Spring Music Festival 2000
Presents Glenn Miller Orchestra February 1
By Vinny Reda
The legendary Glenn Miller Orchestra aims to get folks
in the mood for the Performing Arts Center's new professional performance
series, UAlbany Presents, with two Tuesday, Feb. 1, concerts in Page Hall
on the Downtown Campus.
The Glenn Miller event is the first of three events
forming the first edition of the series. Dubbed “Spring Music Festival
2000,” it also includes a March 16 performance by Five O'Clock Shadow,
a vocal band with "an alternative a capella rock" sound, and an April 13
performance by six-time all-Ireland fiddle champion Martin Hayes and his
partner Dennis Cahill on guitar.
The Miller shows are at 2 and 8 p.m. on Feb. 1.
Tickets are $15 for the general public, $12 for seniors 65 and older, and
$10 for students and children.
In the future, said PAC Director and series coordinator
Patrick Ferlo, PAC plans to expand the series to include a wide variety
of performing arts programming. Ferlo, who graduated from the University
in 1988 with a degree in theater, said, “I had always wanted the PAC to
contribute something to the fabric of the University.”
“I always knew this would take the form of a performance
series, but when I became director in 1995, the facility needed work. We
never could have supported a series back then. We have spent the last five
years improving our physical space so that a series would be possible.”
Ferlo admitted that he might have waited longer,
but the successes and limitations of the University's Shakespeare and Irish
semesters, held on campus the last two springs, prompted him to move more
“These two series of events relied on the facilities
and personnel of the PAC for all technical aspects of production, and we
did very well,” he said. “Aud-iences were generally very pleased, but both
events had scheduling problems and therefore did not receive proper area-wide
attention. I felt it was important to show everyone now that it is possible
to present such a series and that the Performing Arts Center should administer
Ferlo added, “The facility still needs upgrades,
but all three of this spring's events had very few technical requirements
and provided an interesting mix of genres - perfect. Spring Music Festival
2000 was born. Ideally, the future would bring larger and more diverse
events to campus, some involving residencies, master classes and lectures.”
Many colleges and universities in the nation have professional performance
series, he said. “They provide not only new entertainment options to the
university community, but help with community and alumni relations and
with faculty and student quality of life. In addition, when a university
is associated with the fine artists that perform on its campus, it contributes
to student recruitment and retention.”
Ferlo said he had spoken over the last few years
with local senior homes about how the PAC might get them more involved
in the theater and music events on campus. They mentioned that they would
be able to bring groups of their residents, but it would have to be during
the day. “I was very interested in making this connection,” he said, “but
our theatre and music departments were unable to perform during the day
because of class conflicts.”
Ferlo belongs to the Association of Performing Arts
Presenters (APAP), an organization that brings artists, managers and presenters
together to conduct business, exchange ideas and to collaborate on projects.
Its newsletter reports on events well-received in other venues. “One act
that consistently received rave reviews was the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
I put together the need for events for seniors and the increasing popularity
of swing music and booked them.”
“I had expected this to be my only event this year,
my only experiment. Then, during the summer, I experienced Five O'Clock
Shadow's unique and extremely entertaining act. I knew instantly that I
wanted them here. Later that same summer, the manager for Martin Hayes
and Dennis Cahill called me to see if I was still interested in having
them back. They had performed a wonderful concert during the Irish Semester.
I had wanted them back. That is how they became our third act.”
In addition to dance, theater, music, variety, and
comedy events, a distinguished lecturer series is also under consideration.
Tickets for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Spring
Music Festival 2000 are on sale now at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center
Box Office. Reservations are available by phone at 442-3997.