Esbenshade brings a variety of arts and humanities events to campus

The Esbenshade Series at Marietta College will bring a variety of musical performances to the campus and community again this academic year. Dr. Dan Monek, director of the series, recently announced the schedule for the 2009-10 season.

All performances, unless otherwise noted, take place in the Alma McDonough Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

The series opens Wednesday, Oct. 7, with a performance by UpBeat Brass. With a signature sound that makes just five players seem like a big band—no other group has their combination of sax, brass, and drums. UpBeat Brass is a fun-loving band that makes each performance an event to be remembered. One of a kind in every way, they are energetic and rhythmically vibrant with charisma that is simply stunning.

The series returns to the home stage on Tuesday, Oct. 27, with Ensemble Schumann. This colorful combination of instruments brings together three outstanding artists for lively programs of works by such composers as Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Camille Saint-Saens, Francis Poulenc, Dmitri Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, and Cesar Franck. The members of Ensemble Schumann have collectively performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City, at Jordan Hall in Boston, Wigmore Hall in London, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Lucerne, Spoleto, and Mostly Mozart Festivals. Their credentials certainly attest to how enjoyable an experience their performance will be.

The Series takes a break until the spring semester when Quink Vocal Ensemble takes the stage on Thursday, Feb. 11. It was after a successful debut at the Holland Festival that Quink quickly emerged as a stunning and unique ensemble. They are a remarkable group of five Dutch singers whose special style has helped establish their reputation as a group that captivates its audiences with expressive a cappella programs of a varied and beautiful repertoire. The current members of Quink, who are also experienced soloists, find themselves at home in many areas of a cappella varieties, performing music from different periods in authentic style. Their vast range of music includes music from early Renaissance to music of our own time.

Established in 1997, Orchid Ensemble will perform Tuesday, March 30. Blending the ancient musical instruments and traditions from China and beyond, Orchid Ensemble creates a beautiful new sound. The ensemble has embraced a variety of musical styles to its repertoire, ranging from the traditional and contemporary music of China, World Music, and New Music to Jazz and Creative Improvisation. The energetic yet endearing performance style of the ensemble consistently intrigues and delights its audiences and has been acclaimed as “one of the brightest blossoms on the world music scene.” The performance will feature a special guest appearance by the Marietta College Women’s Choir.

Wrapping up the season on Thursday, April 15 is Qiu Xiaolong. A novelist and poet born in Shanghai, China, he is the author of the award-winning Inspector Chen series of mystery novels including Death of a Red Heroine, A Loyal Character Dancer, and When Red is Black, to name a few. He is also the author of two books of poetry translations and his own poetry collection. Qiu’s books have sold more than a million copies and have been published in 20 languages. This event coincides with and is a part of Marietta College’s third annual Asian Symposium.

Established through a generous gift in 1980, the series is endowed by the Frederica G. Esbenshade Memorial Fund. The Esbenshade Series is also celebrating its 30th anniversary during the 2009-10 season. All performances are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Esbenshade Series click here.