Coe's 2015-16 Marquis Series features renowned musicians, an enlightening theatrical performance, and an award-winning poet

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

2015-08-11 08:57:05 - General

Marquis Series logoThe 2015-16 Coe College Marquis Series features renowned musicians, an enlightening theatrical performance and an award-winning poet. This year's programming includes PREVIOUSLY BLUE, a theatrical presentation which translates the humanitarian strife and disasters of the late 1990s in Serbia into a social need to find beauty in all things. The second event will feature Alloy Orchestra, a three-man musical ensemble that writes and performs live accompaniment to classic silent films. Three-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, a favorite of today’s leading conductors around the world, will perform on the Sinclair Auditorium stage in a Marquis Series event.

New York Times bestselling poet Claudia Rankine, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner and an NAACP Image Award winner, will discuss her work as a poet and playwright. The Marquis Series season concludes with award-winning composer and pianist Daniel Kelly, who will transform the stories of Coe community members into a dramatic and compelling performance that blends jazz, classical and folk music.

Marquis Series patrons can purchase individual tickets for $15 for the general public, $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Cox Box Office at 399-8600, Monday - Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (summer hours).

More detailed information on this year's Marquis Series events includes:

Saturday, Sept. 5 & Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015
7:30 p.m. in Dows Theatre
PREVIOUSLY BLUE, a poetic summit on the mystery of disaster, resilience and beauty, is a capstone project created with sustained devising techniques that have influenced artists all over the world.  Created by director Dijana Milosevic, designer Nesa Paripovic, performer Maja Vujovic from Dah Teater (Belgrade); performers Del Hamilton and Faye Allen from 7 Stages (Atlanta); writer/performer Ruth Margraff and composer/musician Nikos Brisco of the independent Café Antarsia Ensemble (Chicago), PREVIOUSLY BLUE translates the humanitarian strife and disasters of the late 1990s in Serbia into a social need to find beauty in all things life can bestow.  In the face of tragedy, what if there is a world of beauty regardless of personal, political or global injustice?

Alloy Orchestra
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015
7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
Alloy Orchestra is a three-man musical ensemble, writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films. Working with an outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects, they thrash and grind soulful music from unlikely sources. Performing at prestigious film festivals and cultural centers in the U.S. and abroad, Alloy has helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era. Utilizing their famous "rack of junk" and electronic synthesizers, the group generates everything from beautiful music in a spectacular variety of styles to any sound imaginable. At Coe, Alloy Orchestra will perform a new score to accompany the recently restored version of Fritz Lang's epic 1927 science-fiction drama "Metropolis."

Michelle DeYoung
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015
7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
Three-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung is considered to be one of the most exciting artists of her generation. A favorite of many of today’s leading conductors, she remains in high demand by the most distinguished orchestras around the world and records frequently with them. In October, a month before she performs at Coe, DeYoung will be at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York singing the lead role of Venus in an all-star production of Richard Wagner's "Tannhäuser" conducted by the Met's Music Director James Levine. Particularly renowned for her performances of the German concert and opera repertoire, DeYoung’s program at Coe will feature the works of Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss, Manuel de Falla, Sir Edward Elgar and Joseph Marx.

Claudia Rankine
Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016
7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
Claudia Rankine's cross-genre writing often blurs distinctions between poetry and prose, crossing boundaries as it examines and confronts race, self, and macro- and microaggresions. She is a New York Times bestselling poet, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner, and an NAACP Image Award winner. Her newest work, "Citizen," won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry and was a finalist in the criticism category, which made it the first book in history to be a double nominee. "Citizen" was selected as an NPR Best Book of 2014. Rankine currently serves as the Aerol Arnold Professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Daniel Kelly
Saturday, March 19, 2016
7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium
Award-winning composer and pianist Daniel Kelly transforms the stories of everyday people into dramatic and compelling performances that blend jazz, classical and folk music into a signature sound. His music has been declared "powerfully moving" by Time Out New York, and he has brought his unique talent to performances with Grammy award-winning jazz legends Michael Brecker and Joe Lovano, among many other musicians. He has toured throughout Southeast Asia and India as a part of the Kennedy Center and U.S. State Department-sponsored Jazz Ambassador program. Kelly's most recent work is RAKONTO - a groundbreaking series of concert-length, community-based compositions that incorporate the recorded voices and stories of community members. Coe students, faculty and staff will become part of the RAKONTO project, as Kelly will conduct interviews on campus in the fall that will be  integrated into his March performance on the Sinclair stage.

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.