PARMA Music Festival 2014 Recap

Day One: August 13th, 2014 

Juan Álamo

The festival kicked off on Wednesday, August 13th at the North Church of Portsmouth NH with a PARMA Artist Showcase featuring pieces from composers and performers. The rain was coming down in buckets, but that didn’t stop us from setting the tune for the whole weekend.

Festival goers enjoyed solo performances on the marimba by Juan Álamo, piano soloist Karolina Rojahn and The Larksong Trio, wrapping up the performance with electronic pieces from composers Greg Bartholomew and Pamela MarshallLater that day another performance featured the works PARMA has placed for programming with C-SPAN, in attendance was C-SPAN President, Robert Kennedy. These pieces included some of PARMA’s own composers, such as Paul Osterfield and Yves Ramette. 

The evening kicked off with an artistic experience with the works of Andy Heck Boyd and the musical stylings of DJ Nick Mainella at The Buoy Gallery in Kittery ME, followed by performances from Briana Cash and Ovidiu Marinescu.            

Buoy Gallery
Ovidiu Marinescu

We danced the night away with a packed house at The Dance Hall in Kittery with Shango!

Shango at The Dance Hall

Day Two: August 14th, 2014

Sophie Dunér

A bright and sunny Thursday started at the South Church in Portsmouth NH with chamber pieces highlighting styles of contemporary classical from Sweden. Composers such as Sophie Dunér and Adam O’Dell performed their own work. Electronic pieces by Garrett Schumann and Robert Fleischer awed all in attendance. Solo piano pieces performed by Chiharu Naruse presented composers Sergio Cervetti, Frederick Kaufman, and Robert DeGaetano. 

The audience was wowed by the Boston New Music Initiative that played small ensemble works by contemporary composers, including PARMA Artist, Ingrid Stölzel. The evening continued with a visit to the Portsmouth Music & Arts Center to enjoy tunes from three talented guitarists, Michael Gregory Jackson & Tim Webb,  and Alex Lubet & Maja Radovanlija.

The night wrapped up at The Underground Lounge at The Red Door with an experimental performance of alternative and classical music coming together.

The Underground Lounge at the Red Door, Portsmouth NH

Day Three: August 15th, 2014

C-SPAN President Robert Kennedy

“The performances were top notch and to coin a phrase, my ‘brain was full’ with new music concepts by the end of the third day. I don’t think I’ve ever had a musical experience quite like it!” Robert Kennedy

A beautiful Friday morning began with PARMA’s PENDULUM Album Release Concert. This featured PARMA composers on the release, Chris Arrell, Doron Kima, Alex Freeman, Jorge Variego, Philip Carlson, Eric Nathan, and Clifton Callendar. Works were performed by trios, duets, small ensembles, and piano soloists. The concert also included works by PARMA Artists Gregory Hutter, Rain Worthington, Jim Rhinehart, and Mei-Fang Lin

The afternoon brought about the LUNAR Ensemble for a magical experience of Shakespearean pieces. The evening kicked off with a mini concert featuring Matthias Muller on the SABRe at The River Run Bookstore followed by a meet and greet with composers and performers. 

The Thirsty Moose Taphouse hosted a showcase for international clarinetist Matthias Muller and local Boston based talent, the Will Dailey Trio.

Ovidiu Marinescu and Matthias Muller

Day 4: August 16th, 2014

The final day of the festival! We started the day with a morning gathering at The Music Hall Loft with the mood set by composer and improvisational pianist Gregory Hall, followed by a music licensing panel discussion, with moderator and film composer Mason Daring, Christian Hanlon, Dustin Levine and Justin Poirier. Following the discussion, local artist Joe Young played while festival goers were able to meet with the panelists.

Kids and parents alike were grinning ear to ear when the Great Bay Academy of Dance, Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra & NHPR’s Amanda Loder teamed up for a performance of Peter & The Wolf. The performance was followed by the New Orleans Jazz-style band, Soggy Po’ Boys.  
Saturday night ended with a bang! THE MAIN EVENT! The event was held at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater and featured composers and performers of all types. The night started off with a performance of a piece by Michael Mikulka, winner of the 2014 PARMA Student Composer Competition. Performances by Portsmouth Pro Musica, Our Big Band, Taylor O’Donnell, and Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra completed the night, the weekend, and the festival! 
Ovidiu Marinescu with conductor John Page and the PSO
“I cannot say how much fun I had at the festival last week/weekend – I echo both your exhaustion after all of that and the joy you took in having me there. I am so happy I could make it and hope it isn’t my last time in attendance!” – Garrett Schumann

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