March 26, 2004
Scott Brickman, the University of Maine at Fort Kent's associate professor of music is very humble when it comes to "UMFK 125: The Musical". Seated comfortably in his office, the Chicago native explains in many respects why this has been a magical year for this small northern Maine town.
"I am a very lucky person and I thank the St. John Valley Community for providing me with these magical experiences and opportunities which are making a dream become reality for me," mused the creator of the original musical composition and score.
On April 22, 23, and 24 at 7:30 p.m. Brickman will join several other musicians in performing live 14 original compositions in UMFK's Fox Auditorium.
"The musical is pretty much all original music that has never been heard before," said Brickman.
All the musicians in the ensemble are enrolled in Brickman's music practicum class. The students receive 3 credits towards their degree for their roles in the production. The dedicated group of musicians have been rehearsing 12 hours a week.
"Everyone collaborates together and in rehearsal we are able to change things without any worries. This gives my students insight on the creative process and it's interesting for them to see when things don't work," added Brickman.
The numbers were first written for piano and vocal arrangement. Attached to Brickman's computer is an electronic keyboard that helps form his musical ideas. Using a software package known as "Finale" Brickman has been able to create arrangements for a wind section featuring the sounds of trumpet, baritone and the alto sax. "UMFK 125-The Musical" will also involve a community chorus, that will sing each of the music pieces.
Additional instruments in "UMFK 125- The Musical" include the piano, drums and guitar.
"I think it is really exciting to be doing something new. You have a real sense of ownership. It's not molded off any popular production that you might see in the cities," said Brickman.
Brickman who was born in Oak Park, Illinois holds a bachelor of music from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate in music theory/composition from Brandeis University. His music has been performed in major cities throughout the United States as well as in Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Portugal, Romania, the UK and Yugoslavia.
Since the fall of 1997 Brickman has been teaching music theory and history at UMFK. Additionally, he serves as the co-chair of the New England Region of the Society of Composers, Inc. and is also treasurer of the Northeast Chapter of the College Music Society. He has taught at the Chautauqua Institution, as well as having served as a reader for the High School Advanced Placement Music Exam. Most importantly he considers himself a teacher first.
As for inspiration, it was twofold for Brickman. Because UMFK is inter-woven with the St. John Valley community, he notes, "This community has so embraced me and my family, I was determined to provide my audience with the best musical theater compositions that I could produce."
He confesses that he had people in mind that have served as a guide. Some of his musical forerunners namely American composers Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein are two notable names he cites.
"It is crucial that we show our students that we are producers of art, culture and knowledge, and also, that we are risk takers," concluded Brickman.
Ticket prices are $3 for students and seniors and $5 for adults. Tickets can be purchased in the UMFK university relations office and at any local Key Bank branch.
For more information, contact the university relations office at 834-7557.