UMF announces new musical ensemble conductor

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FARMINGTON — In its continuing commitment to community-based musical partnerships, the University of Maine at Farmington has announced a new chapter in university-community music making.

Beginning this fall, UMF will introduce its new Collegium Instrumental Ensemble, a musical model that includes performance band, orchestral works and other ensemble works under a single musical performance entity. An innovative and flexible musical grouping, its ensemble performance might feature pieces by a brass quintet, jazz combo, chamber orchestra, concert band or new musical collaborations.

UMF’s Collegium Instrumental Ensemble will be directed by Eric Thomas, director of jazz and wind ensembles at Colby College, outstanding composer and clarinetist and one of Maine’s most highly-respected musicians.

An open meet and greet reception for Thomas, the players, and members of the public interested in the ensemble will take place at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 2, in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus. During this time Thomas will share his plans for the fall semester.

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Thomas received his bachelor of music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, and has previously conducted the Phillips Academy Andover Jazz Band, the Phillips Academy Andover Concert Band, and was a conducting assistant to Sarah Caldwell at the Opera Company of Boston. He was a guest at the Bravo! Colorado festival and played clarinet in small chamber ensembles with Eugenia Zukerman and Yolanda Kondanassis.

Regular rehearsals for the UMF Collegium Instrumental Ensemble will take place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 9, in Nordica Auditorium in UMF Merrill Hall.

Current and new musicians are welcome. If interested, contact Thomas at eric.b.thomas@maine.edu.

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