Showing posts with label Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mélomanie Opens with Two World Premieres & One Breathtaking "Stage"

By Guest Blogger, Christine Facciolo
Christine holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music and continues to apply her voice to all genres of music. An arts lover since childhood, she currently works as a freelance writer.

Mélomanie opened its 2015-2016 season at The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts on Sunday, September 13, with a celebration of the artistry of flutist Kimberly Reighley. The concert was held in the DCCA's Carol Bieber and Marc Ham Gallery, where the musicians performed directly underneath artist Amie Potsic's beautifully flowing piece, Endangered Seasons.

Reighley  co-artistic director (along with Tracy Richardson) of the ensemble known for its provocative pairings of baroque and contemporary music  was this year’s recipient of the coveted Masters Award for Solo Recital from the Delaware Division of the Arts. The award required her to perform a solo concert.

I once asked a flutist friend if the instrument was tough to play. She responded by saying it was easy to learn but hard to master. Anyone who hears Reighley’s incredibly beautiful playing will soon realize that she is a complete master of the flute.

The program featured various flutes — the piccolo, baroque, modern and alto —demonstrating the range of expression the instrument possesses and the skill Reighley brings to each.

The program was a mostly contemporary one, including the World Premieres of two works composed especially for the occasion: Two Moods by Chuck Holdeman and The Four Gifts of God by the Brazilian composer Sergio Roberto de Oliveira.

Holdeman is one of an increasing number of composers writing for solo piccolo. As its name suggests, Two Moods explores the acoustic possibilities of the instrument. The first employs the “whistle” tones demonstrating how an almost inaudible instrument can still make music. The second returns the instrument to its familiar sprightly self.

Reighley handled this often unpredictable little instrument with precision and grace. Especially impressive were her high notes, which can be difficult for the average flutist to sustain given the need for greater wind speed.

The Four Gifts of God paired Reighley on baroque flute with Richardson on harpsichord. Composer de Oliveira got the idea to identify four elements: common to all religions. He came up with the gifts of Breath, Light, Creation and Action. Reighley mined the instrument’s capacity for otherworldly tones in the primal character of the first section, quickly switching gears for the brighter musical ideas of Light and Action. Of special interest was the Creation movement, where the composer paid tribute to seven of his favorite composers, including Richardson’s husband, composer Mark Hagerty.

Speaking of Hagerty, his contribution to the program was a work titled Sea Level. Written especially for Reighley, the piece offers a soundscape of the burgeoning plant and animal life in and around the canals of the Dutch countryside during an unusually warm April. This work showcased Reighley’s mastery of the alto flute whose mysterious, picturesque tones ably conveyed the score’s changing colors and textures.

Reighley took up the standard concert flute accompanied by Richardson on harpsichord for Jennifer Margaret Barker’s Dumgoyne and Ingrid Arauco’s Florescence. Both demand the soloist to delineate the sharply contrasting musical ideas. Dumgoyne describes Barker’s childhood memories of the sights and sounds of her native Scotland’s most famous hill. Reighley’s playing effectively conveyed the experience of a climb culminating with the calm and peace of a lyrical Scottish song.

Arauco’s work is more abstract than Dumgoyne but nevertheless requires the flutist to engage some pretty aggressive rhythmic patterns as in the second movement which the composer describes as flowing in “an energetic stream of steady sixteenths punctuated by occasionally by assertive, rhythmically jagged figures.”

It wouldn’t be a 
Mélomanie concert without a Baroque offering, and Reighley and Richardson paired to offer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier’s Sonata II in G Minor.

The concert concluded with an encore performance by Richardson and Reighley of Hagerty’s Contexts, a short piece that looks at what can happen to a simple repeating motif when the harmony and other musical elements change around it.

The full ensemble returns to the DCCA for their next performance on October 18, where they will premiere a piece by guitarist and composer, Kevin J. Cope.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Maggio & Mélomanie Bring Aegean Airs to the DCCA

By Guest Blogger, Christine Facciolo
Christine holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music and continues to apply her voice to all genres of music. An arts lover since childhood, she currently works as a freelance writer.

Composer Robert Maggio
Despite rumors to the contrary, modern classical music can be melodic and fun. The lucky audience at Mélomanie’s concert on Sunday at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts got to hear two such works along with some fine representatives of the Baroque and pre-Classical periods.

The program featured the world premiere of Aegean Airs, a piece written especially for Mélomanie by West Chester, Pa.-based composer Robert Maggio. Maggio has been described as a versatile, passionate and eclectic composer. Not surprising since he grew up listening mostly to rock and Broadway musicals. He did not discover classical music or study “serious” composition until college.

Aegean Airs, which takes its inspiration from the composer’s recent trip to Greece, is unmistakably Maggio. The work consists of seven movements, the theme of which is a Delphic hymn the composer discovered on the Internet. The odd-numbered movements are contemporary arrangements and variations of this hymn, while the even-numbered movements draw on the Greek scales, melodies and rhythms of the pop-folk music the composer heard in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini during the summer.

Maggio and Mélomanie are magical. What better way to introduce a piece whose theme is the blending of the ancient and modern in present-day Greek culture than with an ensemble that blends the old and new in performance?

Alec Wilder (1907-1980) is another “fusion-type” composer whose work combines elements of jazz and the American popular song with classical European forms and techniques. His Suite for Harpsichord and Flute provided the perfect showcase for Kimberly Reighley’s superb talents. She produced a full, rich, luscious sonority, ably interpreting the contrasting moods of the three movements, especially the final one, “Keeping the Blues in Mind.”

J.S. Bach’s Suite in G Major for Unaccompanied Cello showcased the playing of Douglas McNames. The Suites for Cello are among the most popular works by Bach and represent a challenge for every cellist. McNames was more than up to the challenge. The Prelude, one of the most recognizable works for the instrument, was wonderfully spacious. But it was in the dances that he was outstanding, full of understated nuances in rhythm and phrasing.

The “style gallant” was nicely represented by Louis-Gabriel Guillemain’s Sonata III in D Minor. The work attempts to create true “conversations” among the instruments and the result was a truly delightful listen.

Speaking of Bach, the concert opened with an engaging and sublime performance of the Sonata in A Major by the pre-Classical composer Carl Friedrich Abel, close friend and concertizing partner of J.S. Bach’s son, J.C. Bach, and one of the last virtuosos of the viola da gamba.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mélomanie at the DCCA with La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble

Night Watch by Dan Jackson
A grey Sunday in February brought an overflow crowd to the DuPont 1 Gallery of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. The big crowd was made to order to create the most wonderful acoustic effect in the small room with the cold hard stone floor, so that Mattheson’s Sonata in G Minor for two harpsichords played by Marcia Kravis and Tracy Richardson sounded clear, crisp, rounded and exciting. Swirls of sounds flew as they traded fast scales and flying double thirds.

After the harpsichord duo, guest artists La Bernadinia Baroque (Donna Fournier, Rainer Beckmann and Marcia Kravis) performed the Ciacona allegro, also a Baroque piece by Benedetto Marcello –Following this, the entire Mélomanie ensemble playing Menuet-Fantaisie – a modern musical interpretation of Baroque music with a recurring motif passed from instrument to instrument, which they had commissioned Anthony Mosakowski to write in 2012. The composer, who introduced the piece, seemed as pleased as the rest of the audience.

The delightful and melodic Allemande and Sarabande, from a different harpsichord duo suite by Mattheson, brought us back to Baroque comfort and lute stops until we were blasted into the 21st century by Tracy Richardson and Rainer Beckman in their interpretation of Liduino Pitombeira’s Sonata for recorder and harpsichord no. 2, Opus 156. Mr. Beckman, who knows Brazil and the composer, introduced the piece and showed that he can make the alto recorder leap forward a few centuries to create a sound reminiscent to honor Stravinsky, Boulez and Bartok.

And, following that tradition of lulling us with Baroque delights and then rocking us out of chairs with modern sounds on Baroque instruments, the two groups played a delightful rendition of a Vivaldi's Concerto in G Minor, RV 107 in which the alto flute (Kim Reighley), soprano and alto recorders (Rainer Beckman) and Baroque violin (Christof Richter) performed as soli and Doug McNames (cello), Donna Fournier (viola da gamba) and Tracy Richardson and Marcia Kravis on harpsichords performed the orchestral continuo.

After the raucous applause for the great sound of the Vivaldi, the larger ensemble played an encore of a Chaconne by Jean Baptiste Lully. The experience was heightened by the surrealistic art of Dan Jackson on display in the gallery – the faces in his works so photographically alive and vivid that they seemed to have been listening as well.


Friday, December 13, 2013

DCCA Call for Solo Exhibition Artists

The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA) is now accepting applications for 2016 Members' Solo Exhibitions. The DCCA is a non-collecting museum that functions as a kunsthalle for temporary exhibitions. Previously a railroad car factory, the DCCA is situated in the growing Riverfront area adjacent to downtown Wilmington.

Download the printable PDF application here or call 302.656.6466 for more information.

To apply for a solo exhibition scheduled in 2016, you:
* must be a current DCCA member at the time of the postmark deadline.
* must not have exhibited in a solo show at the DCCA in the last two years.

Postmark Deadline January 31, 2014.  Late entries or works not conforming to these guidelines will not be reviewed. No application materials will be returned. If you have questions, please contact J. Gordon, Curatorial Associate, at, or by calling 302.656.6466, ext 7112.

Mail all materials to: Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, 200 S. Madison Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
Attention: 2016 Members’ Solo Exhibition Review

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Things to “Artify” Your Holidays

The holidays are a time to celebrate, make memories and give a little back. We’ve compiled an arts-centric list so you can do just that. Happy (Arty) Holidays from Delaware Arts Info!  

1. Shop the Arts
There’s nothing like finding that perfect, one-of-a-kind holiday gift — and nowhere better to find it than shopping with the Arts!  The Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts’ Alternatives Museum Shop Holiday Craft Show on December 6 & 7 features more than 20 artists’ work in jewelry, ceramics, woodworking and fun accessories.

That same weekend, the Delaware Art Museum’s Winter Art Fair on December 7 & 8, features museum Studio Art instructors and their works. Plus, 25% of proceeds benefit the museum’s education department.

 And also this weekend: Rehoboth Art League Holiday Open House on December 7, offering plenty unique gift options, art demonstrations, activities for adults and children, refreshments and maybe even a visit from Santa!

Barry Schlecker and friends certainly know how to throw a Fest. And, they're doing it again on December 6 with Taste of the Holidays, at the Delaware Center for Horticulture. Not only can you find great arts & crafts for gifting, you can sample yummy holiday sips (beer, wine & spirits) and hear some great live music!  Taste of the Holidays  

2. Support an Artist and Her Cause
Sarah Davenport is a designer, a photographer, an ardent supporter of the Arts…and a sufferer of chronic late-stage Lyme disease.  Her fundraiser — FEARLESS: A Fight Against Chronic Lyme Disease — will help defray the cost of her extensive treatment and raise awareness for the disease. On December 7, the event features a mix of music, art and charity, including a silent auction of some fantastic objet d'arts.
Tickets available at

3. Go “Nuts” with Dance

It’s a holiday tradition, and Delaware provides plenty of chances for you to experience The Nutcracker. Take your pick:

  • December 7 & 8 with the Delaware Dance Company at John Dickinson High School
  • December 7 with New Castle Dance and Music Academy's Ballet Company at the Smyrna Opera House
  • December 7 & 8 with Diamond Dance Company at Milford Senior High School
  • December 13 & 14 with Mid-Atlantic Ballet at UD
  • December 21 with First State Ballet Theatre at the Grand Opera House December 21 with Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance at the Dupont Theatre
Details: or

4. The Greatest Story Ever Told…Through Music & Dance

Christina Cultural Arts Center and Eleone Dance Theatre present Carols in Color.” CCAC brings back this powerful show, based on the gospel according to St. Matthew, on December 15 at the Grand. “Carols in Color” re-tells the story of the birth of Christ through exuberant dance, contemporary music and powerful narration.

5. Rejoice in the Voice(s) of the Holidays

There’s plenty of holiday chorale music this time of year; here’s a sampling of the voices you’ll hear exalting the season:

Celebrate Christmas with the Mastersingers on December 8. The celebrated Mastersingers, organist Marvin Mills, conductor David Schelat and orchestra provide some of the greatest Christmas music of all time.

The Music School of Delaware ensembles partner with neighboring synagogues for a stunning performance in Winter Reflection: Winter Choral Concert on December 15. The program features the Delaware Children’s Chorus, the Delaware Women’s Chorus and choirs of Congregation Beth Emeth and Beth

The “Singing Ambassadors of Wilmington” bring their annual performance and amazing talent to the masses with the Wilmington Children's Chorus Candlelight Holiday Concert on December 13 &

6. Laugh Your Way Through the Holiday
Need a good laugh to brighten your Blue Christmas? Head to World Café Live for The Second City's Nut-cracking Holiday Revue on December 5. The troupe that bore many SNL faves brings you magic and mayhem of the season with original songs, new sketches and classic favorites. 

7. Love Live & Local Holiday Tunes
Local and national musicians get into the holiday spirit with these awesome seasonal sets:

TOMORROW, December 4, Lunasa: Christmas from Ireland comes to the Grand, with a blend of homey nostalgia, rollicking high energy and what The Irish Voice calls “the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet.”

Market Street Music presents the Cartoon Christmas Trio on December 5.  Celebrate with a nostalgic repertoire of classic cartoon themed-music including Vince Guaraldi “Peanuts” music.

Our very own favorite DOCK-ROCK power duo, HOT BREAKFAST!, release their single, An Idiot for Christmas, just in time for your holiday party playlist! Get it here:

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the David Bromberg Quintet. Bromberg’s played with everyone, toured everywhere, and now hosts a New Year’s Eve bash at the Queen just for Delaware fans on December 31.