The program has grown to three levels: beginning/introductory, intermediate level 2 and level 3.

“As long as you keep challenging them and they keep learning, they continue in the program. You have to keep it fresh,” she says. Her adult students are dipping their tap shoes into the performance world, putting on shows at ArtFest and in Mary’s annual recital. Mary easily recognizes the importance of dance in all ages and skill levels. “I’ve created a sense of community. I just enjoy seeing my dancers grow into well rounded people. Dance does so much for people besides making them dancers.”

Now surpassing three decades at MD Hall, Mary says, “I’ve continued here because I like the feeling the minute you walk in the door. You see the artwork, you hear the music, you see the young and old all enjoying the arts. I think it’s wonderful that we can make the arts possible for all, not just the ones who can afford it,” she says.

Take a Class with Mary Slater this Winter/Spring:

Tap for 2: Child & Adult
Ages: 3+
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (4 - 4:45pm)

First Dance I
Ages: 3-5
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (4:45 - 5:30pm)

Ballet - Tap -  Jazz
Ages: 6-9
2/3-5/4 | Mondays (5:30 - 6:15pm)

Let's Tap  
Ages: 16+
2/3-5/4 | Mondays (2:30 - 3:30pm)

Beginning Adult Tap
Ages: 16+
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (6:15 - 7pm)

Adult Tap 2
Ages: 16+
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (7 - 8pm)

Adult Tap 3
Ages: 16
2/1-5/4 | Mondays (8 - 9pm)

 

 

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