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Maxwell Street Klezmer Band & Chicken Dinner June 26

Sunday, June 26, Historic Riverside Ballroom

Maxwell Street Klezmer Band outside in grass

A celebration of music and culture, with Social hour at 3 o’clock, Dinner at 4, Music at 5:

For centuries, traveling Jewish and Roma musicians crisscrossed Eastern Europe playing for weddings and celebrations. The unique music that emerged from the Chassidic and gypsy folk styles is Klezmer. Jewish immigrants arriving in America added jazz and new instrumentation to the Old World tradition. Klezmer’s influence spread widely in the U.S., including the clarinet-forward sounds of Big Band music. Maxwell Street Klezmer Band will lead us on a cultural, musical tour of different eras and styles.

  • Venue: The Historic Riverside Ballroom, 1560 Main Street, Green Bay
  • Ticketing: For subscribers, this is a makeup from the pandemic-canceled March date in 2020. Tickets from that date will be honored at the door, as will tickets re-issued as part of this year’s Spring Series, along with any Civic Music “bonus tickets.” For non-subscribers, tickets are available only through Civic Music, $25 for adults, $10 for youth K-16, and group discounts for six or more; for info, inquire at the door on concert day or call 920 338-1801 in advance.
  • RSVPs needed for chicken dinner: Already have your concert ticket? For only $12.95 per person, you can sign up for the Riverside’s famous chicken dinner, with table seating at 4 p.m., one hour before the concert begins. Call Civic Music (920 338-1801) to add the dinner option. You will be checked in at the door, and given a wristband.

Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, 7:30 p.m., Weidner Center for the Performing Arts

These London-based players form one of classical music’s finest ensembles, renowned for fresh, brilliant interpretation of the world’s most beautiful music. Drawn from the principal players of the Academy Orchestra and led by violinist Tomo Keller, the Chamber Ensemble performs in all shapes and sizes, from string quintets to octets, and in various other configurations featuring winds. Recording contracts with Philips Classics, Hyperion, and Chandos have led to the release of over thirty CDs. On the same weekend Green Bay’s most famous ambassadors, the Packers, make their London debut, these towering talents return the favor with a not-to-be-missed Civic Music performance.

For more on the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, visit https://www.asmf.org/

Davin-Levin Duo

Harp and guitar duo Davin and Levin

Friday, Nov. 11, 2022 7:30 p.m., Cup O Joy auditorium

The harp and guitar are both plucked string instruments, but the resonance and range of the harp combined with the precision of the guitar create an extraordinary sound. The Davin-Levin Duo features Emily Levin, principal harp with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Colin Davin, an accomplished performer and educator with the Cleveland Institute of Music. In the intimate setting of the Cup O Joy auditorium, this concert promises a beautiful yet out-of-the-ordinary musical experience for Civic Music subscribers.

For more on the Davin-Levin Duo, visit https://www.davinlevin.com/

Frisson

Image of woodwind ensemble Frisson

Friday, March 3, 2023 7:30 p.m., Cup O Joy auditorium

Woodwinds and strings come together for a sublime evening of music. From New York City, Frisson features the best and brightest of classical music’s rising stars. Frisson showcases a myriad of rarely-performed masterworks, and the group expands and contracts into a variety of ensembles, including quintets, sextets, nonets, and a small chamber orchestra. The ensemble is rapidly building a name for itself as one of the genre’s most exciting new attractions.

For more on the Frisson ensemble, visit https://www.frissonensemble.com/home

New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players ‘Pirates of Penzance’

Monday, March 27, 2023 7:30 p.m., Weidner Center for the Performing Arts

Here’s a Weidner Center delight: a fully staged and costumed operetta with Broadway-caliber vocalists and comic actors in an entertaining evening of musical theatre. Celebrate the return of New York opera to the Green Bay stage and Civic Music lineup with Mabel, Frederic, that most Modern Major General, and a deep and talented cast accompanied by a live pit orchestra. Reviewers laud the Players for excellence in both music and production, with ‘crisp dancing and staging and the rib-tickling comic business that enlivens the entire performance.’

For more on the MFor more on the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, visit https://nygasp.org/

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Overhead view of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Sunday, May 7, 2023, 3 p.m., Weidner Center for the Performing Arts

For nearly two decades, Brown County Civic Music has capped its annual classical-music subscription series with a visit by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Led by Music Director Ken-David Masur, the MSO is among the finest orchestras in the nation. The full-time professional musicians perform more than 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Green Bay’s acoustically superb Weidner Center was built for concerts such as this.

For more on the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, visit https://www.mso.org/

Alliance Brass is first Civic Music concert at new Cup O Joy

The Chicago quintet Alliance Brass will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at Cup O Joy auditorium, 525 N. Taylor St., Green Bay.

The concert is the second of the spring for the Green Bay community concert association Brown County Civic Music.  Tickets, already distributed to series subscribers, will also be available at the door on concert night.

Alliance Brass consists of Kelly Longenberg, horn; Amy Nelson, trumpet; Jim Longenberg, tuba; Chris O’Hara, trumpet; and Steven Duncan; trombone. Acclaimed as “the perfect blend of virtuosity and vitality” (Chicago Brass Festival), the Alliance Brass has emerged as one of the country’s most exciting ensembles. Dazzling audiences with a repertoire ranging from the early Renaissance to jazz and beyond, the ensemble has performed all over the world from Canada and Mexico to the UK and Japan, and has shared the stage with major orchestras including the Boston, Chicago and Cleveland symphonies. Members have served on faculty at some of the top music institutions including the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, DePaul University, Midwest Young Artists, the International Festival and Institute at Round Top.

Doors open one hour early, at 6:30 p.m. With general admission seating, patrons are encouraged to use mezzanine seating, if able, to free up floor-level seats (approx. 125) for those with mobility issues. Early arrivals may order from the Cup’s coffee bar/snack station with flavored coffees, sodas, candy, tea, hot snacks and more, and visit with friends in the café lounge area

Ticket prices at the door are Adults $25, Students $10.  Purchasers will also have the option to buy a pro-rated and discounted spring series for $35 ($17 students) for concerts including that night’s Alliance Brass; Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra with pianist Alessio Bax, May 15 at the Weidner. New subscribers will additionally receive tickets to two “make-up concerts” for subscribers to the pandemic-interrupted 2020 Civic Music lineup: Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, June 26 at the Historic Riverside Ballroom; and Washington Saxophone Quartet, Nov. 29 at Cup O Joy.

Dallas String Quartet to mark return of Civic Music on March 14

The Brown County Civic Music Association will host its first concert in two years when the Dallas String Quartet visits the Weidner Center for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 14, 2022.

Dallas String Quartet members are classically versed musicians who offer a fusion of contemporary classical and pop/rock selections, DSQ uses both traditional and electric strings performing as a quartet with the full accompaniment of drums and guitar.

The group is a late substitution for what was previously scheduled to be Civic Music’s opening performance of its spring 2022 season: a program for the same night and venue starring the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players and their touring production of “Pirates of Penzance.” The company postponed its Midwest tour late last month amid uncertainty with the then-rising spread of the omicron Covid variant. “Pirates” will now play the Civic Music series next year, in March 2023.

Dallas String Quartet is a headliner in its own right, known for eclectic renditions of music as varied as “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N’ Roses’ and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen to familiar melodies by Bach or a medley from the Broadway music “Phantom of the Opera.” They’ve played alongside Josh Groban, Chicago and major symphony orchestras. In 2021 they were selected to perform at the wedding of celebrity couple Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.

Members are violist and composer Ion Zanca, violinists Eleanor Dunbar and Melissa Priller, bassist Young Heo, guitarist Anthony Plant and percussionist/drummer Efren Guzman.

Because of the delay in locking down the substitute concert on the schedule, Civic Music has announced that individual tickets to the March 14 DSQ concert will only be available at the door on concert night, at $25 adults or $10 students K-16. Patrons may also purchase a $55 “season ticket” ($20 K-16) to the Civic Music spring series.

The spring series consists of DSQ on March 14; Alliance Brass, April 9 at Cup O Joy auditorium; Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra with pianist Alessio Bax, May 15 at the Weidner. New subscribers will additionally receive complimentary tickets to two “make-up concerts” for those who held subscriptions to the pandemic-interrupted 2020 Civic Music season: Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, June 26 at the Historic Riverside Ballroom; and Washington Saxophone Quartet, Nov. 29 at Cup O Joy.

UPDATE: A letter to Civic Music subscribers, ticket purchasers

The following message — an update regarding the resumption of the Brown County Civic Music subscription series after two years on hiatus through the Covid pandemic — was shared via email and U.S. mail with the Association’s contact list the week of Feb. 20.
Hello,  Civic Music members, past, present and future,
This is Chris Sampson, board president. The easiest way to start, with so much to talk about, is simply to get started. Here goes:
We’re still on for spring
Thankfully, with the latest Covid wave showing signs of subsiding, Civic Music will join artists and presenters across the industry who feel confident in bringing back your favorite music, with precautions if need be. We’ve had to make one adjustment to our previously announced spring series (more on this, below), but the dates and venues remain the same.
Tickets will arrive soonIf you purchased a subscription to our three-concert spring 2022 mini-series ($55 per adult), you’ll be getting your paper tickets via U.S. Mail in a few weeks, shortly before our March 14 program at the Weidner Center.  If for some reason yours don’t arrive by then, don’t worry.  Just check in at our welcome table on opening night.
Sorry, but the return of fully staged opera has been delayed
The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players informed us a few weeks ago that they have cancelled their planned Midwest tour of the comic opera “Pirates of Penzance.” With omicron then on the rise, they judged it too risky to launch a multi-city extravaganza not knowing if they might lose their irreplaceable leading actress Mabel to quarantine in Dubuque one night, have to leave their pit orchestra’s only oboist in Champagne the next, or sideline their Major General for a recuperative layover in Green Bay after that.  The good news is we immediately rescheduled “Pirates’ at the Weidner for March 29, 2023. It will be worth the wait.
Fortunately, the subs are a red-hot headliner
We were very fortunate on exceedingly short notice to land the electric Dallas String Quartet to replace “Pirates” and kick off our spring series on March 14.  A one-of-a-kind event like “Pirates” demanded a unique and exciting replacement, and DSQ is a major name in its own right.  They open with traditional strings; the latter part of their program is electric and amped up. You’ll hear Bach, but also symphonic-sounding arrangements (with drums) of familiar melodies from Billy Joel, Queen and Led Zeppelin.  (“Kashmir,” anyone?) DSQ is hot, having played last year’s Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton wedding, and I’m reaching out to invite local youth players as our guests.  I saw DSQ in person a few years ago. They are wildly entertaining… and very talented string players.
Here, then, is what you’ll find in your ticket envelope
*  Dallas String Quartet, 7:30 p.m. Monday March 14, Weidner Center
*  Alliance Brass, 7:30 p.m. Saturday April 9, Cup O Joy auditorium
*  Milwaukee Symphony with Alessio Bax, 3 p.m. Sunday May 15, Weidner Center
*  Maxwell Street Klezmer Band (rescheduled from 2020), 5 p.m. Sunday June 26, Historic Riverside Ballroom
*  Washington Saxophone Quartet (rescheduled from 2020), 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 29, Cup O Joy
 An extra “wild card” ticket to be redeemed at any of the concerts listed above.
Newcomers to Civic Music receive the two makeup concerts as a new-member bonus. Subscribers to the interrupted spring 2020 season may finally use those unused Klezmer and Sax tickets if they kept them, stop at our check-in table on concert night, or use the newly issued replacements.
Reminder on our make-good plan
Regarding the third cancelled concert from the 2020 season, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, it was not feasible to re-book. Contributing factors included the unlikelihood of a second MSO date in one calendar year, and the reality that an outside, private foundation underwrites this most expensive and ambitious program on our annual series, with no carryover if the concert does not take place. That’s why we have decided to approach the May 15 date as a “new” concert that is a cornerstone of this spring mini-series.
That said, Brown County Civic Music will honor those 2020 MSO tickets for those who kept them and insist on using them. We can only hope that as many subscribers as possible actively support this spring series and purchase the full package which includes new tickets for the May 15 MSO.  The package also includes one “wild card” ticket for each membership you held in 2020 or will hold for spring 2022, whichever is greater.  Someone with two tickets could choose to use their pair of “wild card” tickets on the MSO concert and bring two additional friends or family members as guests.  (What a great way to introduce new people to Civic Music!) We hope many members will agree this is an acceptable solution from their perspective. It’s a solution that best ensures the financial viability of our nearly century-old, all-volunteer nonprofit organization, and positions us to return with another strong, five-concert series for next season.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner
Brown County Civic Music is, give or take a few years, about the same vintage as Green Bay’s Historic Riverside Ballroom.  We’ve never married up with them for a concert, but that will change Sunday afternoon, June 26, when we host the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and the makeup date of their postponed 2020 gig. Klezmer is party music in the Jewish tradition, and we think the nicely restored Riverside will be perfect for a fun, late-afternoon summer celebration.  Adding to the festive family feel, Civic Music has arranged with Riverside to offer a sit-down version of their famous and popular chicken dinner (just $12.95/plate) for those who register in advance to arrive early for the 3 p.m. social hour or 4 p.m. meal in advance of the 5 p.m. performance.  We’ll get you details closer to the date on how to RSVP for dinner, through Civic Music.
Big plans for next year
Normally by this time of the calendar year, we have our fall-spring concert array for the following season pinned down.  We’re running a little behind right now — not surprising — but we have three big blockbusters already in place for 2022-23.  We’ll open with the traditional string supergroup St. Martin’s Academy in October at the Weidner, have the aforementioned New York Gilbert and Sullivan “Pirates” in March, and close as always with the Milwaukee Symphony in April or May.  Those are three huge events! A fourth attraction is likely to be the in-demand chamber ensemble Frisson, while the fifth seems to be playing hard to get, for now.  We’ll have our new series packaged and on sale by May.
That’s it for now.  Please email or call me personally if you have any questions (Chris at 920 606-2081 or CSampson@new.rr.com). Thanks for your past and future support of this grass-roots Civic treasure.  See you at the concerts!
Christopher Sampson
board president, Brown County Civic Music Association

SORRY FOR THE DELAY: New website to debut soon

The volunteers at Brown County Civic Music devoted much attention this past fall to setting the stage for the return of live performances. The result is a three-concert Spring 2022 mini-series that represents, by far, the largest spring talent budget in the organization’s 94-year history.

Unfortunately, among the administrative tasks delayed by our nearly two-year COVID layoff was a functional redesign and total updating of this website.  (The lone exception, of course, is the CIVIC MUSIC NEWS column along the righthand side of the homepage, which is now updated regularly.)

We appreciate your patience and understanding.  Look for a new and improved website by January, and full functionality of online communication and ticketing options.