Week of November 13, 2000




Commemorating the 250th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), the Department of Music at Southeast Missouri State University will conclude its semester-long Bach Festival at 8 p.m. Nov. 28 in Academic Auditorium.

The program will feature two celebrated works by Bach, and will conclude with traditional Christmas music arranged for orchestra and chorus.

The performance will be presented by the Choral Union and University Choir, directed by Dr. John Egbert, and the University Orchestra, directed by Dr. Sara Edgerton. Rehearsal accompanists for the choirs are Tyson Wunderlich and Mary Miller, University Choir, and Christy Shinn, Choral Union.

The University Orchestra will open the concert with a performance of Bach's "Orchestral Suite" No. 3. The Suite, which is very bright and spirited, was composed while Bach was in Leipzig and director of that city's Collegium Musicum. One of the movements of this especially popular orchestral work is the well-known, "Air on the G String."

Following a brief intermission, the Choral Union and University Choir will join the Orchestra to perform Bach's festive "Magnificat." The "Magnificat" is one of his most celebrated and most frequently performed works for chorus and orchestra. Rich in musical symbolism, it illustrates Bach's ability to emphasize the meaning of the words through the music.

Bach would have been astounded to know that 250 years after his death, his music would be performed and studied all over the world and that his name was more respected by musicians than that of any other composer. He composed primarily in response to the requirement of his particular situation. His most productive period for church music was the time he spent in Leipzig, the period during which he wrote the "Magnificat" and the "Orchestral Suite" No. 3.

Free concert shuttles will be provided to and from Academic Hall from parking lot #4 on Henderson, between Broadway and Normal. Admission to the concert is $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens, or free with a University I.D.

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Papa Aborigine, a Cape Girardeau band that has been performing for about a decade, will present the opening act at the Sheryl Crow Benefit Concert scheduled for Dec. 2 at the Show Me Center.

Papa Aborigine will begin performing at 7 p.m., with Crow to follow.

"We're very excited" about the upcoming performance," said Billy Keys, keyboardist and vocalist for Papa Aborigine. "It's really an honor to perform on the same stage with a local legend and a giant in the music industry. This is the highlight of our band's career."

Papa Aborigine sets a new standard for rock and roll, with a perfect blend of showmanship and professionalism. The band formed in 1988 when four good friends decided to start living out a dream. The original band, Fried Jam, was comprised of Cape Central High School classmates -- keyboardist and vocalist Keys, guitarist Alex Alan, drummer Keller Ford and bassist Chris Ford. But within a year, the band opted for a name change. Papa Aborigine was formed in 1989.

Outside of their work with the band, Keys is a brass instrument specialist for grades 7 to 12 in the Cape Girardeau Public Schools, Alan is employed in the manufacturing setting in Patton, Mo., and Keller Ford works for Ruby Tuesday's in Cape Girardeau.

Since their first appearance at Players Bar in 1991, the band has performed countless shows, as one might expect from a band with such longevity. They have played everywhere from festival field parties and nightclubs to 7,000 seat arenas. Papa Aborigine has made appearances at the Crossroads Music Festival in Memphis, Tenn., and the City of Roses Music festival in Cape

Girardeau as a main stage act. They have played well-known rooms such as Mississippi Nights in St. Louis and The Hanger 9 in Carbondale, Ill. Papa Aborigine has opened for major headlining acts like Kansas and Eddie Money at the Show Me Center.

In 1997, Ford left Papa Aborigine and left a spot open for a bassist. That slot was filled by bass player Jamie Pender, who outside of the band works as a foreman with Quality Packaging in Cape Girardeau. Pender brings experience and style to the rhythm section and lays a solid foundation for the band to rely on. Keys, along with being a talented keyboardist, also can blow a mean trumpet, and has been known to bring it out for a solo or two some nights. Keller is a great vocalist in his own right and his voice compliments Keys' Jim Morrison-esque voice.

Papa Aborigine's first recording was a self-titled eight song EP. "Papa Aborigine" was released in 1993, was sold at shows and is still highly sought after by fans. The new CD, "Faces," is a more concise collection of great rock songs. The songs on "Faces" are a great representation of Papa's live shows.

Papa Aborigine is slated to provide the opening act Dec. 2 for the Sheryl Crow concert, the proceeds of which will be divided equally to establish endowed scholarships for students enrolled in the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Southeast Missouri State University and at the Kennett Area Higher Education Center. The concert is being sponsored by Southeast Missouri State. Media partners for the events are KFVS12, the Southeast Missourian and Zimmer Radio Group.

Tickets for the concert are $30 and $25 and currently are on sale. To order tickets or for ticket information, call the Show Me Center Box Office at (573) 651-5000 or go to Show Me Center.

There also will be a limited number of sponsor tickets, which entitle ticket holders to preferred seating and a private gala. Sponsorship is available with a $250 contribution, $200 of which is tax deductible. Sponsor ticket holders will be seated in the first several rows on the floor or in Section 123 of the Show Me Center. They also will be entitled to a private champagne-dessert sponsors' gala with Sheryl following the concert, where they will have autograph and photo opportunities with the entertainer. Sponsor ticket holders also will receive reserved parking at Robert A. Dempster Hall with free transportation to and from the Show Me Center.

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