Covelli and Friends will present “From Brahms to Broadway” on Sunday, October 5 at 2:00
PM for the first Classical Piano Plus! Series Concert at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage. This series consists of three concerts featuring Maestro John Covelli at the piano and is sponsored by NBT Bank and GDI Integrated Facility Services.
Always offering an eclectic and interesting mix of favorite classics with fun, this concert promises to be a combination of the expected and unexpected featuring familiar masterpieces contrasting with playful newcomers from the world of musical genius.
Joining the piano maestro is bassist Nicholas Walker, an extraordinary musician and composer from Ithaca College. Walker, who performed with Covelli at the Schorr Stage last season, is returning with Proto’s “A Carmen Fantasy,” Walker’s new arrangements from the popular musical “Grease,” and his own original composition.
Other pieces during the concert include: Brahms’ “Rhapsody in B Minor,” Liszt’s “Funerailles,” Ravel’s “Alborada Del Gracioso,” and Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s “The Union.” “The Union” is a depiction of the American Civil War and includes musical references from “Hail, Columbia,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” and “Yankee Doodle.”
“The Classical Piano Plus series with John Covelli and friends is always highly anticipated,” said Naima Kradjian, CEO. “It does often sell out, so please call early for tickets.”
Most local audiences remember Maestro John Covelli as the conductor of the Binghamton Philharmonic. Many do not realize he was a piano prodigy, pleasing audiences since the age of four. Chicago-born, John Covelli was credited in his youth with numerous concerts, broadcast recitals and special musical awards. He performed at the Chicago Music Festival with the Chicago Symphony at age 9. As a teenager, John was the only concert pianist ever to win the famous Godfrey Talent Scout Program and appeared in a series of nationwide CBS-TV performances. His New York debut drew rave notices from every newspaper and major publication present including The New York Times stating, “This is one of the best debut recitals in our recollection.” While conductor and soloist of the famed Seventh Army Symphony, he was selected special musical ambassador for USIS, gleaning accolades as featured touring soloist throughout Europe.
Nicholas Walker (bass) – is an accomplished musician who brings a broad range of training and experience to the string bass: classical and jazz, modern and baroque, solo recitals and chamber ensembles, his enthusiasm and aptitude transcend arbitrary musical boundaries.
Walker earned his DMA in Early Music at Stony Brook University in 2004. Formerly, Walker studied with Paul Ellison at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, where he received a BMA in 1994. Walker has also apprenticed with two master mentors: for three years he toured with swing era saxophone legend Illinois Jacquet, and for the last twenty years Walker has worked closely with the pioneering maestro of the double bass, François Rabbath. As a Fulbright Scholar (1994-95), he worked with Rabbath at the Nadia Boulanger Conservatoire de Paris, and has since received two diplomas from L’Institut International Francois Rabbath, one in performance, and one in teaching.
An inventive composer, Walker features the string bass in solo, chamber music, and improvisational contexts. In 1998, the International Society of Bassists awarded him Grand Prize for his composition, EADG for Solo Bass. Other commissions include Little Newt for the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival; a sextet, Magnus Caligus, and a bass/viola duo, Song of Freia, for Ardesco, and Pop Song for String Bass and String Orchestra for the New York State American String Teachers Association, which Walker has performed with the University of South Carolina Orchestra, the NYASTA Faculty Orchestra in Ithaca, at the Autumn Bass Workshop in Adelaide, Australia, in Saratoga Springs, in Boston, and with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, his composition, Paris Skies, will be featured on a Hospicare CD. In 2009 Walker premiered his Grease Fantasy for bass and piano. This piece was also performed with Chris Kim and the Cornell Chamber Orchestra in the spring of 2010, at the 2010 Berlin Double Bass Festival, the 2011 Kaleidoskop Double Bass Festival in Germany, and will be featured in a recital at the 2011 ISB convention in San Francisco.
As the professor of double bass at Ithaca College, Walker demonstrates the art of playing in the broadest sense: he shows the full capacity of the instrument, and guides students to new levels in the traditional repertoire, early music, new music, jazz music, as well as in the art of improvisation and creative collaboration. Walker has been on the faculty at the BassWorks Festival in Adelaide, Australia; the Domaine Forget Music Festival, Quebec; at the Rabbath Institute, Washington, D.C.; and he has lectured for the International Society of Bassists, the New York American String Teachers Association/National String Orchestra Association, and for the New York State School Music Association on bass pedagogy. Walker has given masterclasses and recitals at Baldwin Wallace University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Nazareth College and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, at Oberlin College, at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Sookmyoung University in Soeul Korea, Concordia College in Adelaide Australia, and at the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory of Music in St. Petersburgh. Walker has been on the faculty of the Stony Brook Pre-College Program, the Music Conservatory of Westchester, and Mansfield University. Currently Mr. Walker is a full-time faculty member at Ithaca College, and he also teaches bass at Cornell University.
Tickets for Covelli and Friends are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students. The Firehouse also offers a 20% discount to veterans and teachers; however, discounts cannot be combined. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.
The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, located at 48 Willow Street in Johnson City, accepts cash, checks and all major credit cards. Doors open approximately one hour before show time. General Seating is based on a first-come; first-served policy. Refreshments will be available for sale.
The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is the first performance venue of the Goodwill Theatre Performing Arts Complex & Professional Training Facility. It is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City.
Patrons are advised to enter the facility through the parking lot on Corliss Avenue. Parking is available in a small lot at the theatre, and a new lot along the side of the building, on-street, and in various Village municipal lots within two blocks of the theatre.
For more information contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit the Theatre online at www.goodwilltheatre.net, or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage.