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Free Lunchtime Concert Series Celebrating Young Performers

Location: The concerts will be at the intersection of Orange and Westminster Streets next to the Washington Trust branch in the financial district downtown.

Washington Trust and FirstWorks will once again partner to present The Rising Stars of FirstWorks — a FREE summer lunchtime concert series. The weekly series kicks off on Thursday, July 14 and will take place each Thursday at noon through August 4. The series celebrates the diverse talents of the region’s most inspiring young performers and renews Washington Trust and FirstWorks’ shared commitment to community and artistic excellence. Each forty-minute outdoor concert will be held at noon at the Washington Trust financial district branch, located in downtown Providence at the intersection of Westminster and Orange Streets.

“Washington Trust is honored to once again partner with FirstWorks to bring this free performance series to the DownCity Providence Financial District,” stated Joseph J. MarcAurele, Washington Trust Chairman, President, and CEO. “The Rising Stars of First Works series is just one of the many ways we can celebrate what is great about the State of Rhode Island.”

Now in its third year, The Rising Stars of FirstWorks will open with The Laotian Dance Troupe of the Laotian Community Center of RI on July 14. The Laotian Dance Troupe will present a rich and colorful performance that focuses on the Kinnaly, one of the loveliest mythological beings that dwell in the Himmapan Forest. The Kinnaly, also known as “Daughters of the Sky God”, often escape their father’s celestial playground, descending to Earth to enjoy simple pleasures such as bathing in the river. “Kinnaly”, the song of the same name, depicts this particular bathing scene before the runaways fly back to the heavens.

Napua O’ Polynesia — “Flowers of Polynesia” dancers, drummers and musicians will perform both Kahiko (Ancient) and Modern hula on July 21 in a cultural tour of the music and dance of Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti and The Philippines.

On July 28, Music One will perform a showcase featuring students’ original compositions and arrangements. Music One’s innovative program is designed to support and educate youth by cultivating their talents in original music and multi-media projects while providing mentoring, leadership development and empowerment for making positive change.

The series will conclude with RPM Youth Voices on August 4 in a spiritually uplifting and culturally enriching musical performance featuring gospel, jazz and blues.

“This summer four stellar young ensembles make first appearances as ‘Rising Stars of FirstWorks’, entertaining lunchtime audiences with their talent, dedication and creativity,” said Kathleen Pletcher, Executive Artistic Director, FirstWorks. “FirstWorks is delighted to collaborate for a third year with Washington Trust to showcase young musicians, dancers and composers — proving you don’t have to travel the globe to have a rich international arts experience.”

For more information about the Rising Stars concert series or for a preview of FirstWorks Festival 2011 kicking off on September 22, visit: www.first-works.org.

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