Cultural Programming

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Cultural Programming

(Generally speaking, only live events are included in this listing. Not included are numerous film screenings. Also not included are on campus events sponsored by other organizations.)


September 19, 1963 – Ernest Van Den Haag, professor of social philosophy at New York University and a practicing psychology, spoke at the College. He had examined the causes and consequences of American mass culture and had expressed his opinions in his books, “Education as an Industry,” and “The Fabric of Society.”

October 17, 1963 – Norman Thomas, leader of the American Socialist movement and candidate for the U.S. presidency six times, spoke at the College. After 20 years as a Presbyterian minister, Thomas had dedicated himself to the cause of economic security and world peace. His most recent books were “The Prerequisites for Peace” and “The Great Dissenter.” His topic at MVCC was “Our Garrison State,” and he said that only a just peace can solve the problems presented by a continuing arms race. He reminded his audience that President Eisenhower had warned against a military-industrial complex. He was the unpaid chairman of an organization affiliating many peace societies called Turn Toward Peace. While no longer a member of any governing committee of the Socialist Party, he was still an active member.

November 14th, 1963 – Author Louis E. Lomax spoke at the College. His articles had appeared in “Harper’s,” “Life,” and “The Nation.” He was also the author of the prize-winning book, “The Reluctant African.”

December 12th, 1963 – Allistair Cooke spoke at the College. He was the host of the television program “Omnibus.” A journalist, Cooked broadcasted regularly over the British Broadcasting Corporation on American affairs.

February 20th, 1964 – Alan Loma, musical archivist, author and singer appeared at the College. He was considered the person primarily responsible for the revival of American Folk music.

March 12th, 1964 – Former assistant U.S. Attorney General Thurman Arnold spoke at the College. He had served as an associate justice on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and was legal adviser to the Governor General pf the Philippines.

April 2nd, 1964 – Ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith spoke at the College. He had served the government in a number of advisory roles, and was director of the Strategic Bombing Survey and the Office of Economic Security Policy.

April 9th, 1964 – The Randy Weston Quartet (jazz) and dances Al Minns and Leon James, performed at the College. They had performed previously at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, television shows and music festivals.


Dr. John H. Hollomon, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Science & Technology, spoke at the College in April 1965 as part of the public lecture series: “The Challenge Ahead: Science and Technology.” Dr. Hollomon called for foresight in deadline with the problems arising from advances in technology. He said “Slowing down the introduction of new technology is not the answer. Instead, we must recognize that the problem arises because the benefits of a new idea quickly flow to the individual, while the costs (financial and sociological) must be borne by society as a while.” Other speakers explored the theme in relation to education, government and industry. In December 1964, the speaker was Dr. Max Lerner, Professor of American Civilization at Brandeis University.


The Fourth Annual Lecture Program included author and reporter Allen Drury in October 1965. His topic was “Inside Washington.” The Theme of the Series was “The Challenge Ahead: Moral Decision and Modern Man.” Other speakers in the series would be Dr. Albert Burke, Dr. John Rock, Dr. Ernest K. Gordon, author and social critic Vance Packard (March 24th) and Dr. Mortimer J. Adler.


In the Fifth Annual Lecture Program, the theme was “The Challenge Ahead: America’s Responsibility in a Changing World.” The speakers were Dr. Ashley Montague, O. Edmund Clubb, Dr. Jose Maria Chavez, and David Shoenbrun.

Shoenbrun, who spoke on April 6th, spoke about “The Grand Design: The Atlantic Community.” He said that America was hindering the progress of a European federation by pursuing its policy in Vietnam.


On November 9th, New York Times journalist Harry Schwartz spoke on “50 Years of Bolshevik Rule”

On December 7th, “LSD and Society” was the speech topic for psychedelic drug researcher Jean Houston


March 14th – Classical guitarist Miguel Rubio performed at the college. He had been a student of famous guitarist Andres Segovia.

April 4th – the college hosted a lecture by John Howard Griffin, author of “Black Like Me,” identified in a college news release at the time as “one of America’s best known reporters of Negro life and problems.” He also spoke to students at Notre Dame High School.

April 25th – Political analyst Erwin D. Canham, editor-in-chief of the Christian Science Monitor, spoke at the College at part of the Sixth Annual Lecture Program, discussing the 1968 political campaigns. He assessed the chances of Presidential candidates Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, Robert F. Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy. He had begun with the Monitor as a reporter in 1925, following graduation from Bates College, then was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, earning both a B.A. and M.A. In 1948, he was appointed to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference on Freedom of Information at Geneva. In 1949, he was appointed alternate American delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.

May 8th – a troupe of 12 dancers from the New York City Ballet presented “An Invitation to the Ballet” in the Student Union.

The College held its Seventh Annual Lecture Program. On November 7th, the speaker was astrophysicist Dr. H. Allen Hynek, an authority on unidentified flying objects (UFO’s). On December 5th, the speaker was cartoonist Al Capp, creator of the “Li’l Abner” comic strip. Other speakers in the 1968-69 series included author Alex Haley, folksingers Joe and Penny Aronson, urban affairs authority Jeanne Lowe, and author Dr. Leslie Fiedler.


On January 30th, 1969, “Roots” author Alex Haley spoke at the College. He had not yet published “Roots,” but had done “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” and was a writer-in-residence at Hamilton College.

On February 2nd, the vocal group “The Brooklyn Bridge” performed in the College gymnasium, sponsored by the Student Government Council. The eleven-member group had a hit song: “The Worst That Could Happen.”

March 22nd – The Student Government Council hosted a concert and dance featuring six rock groups, the best known of which was The Bob Seger System, with a nationwide his record, “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.” Other groups performing were The Grains of Sand, The Steam Shovel from Greenwich Village, The Federal Reserve, The Country Water, and the Flock.

March 22nd – Jeanne R. Lowe, urban affairs editor of McCall’s Magazine, spoke at the College. She was the author of a new book, “Cities in a Race with Time,” which analyzed challenges facing New York, Pittsburgh, Washington, Philadelphia and New Haven. She was critical of mediocrity at the technical-managerial level of government, and a lack of effective leadership at the top.

April 10th, 1969 – Dr. Leslie Fiedler, author of “The Vanishing American,” and “Love and Death in the American Novel,” “An End to Innocence,” “No! In Thunder,” “The Second Stone,” “Waiting for the End,” “Back to China,” and “The Last Jew in America.” Spoke at the college.

September 15, 1969 – The rock group The Sundowners performed at the College. They had appeared recently on the Dick Clark Show, and toured with both Jimmy Hendrix and The Monkees. They recorded on the Decca label. Their appearance was sponsored by Phi Beta Gamma fraternity.

October 11, 1969 – Singer Josh White, Jr. performed at the College.

(Eighth Annual Cultural Series) – Live programs included: October 16, a play (“The Song of the Lusitanian Bogey”) by The Negro Ensemble Company; November 13, psychic Russ Burgess; December 11th, A United Nations Forum on the Middle East crisis; February 18th, the Don Redlich Dance Company; March 19th, a lecture and exhibit by Ladislas Segy, world known collector of African art; and April 2, a concert by the Dorian Woodwind Quintet.

October 19, 1969 – The Righteous Brother performed at the College Gymnasium, sponsored by Student Government Council.

November 13, 1969 – Lecture-demonstration by extra-sensory perception psychic Russ Burgess


February 18 – performance by Don Redlich Dance Co.

March 19 – lecture and exhibit by Ladislas Segy, world-renowned collector of African art and sculpture

April 2 – concert by the Dorian Woodwind Quintet. The group had also performed at Carnegie Hall, the International Warsaw Autumn Festival, and in London, Vienna, Amsterdam and points in Africa.

Folksingers Don McLean and Odetta performed at MVCC in November – McLean on Nov. 11th, Odetta on Nov. 12th.

On April 24th, 1971, singer Melanie performed in Payne Hall auditorium. She was booed at the start of the concert for arriving 90 minutes late.

More than 160 paintings, photographs and sculptures were included in a faculty-student art exhibit. Among them were nine paintings given to the College to begin a permanent collection of art, as well as three works that were to be displayed permanently in the College Center building. (August 1971)

Arthur Honegger’s symphonic psalm, “King David,” was presented at the College by the MVCC Chorus and the Utica Symphony Orchestra. It was directed by Assistant Professor Albert R. Johnson, who coordinated both musical productions and music courses at the College. (October 1971)
On September 23rd, the Utica Jazz Quintet performed a concert at the College.
On September 30th, there was a performance of George Bernard Shaw’s “You Never Can Tell” by the Hamilton and Kirkland College Charlatans.
On October 7th, renowned furniture designer and craftsman Wendell Castle presented a program.
On October 28th, there was a concert featuring the MVCC Community Chorale and the Utica Symphony.


An evening of modern drama was presented in January by members of the Drama Club. Among the presentations were Charles Mee Jr.’s “Constantinople Smith,” Howard Sackler’s “Nine O’Clock Mail,” Eugene Ionesco’s “The Leader,” and Beckett’s “Act Without Words II.” (February 1972)

The MCCC Chorus and the Utica Symphony Orchestra joined in a premiere performance for central New York of Randall Thompson’s oratorio “The Passion According to St. Like.” The concert was directed by Assistant Professor Albert Johnson. (March 1972)

Fall series events included the Danish Gym Team, the Theatre Recital Company, a presentation by Rojab Productions of Atholl Fugard’s play “The Blood Knot,” Irish actress Siobhan McKenna, an MVCC drama club production of one-act plays, and a faculty reading of Father Daniel Berrigan’s play, “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine.”

On October 5th, Irish actress Siobhan McKenna appeared on campus in “Here Are Ladies,” brought from London’s Criterion Theater, and touring colleges and universities in the US and Canada.

MVCC scheduled 11 cultural events on campus during the 1972-1973 winter quarter, including nine films and two live presentations. The series began with a Christmas concert by the MVCC Chorale and the Community Chorus. The second live event was to be a January appearance by television journalist and writer Edwin Newman, who would deliver a talk entitled “A Reporter Looks at the News.”


On January 11, 1973, NBC television journalist and political reporter Edwin Newman spoke at the College. His topic was “A Reporter Looks at the News,” an analysis of the 1972 presidential election of Richard Nixon over George McGovern.

MVCC announced its fall Cultural Series. Fifteen events were scheduled. Live events included: “Compass,” a jazz quartet, on September 27th; the City Center Acting Company (founded by John Houseman) performing “The Beggar’s Opera” and “USA” during their two-day residency on October 3rd and 4th; MVCC Drama Club’s presentation of “Everyman” October 18-20, a lecture-demonstration by author George Plimpton on October 25th, and Matteo* and his Indo-American Dance Company (founded at High School for the Performing Arts in NYC, performed at United Nations, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival) on November 8th. (September 1973) (*Note: Matteo was the stage name for Matthew Vitucci, a Utica native who grew up on Mary Street.)

MVCC presented the Amici String Quartet December 13, 1973 as the first live event in the College’s winter quarter Cultural Series. Other major events scheduled during the quarter included a live performance by the Syracuse Ballet Theater, a talk on the “Coming World Civilization” by Dr. Huston Smith of Syracuse University, and a production of “The Apple Tree” by the MVCC Drama Club. (December 1973)


January 24, 1974. Syracuse Ballet Theatre in a lecture-demonstration in Room 120 Payne Hall. Six professional dancers, including the Pas de Quatre, the Pas de Deux.

March 12, 1974. Brockport Resident Dance Company, lecture-demonstration.

March 22, 1974 – Consumer advocate Ralph Nader spoke on major consumer issues of the day. He told the audience that the energy crisis then being experienced in the country was ‘completely orchestrated,’ and that the oil companies had begun a plan to control oil in the 1930’s, with the government pitching in by putting controls on the production of oil. He accused President Nixon and business lobbies of trying to undermine consumer protection legislation.

April 17 – Newark, New Jersey, police detective David Toma – subject of ABC-TV’s dramatic series “Toma,” appeared at the college under sponsorship of the Student Association.

MVCC joined with Utica College in co-sponsoring the Second Utica Film Symposium. The first part of the symposium (March 25-27) featured documentary films and filmmakers, including Frederick Wiseman, Peter Watkins and the Pacific Street Film Collective. The second part of the symposium (April 1-3) featured experimental films and filmmakers, including Ed Emshwiller, Ernie Gehr and Peter Kubelka. (April 1974)

April 25, 1974 – Concert by the Lenox String Quartet.

April 4th – Performance by the Civic Music Woodwind Quintet

April 18th – Performance by the Civic Music Brass Quintet

April 25th – Performance by the Lenox Strong Quartet

April 25th – Lecture-demonstration by well-known area artisan of techniques for handcrafting stringed musical instruments

May 2, 1974. Author Rod Serling, creator of television’s Twilight Zone and Night Gallery discussed communications, censorship, audience tastes and the influence of government on the media.

May 3rd – Performance on bass violin by Ithaca College Professor Henry Neubert, Jr.

May 3-4 – Production of “A Thurber Carnival” by the MVCC Drama Club

October 3, 1974 – presentation by poet John Ciardi, “The Social Function of the Artist,” including a reading from among his new poems.

October 17, 1974 – The National Shakespeare Company presented “Merchant of Venice.”

October 30, 1974 - The Pryderi Players, four young entertainers touring the United States under sponsorship of the Welsh Arts Council, appeared at the College, performing works by Welsh writers including Dylan Thomas, R.S. Thomas, Harri Webb, Vernon Watkins, John Ormond, Glyn Jones and John Stuart Williams. Members of the group, all actors in Wales, included Ray Handy, Christine Pritchard, Olwen Rees and Clive Pelman.

November 6, 1974 – Experimental filmmaker and critic Jonas Mekas appeared at the College, screening his films, “Journals and Sketches” (a film diary) and “The Brig” ( dealing with military brutality). He discussed the films with the audience. The Lithuanian-born Mekas, who has a brief career as a resistance newspaper publisher before being put in a concentration camp, began studying films during five years spent in displaced persons camps. He continued to study in that field after coming to the US in 1950. He was film critic for “The Village Voice.”

December 11, 1974 – Presentation of “The Fantasticks,” by the New York Theatre Company, the musical division of the National Shakespeare Company.


January 9, 1975 – Television journalist Sander Vanocur discussed impact of media on public, current political themes. He was a longtime journalist with NBC (starting in 1957, Washington), as White House correspondent 1961-64, then National Political Correspondent. A Today Show correspondent in 1965. 1967-68 contributing editor for the Huntley-Brinkley Report. Later joined the staff of the National Public Affair Center for Television. At the time of this appearance he was Director of the Duke University Fellows in Communication, Washington. DC, for the study of the influence of journalism on the political process.

January 14, 1975 – Performance by native Japanese Kabuki dancer Ayako Uchiyama. Born and raised on Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, she spent many years living among the Japanese aborigines, the Ainu, learning their language, customs, songs and dances. She also spent 15 years as a student of the Japanese theater, at the Hosho Noh Institute

January 30, 1975 – Concert by George Wein’s Newport Jazz All-Stars

February 13-15 – MVCC Drama Club presented Tartuffe by Moliere

March 12, 1975 – International Chess Grandmaster Lubomir Kavalek played up to 60 opponents simultaneously in an exhibition.

March 20, 1975 – Writer, composer, critic and lecturer Anthony Burgess discussed his novel, “A Clockwork Orange.”

March 26, 1975 – Magic performance by Associate Professor Ronald Zollweg, recreating the classic illusions of Robert-Houdin, Herrmann, Kellar, Thurston, Houdini and Blackstone.

April 10, 1975 – Filmmaker Donn Pennebaker presented scenes from his film on rock star David Bowie.

April 17, 1975 – Beltyne Faire, professional Scottish group, performed traditional piping and highland dance. Wearing traditional highland dress, their performance included piping, drumming, and dance, including the highland fling, and sword dance.

May 6, 1975 – The Hartford Ballet Company peformed classic ballet and modern dance.

May 13, 1975 – Mime Keith Berger performed at the College. A 23 year old California native, he had studied at the American Mime Theater in New York City, and was known for his street and park performances.

June 12, 1975 – Concert by Skip Parsons’ Riverboat Jazz Band

September 18 – local ceramist and potter Vincent Clemente set up a mini-studio in Payne Hall lobby from 1 pm to 4 pm. Working on the potter’s wheel, he demonstrated his skills and discussed his techniques with spectators.

September 21, 1975 – Speech by Dr. Carl Sagan, internationally-known astronomer, Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies, professor astronomy and space sciences at Cornell University. He spoke about the recent launching us the U.S. unmanned Viking spacecraft and its search for life on Mars. His books included “Atmospheres of Mars and Venus,” “Intelligent Life in the Universe,” “Mars and the Mind of Man,” and “The Cosmic Connection.” He played a major role in obtaining the first close-up photos of the moons of Mars and in studying the surface changes of that planet from the Mariner 9 spacecraft. He also was responsible for the first interstellar message aboard Pioneer 10, the first craft to leave the solar system.

October 2- Michele Incenzo, first clarinetist with the Orchestra Sinfonica Academia Nazionale Santa Cecelia on Rome, Italy, performed in concert. He had recently performed as guest soloist (September 27th) with the Utica Symphony. He was joined by soprano Jeanett Ferrell.

October 9 – The Civic Music Brass Quartet presented an evening of classical and modern music. Members, all from the Utica Symphony Orchestra, included Edward Hacker, trumpet; Frank Galime, trumpet; Calvin Dening, horn; Robert Mickle, trombone and baritone. The program included Kensey Stewart’s “Fanfare,” Ramon Zupko’s “Two Preludes for Brass Quartet,” Bach-Cobb’s “Gavotte from Fifth French Suite,” Giovanni Gabrieli’s “Canzona per Sonate Number 4,” Wilhelm Ramsoe’s “Quartet No. 5,” and Walker’s “Badinerie.”

October 16 – Dr. Jay Williams, chairman of the Department of Religion at Hamilton College presented a lecture and slide presentation of his trip to Taiwan for the Ma Tzu festival.

October 28 – the dances of the Caribbean were performed by the Afro-American Dance Theater from SUNY Binghamton, including the Calypso, Cacao, Conga, Ritual, Bongo and the Haitian Suite.

December 11 – Violinist Paul Zukofsky performed in concert.

December 15, 1975 – Ballet dancer Jacques D’Amboise , star of the New York City Ballet at a dancer and choreographer, performed at the college.


January 6 – Filmmaker Jim McBride screened and discussed his film “David Holtzman’s Diary”

January 8 – “An Evening of Black America” was presented by the husband and wife team of Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, including dramatic readings interspersed with a history of black art and culture from ancestral Africa through the salve period and up to the present times.

January 15 – Semaja Semaja (James Hulbert), former Utican and MVCC graduate living in Bear River, Nova Scotia, appeared as a musician, composer and photographer.

January 29 – The Civic Music Woodwind Quintet, members of the Utica Symphony, performed a concert of classical and modern music.

February 5 – The MVCC Chorale, under the direction of Fritz Maraffi, performed in combination with the Utica College Singing Ensemble.

March 11 – Architect and urbanist George Nelson presented a slide lecture entitled “The Civilized City.”

March 25 – Native Utica Felice Magendanz, principal cellist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, performed in concert.

April 22 – Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman spoke at the college. She had gained national prominence as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and for her strong stand on women’s rights.

April 24 - :Professor Henry Neubert, Jr., of Ithaca College, conducted a clinic for students of the string bass.

May 6 – The MVCC Chorale, directed by Fritz Maraffi, presented its annual spring program. Maraffi was an associate professor of music at MVCC, and was conduct of the MVCC Orchestra and the Utica Symphony Orchestra.

May 13 – Wendell Castle, a designer-craftsman, presented an open-air demonstration of his wood sculpture in a tent on the quad.

Also in May, filmmaker Peter Watkins screened and discussed his film “Edvard Munch,” about the expressionist painter. The film was the Norwegian entry in the Cannes Film Festival, and the Utica showing was among the first in the U.S.

May 16 – Concert by the MVCC Orchestra featuring the music of Bizet and Liszt.

September 30 – Black tenor John Miles presented an evening of music by black poets and composers entitled “The Negro Speaks of Rivers, The Deep Soul of the Black Man in Music and Poetry.”

October 12-13 – The New Shakespeare Company of San Francisco performed ”Hamlet” and “As You Like It.”

October 28 – Authors and journalists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak spoke at the college on the topic of “Presidential Politics.”

December 8 – The National Theater Company presented a musical version of the life and times of Charlie Chaplin.

December 14 – Actor Jack Thomas presented his interpretation of Mark Twain.


February 15th – The Student Association, with radio station WOUR, sponsored a concert at the Stanley Performing Arts Center by the David Bromberg Band and Livingston Taylor.

March 31st – Jerry Zimmerman, piano soloist with the New York City Ballet Company, performed at the college, in Payne Hall 120. The program included Beethoven’s “Sonata in C Major, Opus 53,” Ravel’s “Gaspard de la Nuit,” Chopin’s “Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise brilliante,” selections from “The Gershwin Songbook,” Zimmerman’s first major album, and Liszt’s “Apres une Lecture du Dante.”

April 19th – Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys appeared on campus as part of the College’s 30th anniversary (’76-’77) year. “Headin’ South” was the opening act.

April 21st – Actor Jerry Rockwood portrayed Edgar Allen Poe in a performance tied to the College’s 30th anniversary.

April 23rd- Les & Larry Elgart Orchestra performed on campus (Gym) in connection with College’s 30th anniversary.

October 10th – the New Shakespeare Company of San Francisco performed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

October 11th – the New Shakespeare Company of San Francisco performed “Threepenny Opera.” Also the Alpha-Omega Players Repertory Theater of America performed Mark Twain’s “The Diary of Adam and Eve” in a dinner theater setting.

November 5th – Comedian Tom Parks appeared in a dinner theater setting, focusing his comedy on college days, high school fads, radio, television and topics of the day

December 10th – The Alpha-Omega Players Repertory Theater of America presented “Star-Spangled Girl” in a dinner theater setting


April 25 – the Hartford Ballet Company performed in Payne Hall Auditorium

The College started the MVCC Concert Band in December 1978. Robert Mickle, a music instructor at Utica Free Academy, and a resident of Clinton, was named its first director. He was also a baritone soloist with the Utica Civic Band, and principal trombonist with the Utica Symphony Orchestra. The Concert Band was operated as a one credit course offered through the Division of Community Services. Recruitment was underway for musicians playing flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba and a range of percussion instruments. The band would rehearse each Thursday evening in the College Center Faculty Lounge.


March 1 – Premiere concert by MVCC Concert Band.


April 21st – Jody Powell, press secretary for former President Jimmy Carter, spoke at the College. His appearance was sponsored by the speakers committee of the MVCC student government. He spoke about Carter’s loss in the Presidential election to Ronald Reagan and attributed it to late developments in the Iran hostage crisis.


Singer Eddie Money appeared on October 13th, at the Stanley Theatre, sponsored by radio station WOUR and the MVCC Concert Committee.

The MVCC Student Congress sponsored a concert on December 12th by Billy Idol, at the Stanley Performing Arts Center.


September 11th – Jefferson Starship performed at the Stanley Performing Arts Center under sponsorship of the MVCC Concert Board and WRCK “Rock 107.”

December 3rd – The Fixx was scheduled to appear at the Stanley Performing Arts Center, sponsored by MVCC Concert Board and WTLB and Rock 107, but postponed to December 9th due to illness.


March 2nd - Marshall Krenshaw appeared in concert in the College Center Snack Bar, joined by the band “The Yanks.” The appearance was sponsored by the student government Concert Board.

March 9th – Rap musician Grandmaster Flash performed at the Gym, sponsored by the Student Congress Concert Board. He was best known for a 1982 single, “The Message,” on Sugar Hill Records, chronicled the tension and despair of ghetto life.

April 2nd - Guitarist Al DiMeola performed at the College, accompanied on Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira and pianist Phil Markowitz. He had played with Chick Corea, Larry Coryell, Kenny Burrell, George Benson, The Ventures and Doc Watson.

April 4th – The Jazz Ambassadors, the touring jazz ensemble of the U.S. Army, performed at the College.

April 26th – At the College’s Spring Fling, singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, Roger McGuinn (previously with the Byrds), John Hall (previously with Orleans) and John Sebastian (previously with The Lovin’ Spoonful) appeared at the College Center Snack Bar.

May 3rd – Todd Rundgren, lead vocalist and founder of Utopia, performed at the Stanley Performing Arts Center, under sponsorship of the MVCC Concert Board and radio station WOUR. The concert also featured The Tubes, from San Francisco.

September 26, 1985 – Weird Al Yankovic performed in two shows at the College Center Snack Bar, at 7 pm and 10 pm, sponsored by Student Congress Program Board.

October 7th – James Taylor appeared in concert at the Stanley Performing Arts Center under sponsorship of the Student Government Concert Board.


March 20th – Bob Dylan’s backup band – The Band – appear at the College minus some of the original members including guitarist Robbie Robertson, who had left the group, and pianist and singer Richard Manuel, who had apparently committed suicide.

March 21st – Country singer-songwriter Tome T. Hall appeared in concert athe the College.

April 24th – guitarist Stanley Jordan appeared at the College.


February 1st – Tenor Pasquale Caputo presented a recital, accompanied by pianist Peter Walther.

March 5th – The Perishable Theater Company of Providence, Rhode Island presented Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.”

March 27th – Poet Robert Creeley did a reading of his work.

April 26th – Fourteen-year-old violinist Nina Rosenfeld performed in concert. Her program included Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G Minor, and Tartinin Variations on a Theme by Corelli.

April 30th – The Susquehanna String Band performed in concert, playing traditional music of the British Isles and the United States, including fiddle tunes, ballads, humor and love songs, on the fiddle, banjo, guitar, hammered dulcimer, cello, concertina and flute.

The National Theater of the Deaf, winner of the Tony Award, brought its 20th Anniversary Tour to the Utica Campus of MVCC on October 14th, performing “The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds” in both sign language and spoken English. (October 1987)


March 5th – A mixed-media dance performance was presented by the Hamilton College Dance Faculty.

April 17th – Rome baritone McKinley Collins performed at the Utica campus

April 30th – a dinner-theater presentation by Chicago City Limits, a comedy and improvisation company from New York

November 13th – “Connections,” a concert of classical, jazz and new age music featuring pianist and composer Jack Reilly. He performed “TZU-JAN: The Sound of Tarot,” in conjunction with a slide presentation of the 22 major arcane symbols of the Tarot. The program also included music by Franck, Chopin, Strayhorn, Bernstein and Ellington.


April 3rd – The Fixx appeared in concert at the Stanley Performing Arts Center, sponsored jointly by the MVCC Concert Board and WOUR

October 6-7 – Actor, playwright and director John O’Neal was in residence at the Utica Campus. He spoke to student groups, did a public lecture/demonstration entitled “Art & Politics: A Complementary Relationship. He performed “You Can’t Judge a Book by Looking at the Cover: Sayings from the Life and Writings of Junebug Jabbo Jones, Volume II,” drawn from his experiences in the Southern civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s.

February 17th-18th – Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” was presented at the Utica Campus by The Perishable Theater, a professional company that toured throughout New England and New York.


February 12th – Actor Bob Kingdom gave a one-person show impersonating Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas

February 27th – comedienne Bertice Berry performed at the college. A graduate of Kent State University with a Ph.D. in sociology, she taught audiences about social issues with laughter, and had been called a ‘female Bill Cosby.’

March 25th – Three local classical musicians gave an afternoon concert of Baroque trios and sonatas. They included Beth Evans on flute, Ruth Berry on cello, Debbie Trudeau on violin.

April 3rd – The National Shakespeare Company presented a performance of Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer

April 9th – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performed on campus, sponsored by Student Congress.

April 18th – The musical group DO’AH appeared at the college with a performance of jazz, pop and :world music” played on an array of over 70 instruments including standard guitars, keyboards, saxophone, South African and Indian percussive instruments, African Mbira, Bansri flute, sitar, zither and Chinese yueh-chin. DO’AH had performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Bear Mountain Festival of World Music and Dance, with such artists as Dizzy Gillespie, the Paul Winter Consort, Ritchie Havens, Tom Rush, David Bromberg and Larry Coryell. DO’AH chose their name from the Arabic-Persian language. DO’AH signifies a call to prayer and meditation.

April 30th – the dance company “HARRY” presented a dance ‘informance,” a teaching session with dancers

September 27th – the Carmen Caramanica Jazz Quartet performed at the college.

November 8th – the Faculty Readers Theater presented a production of The Clouds ny Aristophanes

November 15th – comedian Sinbad of the NBC television program, “A Different World,” appeared at the college.


April 13th – performance by “Groove Attack,” a fusion band featuring Syracuse-area singer Jacque Tara Washington. Performing with her were Monk Rowe, pianist and saxophonist, and guitarist Mark Copani, a member of the nationally-known group “Cabo Frio” The show was entitled “A Portrayal of Billie Holiday.”

April 14th -15th – two performances by the Drama Club: “Stage Directions,” by Israel Horowitz, and “The Lesson,” by Eugene Ionesco

April 15th – lecture by Dina Redman, free-lance designer and illustrator from San Francisco, who explored her collaboration in a 1989 mural project to express international solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for independence


February 22nd – performance by HBO’s Def Comedy Jam Hottest Comedians: Uncle Jimmy Mack, A.G. White, Gerald Kelly, Lenny Varnedoe, Barbara Carlyle


March 27th – panel discussion: Brainfood – Series III: “Why Should I Say in Utica?” – Panelists included Anthony Fasolo, co-owner of Crystal Mountain Café & Gallery, Sue McCulley, owner, Village Toy Shop, and Steven Williams, MD, Mohawk Valley Retinal

April 10-April 21: Photography exhibit: “Images of Vietnam: A Country, Not a War,” Dr. Sandra Engel, Humanities Dept.

April 24th – lecture/recital by pianist Joann Geller, an adjunct professor in Humanities Dept

April 27th – play – “Everyman-A Medieval Play (with a Contemporary Twist”, by MVCC Readers Theater directed by Prof. Paul Cruskie


February 12th – Stand-up comedienne Jeni Aron discussed the fundamentals of stand-up comedy.

February 15th – Poet Billy Collins, later named US poet laureate, read from his works on campus. He was a professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York.

February 21st – The MVCC Readers Theater presented “The Deadly Game,” off campus, at the Rome Art and Community Center., director by Jay Salsberg of the campus Print Shop.

April 10th – the MVCC Readers Theater presented “Having Our Say: the Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years.” Sadie and Bessie Delany were African-American women who had lived to be well over 100, and could report first hand on the changes they witnessed in 20th century America.

May 1st – The Echo Trio (classical and show music) performed an afternoon concert in Payne Hall lobby.

May 9th – the MVCC Concert Band performed a concert at Payne Hall entitled “Music! From the Stage! And Screen! The concert band was directed by Barbara Seaton, a technical assistant at the Rome Campus.

September 13th – The Caribbean Breeze Steelband performed at the College

September 17th – MVCC Concert Band – “A Musical Potpourri”

September 26th- lecture, “The Hotel Utica Story” by Richard Aust, curator of the Oneida County Historical Society and a Hotel Utica historian

October 1 (through October 31) – Exhibit: “Faces of Fear: Life Masks for Famous Horror Personalities” (loaned by MVCC employee Jay Salsberg, Print Shop

October 18-19 – the MVCC Readers Theater presented “The Women from the Boys” – an experiment in dramatizing gender, directed by Professor James Gifford. The play included one act each from “The Women,” a 1940s play by Clare Booth Luce, and “The Boys in the Band,” the at-the-time revolutionary play about gay men by Mart Crowley – with women’s roles read by men, and women’s roles read by women

Exhibit: November 1-16, “My Adirondacks: the Painting of Craig Gilbert”

November 1st – Lecture: “Celluloid New York: A Century in Film,” by Peter Conolly-Smith, Associate Professor of Humanities, DeVry Institute

November 7th (repeated November 28th) – Lecture: “Museums and Native Historians in Collaboration,” by Sherry Brydon, curator of the Thaw Collection, NYS Historical Association, Cooperstown, discussed her work in preserving Native American artifcats

November 14th – Musical performance by Taikoza, a Japanese percussion group, using large barrel-like drums

November 15-16 – a play, “Three Hundred Out of Hades,” written and directed by Instructor Julie Lewis of the Humanities Department

December 3rd, lecture: “An Evening of Oneida Storytelling: How the Hermit Thrush Got His Song: Why We Have Mosquitos, When Sky Woman Fell,” by Oneida Indian Nation Turtle Clan member Birdy Burdick

December 6th – the play “The Belle of Amherst” written by William Luce was presente as a one-woman play by Janet Davies


Feb 1 – art exhibit, “The History of Love: Local Upstate Artists”

February 4th – concert by The MV4 Quartet, students 13-14 years of age

February 12th – Lecture by Utica College Professor David Moore: “Carolus Linnaeus, an 18th Century Elton John”

February 27th reading and performance by slam/rap poet Sekou Sundiata and Band

March 6th – Lecture: The Poetry of Anne Sexton, by retired SUNY Oswego theater professor Ronald Medici

March 28th – Lecture: It Had to Be Done So They Did It: The Contributions of Some Lesser Known Women from Upstate New York, by Professor Patricia Murphy, SUNY Geneseo

April 8th – Lecture: Revisiting the Harlem Renaissance, by former MVCC Professor Barbara Rhodes

April 11th – Lecture: No Place Like Home: Ballparks, Cities and Visions of Paradise, by Professor Jay Rogoff, Skidmore College

April 22-23 – Readers Theatre presented “An American Original: Waiting for Lefty” by Clifford Odets

September 28th – A Gala was staged to celebrate the opening of the college’s new theater. Local talent performed in a program called “Voices from the Mohawk Valley,” with an emphasis on Broadway music.

October 25th-26th - the MVCC Drama Club presented the play “Quiver & Sink,” written and directed by Humanities Department Instructor Julie Lewis.

November 14th-16th - The MVCC Readers Theater presented a production of “And Then There Were None,” a murder mystery by Agatha Christie, directed by Professor James Gifford.

December 7th – a performance by the Mohawk Valley Magicians Guild


(April 25, 2003, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “Symphony plans changes – Utica orchestra’s classics series to be performed at MVCC in future – Even though the Stanley Performing Arts Center would lose money, John Faust said he would be ‘thrilled to death’ to hear Mozart at Mohawk Valley Community College.
Faust’s impromptu comment came during a news conference Thursday announcing that the Utica Symphony Orchestra would use the new ‘state-of-the-art’ MVCC theater for its classics series on a permanent basis, but remain at the Stanley for larger events.
He said that while the Stanley would drop some revenue with three concerts there instead of five, ‘it is great for the symphony to be financially viable.’
USO membership has dwindled to 450, with about 700 at an average concert. According to Susan Smith, USO executive director. The audience appears sparse at the Stanley, which seats nearly 3,000…
In contrast, anticipated attendance for the classics series would be about 1,000. The MVCC theater seats 500. To accommodate the audience, there would be an afternoon and evening performance for each concert….”

September 5th – Dave Hillyard and the Rocksteady 7 performed at the College, playing ska, reggae and Latin music.

September 18th – Comedienne Jeni Aron performed and taught students how to do stand-up comedy.

September 19th – Singer Kaissa performed R&B, jazz, African and Brazilian music, performing in her native Cameroonian

October 16-18 – The play “Frankenstein” was presented by students in the Theater program

October 22nd – Pianist Nancy Pease performed in concert

October 29th – Singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist Ashley Cox performed in concert.

November 8th – Gap Mangione & The Big Band performed at the annual Gala.

November 12th – Local magician Leon Etienne performed

November 21-22 – the MVCCReaders Theater presented “Transformations: Grimm’s Fairy Tales as re-told by Anne Sexton”

November 23rd – Live performance by Akcus Seljo, Bosnian folk dance group from Sarajevo, Bosnia/Herzegovinia.


January 11th – “Isn’t It Grand?” piano concert by students of Jovita Bernard-Copeland at the Academy of Music in Clinton

February 8th – “Isn’t It Grand?” piano concert (part of series to raise funds for Steinway Model D concert grand piano); Rick Montalbano Trio

February 22nd – “Isn’t It Grand?” concert with Dr. Kevin Moore of the Music Department faculty at Onondaga Community College, well-known classical pianist in Syracuse area (brother of late MVCC math professor Ted Moore)

March 5-6 – Readers Theater presentation: “The Poor of New York: A Sensational Melodrama by Dion Boucicault”, director by Professor Paul Cruskie of the Theater program, Humanities Dept

March 11th – reading by poet Li-Young Lee

March 14th – “Isn’t It Grand?” concert with Clinton native David Kim, trained at Harvard University and New England Conservatory of Music

March 21st – “Isn’t It Grand?” concert by local jazz performer and teacher Monk Rowe, accompanied by guitarist Carmen Caramonica

March 28th – “Isn’t It Grand?” four-hands concert by two duos: Bruce Smith and Joanne Geller, and Colleen Pellman and Joyce Ucci

April 2nd – concert by the Charlie Hunter Trio (jazz)

April 4th – “Isn’t It Grand?” concert featuring four local pianists: Maestro Charles Schneider, music director of the Utica Symphony; Carleton Boone, Dr. W. Anthony Mandour, and Vivian Harvey Slater

April 22-24 – Original play written and directed by Humanities Instructor Julie Lewis: “Jarvis Legend’s Borrowed Skin”

May 2nd – “Isn’t It Grand?” concert by Rev. Jim Tormey, Binghamton

May 11th – performance by Irish traditional music group Chulrua

September 3rd – the Black River Ramblers (bluegrass) performed at the College.

September 17th – the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble

Oct 14th-16th – play: “Rossum’s Universal Robots,” Utica Campus

October 19th – Amelia Piano Trio

October 29th- New York City-based band Mecca Bodega

November 4th – Concert by “Modus”

November 11th – Performance by Carmen Caramonica Jazz Trio

November 12th-13th – Play: “Scotland Road”

November 20th, Gap Mangione Quartet performed at the annual Gala fundraiser

November 29th – Recycled Percussion

December 8th – Jim Karol – “Psychic Madman”


January 28th – Stand Up Comedy: Artie Fletcher and Chuck Mignanelli

February 6th – a performance by Schola Cantorum of Syracuse, a chamber choir of 12 to 16 members performing music from the medieval, renaissance and baroque eras.

February 9th – Story teller Shindana Cooper dealing with African and African-American stories and oral traditions

February 9th – Magic performance: “The Magic, the Mystery, the Excitement of Leon Etienne!” A young local performer, also an MVCC student.

February 16th – stage performance: “From Auction Block to Hip Hop: The Miseducation of Lauryn’s Girls”

February 18th – Musical performance- The Slackers (ska, reggae, soul, swing, rock, jazz – a seven piece band from New York City), with The Hot Steppers, a local reggae band

March 3rd – musical performance, The New England Winds, a woodwind quartet, part of the US Air Force Band of Liberty Ensemble

March 3rd-April 8th – David DeVries of New Jersey was a visiting artist. His work integrated children’s drawings into his finished illustrations, combining two diametrically opposed approaches to art. He taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. His work was exhibited in the Small Works Gallery.

March 4-5 – MVCC Readers Theater production: “Eleemosynary”

March 10th – “An Evening with Henry Rollins – pop culture, singer, author, actor, monologist

March 12th – Concert – Debra Trudeau, violinist, Sar Shalom-Strong, pianist

April 2 – musical performance – Opera McGill (of Canada) presented Liebe, Amore et Amour – operatic and musical theater pieces having to do with love

April 6th – Poetry reading by Gayle Elen Harvey

April 10th – concert: Kevin Moore, pianist, Selma Moore, flutist, both on the music faculty at Onondaga Community College

April 13th-May 20th – an exhibit of paintings by Rafal Salas and Rafael Perez took place in the Small Works Gallery

April 14th – lecture/reading: Poet Stephen Dunn

April 28, 29, 30 – Play: “Lysistrata,” the Greek comedy by Aristophanes, presented by students in Theater program

May 9th – a joint concert by the MVCC and Utica College Concert Bands was held in the Information Technology Building Theater

May 12th – Performance/Discussion: “Art Farm” – started with a theme given to only the first artist who created a piece based on that theme, then passed in on to the next artist. Artists only communicated through their work. Art included painting (Jed Kimball), drama (Julie Lewis), music (Joe Basi and Jan Smith), sculpture (Christi Harrington) and poetry (George Searles)

September 9th – The reggae group “John Brown’s Body” performed at the college

September 18th – local volunteer actors performed “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Rome Campus to raise money to assist Hurricane Katrina victims

September 19th – a father and son writing team from Camden, Gary and Justin VanRiper, spoke about their series The Adirondack Kids at the Rome Campus of MVCC

September 21st – the award-winning documentary “Born Into Brothels” by Zana Briski was shown at the college.

September 28th – filmmaker Zana Briski (“Born Into Brothels) spoke at the college

October 5th-November 5th – an exhibit by Rochester artist and MVCC graduate (advertising design and production, 1968) Richard Harvey.

October 12th – Professor Ronald Bosco, Distinguished University Professor of English and American Literature at SUNY Albany, spoke on the topic “Living the Natural Life: Emerson & Thoreau at Walden Pond.”

October 19th – John Zaffis of the Paranormal and Research Society of New England spoke at the college. He was co-author of “Shadows of the Dark,” a book about demonic infestation and exorcisms

October 20th – a workshop on theater scenery was held, featuring internationally-known scenery designer Gary Eckhart.

October 27th – Photographer and teacher Frank Calidonna gave a lecture at the Rome Campus on the topic of American cemetery art

October 28th – A murder mystery dinner theater was held on the Utica campus, “Big Louie & The Gang That Couldn’t Think Straight”

October 29th – The fourth annual Gala featured Frank Sinatra tribute performer Cary Hoffman with the Stan Rubin Orchestra

November 4th – a concert was scheduled on the Utica campus featuring mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah and pianist Christopher Devlin. It was cancelled because Nesrallah, a Canadian, could not get a visa on a timely basis, a result of more stringent visa policies related to the war on terror

November 9th-December 16th – An exhibit of photography by Francois Deschamps, entitled “Mr. Hocart Goes to Fiji,” took place in the Small Works Gallery of the Information Technology/Performing Arts/Conference Center Building. Deschamps was a professor at SUNY New Paltz. The exhibit was based on the historical photos by A.M. Hocart, made between 1909 and 1914, and on his own photos taken in Fiji between 1994 and 2002

November 12th – The Golden Dragon Acrobats, the world’s leading Chinese acrobatic troupe, performed in the Theater of the Information Technology/Performing Arts/Conference Center building. They were based in Cangshou, Hebei Province, in China, and had performed worldwide in 65 countries, including performances at the Kennedy Center, Germany’s Elspe Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Caesar’s Palace, and the Seattle Children’s Festival

December 1st and 2nd – The MVCC Readers Theater presented a production of “The SantaLand Diaries & Season’s Greetings”

December 14th – The MVCC Concert Band, directed by Barbara Seaton, presented a holiday concert in the Theater of the Information Technology/Performing Arts/Conference Center building


January 23rd – “Meet the Actor: Vincenzo Amato,” star of “Respiro” – Italian actor met with audience for questions and answers prior to screening of film

January 26th – Lecture by Dr. Ellen Percy Kraly, Colgate University on Austrialian Aboriginal issues. The lecture was entitled “The sun Sets, the golden sky”: Geographics of Vulnerability and Resilience: The Art and Artists of Carrolup Native Settlement, Western Australia

January 29th – Utica Bosnian Youth dance performance: “KUD Bosanska Mladost”

February 4th – A celebration of Black History Month featuring guest speakers, entertainment, etc, sponsored by NAACP

February 8th – Lecture/book signing, “Meet the Author: Allan Foote” – he had written Gateway to Freedom: The American Revolution on the Northern Frontier. He was also president of the Mohawk Valley History Project, a company specializing in research and publication of material of historical interest.

February 10th, Lecture/Demonstration: “Cooking with Love, featuring The Love Chef, Francis Anthony.” He was a television celebrity, had written numerous Italian cookbooks, operated a cooking school in New York City

February 14th – appearance by well-known African-American storyteller Shindana Cooper

February 17th – Concert by “Pistolera,” a New York City band, primarily female, that played a hybrid of Mexican ranchera and pop-folklorico music.

February 21-April 14 – Exhibit at Rome Campus of photos by Instructor William McGowan of the Business & Information Technology: “Between Me and Eternity” A Vietnam Passage”

February 22-March 30 – exhibit by visiting artist illustrator/designer Roger Demuth of Syracuse University

March 1st – Lecture/slide presentation entitled “Mexico: Its People, Culture and Art” by Dr. Clyde McCulley, retired dean, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute School of Art

March 2nd-4th – live dramatic performance by students in the College’s Theater program: “Haunted Lives: Three Short Ghost Plays by John Pielmeier,” directed by Professor James Gifford

March 21st – Lecture/slide presentation by nature photographer Eric Dresser

March 23rd- Live musical performance (Celtic traditional music) by The Causeway Giants from the Syracuse area

March 24th – musical performance by “Dub is a Weapon” and “Dave Hillyard and The Rocksteady 7”

March 25th – Live musical performance at the Rome Campus by “Woodenspoon,” a band combining bluegrass, jazz, Latin, funk, folk and rock.

March 31st – Light show by “Luma”

April 5-May 11 – Exhibit by visiting artists “Studio Incamminati” from Pennsylvania

April 6th – Meet the Poet: Phil Memmer from Deansboro, NY

April 7th – live musical performance by nationally known trombonist Bill Watrous, accompanied by the Rick Montalbano Band

April 20th – “An Evening of Magic” by the Mohawk Valley Magic Guild, at the Rome Campus

April 23rd – A performance at the Rome Campus by volunteers associated with the Capitol Theater, “Shakespeare in the Atrium: Scenes from Romeo & Juliet”

April 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th – Performance by students in the Theater program, “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” directed by Ron Medici

April 28th – Lecture at Rome Campus by Dean Ronald Cantor and his wife, Alexandra Bennett, pertaining to foreign adoption. They had adopted a daughter from China. The title of their presentation: “A Red Thread Stretches from the Hunan Province to the Mohawk Valley: Chinese Adoption”

May 2nd - “An Evening of Magic” by the Mohawk Valley Magic Guild, at the Utica Campus

May 3rd – An Evening of Music with the MVCC Concert Band and the Utica College Band

May 8th – Rome Campus Lecture: “Religious Pluralism & Freedom of Religion: Its Protection in Light of Church/State Relationships,” by Prof. Theodore Orlin, Utica College

May 10th – Performance/Discussion, “Art Farm” (See description of similar event in 2005)