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St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s River Concert Series Presents “Firebird, ‘Bird,’ and the Stars in our Constellation”

July 19, 2012
Press Release #12-079


St. Mary’s College of Maryland will host the sixth and final concert of the fourteenth annual River Concert Series on Friday, July 27, 2012. Gates will open at 5 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8 p.m.

The grand finale will feature an explosive mix of local jazz, blues, and folk artists, including Don Stapleson, Gretchen Richie, Rick Humphries, Jennifer Cooper, and Joseph Norris. The famous iconic solos of bebop great Charlie Parker are arranged for the full sax section in a set of super saxy-jazzy pieces. The program also features the concert’s resident Chesapeake Orchestra, led by musical director Jeffrey Silberschlag, in the 1919 Suite from Stravinsky’s landmark ballet, “Firebird.” The River Concert Series concludes with its now traditional encore pieces.

More about the artists:

Don Stapleson currently teaches saxophone and directs the Jazz Combo and the Jazz Ensemble at St. Mary’s College. He performs with his own jazz group, the Don Stapleson quartet, amongst others. Stapleson has performed with Ray Charles and Danny Gatton and has played for theatrical productions and various television features.

Gretchen Richie and her husband, pianist Randy Richie, formed the Gretchen Richie Jazz Cabaret in 1987 and since 2000 they have been the featured entertainment at Café des Artists in Leonardtown, Maryland.

Jennifer Cooper has a professional background in opera and musical theater. Recently, her performances have consisted of jazz and blues standards.

Joseph Norris has performed as a singer and songwriter throughout Southern Maryland during the past 37 years. He has released four CDs.