Dan School of Drama & Music presents first 2020 Faculty Artist Series show

Queen’s presents a night of music and theatre to show off faculty’s talent   

The Dan Schol of Drama and Music will present From Bader Lane to Broadway.
Credit: 
Supplied by John Burges

The Dan School of Drama and Music will present From Bader Lane to Broadway this weekend at the Isabel Bader Centre.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, the production of opera, operetta, and musical theatre numbers will feature a selection of the faculty’s composers, lyricists, and poets as part of the Faculty Artist Series.

From Bader Lane to Broadway is a celebration of the Dan School’s combined talent in both music and theatre. Aiming to showcase the faculty’s talent, the school chose musical theatre as their vehicle to give the diverse range of artists a chance to share their skills on stage. 

“This concert demonstrates the intersection of drama and music, which often happens with music theatre in its broadest sense,” composer John Burges said in an interview with The Journal.

The Dan School has been trying to host at least one concert a year, allowing the drama and music departments to collaborate with each other. This concert has been a long time in the making. 

“Where The Bader Lane to Broadway comes from is, we have a number of composers and writers, lyricists, libretto-writers, who have been working right now on the concert stage. So having our performers perform classes and standards that our audience may not have heard is a really nice way of putting a program together.”

The music of Leslie Arden, the Dan School of Drama and Music’s 2019 composer-in-residence and a prominent Canadian musical theatre composer, is at the heart of the show.

Best known for her award-winning musical The House of Martin Guerre, Arden has written over a dozen musicals and scores, and will lend her soprano voice as well as her original music to the show.

“Leslie Arden and her music [are] being given a really strong focus on this concert,” Burges said. “We’ve involved her in this concert, and so she has more music being performed than any other composer in this concert, simply because we really want to highlight her music. She writes great music.”

The show has been in development for over a year. In addition to music from Arden, Queen’s artists and composers will be performing musical theatre standards.

The show will also feature poets Daniel David Moses and Richard Sanger. Faculty performers include Melissa Morris (soprano), Bruce Kelly (baritone), and a violin performance from Gisele Dalbec-Szczesniak, among others.

Coming Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., the Faculty Artist Series will present another show as well. This time around, the Dan School’s own Isabel Quartet, joined by Joseph Johnson, a prominent cellist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, will perform Franz Schubert’s Cello Quintet.

Formed in 2016, the Quartet opened the Faculty Artist Series that year and have been regular performers at the University ever since, drawing in a myriad of visiting artists from the Canadian classical music world.

They recently added new members Caitlin Boyle and Julia McFarlane in October of 2019.

On Sunday, Mar. 1 at 7:30 p.m., the Greg Runions Jazz Septet presents Something Old, Something New. Along with the established Canadian septet, the ensemble presents a night of classic jazz.

Runions is an adjunct associate professor in Brass and Percussion at the Dan School. A Kingston local, Runions attended Queen’s in his youth and has been teaching with the School of Music since 1985.

The concert will feature original music from the septet, as well as jazz standards.

From Bader Lane to Broadway is the fourth-last concert of the Faculty Artist Series this year. Queen’s University students can access discounted $10 tickets to the performance online using their student numbers, and students who subscribe to three or more Dan School Faculty Artist Series concerts will gain an additional 25 per cent discount.

Students will still have three more opportunities to see the Dan School faculty’s talent over the course of the semester, with a concert each month.

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