Northern Michigan University will host its first International Poetry, Music and Dance Festival on Saturday, Sept. 7. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in Reynolds Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public.
Featured guests from upstate New York and New York City are poet Mario Moroni, pianist David Gaita and soprano Briana Sakamoto. Moroni, born in Italy, taught Italian language and literature at Yale University and is now at the State University of New York Binghamton. He has published seven volumes of poetry and was awarded the Lorenzo Montano prize for poetry. Gaita, a SUNY Binghamton graduate, studied piano with Michael Salmirs and composition with Christopher M. Loy. He has performed his compositions with a string quartet at the Eastman School of Music, in and around New York City, and in Spain. Sakamoto, also a graduate of SUNY Binghamton, studied with Mary Burgess and has performed throughout New York and in Italy and Spain.
The following NMU faculty members will participate: Beverly Matherne, author of six poetry books and winner of seven first-place poetry awards, including the Hackney Literary Award; percussionist Carrie Biolo, a contemporary musician who has recorded more than 25 CDs and performed internationally; and dancer Maria Formolo, one of the original members of Le Groupe de la Place Royale and former artistic director of Regina Modern Dance Works. Marquette Senior High School student and dancer Clara Biolo Thompson will also perform.
The program is sponsored by the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta and the NMU departments of English, music and modern languages and literatures.