CCM Slideshows: Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’

Here is your first look at CCM Opera’s Mainstage production of Mozart’s Idomeneo. Directed by artist diploma student Marcus Shields, this heroic Greek tale runs Thursday, March 30-Sunday, April 2 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

Hailed as Mozart’s first great opera seria, Idomeneo is a classic story of unrequited love, sacrifice and revenge. The plot focuses on a king who is lost at sea during his journey home from war. To survive, he strikes a deal with vengeful god Neptune, but the king is then faced with an impossible decision — to sacrifice his entire nation or his son.

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View the slideshow above for your sneak peek of the production.

For more information on Idomeneo, read our press release and behind-the-scenes interview with lighting designer Oliver Littleton.

IDOMENEO
Composed by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Marcus Shields, director

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, March 30
8 p.m. Friday, March 31
8 p.m. Saturday, April 1
2 p.m. Sunday, April 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Idomeneo are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/idomeneo.html.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

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A model of the scenic design for CCM's production of 'Idomeneo.'

CCM Behind-the-Scenes: Lighting Design for Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’

First-year graduate student Oliver Littleton’s first lighting design work was in churches, small theaters and tiny clubs. Now his designs will be seen in the Mainstage production of Idomeneo at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music.

The opera opens on Thursday, Mach 30 and continues through Sunday, April 2 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are available through the CCM Box Office.

Littleton began his theatre training in Alabama at the age of 12. He wanted to be an actor, but always had an interest in lighting design. After earning a BFA in technical theatre from Adelphi University in New York, Littleton chose to pursue his graduate studies at CCM. He enrolled in CCM’s Theatre Design and Production program, where he studies lighting design and technology.

Light plays a key role in creating the “gods and monsters” in CCM’s production of Idomeneo. In an interview with CCM graduate assistant Charlotte Kies, Littleton shared some of his thoughts on the expressive power of lighting and its effect in Mozart’s first great opera seria.

What drew you to the lighting design program at CCM?
I loved the opportunity to be the lighting designer for a huge variety of genres including dance, opera, theatre and musicals. I value our large production scale and commitment to modern technology in all areas of the technical and design departments. Most important is probably my comfort within the culture of the CCM community.

It’s a hardworking environment that demands excellence, and does its best to surpass being just an educational institution in order to produce great art in a variety of fields.

How does your lighting design for Idomeneo compare to your work in other CCM productions?
This is my first Mainstage production at CCM so obviously scale is the big one! I designed Middletown in the fall and Transformations just a month ago, both in the Cohen Family Studio Theatre. Though they presented unique challenges, the sheer size of those productions was much smaller than this.

We’ve heard that lighting plays a significant role in establishing the abstract setting and in creating the “gods and monsters” of Idomeneo. Can you describe how you use light to create these “special effects?”
The metaphors of gods and monsters in this production of Idomeneo, in my mind, are far more important than their physical presence in the opera. To this end the “gods and monsters” are expressed in lighting with the contrast between restraint and excess.  Using color, intensity and texture to contrast between safe comfort, otherworldly mystery and grimy disappointment helps tell the story of monsters and heroes.  Our sea monster is of the mind.  It is doubt, hate, selfishness and it gets expressed with rich vivid color and powerful waves of light.  I want the lighting to drive this change and make the audience question who really are the monsters and gods of the piece.

A god-like face can be seen in Littleton's lighting design concept for 'Idomeneo.'

A god-like face can be seen in Oliver Littleton’s lighting design concept for ‘Idomeneo.’ Photo provided by Oliver Littleton.

What other roles does the lighting play in this opera?
When you start looking at abstract or ethereal lighting design, the first pitfall you see lighting designers take is forgetting that the point of the production is for audience members to sit in seats and watch people do things. All the fancy design in the world doesn’t amount to anything if the patrons can’t see the performers and understand what is going on in the story. The first job of every lighting designer is the help interpret the story and we do that in a number of ways. Lighting some areas of the stage while leaving others dark tells the audience where to look and focus. Using toplight and backlight that makes it difficult to see facial features gives a sense of drama and tension, while front light imbues a naturalistic nature to the stage. Every choice is informed by the question, “How does this serve the story,” and any choice that is not enslaved to it must be mercilessly eliminated.

Do you have anything else to add about your experience working on Idomeneo?
Idomeneo is a criminally underrated opera that is one of Mozart’s greatest offerings musically. I hope that everyone who watches the show leaves the theater saying things like “what a wonderful and interesting production” or “that was a beautiful way to share that music and story with us.” If they are talking about my lights or the set more than the characters’ choices or vocal prowess, then we as a design team have failed.

The greatest joy I take in my work is contributing to performers sharing stories and feeling with the audience. I hope this show does that for everyone who comes to see it.

CCM’s production of Idomeneo is directed by CCM artist diploma candidate Marcus Shields and conducted by Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung. It is sung in Italian with English supertitles. Find more information on the production in our press release.

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IDOMENEO
Composed by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Marcus Shields, director

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 30
8 p.m. Friday, Mar. 31
8 p.m. Saturday, April 1
2 p.m. Sunday, April 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

 Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Idomeneo are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/idomeneo.html.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies

CCM News Student Salutes
A screenshot from 'Standard Definition' featuring CCM Musical Theatre graduates Ben Biggers and Chris Collins-Pisano.

UC Student Film Accepted into Cleveland International Film Festival

Electronic Media majors Tim Young and Elliot Feltner filmed Standard Definition with their classmates for a school project last spring. Now it will be shown alongside 216 short films from around the world.

Last spring, former University of Cincinnati students Tim Young and Elliot Feltner created a short film for their capstone class that any aspiring filmmaker can relate to. The comedic story focuses on two Cincinnati-based film students who argue about the necessity of spending money on film projects — until they find a magical camera that makes everything it captures appear beautiful.

Nearly a year later, Young and Feltner’s Standard Definition is set to be screened at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival.

“It is unreal that our film was chosen to be screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival,” Young said. “When we first started shooting and cutting it together, we had no plans to enter it into any festivals. We just wanted to make something that we could be proud of and show to our friends and families.”

The 41-year-old film festival will screen 200 feature films and 216 short films from 71 countries between March 29 and April 9. Standard Definition will play at the festival on April 6.

Roommates Young and Feltner were enrolled in the Electronic Media program at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music when they filmed Standard Definition for Kevin Burke’s “Advanced Video Production” capstone course. They both graduated with bachelor of fine arts degrees in 2016.

They had to present Burke with a pre-production plan and a list of group members before the class began, which helped ease the filming process. “Once the class started in January, we had all of the tools necessary to start filming,” said Young, director and co-producer of Standard Definition.

The two film students enlisted help from fellow e-media majors Fritz Pape, Katie Laird and Yiyang Xu, and from other programs across CCM. Lead actors Chris Collins-Pisano, Ben Biggers and Raven Thomas are all 2016 graduates of the Musical Theatre program.

Young was the teaching assistant in Biggers and Collins-Pisano’s “Acting for the Camera” class, taught by Robert Pavlovich. The group applied the acting techniques they learned in class while working on the film, Young said.

From left to right: 'Standard Definition' filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

From left to right: ‘Standard Definition’ filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

“I couldn’t have made the film without the help of our other group members,” Young said. “This project was a collaborative effort, and the film would not exist without them. We had a small crew to make this film compared to others, but the people in our group are so skilled and multi-talented that we were able to pull it off.”

The short film debuted at Tangeman University Center’s MainStreet Cinema last spring and received an “incredible response from the audience,” Young said. They worked with Burke as well as professors Kristyn Benedyk and Matt Irvine from UC’s Digital Media Collaborative program to submit Standard Definition to a handful of festivals and will continue to do so throughout the coming months.

Not everything came easy for the filmmakers, though. In August 2016, Feltner was in a severe car crash on Interstate 75, caused by a man who was later indicted on a charge of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Feltner, who had been an avid amateur inline skater as well as a filmmaker, barely escaped the ordeal with his life. He was injured so badly that he technically died twice, and police were dispatched to his parents’ home to notify them of their son’s death. However, due to quick medical care from nurses who happened to witness the crash, Feltner was resuscitated and airlifted to a nearby hospital. He suffered brain trauma and multiple spinal cord injuries.

For months, he has been in rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver, which specializes in treating spinal cord injuries. He recently returned to Cincinnati and will continue outpatient rehabilitation here.

Young said Feltner is getting better every day. Before the car crash, the roommates saw each other every day and worked on Standard Definition together. After the crash, they were separated as Feltner focused on rehabilitation.

“I basically wrote the film about the two of us, or film students just like us,” said Young, reflecting on how the crash impacted his perspective of the time they spent creating Standard Definition. “Every day after shooting we would come home and stay up late editing together rough cuts of the scenes. It was so exciting and rewarding to see all of our hard work turning into something tangible that we could be proud of.”

“After his accident I only saw Elliot a few times over the course of months as he dealt with his injuries. Going from spending every day and night together to not speaking for weeks at a time was really difficult and really made me appreciate how special our time making Standard Definition together really was.”

Standard Definition plays at the Cleveland International Film Festival on Thursday, April 6 at 9:35 p.m. at Tower City Cinemas, 230 West Huron Road in Cleveland.
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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Jerry Herman’s ‘Mack and Mabel’ Makes CCM Mainstage Debut

CCM proudly presents Mack and Mabel on Thursday, March 2 through Sunday, March 5 in Corbett Auditorium. Aubrey Berg directs with choreography by Patti James and musical direction by CCM graduate student Evan Roider.

ccm-mack-mabel-eblastThe performance is rare treat for Cincinnati audiences; a major production of Mack and Mabel has not been staged in the Queen City for over a decade, and it has never been presented as a CCM Mainstage production. With a memorable score by Broadway master Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly!; Mame; La Cage aux Folles), Mack and Mabel received eight Tony Award nominations after its original premiere in 1975.

“The CCM production of Mack and Mabel is a rare opportunity to see an all-but-forgotten work by one of the masters of Musical Theatre, Jerry Herman,” Berg says. “It is notable for its interesting concept and its melodic, memorable score, one that Herman cherishes as his personal favorite.”

Mack and Mabel is a star-crossed, bittersweet love story that explores both the lighter and the darker side of the Golden Age of Comedy. It focuses on the tumultuous relationship between legendary director Mack Sennett and his greatest star, Mabel Normand.

Mack, an aging director whose silent films become obsolete in the age of “talkies,” tells the story in a series of flashbacks. He recalls his first encounter with Mabel, a feisty barista who Mack turns into a silent film star. However, following a torrid affair with Mack, Mabel leaves to act in dramas for a rival director.

Mack and Mabel struggle to find their places in the changing film industry, and both experience their own triumphs and failures along the way.

Praised by the New York Times as “a musical in the old and true tradition,” Mack and Mabel’s musical style is reminiscent of the silent film era in which it is set. CCM’s production includes silent movie clips, hundreds of costumes and props, a Keystone Kops ballet and a large cast of 38 performers. The show is a perfect vehicle and challenge for CCM’s student performers and technicians, says Berg.

“This is a great opportunity to see and hear a rarely-performed Jerry Herman musical with all the stops pulled out,” adds Evan Roider, music director of the show and a CCM graduate student in orchestral conducting.

“The score highlights Herman’s tremendous talent for melody — brassy two-steps, voluptuous ballads and a tap number that rivals those of the early 20th century,” Roider says. “Audiences can expect an old fashioned score that will have them humming as they leave the theater.”
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MACK AND MABEL
Based on an idea by Leonard Spigelglass
Book by Michael Stewart
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, March 2
8 p.m. Friday, March 3
8 p.m. Saturday, March 4
2 p.m. Sunday, March 5

Location
Corbett Auditorium, College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Mack and Mabel are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/mack-and-mabel.html.

Parking and Directions

Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Mack and Mabel is presented by a special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

CCM News
CCM alumnus Nick Lipari during his time as a student at CCM.

CCM E-Media Alumnus Nicholas Lipari Assistant Edits Latest Star Wars Film, ‘Rogue One’

CCM alumnus Nick Lipari.

CCM alumnus Nick Lipari.

The force is strong with CCM alumnus Nicholas Lipari (BFA E-Media, 2012), who served as assistant editor on the latest film in the popular Star Wars saga, Rogue One! The blockbuster film opened on Dec. 15 with the biggest Thursday preview showing box office receipts of 2016, earning $29 million.

Although he may not be a Jedi (yet), Lipari is quickly making a name for himself in the film industry. “Nick is one of the youngest assistant editors in LA working at this level,” says CCM Professor of Electronic Media Kevin Burke. “The Assistant Editor works directly with the editor on the film,” Burke explains. Prior to his work on Rogue One, Nick served as the assistant editor on the recent live action adaptation of Disney’s The Jungle Book.

This success comes as no surprise to Burke, as Lipari took top prizes in several national competitions during his time at CCM. Lipari received a Student Production Award in the category of “PSA/Commercial” at the Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards in 2012, which recognized his work as writer, director, editor and visual effects designer for an independent production called SFRI Shoe Commercial. After graduating, he was also recognized by the National Broadcasting Society for his work on the opening sequence of a student-produced film, Last Night in Town.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now. Learn more about CCM’s Division of Electronic Media by visiting ccm.uc.edu/emedia.

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CCM Village panoramic photo; Winter of 2015. Photography by Curt Whitacre.

CCM Holiday Gift Guide: Treat Family and Friends to Performing Arts

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music has gifts for all of the art lovers on your shopping list this holiday season. Whether it’s CCM-branded merchandise, tickets to a performance or hiring student musicians for your holiday party, CCM offers something for everyone.

Holiday “CCM Swag”
090116-Ignite 3131-CCM-G185The undergraduate student government (CCM Tribunal) is selling officially branded sweatshirts, long-sleeve T-shirts and hoodies online through Dec. 1. Proceeds benefit student projects throughout the college such as undergraduate masterclasses, Memorial Hall music stands and more.

Prices vary from $18 to $25; items will ship by mid-December to arrive before the holidays. Please visit uc.ignitecx.com/CCMHoliday to place your order.

Book CCM Talent For Hire
Photography by Dottie Stover.Need some carolers for your holiday party? Or a pianist during your family dinner? CCM students and alumni are available to provide live entertainment for your event through Talent for Hire.

Book some of CCM’s “stars of tomorrow” to perform at your event before they go on to the world’s stage. Talent for Hire’s online referral service will connect you with student artists, from singers to actors or instrumentalists. Pay is determined by the individual performers.

Find more information and book CCM Talent for Hire online at ccm.uc.edu/talentforhire.html.

Feast of Carols Holiday Celebration, Dec. 3 and 4
CCM's Feast of Carols Holiday ConcertThis annual concert features yuletide favorites performed by the CCM Concert Orchestra, CCM choral ensembles and outstanding high school and community choirs from the Tristate. Performances take place at 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and free for UC students with a valid ID. For tickets and information, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.html.

cccholidayconcertCincinnati Children’s Choir, Dec. 10
CCM ensemble-in-residence, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, presents its annual Holiday Concert with performances at 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. All 450 members of the ensemble, including CCM resident choirs and satellite choirs from across the Tristate area, will perform holiday songs from around the globe.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and free for UC students with a valid ID. For tickets and information, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.html.

Join us in 2016-17 as CCM presents a season of passion, courage and romance.Mainstage Series Subscriptions and Single Tickets Available
For the acting, dance, musical theatre and opera lovers in your life, CCM offers a variety of Mainstage Series subscription packages. The final performances of the 2016 season occur Dec.1-4, featuring Classics with a Twist from the Department of Dance.

The series continues February through April with suffragette drama Her Naked Skin, Broadway master Jerry Herman’s powerful musical Mack and Mabel, Mozart’s epic opera Idomeneo and the Department of Dance’s celebration of Masterworks and Beyond

Choose between 4-Show or 3-Show Subscriber Packages to ensure the theater aficionados in your life get the most from their Mainstage experience. Packages range from $69 to $112.

Or pick and choose your favorite shows by purchasing single tickets. Prices range from $17 to $35.

For more information on Mainstage Series tickets, please contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.html.

CCM has hundreds of additional performing and media arts events from December through May. Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information and a schedule of events.

 

CCM News
Header for Cincinnati's 2016 May Festival.

Cincinnati May Festival Features CCM Alumna Tamara Wilson as Guest Artist in Verdi’s Otello

Header for Cincinnati's 2016 May Festival.

As a rising star in the opera world, soprano and CCM alumna Tamara Wilson (BM Voice, 2004) has already amassed an impressive international reputation. Cincinnati residents will have an opportunity to hear her voice again this weekend as she joins the May Festival‘s 2016 line-up!

Soprano Tamara Wilson (BM Voice, 2004).

Soprano Tamara Wilson (BM Voice, 2004).

Wilson, a former student of Barbara Honn and the 2016 winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, will return to the Queen City to perform the female lead role of Desdemona in Giuseppe Verdi’s famed opera Otello under the baton of May Festival Music Director James Conlon.

Wilson will be part of a star-studded cast including tenors Gregory Kunde (the 2015 International Opera Awards Male Singer of the Year) and May Festival regular Rodrick Dixon, along with the May Festival Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

The performances starts at 8 p.m. this Saturday, May 21, in Music Hall. Tickets are available online at https://my.cincinnatisymphony.org or by phone at 513-381-3300, so make sure to reserve today to see this rising CCM alumna!

About Tamara Wilson
American soprano Tamara Wilson made her much-anticipated Metropolitan Opera debut in December of 2014 in the title role of Aida, when the New York Times praised the “laserlike authority of her high notes,” and observed: “Her voice blooms with her palpable involvement in her own story: Her singing is urgent, her physical performance restrained yet powerful.”

Nominated for a 2016 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera after her English National Opera debut last fall as Leonora in La forza del destino, the soprano will make further debuts next season at the Bayerischer Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin. She was a finalist in the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a Grand Prize Winner at Barcelona’s Annual Francisco Viñas Competition, a winner of the George London Award and the recipient of both a 2008 Sara Tucker Study Grant and a 2011 Richard Tucker Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.

After launching the present season headlining Aida at the Aspen Music Festival, Wilson returned to Oper Frankfurt as Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlo; sang Lucrezia in Verdi’s I due Foscari in Santiago, Chile; made her Cleveland Orchestra debut; and joined Marin Alsop for Mahler in São Paulo. Back in the States after touring Japan as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, the soprano looks forward to taking Brahms’s German Requiem on an East Coast tour with Seraphic Fire and singing Desdemona in Otello at Cincinnati’s May Festival, in celebration of James Conlon’s 37th and final year as Music Director. Last season Wilson made her role and house debuts headlining Norma at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, following recent debuts at Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Carnegie Hall. In addition to being a CCM graduate, Wilson is also an alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.

Learn more about the achievements of CCM’s students and alumni by subscribing to The Village News!
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Story by CCM graduate Kevin Norton (DMA Saxophone, 2015)

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