UCM Theatre and Dance and UCM Music Premiere Duke Ellington’s ‘Sacred Concert’ April 18-21 (2024)

UCM Theatre and Dance and UCM Music Premiere Duke Ellington’s ‘Sacred Concert’ April 18-21 (1)

WARRENSBURG, MO – University of Central Missouri Theatre and Dance and UCM Music present Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concert” at the James L. Highlander Theatre at 7:30 p.m. April 18-20 and at 2 p.m. April 21. Tickets to the event are available now, and are free to students with valid UCM ID and to active duty military, veterans, and military families with military ID presented at the Box Office. The matinee on April 21 is a pay-what-you-can event.

In Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concert,” UCM Theatre and Dance, UCM Concert Choir and the UCM Jazz Ensemble 1 collaborate to present the work of the influential jazz pianist and composer through song and dance. The concert features modern, contemporary, tap and jazz styles of dance to Ellington’s legendary spiritual music.

When asked about the production, Artistic Director Ashley Miller-Scully shared, “Each year, my goal is for a fresh, new and different approach for the dance concert, and after 15 years we are still finding creative ways to showcase our dance program here at UCM. It has always been a goal of mine to collaborate with the Concert Choir so when I approached the Division of Music with this idea and they suggested ‘Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert,’ I thought it was the perfect choice. It has been such a joy and treat to dance to live choral and instrumental music and a wonderful learning opportunity and collaboration between both UCM faculty and students.”

Dr. Jackson Thomas, director of UCM Choral Activities, commented, “This project has brought together three incredible groups from the School of Visual and Performing Arts in a really special way. Duke Ellington's masterful ‘Sacred Concert’ is not presented nearly enough as it is, and it has been a dream of mine to undertake it for quite a while now. What's even more exciting is that this presentation breathes new life into the work through the inclusion of dance. It has been such a gift to see the UCM Concert Choir, Jazz Ensemble 1, and the Department of Dance come together in such a unique way for what is sure to be an unforgettable experience."

During the matinee on Sunday, April 21, UCM Theatre and Dance will present its pay-what-you-can performance, audiences may choose to pay any amount, $1 or above, for a ticket. Additionally, for the Thursday evening performance, ASL interpreters will be provided. New this year, all tickets for UCM Theatre and Dance productions are free for UCM students upon showing their UCM student ID. Tickets are also free for active military, veterans, and military families upon purchasing at the Theatre and Dance Box Office with a military ID.

The cast includes: Kayla Addison, Karissa Holst, Katie Kaminski, Brittany King, Makenzie Lewis, Miranda Muenz, Addison Rutherford, and Aka’Ne Tinsley. UCM Concert Choir members include: Nik Baumert, Lucas Blahnik, Katie Brunkhorst, Alejandro Castillo, Chloe Costello, Brenna Davis, Alex Hanshaw-Bhaskar, Tevin Johnson, MacKenzie Larson, Mason Lane, Stephanie Marcella, Dakota Ray, Rosalyn Schuster, Mary Scott, Bailey Shaver, Kaylyn Smith, Zach Southard, Rylee Spencer, Caleb Starr, Jayci Stowe, Alannah Trigg, Emily Turner, Jen White, Andrew Wilkie, Graham Woodward, and Riley Wyatt. The soprano vocal soloist for the performance is UCM Voice faculty, Dr. Stella Dayrit Roden. The UCM Jazz Ensemble 1 includes: Saxes - Jack Renfrow, Dawson Franzen, Joylyn Carter, Cameron King, Quinten Hall; Trumpets - Tyler Rumore, Sam Panico, Ve Carrender, CJ Strathman; Trombones- James Florkowski, Jake Keller, Wyatt Flandermeyer, and Tyler Limback. The Rhythm section includes Matt Crotty, guitar; Quincy Meyer, piano; Cooper Heise, bass; Brody Washam, drums; Gabe Petree, drums, and Nelson Rivera, percussion.

The production team includes: Artistic Director, Ashley Miller-Scully; Choral Director, Dr. Jackson Thomas; UCM Jazz Ensemble 1 Director, Dr. David Aaberg; Stage Manager, Madeline Clark; Assistant Stage Manager, Trae Selemaea; Lighting Design, Quinn Allen, Molly Blackburn, Aleksandra Combs, Arianna Kendrick; Scenic Design, Alyna Mathews; Technical Direction, Spencer Musser; Costume, Hair and Makeup Designer, Cassie Kay Hoppas; Choreographers, Christina Burton, Kareem Dixon, Katie Kaminski, Ashley Miller-Scully, Miranda Muenz, and Addison Rutherford; Dance Captains, Miranda Muenz, Addison Rutherford and Aka’Ne Tinsley; Costume Shop Supervisor, Cassie Kay Hoppas; Light Board Operator, Alyna Mathews; Sound Board Operator, Cal Klaus; Social Media Marketing Specialist, Shanna Sinow; Graduate Shop Assistant, Dalima Kapten; Wardrobe Crew Head, Lucy Nutt; Wardrobe Crew, Grace’e Carr, Xander Corkins, Josie Hougham and Madison Swank; Scene and Lighting Shop Hires, Gracie Heath, Grace Clark, Sam Fischer, Wesley Freeman, Braeden Sholes and Rosalyn Schuster; Costume Shop Hires, Paige Hull, Sage Miller, Lucy Nutt, Alannah Trigg, and Raegan Weber; Box Office Manager, Lars Jepsen; Box Office Assistants, Grace Clark and Shanna Sinow; House Manager, Keyvon Lewis; Office Professional, Lars Jepsen; Office Student Assistants, Shanna Sinow and Grace Clark.

Free parking for this performance is available in the parking lot directly south of the Highlander Theatre. Individuals who have questions about the production are encouraged to contact Dr. Aaron Scully at ascully@ucmo.edu or call the Theatre and Dance main office at 660-543-4020.

Tickets are available at the UCM Theatre and Dance Office in Martin 113, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling 660-543-8811 or online at https://ucmboxoffice.universitytickets.com. Individuals who have questions about tickets should please call 660-543-8811 or email boxoffice@ucmo.edu.

UCM Theatre and Dance and UCM Music Premiere Duke Ellington’s ‘Sacred Concert’ April 18-21 (2024)
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