Creative Commons Series debuts with McGill/McHale Trio

Centre College will hold its annual Creative Commons series, a program that brings diverse ideas and perspectives to campus through a variety of interactive speakers. The series is part of Creative Centre, a long-term quality enhancement plan tied to the College’s accreditation process that aims to help students, faculty and staff expand their creative thinking skills.

This series helps increase the comfort and capacity of faculty and staff to model creative thinking, and it also provides opportunities for the campus community to expand their understanding of creative thinking, creative process and the ways creative thinking plays a role in their lives. More shared learning opportunities across faculty and staff are also key goals.

The McGill/McHale Trio and Kentucky composer Valerie Coleman will start off this year’s series with a lecture and demonstration titled “Racial Barriers to Performing and Touring Classical Music” on Monday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Weisiger Theater in the College’s Norton Center for the Arts.

The trio will continue with another lecture and demonstration titled “Social Justice Through Music,” on Tuesday, March 3 at 9:40 a.m. in the Newlin Hall Foyer. In addition, they will host a Creative Conversation Panel Discussion at 11:20 a.m. in Weisiger Theater. They will conclude their time at Centre with a poetry and music performance at 7:30 p.m. in Weisiger Theater. Tickets for the performance can be purchased at or by calling 1-877-HIT-SHOW.

Demarre McGill, principal flutist for the Seattle Symphony, and younger brother Anthony McGill, principal clarinet for the New York Philharmonic, joined with Irish pianist Michael McHale in 2014 to form the trio. The program’s focal work, “Suite: Portraits of Langston,” is composed by Coleman and based on selected poems by Langston Hughes, which will be recited before their corresponding movements by Centre students. The six-movement suite combines poetry and music to marry classical and jazz sounds into the spirit of the 1920s Harlem.

The series continues with two performances by Kat Edmonson on Saturday, March 14, at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Weisiger Theater.

With a sweetly mellifluous soprano echoing Blossom Dearie’s lighter-than-air approach, as well as her gift for evocative songwriting, Edmonson is a rare artist who embodies the spirit of the past while remaining resolutely au courant. Her unusually charming and seamless blend of old and new has garnered attention on “NPR Tiny Desk Concerts,” “Austin City Limits” and “A Prairie Home Companion.” Designated a Gathering performance, students and local musicians are invited to participate in a jam session during the afternoon on the day of the performance.

This year’s series will conclude with a poetry reading and workshop with Maurice Manning, adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan, on Wednesday April 22, at 7 p.m. in Vahlkamp Theater.

Manning, a Kentucky poet, has published five books of poetry, including “The Common Man,” which was one of three finalists for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. His first collection, “Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions,” was selected for the 2000 Yale Series of Younger Poets. He has had works in publications including The New Yorker, Washington Square, The Southern Review, Poetry, Shenandoah, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. Manning has given poetry readings all over the country, from Penn’s Store in Gravel Switch, Kentucky, to the Library of Congress. Manning will begin with a poetry reading and provide a short workshop for interested faculty, staff, student and community members.

by Centre College News
March 2, 2020

By |2020-03-02T15:15:47-05:00March 2nd, 2020|Events, Music, News, Norton Center for the Arts|