A day of performances and discussions about the music of Frank Zappa will be held Sunday, May 22, at the Brady Educational Center. Zappa, one of the most innovative American composers of the 20th century, bridged his passion for modern classical music with rock and jazz to create more than 60 albums plus numerous concert performance films.
His music, although challenging on many levels, nevertheless appeals to a wide profile of listeners who appreciate Zappa’s insightful lyrics and masterful guitar playing, as well as the engaging grooves and mind-bending rhythmic melodies he composed for his ensembles.
The public and members of the St. Thomas community are invited to this symposium, “Zappa Goes to College,” which will feature two performances of Zappa’s music by an ensemble led by UST graduating music student Alex Maiers. Members of the ensemble include students and professionals from the area; their 11:30 a.m. set will be: “King Kong,” “I’m the Slime,” “Big Swifty,” “Pygmy Twylyte,” “Zomby Woof,” “Chunga’s Revenge” and “Peaches en Regalia.”
The 3 p.m. set: “Ruth is Sleeping,” “Piano Intro to Little House I Used to Live In,” “Purple Lagoon,” “Black Napkins,” “Inca Roads,” “Black Page I, II,” “Echidna’s Arf” and “Big Leg Emma.”
In addition to performances of Zappa’s music, the symposium offers sessions on topics exploring areas of performance and study of Zappa’s music. Session topics include an overview of scholarship on Zappa, a critique of filmography and discography, question-and-answer discussion about performing Zappa’s music on tour, and a group practice tutorial session of selected musical excerpts from the Zappa repertoire featured in the performance. Nonmusicians and musicians alike will be able to participate in the day’s activities.
All interested in attending are encouraged to register on the “Zappa Goes to College” website. The symposium will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $15, which includes lunch and access to all sessions.