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Noonday Concert Series: Zapion (Middle Eastern Ensemble)

Noonday Concert Series: Zapion (Middle Eastern Ensemble)

Date(s) - 11/21/2019
12:15 pm - 12:50 pm

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Portland Public Library


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Portland Conservatory Of Music


Zapion plays folk, classical and art music from the Turkish and Arab traditions.

About this Event

The Middle Eastern ensemble Zapion features Eric LaPerna, percussion, Maria Wagner, clarinet and nay, Nathan Kolosko, oud and Sarah Mueller, violin. Zapion performs Sufi, Turkish and classical Arabic styles.

About Zapion

A student of the late Udi Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian, Eric LaPerna, formed Zapion in 2010. Zapion plays folk, classical and art music from the Turkish and Arab traditions, as well as Iranian and Balkan music. Zapion got its name from a Greek Taverna Udi Al used to perform at in the 70’s, and are doing their best to keep the music he loved alive.


Multi-instrumentalist, Nathan Kolosko performs and composes music that is both original and eclectic. Music that embraces a wide breadth of repertoire and genres. Melding ancient traditions with contemporary approaches and sensibilities. His compositions have been performed and recorded by musicians around the globe and are currently published by Doberman-Yppan & Productions D’Oz.

Nathan’s recordings have gained the attention of numerous critics. “A high-octane agenda from a guitarist with the skill, imagination, and confidence to bring it alive.” – Classical Guitar, London. Collaboration is a source of inspiration for Nathan. His collaborators have included musicians Carl Dimow and Dan Cosley, visual/performance artist Ling-Wen Tsai, and the middle eastern ensemble Zapion.

Nathan has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including grants from the Allied Arts Foundation and D’Addario Strings. Nathan is on the faculty of the Portland Conservatory of Music.

Eric LaPerna has been a performing musician for over 25 years. He is well versed in many different styles of percussion but Middle Eastern hand drums and rhythmic systems are his specialty. He is a founding member of Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble and Zapion and has played with some of Maine’s most prestigious ensembles and performers including the Daponte String Quartet and the late Udi Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian. Eric is the Director of the Bowdoin College Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, and is a member of the Applied Music Faculty at Bates College as well as adjunct instructor of hand percussion at Bowdoin College. He is on the faculty of the Portland Conservatory of Music.

Sarah Mueller, a Maine native, spent several years touring North America with her family’s bluegrass band, appearing on four albums as a fiddler, songwriter, and arranger. She is an active session player, most recently appearing on the prog metal album Heliodromus by Sunrunner (Minotauro Records), and Am I Born to Die?, the well-received debut release of The Ghosts of Johnson City, a local folk/Americana band. She maintains an active interest in the traditional music of America, Eastern Europe, and more recently, the Middle East. She has performed with numerous regional orchestras, chamber groups, and ensembles, including Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble, Cinder Conk, the Casco Bay Tummlers, and New Orleans-based Bulgarian folk trio Mahala. Sarah is a violin performance major at the University of Southern Maine, where she studies with Dr. Robert Lehmann. She has participated in masterclasses and workshops with Mark O’Connor, the Ying Quartet, Darol Anger, Yale Strom, and Mike Block, among others.

Maria Wagner, performer and private clarinet instructor, has performed with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, PORTopera Orchestra and maintains an active freelance career in Maine. She specializes in the performance of new solo and chamber music and has premiered many works for the clarinet and bass clarinet at new music concerts in Portland and New York City. Maria did her undergraduate and graduate study of Classical clarinet performance and pedagogy at the University of Southern Maine with Dr. Thomas Parchman of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Maria also studies classical and folk music from Middle Eastern traditions with master Armenian oudist and clarinetist Malcolm Barsamian and Middle Eastern percussionist Eric LaPerna, and plays the clarinet and the Arabic nay flute in Zapion Middle Eastern Ensemble. Many of Maria’s students are members of the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble and are regularly accepted into Maine’s district and All-State festivals, as well as university music programs. In 2015 Maria became a certified Yoga instructor with a special focus in Mindful Movement for Musicians: a holistic mind/body/breath approach to making music. Maria is on the faculty of the Portland Conservatory of Music.

When: Thursday, November 21, 12:15 pm – 12:50 pm

Where: Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Tickets: Free to the public | Suggested donation $5

About Noonday Concert Series

The Conservatory proudly presents the 2019-20 Noonday Concert Series. Join us for free quality music presented by our talented faculty and students. These concerts have been an integral part of our mission to provide equal access to quality music since 1996. Bring a bag lunch to enjoy at this library concert.

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