Franklin Performing Arts Company Presents Free Performances of JAZZ 4 KIDZ and OPERA FOR KIDS: DR. SEUSS, 3/2 & 3/23

Franklin Performing Arts Company Presents Free Performances of JAZZ 4 KIDZ and OPERA FOR KIDS: DR. SEUSS, 3/2 & 3/23

Franklin Performing Arts Company's annual, free Family Concert Series continues this season with "Jazz 4 Kidz Featuring Mark Poniatowski and Friends" on Sunday, March 2 and "Opera for Kids: Dr. Seuss's Gertrude McFuzz and Green Eggs and Ham" on Sunday, March 23. An FPAC tradition for more than two decades, the Family Concert Series programs begin at 1 p.m. at 38 Main Street in Franklin.

All Family Concert Series events are especially geared to children in length and presentation, and provide young audiences with a fun introduction to the world of live music. The performances expose audiences of all ages to music of many genres and feature talented, professional musicians in an entertaining and interactive format.

Jazz 4 Kidz presents this musical tradition in an up-close and engaging way that's accessible and easy to understand. Audience participation is encouraged. The concert features bassist Mark Poniatowski of Berklee College of Music. Poniatowski has performed with Sid Caesar, Floyd Dixon, Janiva Magness, Rita Moreno, Bob Newhart and Junior Watson. His recordings include Mississippi Moan with the Bruce Katz Band and The George Carlin Show soundtrack.

Opera for Kids features performances of two classic Dr. Seuss stories. Set to music by Robert Kapilow, Green Eggs and Ham brings to life the beloved children's tale with iconic character Sam-I-Am. A great companion piece to Green Eggs and Ham, Gertrude McFuzz introduces the memorable "girl-bird" who learns to like herself just as she is, with her one-feathered tail. Engaging audiences of all ages, each opera is about 20 minutes in length and in rhymed verse. The performance features two members of the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) voice faculty, Shauna Martin and Mariko Matsumura, along with two FSPA students, Lily Barney of Franklin as Sam and Sara Weissinger of Hopkinton as Lolla Lee Lou.

A member of the FSPA Music Faculty since 2006, Shauna Martin received her master's degree in Opera from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Music degree from Brandon University. Her performances include a wide variety of operatic and musical theater roles in works by classical as well as contemporary composers. A native of Winnipeg, Canada, Martin is a founding member of the popular children's show Opera Night in Canada and has performed with Canada's regional orchestras and on CBC Radio.

A native of Tokyo, Japan, Mariko Matsumura received her bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance with high honors from the University of Montana and a master's degree in Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music. Mariko's performance credits include Messiah, Aida, Hansel and Gretl, Der Rosenkavalier, The Magic Flute and numerous premiere performances throughout the Boston area. Mariko has been a member of the FSPA faculty since 2002.

FPAC's 2014 Family Concert Series is sponsored by Berry Insurance and the Franklin Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information, call (508) 528-8668 or visit www.fpaconline.com.

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