News Releases

Sunday, February 19, 2017, 2 P.M. 
The Plaid Dragonflies: Singing Through the Genres 

Concerts at Jewett Series sponsored by University of Maine at Augusta College of Arts and Sciences and UMA Senior College will feature the Plaid Dragonflies: Singing Through the Genres on Sunday, February 12, 2017, 2PM at Jewett Hall Auditorium.  (Snow date: February 19th)

The duo of Val Bennett and Tess Zardus, The Plaid Dragonflies, will play and sing tunes from a variety of genres as they weave their magical harmonies into the music of the Beatles, Johnny Cash, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt and others, as well as their own songs.  They’ll explain their inspirations for music and writing and will encourage you to sing along if you wish.  Val and Tess come to Concerts at Jewett at the request of UMA Senior College students who heard them perform in the classroom and wanted to hear more.  You’ll also hear their special guest, Dave Thibodeau on the bass guitar.

Val Bennett has been performing solo and with bands for years throughout Maine.  She began playing guitar at age 10 and soon found that she enjoyed songwriting. Val is a soloist and bandleader of The Over EZ Band, an all girl band.  She co-wrote and co-produced a CD, the Plaid Dragonflies, with Tess Zardus.

Tess Zardus started with the violin at age 8, wrote poetry and lyrics early on, and studied clarinet, trumpet, baritone, keyboard and vocals.  She came to Maine in 2004, joined Val’s Over EZ Band, and learned to play the bass from Dave Thibodeau.

Dave Thibodeau, tutored by his touring bluegrass musician father and concert violinist grandfather, began playing guitar at the age of 10.  After moving to Maine, Dave studied bass at UMA and has played in diverse ensembles around New England.

Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 2 P.M.  (No snow date) 
Choro Louco:  
dedicated to the century-old tradition of Brazilian choro music.
Based in Portland, Maine, Choro Louco is known for beautiful melodies, complex harmonies and syncopated rhythms, combining elements of European folk and classical, ragtime, jazz, Latin, and African music.  Come and enjoy this ensemble, formed in 2013, and learn about music that is uniquely Brazilian and rarely heard in the US. Four members of the group will perform at Jewett.  Carl Dimow, flute and guitar, plays jazz, classical and klezmer music.  Nicole Rabata, flute, has diverse musical interests including celtic, and classical.  David Newsam, 8-string guitar and mandolin, brings decades of experience as a jazz and classical guitarist.  Eric LaPerna exhibits his great hand percussion skills on the pandeiro, the Brazilian tambourine.

The next concert is Sunday, April 9, 2017, 2PM – Sarah Geller, classical violinist

  • Tickets are $10, students $5, 12 & under free. 
  • Tickets are available at Pat’s Pizza in Augusta, Dave’s Appliance in Winthrop  and at the door.  Call 621-3551, or email for more information or for mail order tickets. 
  • Website:  

UMA Senior College is open to persons fifty years or older and their spouses.  An all-volunteer faculty offers courses on a wide variety of subjects for nominal membership and tuition fees.  Senior College hosts monthly musical programs entitled Concerts at Jewett for moderate admission prices. Forum on the Future produces four programs a year on topics which are both timely and significant for Mainers.  A forum on Elections 2016 was recently presented.  Next year Senior College will host forums on Maine’s economy and transportation for elderly people.