Coe's 2008-2009 Marquis Series features diverse performances

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2008-07-28 08:51:20 - General

The Coe College Marquis Series has a long tradition of bringing high quality entertainment and outstanding lecturers to the Cedar Rapids community. The 2008-2009 Coe College Marquis Series features three diverse and dynamic events, including the Capitol Steps comedy troupe, the Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa, and, in its last season, the Guarneri String Quartet.

Marquis Series patrons can purchase series tickets and reserve seats to all events for $30, $20 for students and seniors. Individual event ticket prices are $15 for the general public, $10 for students and seniors. For ticket information, call the Coe College Box Office at 319-399-8600, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. (summer hours).

This season's Marquis Series events include:

The Capitol Steps - Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008, at 8 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
This talented and comedic group formed in 1981 when a Christmas party was being planned for Sen. Charles Percy. Initially, the Capitol Steps were senate staffers who sought to ridicule the people and places of Washington, D.C. Today, the group performs a variety of song parodies and skits that convey the daily news headlines by using satirical humor. Since the Capitol Steps have been together they have consisted of performers who have worked in a total of 18 Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. Over the past 25 years, they have recorded 26 albums and appeared on television shows such as "Good Morning America," the "Today Show," and "Entertainment Tonight."

Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa - Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, at 8 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
This accomplished and well-respected group of musicians, instrumentalists and dancers was founded in 1985. The Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa draws much of its inspiration from the diverse cultures of West Africa where some of the most colorful and striking musical traditions originate. They have traveled all over the world performing traditional Griot songs, reggae and the kora, a 21-stringed instrument of the lute family used across West Africa. The group's songs and dances are influenced by the traditions of several different nations such as Togo, Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and the Ivory Coast. The performers are directed by Bamba Dembele, a successful member of the Super Rail Band of Bamako.

Guarneri String Quartet - Friday, Dec. 5, 2008 at 8 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
Formed in 1964, this string quartet has traveled the world numerous times, and performed in some of the most prestigious halls in North and South America, Mexico, Europe, Asia and Australia. The Guarneri Quartet consists of Arnold Steinhardt (first violin), John Dalley (second violin), Michael Tree (viola) and Peter Wiley (cello). They have won several awards including the 2004 Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award presented by Chamber Music America and the 2005 Ford Honors Award from the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan. The group recently announced their retirement following the 2008-09 season. To celebrate, quartet members plan to continue what they have done extensively over the past 45 years, tour and perform.

The Coe College Lecture and Performance Series is funded in part by a gift from the estate of Sarah Marquis in honor of her father, Dr. John A. Marquis, who was president of Coe College from 1909-1920. The purpose of the series is to bring entertainment and educational experiences to the Coe campus for the benefit of the entire community.