Juniata Presents 2017-18 Season At a Glance

Welcome to the 2017-2018 season of Juniata Presents! This season is sure to entertain, with a diverse group of extremely talented musicians and performers. We opened this season with acclaimed cellist Matt Haimovitz, who offered a musical variation on the concept of A Moveable Feast. He brilliantly performed Bach’s Suites, as well as new contemporary overtures by Philip Glass, Du Yun, Vijay Iyer, Roberto Sierra, David Sanford, and Luna Pearl Woolf, which helped build a bridge from Bach’s time to our own. The feast began with Matt performing three overtures/suites in separate locations around the Huntingdon community, and concluded with a performance of the remaining three overtures and suites in Rosenberger Auditorium.

Our season continues on October 7, 2017, in Rosenberger Auditorium with the entertaining and outrageously talented Bindlestiff Family Cirkus! This family-friendly event is the perfect show for Homecoming and Family Weekend. Bindlestiff adds a contemporary twist to the grand traditions of American circus, by bringing a unique hybrid of Vaudeville, Circus, Burlesque, and Sideshow. Throughout the remainder of the Juniata Presents season, audiences will experience a diverse range of musical performances. Each performer is greatly inspired by a unique musical style and culture, thus creating a tremendous amount of diversity amongst the performances. On November 10, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., one of the world’s finest concert accordionists, Merima Ključo, will join acclaimed guitarist, Miroslav Tadić, to create an unexpected union of sounds to present Aritmia. Both musicians take their inspiration from their Balkan heritage and combine influences from the region’s folk music with Sephardi and Lezmer traditions, baroque, flamenco, blues and European classical sounds just to name a few!

Beginning our Spring season, on March 30 at 7:30 p.m., celebrated Inuit performer Tanya Tagaq will reclaim the controversial 1922 film Nanook of the North. Tagaq will join percussionist Jean Martin and violinist Jesse Zubot to challenge static ideas of gender and culture seen in the film.  Vice Music praises the performance and Tanya by stating, “She taps into humanity’s most naked emotions and forces them into the spotlight…the best musical performance any of us had ever seen”. Our 2017-2018 season will come to an incredible close with a beautiful and inspiring performance by Robin Spielberg. Named to the prestigious Steinway Artist Roster, Robin is one of America’s most popular contemporary female pianists/composers. Robin will transform Rosenberger Auditorium into an exquisite concert hall on April 21, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. Complimenting her touchingly beautiful music, audience members will gain insight into Spielberg’s concert career through excerpts from her award-winning memoir, Naked on the Bench: My Adventure in Pianoland.

Join us this season in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts to experience these amazing performances for yourself. We hope to see you there! Also, be sure to click on our tickets tab to purchase individual tickets, season tickets, or make a donation to support Juniata Presents and help us to continue bringing world-class performances to Huntingdon County.  

 

Welcome Noelle Bradley as the Juniata Associate for Juniata Presents

Noelle.jpeg

Noelle Bradley is the Juniata Associate for Juniata Presents. Noelle is currently a Senior studying Entrepreneurial Management with a Secondary Emphasis in Communication at Juniata College. She currently serves as the Co-President of Juniata College Dance Ensemble and is a Kickline Captain. Noelle is currently a Marketing and Public Relations Intern for the Huntingdon County United Way, as well as the Juniata Associate for the Juniata Presents Artist Series.


 

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

 

Bringing a taste of soul and a kick of Afro-beat’s intensity, Juniata Presents was more than delighted to feature the amazing Hypnotic Brass Ensemble on April 6in Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. The band attracted a diverse audience that eventually left all the seats in the auditorium empty, in the best way possible. 

Sons of the one-time Sun Ra collaborator Kelan Phil Cohran, these seven brothers have performed since the ages of four and five. Through the years the family group had toured throughout the United States performing music pieces composed by their father and other great composers such as Duke Ellington and Beethoven, to name a few.

It was the year 1999 these soul-seeking brothers ventured off on their own to become what is now known as Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (HBE). Born and raised in the south side of Chicago, these brothers have incorporated some reggae and hip-hop to their compositions. The famous seven-horn brass band consists of four trumpeters: Smoov, Baji, Hudah, and Yoshi; two trombonists: Clef and Cid and Rocco playing the baritone.

In 2001, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble independently released their first LP named Satin. Island Def Jam offered HBE a feature collaboration with renowned producer NO ID and an accompanying artist/in-house band recording contract. In 2004, the band then followed up with their first recorded project, Flipside. Shortly after in 2005, they independently released Jupiter. The group sound is best described as jazzy instrumental funk incorporating simple drum parts throughout their piece. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble have played with amazing and talented artists such as Snoop Dogg, Tony Allen and Femi Kuti, just to name a few. They have also recorded with artists such as Erykah Badu and Ghostface Killah of the Wu Tang Clan. HBE have definitely created a uniquely diverse image for themselves to say the least.

Before the night of their performance, HBE presented an outreach opportunity for the HOBO (organizational behavior) class, supervised by Professor Echols in BAC and encouraged any students or faculty to also take part in the class. “The purpose of the outreach was to have Hypnotic Brass Ensemble share their experiences with the students regarding teamwork, culture, group activities and conflicts,” said Echols. The students were able to consume knowledge about the band and their upbringing all while asking questions that involved how HBE has successfully reached where they are today. “I think it’s always great to be able to get students to learn about other lifestyles and how to work in teams because it helps you see a different perspective and that’s what HBE helped do,” stated Echols.

On the evening of the performance, the clock hit 7:30 p.m. and out walked seven well-dressed gentlemen on the partially dimmed stage giving an intriguing feeling of what was to come next. The drums and the bass added to the velocity and intensity of the rhythm already in full force. The front man of the group hypes up the crowd throughout the song encouraging the audience to feel the music and get up and dance. 

Before their fourth piece the band encouraged the audience to dance to the beats of the song by putting their hands up and swaying them up in the air in a particular part of the song. Once HBE had hit the chorus the band would sway their instruments up and down and the audience followed. Everyone is either mirroring the moves of the band or making up their own moves. From left to right you can barely see any of the audience members sitting on their seat. 

The front man tells the audience a small back story about the next piece, War. It was a song featured in the $78 million worldwide successful movie The Hunger Games (2012).  He encouraged the audience to recreate the scene when the song started and motivated the audience to say “welcome to The Hunger Games.” The entire auditorium participated and in unison everyone’s voices filled the room prompting the band to begin. This was almost surreal to say the least, because it felt as though the auditorium was turned into the Capitol where Peeta and Katniss were taken to. The Capitol of Panem, dictated by President Snow, is a utopian city where the nation’s wealthiest live and where the annual Hunger Games are organized and celebrated within the walls.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble was a performance that filled the entire auditorium with joy and a few groovy dance moves. Juniata students and children from all different ages turned an empty room into a concert that was more than memorable with the help of the band’s exquisite music. If you’re looking for music to lift up your soul and bring out those dance moves that you didn’t even know you had, make sure you check out Hypnotic Brass Ensemble whenever you have the opportunity.

—Gaby Atayde '17, Digital Media Writer Intern

Cyro Baptista's Banquet of the Spirits

Juniata Presents had the honor of welcoming Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits on March 25, 2017 held in Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. The title itself suggests the audience could expect a lively performance that would lift the spirits of all ages and have everyone dancing, even the performers themselves.

Originating from Sao Paolo, Brazil and making his way to America in 1980, Cyro Baptista has definitely come a long way to promote the wondrous sounds of the Brazilian culture and his philosophy of anthropofagia. Multi-talented percussionist Cyro Baptista has taken the world by storm, figuratively and literally through his uniquely created instruments. His extraordinary résumé consisting of performing and recording with various artists such as David Byrne, Brian Eno, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and James Taylor just to name a few. Baptista also had the honor to perform on five Grammy award winning albums one of them with Yo-Yo-Ma titled “Obrigado Brasil.” Described by NPR as “one of the most enduring proponents,” Baptista’s accomplishments speak for themselves.

Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits is an impressive quartet made up of talented individuals. Arranger and producer Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz plays the gimbri African lute as well as the bass. Brian Marsella is stupendous on the piano as well as the harpsichord and Tim Keiper plays the drums and percussion as well as the ngoni guitar. This talented group has performed in established venues such as SJ JAZZ and Adelaide Festival in Australia.

Cyro Baptista plays a huge assemblage of instruments, many he has made and others originating from Brazil and from across the globe. Some of his uniquely defined instruments include the gas pipe and something he likes to call a waterphone. These instruments are more than unique to say the least, especially the sound you hear once it’s played. For example, when you hear him play a set of pipes with flip flops, it resembles the echo of a cave.

On Friday, in the Global Commons Village the artists led a workshop to give students, staff and locals a taste of what was to come on Saturday night. The setting made the performance more interpersonal, especially when Baptista asked the audience to get up and participate with the band. He directed the audience to stomp their feet and clap their hands to a one-two-two-beat. Everybody was smiling or laughing because some had lost the rhythm or just having a good time. This small performance was surreal and set the excitement level for the main event.

At the beginning of the performance we experience Baptista’s creativity listening and watching him create animal noises by using a little device resembling a whistle. What only seems to be the sounds of birds transcends to frog and elephant noises. We are no longer in Rosenberger Auditorium but rather transported to a rainforest through Baptista’s unique sounds and rhythms. With the scene set, maracas heighten the Caribbean experience culminating with the powerful tribal chants coming from the quartet.   

It hasn’t even been five minutes and you could already see children and adults nodding their heads to the rhythm of the music. A woman taps her fingers and feet as the vocals get higher and we hear the stringing of the guitar. Children in the front row begin to get up and start jumping up and down with their hands in the air and heads nodding to the beat of the guitar. The encouragement of the groovy dance moves from the band encouraged the audience to feel the music and get up and dance. Juniata College senior, Kaila Carrasco states, “as a percussionist I was really intrigued by the unique rhythms and instruments.”

If the music wasn’t enough to love the band, Baptista’s very charismatic personality throughout the performance would make you love the band even more. He would tell the audience jokes through performance intervals about having to change the title of his group from anthropofagia to Banquet of the Spirits because Americans could not pronounce the word.  

Towards his last set the audience were encouraged to participate with the band by yelling, “woo,” to add to the unique piece that they were already playing. The amount of energy from the audiences’ participation and Baptista was inspirational to say the least.

Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits incorporated sounds from all around the world through unique instruments. Senior Marissa Woodman stated, “I enjoyed the clear level of talent that the performers had. The vocals were another wonderful part of the show. Overall, it was an incredible listening experience for fans of pop, primitive, modern and more.” This is surely a must-see production that invites all people from different ages to get up and dance and explore sounds from all across the globe.

 —Gaby Atayde '17, Digital Media Writer Intern 

The Intergalactic Nemesis - Robot Planet Rising

In 2014, Juniata Presents brought you the amazing showing of The Intergalactic Nemesis: Book One: Target Earth, which introduced the story of an intergalactic nemesis whose mission was to conquer 1993’s Earth. As mentioned on their website, TheIntergalacticNemesis.com, the only way to help save the Earth from complete destruction was through the help of determined characters; Timmy Mendez, an aspiring journalist, Molly Sloan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Ben Wilcott, a librarian from Flagstaff, Arizona, who claims to have the answers for all the strange happenings.

The Intergalactic Nemesis was originally a science-fiction radio series that would be performed on the radio through various installments. The idea was that the writers would be able to supply two 15-minute scripts per week for five weeks. This evolved into a stage show written and directed by Jason Neulander. Due to its various medium combinations, such as comic books, stage performance and audio play it is categorized as a live-action graphic novel. The Intergalactic Nemesis has had the honor to be featured on NPR, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal plus many other media platforms. 

There was no question whether Juniata Presents was going to welcome them once again. On January 28, 2017, the sequel, Robot Planet Rising, would bring us even more joy, excitement and adventure as we pick up where we left off with Target Earth.

Constructed from a PBS Digital Studios web series, audio dramas, audio podcasts, graphic novels and an astounding theatrical production, which we call a Live Action Graphic Novel, The Intergalactic Nemesis is a show that is worth watching. Simply calling this amazing performance an audio drama wouldn’t give it the ultimate justice that it deserves. As you see the actors deliver their witty lines, behind them lies beautiful and intricate comic art strips inside a projection screen, then shifting your eyes to a table full of bits and bots creating sound effects through macaroni pasta and bells that give you the all around real-life experience thanks to the talented Foley artist Buzz Moran. Moran was able to use everyday objects and produce incredible sounds to enhance audio quality and give the story a more life-like feel.

A comic novel filled with so many characters was then condensed to the three amazing voices of Rachel Dendey, Brock England and Christopher Lee Gibson. They bring different characters to life and you truly see the magic right before your eyes. From high pitch voices identifying the evil characters to the fast paced voices portraying the robots, the actors did a magnificent job of maintaining the diverse voices throughout the performance. With a little bit of imagination these three actors helped the audience see and hear various characters.

If the characters weren’t enough of an amazing performance, the sound effects and piano in the background helped just as much to bring the story to life. Through the amazing work of Moran, we saw him bolt from one side of the table to the next, pushing buttons to create an alien-like sound or shaking a box of nails into the microphone to create the crash of a ship. The live music played on the piano by the talented Collin Shook, helps tie the show together by keeping the audience intrigued through the uplifting moments as well as the suspenseful ones.

The plot to the sequel is set in Robonovia, the Robot Planet. We have now left off when commander El-Bee-Dee-Oh has gone lost into space and it’s up to Molly Sloan and Timmy Mendez to find him. With the surprising visit from Molly’s former fiancé and his assistant Natasha Zorokov, Molly and Timmy uncover a conspiracy that can ultimately terrorize the very existence that is Robonovia, but also life on Earth. Molly and Timmy embark on an adventurous journey along with some of their friends to find a way to help stop the evil and save the world once again.

The audience was invited to cheer, boo and hiss as the performance went along creating a fun environment and element of participation to the show. Right from the beginning the audience began to cheer for the victories of Molly Sloan and Timmy Mendez and then began to boo towards the end for the evil robot who calls himself Alphatron. It was later when you would hear “aww’s” and a handful of “eww’s” from both children, parents, and college students throughout the theatre for the love confession of Molly Sloan and Ben Wilcott.

The show was a family-friendly event welcoming everyone from children to adults with imaginative minds. Caleb Norville, a senior at Juniata College states, “I saw Target Earth and I wanted to see the sequel. It’s really different- I’ve always like science fiction so it’s a different way to present it. The actors are great, the sound effects are great, and the story is interesting.”

This is definitely a must-see performance filled with humor, amazing actors and extraordinary sound effects that transported you to the land of Robotnovia. Exciting, funny and creative, “Robot Planet Rising: An Intergalactic Live-Action Novel” is an out of this world experience that is simply unforgettable.

—Gaby Atayde '17, Digital Media Writer Intern 

Internships with Juniata Presents

This semester Juniata Presents is fortunate to have Gaby Atayde '17 as our Digital Media Writer Intern. Gaby will be contributing interviews with our artists, reviews of Juniata Presents events and various other articles during the Spring semester. Look for her review of The Intergalactic Nemesis by the end of the week! We asked Gaby to introduce herself and here is what she had to say.

Hello my name is Gaby Atayde and I’m from Santa Ana, California and currently a senior with an Individualized Program of Emphasis, Entertainment Communication that incorporates both Communication and Journalism. I come from a very diverse metropolitan area where at every corner there’s someone of different race, culture and background and it was then when I realized I wanted to know more about who they were. Through time I have met so many people with completely different backgrounds that I never thought I’d meet. I have always enjoyed talking to people so different from me, whether it is different cultures, backgrounds or experiences. I realized that studying something that could help me master this field and get a degree would be amazing. Through this process I also grew very fond of Journalism and how through Journalism I could not only write stories, but report them as well. I would enjoy being a Freelance Journalist venturing out on my own and finding stories that are worth telling, seeing and hearing. Writing stories and sharing them to my fellow colleagues as well as friends and family is something that I’ve always done. My dream is to travel to all parts of the world and meet people to share their stories. 

Get To Know Our Team

Sierra Mellish, is a Senior studying Business Communication at Juniata College.  Sierra is currently a Marketing Intern for Juniata College as well as the Juniata Associate for Juniata Presents Artist Series for the 2016-17 season. We asked Sierra to share a bit about herself and what the Spring semester will bring to our audience.

Hi there!  My name’s Sierra Mellish, and I’m currently living the dream as a senior at Juniata College.   I have always had a passion for the arts, and now I have the incredible opportunity to explore my passion in my chosen field of Business Communication.  I come from a rambunctious family of seven from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where I was raised to cherish human interaction, learn from every experience, and work hard at everything. 

Growing up as a painter, pianist, and performer one might guess that I’d be on a stage, but instead, I now have the honor of supporting incredibly talented artists who take the stage.  In addition to being a Marketing Intern, Dance Ensemble President, Senior Class President, and Zumba Instructor, I also work as the Juniata Associate for Juniata Presents, meaning, I help organize, promote, and welcome artists from all over to perform for both the Juniata and Huntingdon Community.

Words cannot describe how excited I am for the remainder of the Juniata Presents season!  As a fan of Juniata Presents for the past three years, I look forward to making sure everyone else enjoys unforgettable performances like I did. For those who appreciate culture and music, save the date for epic performances by Banquet of the Spirits and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.  What a truly unique experience it was to be involved with the live-action graphic novel The Intergalactic Nemesis Book Two: Robot Planet Rising which opened the Spring semester.   Whether you share a passion for the arts or not, I encourage everyone to try out these new sounds and styles with friends!  You never know what might strike a chord within you. 

I hope to see you all at these fabulous, upcoming performances throughout the year!

If you ever want to learn more about Juniata Presents performances or Juniata Presents in general, you can email, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram message, or stop and introduce yourself to me at performances or as I’m running around campus.   Just look for a busy, short red-head; there’s a good chance it’s me.

New Faces

Chris Howell joins us this season as the Assistant Technical Director for the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.  Chris has been employed at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA for the last six years. He has experience with large and small events, arena shows, and both indoor and outdoor venues.  Chris has specific experience with equipment set up, construction, audio setup, and video setup. Additionally, he is a member of I.A.T.S.E Local 636.

Chris joined us just in time to kick off the season with Mark Morris Dance Group and most recently was an instrumental member of the team when Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra performed on October 2nd. Feel free to leave a comment welcoming Chris to the team or stop by Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts to welcome him in person. 

 

Welcome

Welcome to the 2015-16 season of Juniata Presents. This year our season is a dynamic mix of culture, heritage, story telling, music, and dance. Old meets new with iconic figures and new artists, traditional pieces, and new works. We've created a safe space for our artists to come and create their work, tell hard stories that need to be heard, and present their culture. We invite you, our audience, to share in the space with us a vital part of the arts. 

Juniata Presents has become an important force in the cultural life of central Pennsylvania, drawing nearly 10,000 people each year to the richly varied programming that has become our hallmark. Ours is a multi-faceted program that connects artists with diverse communities through artistic, educational, and community engagement partnerships. What you experience through Juniata Presents is the result of hundreds of hours of determination, intensity, passion, and belief in the power of the arts to inspire social and cultural change.

Now more than ever we need you to join us and show your belief in the power of the arts. Join us this season in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts for a life-changing, world-changing, soul-changing experience. We are proud of the community we serve, the art we can share and the imaginations we will continue to stimulate for years to come. 

Jessie Sullivan

Technical Director, Juniata Presents

MAKE A GIFT

Join others in supporting Juniata Presents and bringing world-class arts to Central Pennsylvania.

Worlds Collide Fall Season

photo: Patrick Irving

photo: Patrick Irving

Juniata Presents invites students, staff, alumni, community members and beyond to attend events and interact and share their experience as well through juniatapresents.com. In addition to the website, join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be an active participant in shaping the success of the 2014 Juniata Presents season and experiencing Worlds Collide.

The entire season reveals a diverse offering of distinguished speakers with topics ranging from sharing information in public spaces to gender violence prevention. The season opens with distinguished speaker danah boyd on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. in Rosenberger Auditorium. Her new book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens was the summer reading selection for Juniata College.  She provides insight into the world of social media and networked technology as it is used by people for social interaction.

Juniata Presents welcomes Lucky Plush Productions, The Queue which begins our fall performance season on campus September 16th. The Queue is a dance-theater production infused with a humorous slant, live music, and special guests. Throughout the remainder of the fall season, Juniata Presents will journey through an airport to an intoxicating musical representation of Rainbow Serpent mythology utilizing various mediums before concluding the fall season with an adventure through a live-action graphic novel. In addition to Juniata Presents events there are Beyond Tolerance speakers, Juniata College Museum of Art exhibitions and Juniata academic music and theatre department performances. .

We look forward to seeing you on campus throughout the entire season and invite you to join the conversation.

--Jeannine Haizlip

Juniata Presents Writer and Social Media Manager

photo: Patrick Irving '14

Just before the start of the fall 2014 semester, Juniata Presents unveiled a dynamic new website intent on communicating and integrating the arts at Juniata College. As a continuation of the unveiling, I would like to introduce myself to the Juniata and Huntingdon communities and express my excitement for the opportunity to be involved with Juniata Presents this year. My name is Jeannine Haizlip and I am a senior at Juniata, studying Multimedia Communications. I am originally from Alexandria, VA but have lived in Huntingdon, PA for the past 14 years. While raising my two children, I decided to take advantage of living right around the corner from Juniata and continue my education.

“Worlds Collide” is a dominant theme this year for Juniata Presents. This theme can be interpreted in many ways personally and in our extended communities. This year I am an intern for Juniata Presents, serving in the capacity of Writer and Social Media Manager. My worlds of parent, community member, student and now intern have collided and in turn made each of these areas of my life richer. I am looking forward to learning, serving and promoting Juniata Presents, in order to enhance the multi-faceted culture experiences it encourages. It is my hope through the website and social media we can enjoy an even richer arts experience at Juniata. I look forward to meeting everyone at the events and hearing your thoughts on the upcoming Juniata Presents season.

In addition to my academic pursuits, my hobbies and areas of interest include writing, photography, film, cooking and bargain hunting. Once classes resume, the only real pursuits I have time for seem to be balancing the right amount of caffeine intake and mastering the art of sleeping with my eyes open. Both are work in progress.  Please feel free to contact me at Jeannine@juniatapresents.com. Look for me on Facebook or Twitter to make sure you have the most up to date information on events as they happen.

Worlds Collide...

Photo by Patrick Irving '14.

Welcome to the 2014-15 season of Juniata Presents. This year our worlds collide on and off stage with a culturally packed season of Juniata Presents. We have artists from around the world performing in our community, some for the first time and others “coming home”. This should be no surprise to you. Juniata Presents has become an important force in the cultural life of Central Pennsylvania, drawing nearly 10,000 people each year to the richly varied programming that has become our hallmark. Ours is a multi-faceted program that connects our artists with diverse communities through artistic, educational and community engagement partnerships. What you experience through Juniata Presents is the result of hundreds of hours of determination, ingenuity, passion and belief in the power of the arts to inspire social and cultural change. 

Now more than ever we need you to join us and show your belief in the power of the arts. Join us this season in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts for a life-changing, world-changing, soul-changing experience. We are proud of the community we serve, the art we can share and the imaginations we will continue to stimulate for years to come. 

Join others in supporting Juniata Presents and brining world-class arts to Central Pennsylvania.