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eighth blackbird to give two performances

Posted on April 06, 2011

The Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird will show off its phenomenal virtuosity and renowned theatrical flair Wednesday, April 13, during the Arts at Noon Series, from 12-1 p.m. in Cook-DeWitt on the Allendale Campus, and an 8 p.m. performance at St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids.

During the noon concert, Stephen Hartke’s Pulitzer Prize finalist, “Meanwhile,” will evoke the surreal world of an imaginary Asian court theater with the help of myriad invented instruments. Frenchman Philippe Hurel’s dense, swirling hives of notes challenges even eighth blackbird’s formidable skills. Music by two New York natives will round out the program. Philip Glass’ “Music in Similar Motion,” with its radically bald, hypnotic repetitions, retains its power to shock and delight. The ensemble will have a question and answer session following the performance.

In a separate concert from 8-10 p.m. at Royce Auditorium, St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom NE, Grand Rapids, the nationally acclaimed GVSU New Music Ensemble joins the stage with eighth blackbird to present Terry Riley’s classic score “In C.” Special guest New York electronic musician Dennis DeSantis will add his other-worldly sounds to this one-of-a-kind performance. The program will open with eighth blackbird’s performance of “Spam” by star composer Marc Mellits, who will also be in attendance.

This concert will be the culmination of a two-day Grand Valley residency by eighth blackbird, which will include lectures, coaching sessions, panel discussions, and more. All events are open to the public with free admission. For more information, please call the music department office at (616) 331-3484 or visit

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