Broadway's Jacoby to join USM for 'L’histoire du soldat' & 'Façade'

Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2011 in Culture

Broadway's Jacoby to join USM for 'L’histoire du soldat' & 'Façade'

Mark Jacoby

GORHAM – Broadway star Mark Jacoby will join a collection of USM faculty and visiting guest artists to perform two instrumental/narrative works on Sept. 16.

School of Music faculty member Betty Rines has gathered the group of performers for the first in the University of Southern Maine School of Music’s Fall 2011 Spotlight Concert Series.

The performance will include two 20th-century classics: L’histoire du soldat and Façade.

Dissonant notes and striking rhythm comprise Igor Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale, 1918). Inspired by the composer’s experiences in World War I, the piece tells its story in narrative dialogue. Written for seven players, L’histoire reflects Stravinsky’s belief that economy in musical settings was vital in the impoverished post-war world. The work will be performed by USM School of Music faculty Peter Martin, conductor; Betty Rines, trumpet; Robert Lehmann, violin; and Thomas Parchman, clarinet. They will be joined by area musicians Nicholas Orovich, trombone; Janet Polk, bassoon; George Calvert, bass; and Nancy Smith, percussion.  Mark Jacoby will narrate.

Sir William Tanner Walton’s orchestration of Façade, first performed in 1923, served as Walton’s salute to the collection of poems by Edith Sitwell. The progressive score encompasses Sitwell’s poetry read by a narrator with musical accompaniment and will be performed by USM faculty members Betty Rines, trumpet; and Thomas Parchman, clarinet and bass clarinet; along with Nicholas Orovich, trombone; Nancy Smith, percussion; Krysia Tripp, flute and piccolo; Deborah Dabczynski, cello; and Barry Saunders, saxophone. USM faculty member Peter Martin will conduct, and Jacoby will narrate.

“The title of the program is ‘Friends,’ that truly is the reason behind this concert,” says Rines, who coordinated the collection of musicians. “I work with some amazing musicians at USM and the PSO. This is an opportunity to perform great chamber music with wonderful people. Working with Peter Martin at the helm is an added treat; he knows these scores inside and out. This concert is not about me, but the music, and the joy of sharing incredible music.”

Jacoby is currently playing the Wizard of Oz in the national tour of "Wicked." He played the title role in "The Phantom of the Opera," received a Tony nomination as Gaylord Ravenal in "Show Boat," won a Theatre World Award as Vittorio Vidal in "Sweet Charity,"  and has won many awards off-Broadway and in regional productions.

The concert, at 8 p.m. on Sept. 16, will be held in Hannaford Hall, Abromson Community Education Center (Bedford Street), USM Portland. Spotlight Concert tickets cost $15 general public; $10 seniors/USM employees; $5 students/children. Tickets will be sold at the door.

For additional information, contact the USM Music Box Office at 780-5555.

Coming up in the USM School of Music’s Fall 2011 Spotlight Concert Series:

For more information on the USM School of Music’s fall concert season and programs of study, visit

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