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Arts Abound | Fall 2019 Events Calendar

The College of Charleston School of the Arts offers numerous public arts experiences for well-seasoned patrons and curious novices alike.

Throughout the academic year, the School presents a robust season of CofC Concerts, arts management sessions on navigating the music industrytheatre + dance performances, studio art exhibits and lectures, art/architectural history and historic preservation/community planning lectures, plus the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s unique exhibitions, lectures and films. Many of our events are free to the public and/or provide season packages and discounted ticket options.

View our fall arts calendar for a listing of this semester’s arts experiences. Events are added as the semester progresses, so be social with the School of the Arts for the latest news.


Piccolo Spoleto Stelle di Domani Theatre Series

Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto Festival present a 17-day feast of the arts featuring some of the most talented artists from the School of the Arts, from the local area and from around the world. 

Part of Piccolo Spoleto, the College of Charleston School of the Arts’ Stelle di Domani series features students, faculty and alumni from the Department of Theatre and DanceYou’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll feel the power of dance and the theatre in five professionally presented events. The cultural adventure begins on Saturday, May 25 and continues through Thursday, June 7. View the entire Stelle di Domani series, or see below. (Various times/dates/CofC venues/admission costs)




MOVEMENT UNCOVERED – The College of Charleston Department of Theatre and Dance proudly supports the annual residency concert with Annex Dance Company. Presenting students and professionals in modern dance works that dig deep into the creative process on the path to movement invention, Movement Uncovered includes student choreography and Annex repertory. [more info and tickets]

THE WOLVES – A girls indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of warriors. A portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals, Sarah DeLappe’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Wolves, is a high energy ensemble play examining ambition, fear, and loss with humor and truth in a tightly packed 90 minutes. [more info and tickets]

STOP KISS – In Stop Kiss, Sara and Callie are walking through New York City’s West Village very late at night, when they share their first kiss. This leads to a vicious attack by an angry bystander, in which Sara is horribly injured. She falls into a coma, which becomes one of the major subjects of the play. George, Callie’s good friend, tries to help with the situation, but there is little he can do. Peter, Sara’s ex-boyfriend from St. Louis, comes to help nurse her back to health. Throughout Stop Kiss, relationships are explored, formed, and even ended. Playwright Diana Son elaborates on the depths of human emotion and compassion in this play. [more info and tickets]

UNDER THE LIGHTS – This perennial Piccolo Spoleto Festival favorite highlights original College of Charleston student works. A series of 10-minute plays, Under the Lights features winners of the Franklin B. Ashley Playwriting and the Todd McNerney Student Playwriting Awards. [more info and tickets]

STAGED READINGS – The winner and runner-up of the 2019 Todd McNerney National Playwriting contest are showcased during this special performance. Previous winning plays have come from such notable playwrights as Caridad Svich (lifetime Obie award winner), Arthur M. Jolly, James Still, William Missouri Downs and Donnetta Lavinia Grays. This event is free and open to the public – No ticket or reservation is needed. [more info]


Piccolo Spoleto Festival: College of Charleston Young Artists Series

Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto Festival present a 17-day feast of the arts featuring some of the most talented artists from the School of the Arts, from the local area and from around the world. 

Piccolo Spoleto’s College of Charleston Young Artists Series features some of the College’s most accomplished music students and alumni who perform a wide variety of works, from opera and classical ensemble favorites to jazz standards and originals. For individual concert info see below or click here.

All concerts take place at 12:00 noon in the College’s Recital Hall in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St., except for June 1 at Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St.

Tickets are $11 (FREE for kids 12 and under) and available for purchase online, at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival Box Office (Charleston Gaillard Center), at the concert entrance (up to two hours before the performance) or by calling 866.811.4111.





Monday, May 27 – Isn’t It Romantic?
From the elegance of Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock to Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor, this concert features a lovely variety of music from the 19th century.

Tuesday, May 28 – Back to the Future – Music of the 20th Century
Great composers of the 20th century are revisited, from Copland to Barber and more.

Wednesday, May 29 – College of Charleston Jazz
Jazz favorites and originals performed by College of Charleston students.

Thursday, May 30 – College of Charleston Opera
Scenes, arias and duets from Dialogues of the Carmelites and more.

Friday, May 31 – Mostly Mozart
Mozart’s most recognizable operatic arias (Cosí Fan Tutte and Die Zauberflöte) along with piano sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven.

Saturday, June 1 – College of Charleston Concert Choir
Nationally recognized choral ensemble performs standard repertoire and new contemporary choral works. *This concert takes place at Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St.

Monday, June 3 – Charleston Jazz
Concert by the ever-popular jazz combos featuring successful alumni.

Tuesday, June 4 – Go for Baroque
Music of J.S. Bach and Handel for piano, chamber music and voice, including Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 and Prelude & Fugue in F minor from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.

Wednesday, June 5 – What’s Opera, Doc? 
Famous arias by Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Barber, Menotti, Mozart, Handel and more.

Thursday, June 6 – To Infinity and Beyond
Music of the 20th Century and into the 21st century, including pieces by Shostakovich and Barber

Friday, June 7 – A Day With Romantics
Music for violin, cello, piano and voice by Chopin, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky and others.

2018-19 School of the Arts Awards

The School of the Arts honors the achievements of a select group of students who have demonstrated excellence in their respective disciplines. The Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 10 at the Queen Street Playhouse (1:30-3:30pm) recognizes those who have set a standard for their peers as well as those who will follow in their footsteps.

School of the Arts Scholars
Celeste Marie Caldwell
María Carrillo-Marquina
Cody Anne Christie
Bethany Elise Fincher
Abby Lien Foss
Anna Elizabeth Harkins
Katherine Elizabeth Pocock
Anna Marie Schuldt
Anna Rose Schumann

Outstanding Student Award
María Carrillo-Marquina
Bethany Elise Fincher

Dean’s Excellence Award
Anna Marie Schuldt

School of the Arts Scholars
Dana Baxley
Bridget Ann Blackburn
Ellen Ashley Feringa
Anna Elizabeth Harkins
Trent Matthew Humphrey

Outstanding Student Award
Ellen Ashley Feringa
Anna Elizabeth Harkins
Trent Matthew Humphrey
Patricia Ann Ploehn

Dean’s Excellence Award
Leah Elizabeth Bancheri

School of the Arts Scholars
Austin Darby
Abigail Dentler
Madeleine Fink
Abby Foss
Alexandra Sachiko Higaki
Jane Litton
Amy Smith
Sophia Winter

Outstanding Student Award
Joshua Bristow
Erin Filler
Phillip Greene
Alexandra Sachiko Higaki
Caroline Hill
Nicari Legette
Rosie McWilliams
Callista Milligan
William Coleman Ott
Sherkeyah Pearson
McKenzie Quinn-Barnett
Virginia Swift
Hailey Wilson

Dean’s Excellence Award
María Carrillo-Marquina

Julie Jett Arts Management Citizenship Award
Madeleine Fink

School of the Art Scholars
Eleni Kamaratou
J. Weston Mize
Omar Valencia

Outstanding Student Award
Eleni Kamaratou
J. Weston Mize
Omar Valencia
John “Fisher” Wilson

Dean’s Excellence Award
Eleni Kamaratou

Mary Stewart Allan Award for Violin
Tianyu Liu
Hui Jin

Marguerite Elfe Erckman Vocal Award
Alexandra Crawford

The Deborah and John Zeigler String Award
Tianyu Liu

The Melvin H. & Virginia Peacock Goodwin Award for Instrumental Performance
Miller Boone

Edwin Davis Peacock Award for Excellence in Piano
Eleni Kamaratou

Sue Simons Wallace Award for Excellence in Music
Eleni Kamaratou

The Music Department Alumni Award
John “Fisher” Wilson

Bunnie Monger Memorial Award
Harper Mobley

School of the Arts Scholars
Danielle Dungo
Anna Newell
Abbey Sandy
Anna Schuldt
Anna Schumann
Anna Todd
Amber Vasquez
Anna Walker

Outstanding Student Award
Madeline Centracchio
Kaleb Dill
Amy Hyman
Sydney Lovice
Marquise Pointer
Alexandra Steinberg
Lisa Thompson

Dean’s Excellence Award
Marquise Pointer

The Artists and Craftsman Award
Megan Lawrence

Brian and Kathryn Rutenberg Studio Art Award
Lilliana Cameron
Natalea-Rae Gibbons
Taylor Moody
Caliyah Parker

The Corrie McCallum Award for Printmaking
Anna Schumann

The Laura M. Bragg Memorial Award
Anna Newell

Summerville Artists Guild Award in Memory of Detta Zimmerman
Amber Vasquez

The Tyzack Prize
Amber Vasquez

School of the Arts Scholars
Sabrina D’Andrea
Brent Dorwart
Ceili Hesselgrave
Frances Jackson
Audrey Lamb
Margaret Lavigne
Kara Shannon

Outstanding Student Award in Theatre
Natasha Cox
Sabrina D’Andrea
Ceili Hesselgrave
Margaret Lavigne
Kara Shannon

Outstanding Student Award in Dance
Erin Filler

Dean’s Excellence Award (Theatre)
Brent Dowart

Dean’s Excellence Award (Dance)
Audrey Lamb

Arthur McDonald Award for Theatre
Noah Ezell

Center Stage Award
K’yundra Martin

Eliza Ingle Dance Honor
SarahRose Hall

Theatre & Dance Faculty Award
Julia Kabernagel
Margaret Lavigne
Trisha Minsk
Abbi Perry
Kara Shannon
Laurel Trzeciakiewicz

Franklin B. Ashley Playwriting Award
Brent Dorwart

Future Teacher Award
Brent Dorwart

Hannah Strickland Award for Excellence in Design
Ryan Harris

Laura Manning Turner Musical Theatre Award
Abbi Perry

Maria Alicia Elfe Award for Theatre
Ceili Hesselgrave

Valerie Morris Award for an Outstanding Performance
by an Actor or an Actress in a Play
Noah George

Dr. Norton M. Seltzer Prize
Arts Management: Shannon Simone Liberty
Studio Art: Sydney Lovice
Theatre: Kara Shannon
Young Contemporaries: Anna Schumann

Kathryn Norton Award for Service
Anna Marie Schuldt

Jean W. Johnson Study Abroad Awards
Victoria Trakas | CEA in Florence, Italy (fall 2019)
Tianyu Liu | Michael Hill International Violin Competition – Auckland, New Zealand (summer 2019)
Erin Carroll | College of Charleston in Scotland (summer 2019)
Brooke Faulkner | College of Charleston in Scotland (summer 2019)
Malcolm Eli Major-Wright | College of Charleston in Sweden (summer 2019)
Ian Wright | College of Charleston in Spain (summer 2019)
Madeleine Fink | HSS Fellows at Franklin University, Switzerland (spring 2019)

The Wattle and Daub Travel Award
Erin Carroll | College of Charleston in Scotland
Abby Foss  | College of Charleston in Germany

Scott Shanklin-Peterson Internship Awards
Claire Crawford | fall 2018
Mariah Gehringer | fall 2018
Emily Tran | fall 2018
Carly Valdez | fall 2018
Erin Becwar | spring 2019
Nicole Loftis | spring 2019
Beth Miller | spring 2019

ExCEL Awards (Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership Awards)
María Carrillo-Marquina | Outstanding Student of the Year, School of the Arts

South Carolina National Association of Teachers of Singing Auditions
(Musical Theatre Category, Advanced to Regional)

Mary Matsler | student of Kim Powell
Regan Pelicano | student of Amanda Castellone

South Carolina National Association of Teachers of Singing Auditions
(Classical Category, Advanced to Regional)

McKenzie Anderson | student of David Templeton
Allie Crawford | student of David Templeton
Katherine Kuckelman | student of David Templeton
Mary Matsler | student of Kim Powell
*Lauren Reynolds | student of student of David Templeton
*Lauren Reynolds advances to NATS National YouTube Round

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival — Nationals
Noah Ezell | 1st place in Dramaturgy (O’Neill Fellowship)

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival — Region 4
Noah Ezell | 1st place in Dramaturgy
Ceili Hesselgrave | 1st place in Scene Design; Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Fellowship
Victoria Leatherman | 1st place in Stage Management
Kayla Porter | Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Fellowship

Southeastern Theatre Conference
Natasha Cox | 1st place in Undergraduate Costume Design
Kenya Gadsden | Undergraduate Young Scholar Award
Margaret Lavigne | Honorable Mention in Costume Crafts for her work on Marisol

The School also acknowledges illustrious alumni:

Award of Achievement
Eric Sean Fogel ’97
Michael Ann Wilson ’00

Award for Service 
JohnPaul Schutz ’00

Young Alumnus Award
Ginger Vallen ’05
Lauren Frances Evans ’11
Giovanna Quattrone ’15

2019 School of the Arts Alumni Award Recipients

The School of the Arts honors the achievements of a select group of alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their respective disciplines. These arts professionals have set a standard for current students who will follow in their footsteps. The recipients of the 2019 Alumni Awards are:

Alumni Award for Achievement
Eric Sean Fogel ’97

Originally from Charleston, SC, Eric became passionate about classical music and dance at an early age, inspired by the Spoleto Festival. After graduating from the College of Charleston in Theatre Eric furthered his studies at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Dance Schools on scholarship in New York City.

As a Concert Dancer, Eric was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for four years. He also was a member of Ben Munisteri Dance Projects for fourteen years performing at BAM, Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theatre, Dance Theatre Workshop and in Germany. Other NY concert dance work includes NY City Opera, NY Philharmonic, Mark Dendy, Max Luna, and Donald Byrd / The Group. In Musical Theatre, Eric performed on the National Tours of Evita! (Tango Dancer), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and three productions of West Side Story: a European Tour, at La Scala Opera, and an International Tour. As an Associate on Broadway, three National Tours and at Encores City Center, Eric was fortunate to assist and learn from many Choreographers and Directors.

As an Associate Choreographer, Eric worked on Everyday Rapture Broadway, Little House on the Prairie, We The People, Happy Days! The Musical National Tours, My Fair Lady, Most Happy Fella! Lincoln Center, and Bells Are Ringing at Encores. As a Choreographer World Premieres include Musicals by: Jeanine Tesori The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me; Frank Wildhorn Artus! Excalibur; Ben Moore Odyssey;  and XSBN- China’s Princess Butterfly. The Kennedy Center Choreographic credits include; Porgy and Bess, Samson and Delilah, Candide, West Side Story, The Little Prince, Florencia en el Amazonas, La Forza del Destino. Eric is currently in his 9th Season at the Glimmerglass Festival and in collaboration with Director Francesca Zambello as her Head of Stage Movement and Choreography. Eric has also created productions for: Atlantic Theatre II, Opera Bordeaux, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera Kansas City, Los Angeles Opera, Metropolitan Museum, Milan Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Opera Philadelphia, Paris Fashion Week, Seattle Opera, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Théâtre du Capitole, Theater St. Gallen, and Washington National Opera.

Eric continues to study in both classical and modern forms of dance and music, while working to create new visuals in story telling. Eric is currently on staff as Head of Choreography and Stage Movement at the Glimmerglass Festival. His choreographic work has been featured on Television, in Theatres and Opera houses around the world.


Alumni Award for Achievement
Michael Ann Wilson ’04

Michael Ann Wilson has committed her career to serving others, particularly artists. Currently Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Director of Company Operations & Touring, her primary responsibilities include budget management, union relations, contract negotiations, foreign artist taxes and visas, long-range planning, workers compensation and wellness, and tour execution. Before relocating to the West Coast in 2012, she served as Manager of Dance Programming at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and General Manager of The Kennedy Center’s ballet company, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. During her eight season tenure at The Kennedy Center Michael Ann also produced the Local Dance Commissioning Project, an annual granting program supporting the creation of new work by artists from the Maryland/Virginia/DC region. Michael Ann proudly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Arts Management from the College of Charleston accompanied by a minor study in Dance (’04). During her treasured tenure at CofC, Michael Ann also taught dance at Ashely River Creative Arts Elementary School, was a member of the Chi Omega Fraternity as well as the Robert Ivey Ballet. She also spent her senior year interning with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.  Michael Ann is a Maryland 4-H All-Star and an active member of Dance/USA, the nation’s service organization for professional dance; and a Board Member of Seattle’s Accelerator YMCA branch which provides holistic support to young people and their families who have experienced trauma.

Michael Ann was selected to participate in Arts Presenters’ Emerging Leaders Institute (’08), Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training (’13), AMEX Leadership Academy (’14), and the AMEX Leadership Academy Alumni Summit (’18). Michael Ann has also served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts (Dance) and Dance/USA’s Engaging Dance Audiences program. Michael Ann is co-founder of Dance/USA’s Company Management Affinity Group which connects colleagues from across the country for learning and sharing. Michael Ann resides in Seattle where her family enjoys supporting the city’s rich cultural scene as well as Seahawks football.

Alumni Award for Service
JohnPaul Schutz ’00
JohnPaul Schutz, an Atlanta native, is a Foreign Service Specialist with the United States Department of State; mainly focused on VIP visit logistics and event management, known to many in the service as “the 4th of July guy.” He has served in Belgrade, Serbia; Islamabad, Pakistan; Paramaribo, Suriname; Asmara, Eritrea; and is currently posted in Mexico City, Mexico. Additionally, he has completed short-term temporary duty assignments to London, England, and Lima, Peru; the latter was to assist in former President Barack Obama’s final overseas trip of his presidency, to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference of 2016. Also in 2016, JohnPaul collaborated on the creation of an event management course curriculum for the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in Falls Church, Virginia. This fall, JohnPaul will transfer back to the United States, after more than ten-years overseas, to be a training instructor at FSI.
Before joining the Foreign Service, JohnPaul taught and directed at numerous Atlanta area schools and theatres. Ultimately, he became an Arts Coordinator for the Cobb County Division of Cultural Affairs in Marietta, GA where he managed arts centers, art galleries, historic sites, pottery studios, fieldtrip programs, theatres, concerts, festivals, and more. Most notably, he co-produced the county’s 175th anniversary celebration at the sold out 2,750-seat Cobb Energy Center with a one-million dollar budget and the coordination of numerous professional and amateur performing groups from all disciplines, as well as, turning the venue’s lobby into an art gallery honoring the best the county’s visual art community had to offer. Additionally, JohnPaul founded The Theatre Project of Mableton, a community theatre organization for young actors, with whom JohnPaul’s wife Heather currently directs and choreographs. The program has recently celebrated its 13th anniversary, routinely boasts audiences of more than 750-people per performance, and has become one of the leading feeders into the Cobb County Center for Excellence in Performing Arts magnet program at Pebblebrook High School.
While at the College of Charleston JohnPaul served in Theatre Department and School of the Arts leadership roles, as well as a frequent collaborator in The Emmett Robinson Theatre, Theatre 220, Director’s Showcase, and Playwrights Tonight; as well as appearing at the Gibbes Museum of Art, First Night of Charleston, and Red Tie Night Charleston. At the time of his graduation, JohnPaul worked on approximately 30 theatrical productions. And according to a waiter (and fellow CofC alum) in Washington, DC advising him not to order the Shrimp & Grits, claims JohnPaul is best known for his performances in SubUrbia and Angels in America Part I: Millennium Approaches. In additional to his undergraduate degree of Theatre, JohnPaul also has a Masters of Public Administration.
JohnPaul met his wife Heather on a blind date, orchestrated by his former Cobb County supervisor, while home on an R&R from Eritrea. Eight-months later, they engaged to be married while she visited him overseas, and finally jumped the broom on Columbus Day, 2014. Together, they have 4 children, all boys, Grayson (age 13), Beau (11), Gilliam (9), and Wade (9). Three of them are fans of the Atlanta Falcons, and the other will pay his way through college.

Young Alumni Award
Ginger Vallen ’05

Ginger Vallen is the Director of Special Events at Carnegie Hall, where she oversees the planning, production, and execution of approximately forty annual events, including fundraising galas, stewardship cultivation events, and membership appreciation functions. In addition to supporting the day-to-day operations of the Hall, money raised from these events is used to fund Carnegie Hall’s artistic, education, and social impact programs on a local, national, and international scale. Over the course of her time at Carnegie Hall, Ginger has been fortunate enough to collaborate on events featuring artists and musicians as varied as Sting, James Taylor, Audra McDonald, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma and Gustavo Dudamel, to name a few. Prior to joining Carnegie Hall, Ginger worked as a Special Events Associate at Broadway’s Roundabout Theater Company where she was responsible for planning opening night cast parties and gala performances, as well as raising funds for Roundabout’s philanthropic endeavors. Additionally, she has worked on live events with MTV (specifically the Video Music Awards) and the Drama League. Ginger’s career truly began during her time as a student at the College of Charleston, where she was able to supplement her education with real-world experience including interning with Charleston’s own Theater 99, Spoleto Festival, and the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs. She is a 2005 graduate of CofC with a Bachelor of Art degree in Arts Management and minors in Theatre and Film Studies.

Young Alumni Award
Lauren Frances Evans ’11

Lauren Frances Evans currently lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Samford University. Evans is a 2011 graduate of the Honors College at College of Charleston with degrees in both Business Administration and Studio Art. She received an MFA from the University of Maryland and has participated in artist residencies at Franconia Sculpture Park, Elsewhere Living Museum, and the Vermont Studio Center. In 2014, Evans was a recipient of the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, and the following year she received an Artist Project Grant from the Iowa Arts Council. While living in Iowa, Evans worked as the Visual Arts Coordinator for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, served as the artist in residence for the Iowa City Community School District, was the curator of the Times Club Gallery at Prairie Lights bookstore, and also taught courses at both the University of Iowa and Grinnell College.

Evans’s creative work, which ranges from meticulously layered collage to large mixed-media structures, addresses the body as a site of irresistible paradox. In her research, she investigates the meaning of the creative act, matters of origin, symbolic centers, and the significance of the maternal experience.
To learn more about her work,

Young Alumni Award
Giovanna Quattrone ’15
Giovanna Quattrone, a recent transplant from New York City to Savannah, Georgia, is currently working as an independent Fine Art Consultant. She earned her bachelor degrees in Art History and Arts Management from the College of Charleston in 2015, and graduated with honors from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2017 with a Masters in Art Business.
During her senior year at the College, Giovanna was the named as the sole recipient of the Art History department’s Haga Scholarship, and the Sotheby’s Institute of Art Summer Study Scholarship was awarded to her the previous year. During her last three years as an undergraduate student, she worked in dual capacities for the Art History department as an administrative assistant and a visual resource center assistant.
Immediately following graduation, Giovanna moved to New York to pursue her Master’s degree. Alongside her coursework, she worked as a graduate assistant at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Also during this time, she published an article titled “The Art of Taxing Capital Gains” in the New York State BAR Association’s Entertainment, Art and Sports Law Journal.
Following an internship with Lofty Inc. – an online marketplace for fine and decorative art – she stepped into a full-time position as a Sales Associate for the company. In 2017, Giovanna began working at Athena Art Finance, where she worked as an Analyst on the Art Valuation & Research team, until her recent relocation back south. In this role, she was responsible for art historical and provenance research on artworks spanning various time periods for collection management, acquisition, and valuation purposes. Her current clients include both financial institutions and individuals.

In 2011, the School of the Arts established an Alumni Awards program in order to honor those former students who have made significant progress in their careers, the arts or have given of themselves as donors and/or volunteers. View a full list of past winners.

CofC Concert Choir Spring Performance

The College of Charleston Concert Choir will perform a spring concert of works by Eric Whitacre, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22, 2019 at the Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St. Admission is $10 at the door; students are admitted free of charge. For more information call (843) 953-5927.

The 2018-19 school year marks Director of Choral Activities Rob Taylor’s 20th anniversary season with the choral program at the College.

The College of Charleston Concert Choir is the premier touring choral ensemble at the College of Charleston. Under the direction of Dr. Robert Taylor, the Concert Choir has toured throughout the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and has performed at national, regional and state American Choral Directors Association Conferences, three National Collegiate Choral Organization Conferences, regional American Guild of Organist conferences, and multiple South Carolina Music Educators Association conferences. The Concert Choir’s membership is composed of both music majors and non-majors, representing a wide representation of the College’s student population. The Concert Choir is part of the College’s Department of Music. Taylor, serves as Director of Choral Activities at the College, the Founding Artistic Director of the professional Taylor Festival Choir and Taylor Music Group, and the Director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

CofC Orchestra: Works by Debussy, Tchaikovsky + More

The College of Charleston Orchestra will perform a spring concert conducted by Yuriy Bekker. The program will include Claude Debussy’s Petite Suite, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations (featuring cellist/faculty member Natalia Khoma), Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G Major and a world premiere of The Overview Effect by College of Charleston composition student Will Goss.
DETAILS: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., at the Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun St. Admission is free, with $20 suggested donation for adults. For information, call 843.953.6315 or visit
The College of Charleston Orchestra is a small orchestra consisting primarily of music students from the College. Some of the students are non-music majors who are experienced performers that participate in order to stay active as musicians. Members of the Charleston Symphony also participate. Under the direction of Yuriy Bekker, Charleston Symphony Concertmaster and Principal Pops Conductor, the chamber orchestra performs twice each year.

Concert by Vocal Faculty Powerhouses Saundra DeAthos-Meers and David Templeton

The 2nd Monday Series at the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present a concert featuring faculty duo Saundra DeAthos-Meers (soprano) and David Templeton (baritone) for an evening of operatic scenes, arias and art song, joined by collaborative pianist Robin Zemp.

The concert will take place on Monday, April 8, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., in the Recital Hall of the Simons Center of the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. DeAthos-Meers and Templeton will perform duets from Lucia di Lammermoor (Gaitano Donizetti) and La Traviata (Giuseppe Verdi), as well as cycles by Henri Duparc and Modest Mussorgsky. General admission is $15 with student tickets at $10 with school I.D. Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved by emailing

Lyric soprano Saundra DeAthos-Meers has been heralded for the remarkable quality of both her vocal and dramatic presentations. Most recently, she has received rave reviews at Utah Festival Opera for her portrayals of Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica. The HERALD JOURNAL states that, Defying typecasting, soprano Saundra DeAthos plays an unfaithful wife in Il Tabarro and a doomed nun minutes later in Suor Angelica. Ms. DeAthos captures the emotional torment in both roles and her singing is breathtaking, especially in her tragic aria “Senza Mamma.” Excelling in a varied and broad repertoire, she began her career as an Adler Fellow and in the Merola Opera Program with San Francisco Opera. Flourishing in the spotlight, DeAthos-Meers claimed numerous principal assignments with San Francisco Opera and on tour with Western Opera Theater. Of her San Francisco Opera performances, OPERA Magazine admired, “Saundra DeAthos imparted vulnerability and an elegant soprano.” Accordingly, the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE noted, “Saundra DeAthos delivered a virtuosic performance… a real charmer of a soprano, [she] made one love the character.” SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE confirmed, “Saundra DeAthos nailed all of [her] coloratura flights and showed perfect timing.” DeAthos-Meers has graced the stages of many outstanding opera companies across the United States, such as San Francisco Opera, Western Opera Theater, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Virginia Opera, Eugene Opera, Amarillo Opera, Sacramento Opera, Opera North, Opera Illinois and West Bay Opera among others.

While her entry into opera focused largely on the operas of Mozart, highlights of her recent repertoire includes her acclaimed portrayal of the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Marguerite in Faust, Gilda in Rigoletto, Micaëla in Carmen, and Mimì in La Bohème. DeAthos-Meers made a stunning role debut as Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly with the Helena Symphony Orchestra and reprised the role with Amarillo Opera where she was described in the North Texas Performing Arts News as “vocally…stunning. She meets the extravagant demands that Puccini makes on his hero without any strain whatsoever. She has a full-throated lyric-verging-on-verismo soprano and can still float a gorgeous pianissimo note at the top of her range. In the final scene, she ate the scenery and left the audience in tears.” Other recent engagements include Nedda in I Pagliacci with Amarillo Opera, Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica in Utah Festival Opera’s presentation of Puccini’s Il Trittico.  DeAthos-Meers received rave reviews for her portrayal of Micaëla in Carmen with Denyce Graves for Opera Charleston. Of her heart-rending performance as Micaëla, Charleston’s POST AND COURRIER exclaimed, “Soprano Saundra DeAthos, who played Micaela, possessed a beautiful, sweet tone and made you want to shake some sense into José, who might have married her if he hadn’t fallen for the wild gypsy temptress.” The CITY PAPER added, “Soprano Saundra DeAthos melted hearts with her portrayal of Micaëla; her silvery, emotionally naked singing made me cry in her lovely act III aria.”

In addition to her operatic activities, DeAthos-Meers performs regularly with symphony orchestras throughout the United States including the San Francisco Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Helena Symphony Orchestra, Fresno Symphony Orchestra, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra among others. She offers a remarkably broad concert repertoire that encompasses Handel’s Messiah and Jeptha, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Dvořák’s Te Deum, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs and Fauré’s Requiem. She was featured in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Charleston Symphony and Chorus for a performance telecast on PBS.

DeAthos-Meers holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Central Michigan University, a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois, is a graduate of the Opera Institute at Boston University. She received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature with a minor in Vocology, also at the University of Illinois. DeAthos-Meers recently accepted a position at the College of Charleston as Head of Opera after spending 10 years as the Music Coordinator in the Theatre Department at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.

David Templeton has garnered critical and popular praise as much for the stunning quality of his vocal portrayals, as for his striking dramatic and physical presence. Internationally, he has been admired as Silvio in I Pagliacci and Valentin in Faust with Opera de Puerto Rico, as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La Bohème, and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette for Edmonton Opera, Marcello in La Bohème and Valentin in Faust for both Winnipeg Opera and Manitoba Opera. In the United States, Templeton has appeared to great effect with Nevada Opera, Opera Columbus, Toledo Opera, Hawaii Opera, Sarasota Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, Fresno Opera, Piedmont Opera, Mobile Opera, and Illinois Opera, among others.

Of his international appearances, OPERA Magazine stated, “Baritone David Templeton displays a strong voice and a convincing air of authority.” Das Opernglas concurred, “Faultless enjoyment on this evening was provided by David Templeton, who impressed with his evenly measured, fully formed baritone.” Accordingly, the American Record Guide was effusive regarding his Germont in La Traviata, “Plangent-voice baritone David Templeton made the most of his fully restored scenes in Act II, and in the extended final scene; he reminded me of the young James Morris.”

A perennial audience favorite with Opera Columbus, Templeton has bowed as the title character in Don Giovanni, in addition to the principal baritone roles in La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Carmen, and The Merry Widow. Indeed, the Columbus Dispatch affirmed, “Opera Columbus regulars already recognize the talents of David Templeton, which grow more impressive with every appearance. Templeton suggests he is poised to emerge as one of the next great American baritones.”

Highlights of past seasons have been Don Giovanni with Nevada Opera, I Pagliacci and Eugene Onegin for Hawaii Opera, La Bohème for Toledo Opera, Le Nozze di Figaro and Così Fan Tutte for Connecticut Grand Opera, La Traviata and Luisa Miller for Sarasota Opera, Carmen for Fresno Opera, La Traviata with Piedmont Opera, and I Pagliacci for Mobile Opera.

On the concert and recital stage, Templeton has performed extensively throughout the United States in a diverse repertoire that encompasses Brahm’s Ein Deutches Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Mussorgsky’s Songs of Dances and Death, Ravel’s Don Quichotte et Dulcinée, Schubert’s Schwanengesang, and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs.

Templeton holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Ohio State University.

Robin Zemp, pianist, made his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1984 to both public and critical acclaim. The New York Times praised his “intriguing coloristic effects” and “strong, firm, and secure” playing. In constant demand as both soloist and ensemble player, he performs over 30 different programs each season. The late Robert Jones wrote in the Charleston Post and Courier, the “pianist was the familiar Robin Zemp, who played beautifully as he always does.”

On the faculty of the College of Charleston School of the Arts, he teaches piano and vocal coaching. His students have won many state and regional competitions and awards. He has served in many capacities with the South Carolina Music Teachers Association including President and Vice-President for Conferences. In 2006, Zemp received the Association’s Distinguished Service Award. In March 2011, he was honored by the Music Teachers National Association as an MTNA Foundation Fellow for making significant contributions to the music world and the music teaching profession. Zemp is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore.

Housed within the College of Charleston School of the Arts, CofC Concerts includes five extraordinary series: International Piano Series, Magnetic South, Charleston Music Fest, 2nd Monday Series, and CofC Ensembles (CofC Concert Choir, Opera and Orchestra), featuring international, national and regional artists, as well as the award-winning student ensembles in the College of Charleston’s Department of Music.

Me Three: Exploring Female Composers Through Piano Trio

Housed in the College of Charleston School of the Arts, Charleston Music Fest will present esteemed faculty trio Janet Orenstein, (violin), Allison Gagnon (piano) and Brooks Whitehouse (cello), all hailing from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). Whitehouse and Orenstein were founding members of the Guild Trio, for whom composer Sheila Silver was commissioned by Chamber Music America to compose To the Spirit Unconquered. Gagnon was a founding member of the Martlet Trio in Montreal, Canada. Gagnon enjoys playing great works of the sonata literature with each of her colleagues, and together they now enjoy both the trio repertoire and playing in larger chamber ensembles together. This beautifully curated concert program for Charleston Music Fest will honor two of the foremost female composers of the 20th century, Rebecca Clarke and Sheila Silver. This concert is a special offering during College of Charleston’s Year of Women celebration and will take place on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall at the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. General admission is $25 and tickets for College of Charleston students are $10, available ONLINE, at the door, by emailing or calling (843) 953-6315.

Artist Bios:

Violinist Janet Orenstein has enjoyed an active performing career both in the United States and abroad as a chamber musician, soloist and advocate of contemporary music. She is a founding member of the Guild Trio and toured with them extensively in Canada, Europe and the United States for over 10 years. She has also appeared as a chamber musician in New York’s Alice Tully and Merkin Concert Halls, as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. As a member of the Greensboro Symphony, she has appeared numerous times in chamber concerts with Dimitri Sitkovetsky.

Orenstein toured extensively in Africa, giving recitals and master classes with pianist Christina Dahl. Upon her return she contracted focal dystonia, which made it nearly impossible for her to move her left hand. Since moving to N.C. with her husband and two children, she taught violin and chamber music at various times at University of North Carolina Greensboro, Wake Forrest University and currently at UNCSA, where she teaches alongside Ida Bieler. In 2013, Orenstein gave her first solo recital in 17 years, after working continuously during those years to recover from focal dystonia.

Canadian pianist Allison Gagnon directs the Collaborative Piano Program at UNCSA, and appears in recital throughout the United States and Canada, and in Europe, with both instrumental and vocal colleagues. At UNCSA, she performs not only with faculty and students, but also with guest artists including Frederica von Stade, Jens Lindemann and the Miró Quartet. Before joining the UNCSA faculty in 1998, Gagnon taught at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and was staff pianist at McGill University in Montreal. For nearly two decades she was a member of the piano staff at the renowned Meadowmount School of Music, N.Y.

A dedicated educator, Gagnon was a recent recipient of the UNCSA Excellence in Teaching Award. Graduates of the collaborative program she created at UNCSA have won positions in Texas, N.D., Tenn. and Pa., and have become active professionally in the United States and abroad. Her definitive edition of the piano reduction for Ernest Chausson’s Poème, Op. 25 for Violin and Orchestra has been published ( She is preparing teaching materials in the field of collaborative piano pedagogy, and she has begun to explore the role of music in the well-being of those with dementia.

Gagnon completed her D.M.A. with Anne Epperson at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Her earlier teachers were Dale Bartlett (McGill), Michael Krist (Vienna Hochschule für Musik), Pierre Jasmin, and Margaret McLellan (Queen’s) and her mother Marjorie Gagnon. From CIM she holds the Brooks Smith Award of its Collaborative Piano Department. Her creative interests include ceramics and wildlife photography.

UNCSA cello professor Brooks Whitehouse has performed and taught throughout the United States and abroad. With The Guild Trio Whitehouse he won “USIA Artistic Ambassador” and “Chamber Music Yellow Springs” competitions, and has toured extensively in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. He is the co-creator with Paul Sharpe of the popular cello/bass duo Low & Lower, and has appeared as guest artist with the American Chamber Players, Villa Musica (Germany), the Ciompi Quartet, The Apple Hill Chamber Players, and the New Zealand String Quartet. Recently he performed in Carnegie Hall with the Garth Newell Piano Quartet as part of their Fortieth Anniversary Celebration.

Housed in the College of Charleston School of the Arts, Charleston Music Fest presents intimate chamber music concerts featuring College of Charleston faculty, and local and international artists.

CofC International Piano Series Features AyşeDeniz Gökçin in Season Finale

Praised for being “extraordinary, unconventional, interactive and fun” and for playing that is “bold, personal and masterly” (Royal Academy of Music), Turkish pianist and composer and Turkey’s 2017 Pianist of the Year, AyşeDeniz Gökçin is widely sought-after as an international soloist and a recording artist. Gökçin’s recent solo appearances include Sureyya Opera House (Istanbul), Teatro das Figuras Faro (Portugal), Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Italy) and Le Poisson Rouge (NYC). She has been praised for her fresh, genre-bending projects, including her current concert concept “Beethoven to Rock” which melds the artistry from two wildly contrasting musical styles and produces an interactive and dynamic concert experience. For the 29th season finale of the College of Charleston International Piano Series, Gökçin will perform movements from some of Beethoven’s most-loved sonatas from Moonlight and Tempest to Pathetique. Additionally, keeping with her versatile repertoire, she also will perform a number of newly arranged rock covers in the style of Franz Liszt, as well as some of her own compositions.

The concert will take place on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., in the Emmett Robinson Theatre, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. General admission is $20 and FREE for students and faculty/staff and kids under 18. Tickets may be purchased ONLINE, at the door, by emailing, or by calling (843) 953-6315.

Gökçin will also offer a master class, free and open to the public on Wednesday, April 3, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in the Cato Center for the Arts, room 237. Students from the Music Department at the College of Charleston will perform.

AyşeDeniz Gökçin was considered a child prodigy in her native Turkey and made her concerto debut when she was nine with the Gordion Chamber Orchestra playing J.S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 5. At thirteen, she had already performed as a soloist with various orchestras under conductors including Ibrahim Yazici, Fahrettin Kerimov, Antonio Pirolli, Cem Mansur, Engin Sakpinar, Ertug Korkmaz, Rengim Gokmen, Vladimir Sirenko and Kirill Karabits.

Watch videos of Gökçin in performance.

​In 2011, she completed her Masters in Piano Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London, under the tutelage of Christopher Elton and received the Maud Hornsby Award. In 2009, she completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) in the studio of Douglas Humpherys, where she received the Howard Hanson and Clements Scholarships as well as the John Celentano Excellence in Chamber Music Award.

​As a young pianist, Gökçin attended prestigious summer festivals including the Verbier Academy, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival and School, PianoTexas, Goslar Konzertarbeitswochen, Tel Hai, and Beijing International Music Festival, studying with renowned piano pedagogues such as Menahem Pressler, Jerome Lowenthal, Arie Vardi, Yoheved Kaplinsky, as well as Lang Lang. In middle school, Gokcin moved to Spain for half a year to study with the renowned Bach interpreter Rosalyn Tureck, becoming one of her last students.

​Throughout her early career, Gökçin has given concerts around the world including Cathedral of Christ The Savior Moscow (Russia); L’Eglise Verbier (Switzerland); Duke’s Hall, Steinway Hall, Kings Place London (UK); Bellapais Antique Monastery (Northern Cyprus); Central Park of Culture Open Air Hall, Lysenko Hall (Kiev, Ukraine); in the United States’ PepsiCo Hall (Texas), Kilbourn Hall (N.Y.), Harris Hall (Colo.), Pacific Amphitheater (Calif.); Teatro Cine (Argentina); Teatro Cine Gouveia, Teatro das Figuras Faro, Centro Cultural de Ãlhavo , Centro Cultural da Gafanha da Nazare (Portugal); Galleria d’Arte Moderna, San Fedele Milan, Teatro Dario Fo Venice, and St. Giorgio Cathedral Palermo (Italy); and in almost all of Turkey’s most important art centres, including Sureyya Opera House, Albert Long Hall, AkSanat, Borusan Music House, The Seed, CRR (Istanbul), State Opera House (Eskisehir) and MEB Sura (Ankara).

​Upon hearing Gökçin’s interpretation of Chopin Sonata No. 3, Nikolai Petrov personally invited her to perform in the Kremlin Palace (Moscow, Russia) “a concert that was very well-received and marked somewhat of a milestone. Another milestone was after three of her piano arrangements of Pink Floyd songs in the style of Franz Liszt went viral, Gökçin attracted the attention of the progressive rock listeners, and was featured on Pink Floyd’s Official Facebook Page. Upon the requests of fans, she completed the “Pink Floyd Classical Concept” Album, which she performed in the United States, Argentina, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Germany. Recently, she performed as a soloist in Wavelength (United States, 2013); Sofia Piano Extravaganza (Bulgaria, 2013); Gouveia Art Rock (Portugal, 2014); Piano City Milan & Palermo (Italy, 2014, 2016, 2017); 31st International Ankara and 38th & 41st Istanbul International Classical Music (Turkey, 2014-2015), and TanJazz (Morocco, 2016) Festivals.

​In 2014, her show won the Argentinian Association of Cable Television Music Award; in 2015 her new album “Nirvana Project” dedicated to Kurt Cobain was released and reached the UK Top 10 Classical Charts on iTunes; in 2016 she won the ‘Pianist of the Year’ Award in Turkey at Donizetti Classical Music Awards. She appeared on BBC News, Classic FM, Prog Rock Magazine, International Piano Magazine, Andante Magazine, MusicOff, Vogue, and continues to attract the attention of fans with her fresh, genre bending projects. Newspapers including France’s Le Figaro, Scotland’s The Herald, Austria’s and Germany’s Taz have all given her positive reviews.

​Her work as a composer and a pianist for Editta Braun Dance Company’s “Close Up” show toured Salzburg, Vienna, Linz and Edinburgh in 2015. In January 2019 her original album “Earth Prelude” entered the Top 10 iTunes classical charts in the United Kingdom, the United States, Turkey and Italy. In February, her Beethoven Senses Album with the composer’s five iconic sonatas as a preparation for his 250th anniversary is now on digital platforms including iTunes / Spotify.

Housed within the College of Charleston School of the Arts, the International Piano Series (IPS) is Charleston’s longest running, year-round program with a pure focus on piano. Consistent with the School’s mission, IPS plays a distinctive role in the lives of students and the community by implementing excellence in the arts and education and cultivating piano music appreciation.