Author Archives: mccauleyn

Concert Choir Holiday Candlelight Concert

The College of Charleston Concert Choir, conducted by Robert Taylor, will present its annual Holiday Candlelight Concert featuring music celebrating the holiday season, and ecumenical readings performed by Theatre faculty member and renowned actor Evan Parry.  The performance will take place on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 at 7:30pm at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, 126 Coming St. General admission is $10 at the door and free for College of Charleston students.

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 UK, 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 SCMEA conferences. The Concert Choir’s membership is comprised of both music majors and non-majors, representing a wide representation of the College of Charleston’s student population. The Concert Choir is part of the College of Charleston Department of Music, housed within the College of Charleston School of the Arts. Its director, Robert Taylor, serves as Director of Choral Activities at the College of Charleston, the Founding Artistic Director of the professional Taylor Festival Choir and Taylor Music Group, and the Director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

Revel in Renaissance Music at A Yuletide Madrigal Feast

The Department of Music in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will present A Yuletide Madrigal Feast, on Thursday, Nov. 30, Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., in the Alumni Memorial Hall of Randolph Hall.

The award-winning College of Charleston Madrigal Singers, conducted by Dr. Robert Taylor, will perform sacred and secular traditional holiday season carols in dinner theatre format. Each of the three evenings will be filled with Renaissance entertainment and a feast fit for royalty.

TICKETS: Tickets range from $40 to $70, sold in advance until two days prior to each performance. Alcohol can be purchased separately at the event. Seating is limited, and tickets will not be sold at the door. Reservations: online at or by calling 843.953.8231.

The College of Charleston Madrigal Singers is an auditioned ensemble made up of students from the College’s Concert Choir that specializes in chamber music ranging from the Renaissance to the present. The Madrigal Singers are perhaps best known for their annual Yuletide Madrigal Feast and are also annually featured on the Early Music Series and the Young Artists Series in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. They also frequently have performed and toured with Steve Rosenberg and Charleston Pro Musica, and they function as the community outreach arm of the choral program, performing for various civic functions and charitable organizations.

Robert Taylor, Director of Choral Activities at the College, is also director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Singers, and the professional choir-in-residence at the College of Charleston – the Taylor Festival Choir. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University and is an experienced soloist, having sung leading tenor roles in a variety of operas, oratorios and musicals.

REALIGN Dance Concert to Explore Sustainability Themes

The Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Charleston School of the Arts will showcase REALIGN directed by Kristin Alexander and choreographed by the College’s dance faculty, guest artist Michael Nickerson-Rossi, and senior dance major Anna Brown. The College’s dance students comprise the cast.

With a campus-wide initiative to educate and create a more sustainable community, “Realignexplores the theme of sustainability through historical authenticity and necessary shifts in our thinking and doing. Some of the choreographers have used the College’s focus of water sustainability, allowing for the arts and sciences to intersect as they creatively investigate environmental themes, and promote cross-disciplinary expression and discussion of topics relating to the broad theme of a sustainable future.

Guest artist Michael Nickerson-Rossi, founder and artistic director of Nickerson-Rossi Dance Company, spent the last weekend in August setting his piece, “Us and Them” about the divide between communities, with specific reference to environmental racism and how water quality is socioeconomically driven. Alexander collaborated with marine ecologist/photographer and National Geographic grantee Clare Fieseler, in a work about ghost forests. Alexander hopes that the dance will be a beautiful and haunting interpretation of the changing landscape on the East Coast because of the rising sea levels. Through special permission granted from the Doris Humphrey Foundation for Dance, Dr. Gretchen McLaine is reconstructing Humphrey’s iconic work, “Soaring.” Using a written system of movement analysis known as Labanotation, McLaine’s reconstruction sustains the legacy of the artist, preserves a written system of recording movement, and supports our dance history and heritage.

The three-day run will take place Friday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. (Sunday show at 2:00 p.m. only) at the Emmett Robinson Theatre, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Tickets are $20 for public admission; $15 for senior citizens, College of Charleston students, employees and non-College of Charleston students; and $12 for College of Charleston students. Tickets can be purchased ONLINE or by calling (843) 953-5604. Presented with support from the College’s Sustainability Literacy Institute.

*Check out the behind-the-scenes blog, created by Dance student Victoria Kabernagel, that shows the research an creative process for each dance piece. 

Four Hands, Two Pianos: Duo Piano Concert by Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung

Pianists Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung — acclaimed as soloists, with first prizes at the Leeds, Hamamatsu, and Stravinsky International Piano Competitions — are also a renowned duo. Describing the artistry of the husband-and-wife team, the UK magazine Music and Arts states: “Theirs is a marriage of wondrous colours and dextrous aplomb, subtly balanced to make a musical performance sound as one.” They have released four highly praised albums as a duo featuring music of Poulenc, Stravinsky, Brahms and Piazzolla on the Signum Classics label, and Ligeti on the Dynamic label.

This dual piano concert of the 2017- 2018 IPS season will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. The program will include Mozart Sonata K. 521 in C major for 4 hands, Shostakovich Concertino for 2 pianos, Lutoslawski Variations on a Theme of Paganini for 2 pianos, and Rachmaninov Suite no. 2 for 2 pianos.

The concert will take place on Tuesday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m., in the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. General admission is $20 and free for all students and College of Charleston employees. Tickets can be purchased online, at the door, or by calling (843) 953-6315.

The real life marriage of concert pianists Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung, with their abundant artistic chemistry, passion, and stunning virtuosity, has led to one of the most appealing and impressive piano duos of our time.

First Prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions, a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, and a winner of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, Alessio Bax has appeared as soloist with more than 100 orchestras, including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Dallas and Houston Symphonies, NHK Symphony in Japan, St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony with Sir Simon Rattle. His much-lauded discography includes a 2015 album of Russian favorites by Scriabin and Mussorgsky, Mozart Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595, Alessio Bax Plays Brahms, Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies (an American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice”), Bach Transcribed, and Baroque Reflections (a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”). Most recently he released the collection Lullabies for Mila on Signum Classics, which also features Chung and is dedicated to their young daughter, born in 2014. Bax will be making the most out of his Charleston visit as he will play alongside famed violinist Joshua Bell at the Gaillard Performance Hall on November 9th.

First-Prize winner of the Stravinsky International Piano Competition, Lucille Chung has been celebrated by Gramophone for her “stylish and refined” performances. She was born in Montreal, and made her debut at the age of ten with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, after which Charles Dutoit invited her as soloist on the orchestra’s tour to Asia. She has since performed with orchestras around the world, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Seoul Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, and Israel Chamber Orchestra, as well as all the major orchestras in Canada, among them the Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver Symphonies and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. She has appeared with conductors such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Vladimir Spivakov, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Vasily Petrenko. Her solo discography includes the first volume of her recording of György Ligeti’s complete piano works on the Dynamic label, as well as Camille Saint-Saëns: Piano Transcriptions, Mozart & Me, and a 2016 all-Poulenc album for Signum Classics.

Magnetic South Music: Bártôk, Higdon & Koumendakis

Magnetic South, a collaborative project between the College of Charleston Department of Music and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO), will present its fall concert, Bártôk, Higdon & Koumendakis, conducted by CSO Music Director Ken Lam.

Bártôk’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, an iconic early 20th century repertoire staple, will be performed by guest pianists Beata Moon and Matthieu Cognet, with CSO percussion power duo Beth Albert and Ryan Leveille. The program will also include the world premiere of a large ensemble work, Five more steps till you fall asleep, by Greek composer Giorgos Koumendakis whose work was featured in the opening ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and a recent piece, Dark Wood, by American composer Jennifer Higdon highlighting the bassoon within the framework of a true chamber dialogue among violin, cello and piano, featuring CSO principal bassoonist Josh Baker.

The concert will take place on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, at 7:30pm, Recital Hall/Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. SPECIAL TICKET PRICE is $10.00  and can be purchased at the door, by calling (843) 723-7528, ext. 110, or online at

Magnetic South is an innovative partnership between the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the College of Charleston Department of Music. It combines the resources of the two institutions to present contemporary classical music in Charleston in an informative context. The goal of the Magnetic South partnership is to bring to the audiences of the Lowcountry, including students at the College, masterworks of the 20th and 21st centuries along with important new works by living composers. The concerts, performed by CSO musicians and conducted by Ken Lam and College of Charleston faculty member Yiorgos Vassilandonakis, feature carefully selected works from a variety of aesthetic directions and styles to represent the panorama of the music of our time. Magnetic South was co-founded in 2012 by Vassilandonakis, fellow faculty member Edward Hart and CSO concertmaster and Principal Pops conductor, Yuriy Bekker.

The next concert will take place on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, featuring  new music from CofC faculty composers: Edward Hart’s song cycle The Caged Bird Sings is based on poetry by Paul Laurence Dunbar and features tenor Rodrick Dixon; a new chamber orchestra work by Yiorgos Vassilandonakis explores the sonification of fluid dream states; and a sextet by Nathan Michel, who is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist making all kinds of acoustic and electronic music, from pop to experimental and classical.

Elite Faculty Duo to Perform “East Meets West” Program

The 2nd Monday Concert Series, part of the College of Charleston School of the Arts, will feature violinist Lee-Chin Siow and pianist Paul Sánchez for a night of exciting chamber music on November 13. This “East meets West” themed program will feature the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto by He Zhanzhao and Gang Chen, played using traditional Chinese techniques (Hwa Yin Chinese glissando), and movements from Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Strings in D minor by Felix Mendelssohn.

Siow and Sánchez will be joined on stage by 13 strings students from the College of Charleston Music Department. Last July, Siow accompanied four of these students who performed at a U.S. Consulate event in Wuhan, China that celebrated the 241st U.S. Independence Day. The event was coordinated for government officials, business people and educators from Central China to meet and learn about an aspect of U.S. culture — this year’s focus was on environmental living. In a letter to College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell, Consul General Joseph Zadozny wrote, “Your students’ skill and passion for their music deeply impacted the audience and moved me. I enjoy this kind of U.S.-China collaboration because it shows how building ties between our two great nations benefit our young people…”

The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto was written in 1958 while the composers were students at the Shanghai Conservatory. It premiered in 1959 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The music is based on an ancient Chinese legend of two star-crossed lovers — China’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

The piece is a one-movement programmatic violin concerto, with three sections that correspond to the three phases of the story — Falling in Love, Refusing to Marry, and Metamorphosis (the lovers resurrected as butterflies).

Musically the concerto is a synthesis of Eastern and Western traditions, although the melodies and overall style are adapted from various forms of traditional Chinese Opera, including Beijing Opera and Kun Qu opera (the oldest form of Chinese opera).

The solo violin is used with a technique that recalls the sound of various Chinese traditional instruments, in particular the inflexions and glissando pitches used by an erhu, an ethereal-sounding bowed string instrument. Adopting methods frequently used in Chinese Opera, such as Jin La Man Chang (fast bowing and slow singing), embellishes the music with unique Chinese features.

Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings provides the counterpoint to Butterfly Lovers in this “East meets West” program. Despite coming from two different cultural spectrums, the two works share common ground. Both were written by composers in their youth —  the Double Concerto was written by Mendelssohn when he was 14.

Butterfly Lovers is a symphonic translation of the Chinese operatic tradition, while Mendelssohn also alludes to Mozart’s operas, with the violin singing as a soprano and the piano mimicking orchestral tremolo in the recitative section of the first movement.

Audiences may discover more surprising parallels in this juxtaposition of Asian and Western masterworks; joining Siow and Sánchez on stage will be an international cast of string students from the College of Charleston.

The performance on Monday, November 13 will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. General admission is $15 and $10 for all students. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling (843) 953-6315, or at the door. 

Epic Corporate Scandal and Economic Collapse Dramatized in ‘ENRON’

Staged by the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance, “Enron” by Lucy Prebble will carry the production season’s theme, Sustain This!, as it brings to light the economic disparities and social injustices as a result of the epic scandal of the infamous American energy corporation, Enron. Turning the dry, complicated inner workings of the financial industry into a comprehensible play, British playwright Prebble wrote “Enron” shortly after the scandal, which took place in the early 2000s.

The play charts the rise and fall of former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling as he uses his perceived intellectual superiority to convince the world that he is capable of producing billions on potential profit alone. Through greed and arrogance, Skilling brings state governments, steadfast banking institutions, and massive corporations (including Enron itself) to their knees on the verge of 9/11. Prebble’s surreal interpretation is brimming with behind-the-scenes palace intrigue, rogue traders, power-hungry CEOs, and a trio of raptors straight out of Jurassic Park. The world of Enron would be too over the top to be believed . . . except that it actually happened.

Interspersed with theatrical movement and music, as well as puppetry, the College’s production is directed by adjunct faculty member Rodney Lee Rogers, who is also a co-founder of PURE Theatre and an award-winning playwright and screenwriter.

The production is for mature audiences and will run November 2-6, 2017. Curtain times will be 7:30 p.m., with an additional Sunday show at 2:00 p.m. Performances will take place at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. 

Admission is $20 for general public; $15 for senior citizens College of Charleston employees and non-College of Charleston students; $12 for College of Charleston students. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 843.953.6306. 


Celebrated Ukrainian Musicians to Open Charleston Music Fest

Housed in the College of Charleston School of the Arts, Charleston Music Fest will present violinist Nazariy Pylatiuk for a night of intimate chamber music. Graduates of the prestigious Moscow Conservatory, College of Charleston faculty members Natalia Khoma (cello) and Volodymyr Vynnytsky (piano) will join Pylatiuk to perform Polonaise de Concert No. 1, Op. 4 in D Major for violin and piano by Henryk Wieniawski and Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat major, D.929 Op. 10 by Franz Schubert.

The concert will take place on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. General admission is $25 and $10 for all students. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling (843) 953-6315, or at the door. 

The trio hails from Ukraine, and each member is an international competition winner. Each artist also has an established and distinguished career as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, and each has appeared with major orchestras and on premier chamber music series throughout the United States and Europe.

Nazariy Pylatiuk is the First Prize winner at Yankelevych International Competition in Russia (2011), Laureate of Karl Flesh (2003) and Mykola Lysenko International Competitions (2007) and a Gold medal holder of the Academy of the Arts of Ukraine (2010). He has been featured as a soloist and chamber musician throughout USA, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Ukraine. Learn more.

Natalia Khoma is an internationally renowned cellist. Since winning the All-Ukrainian competition she has won top prizes at the Budapest Pablo Casals Competition, Markneukirchen (Germany) and the Tchaikovsky International Competitions, as well as First prize at the Belgrade International Cello Competition. Learn more.

Volodymyr Vynnytsky is laureate of the Margueritte Long-Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition in Paris. He has performed with leading orchestras and appeared in solo recitals in many prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Steinway Hall, the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Great (Bolshoi) Hall at the Moscow Conservatory, the Theatre Champs d’Elysees, Amphitheatre Richelieu de la Sorbonne, Salons de Boffrand de la Presidence du Senat in Paris, St. John’s Smith Square in London, Philharmonic Big Hall of Columns (Kyiv), Odessa Philharmonic Theatre in Ukraine, Tsai Performance Center (Boston), Teatro de Santa Isabel in Recife, Brazil, Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg and Baxter Theatre Centre Concert Hall in Cape Town, South Africa among many others. Lean more.

Aliquid Vetus Aliquid Novum (Something Old, Something New)

The nationally acclaimed College of Charleston Concert Choir will present its fall concert entitled Aliquid Vetus Aliquid Novum (Something Old, Something New), and will feature music of the present and past—including composers Claudio Monteverdi, Thomas Tallis, and Hubert Parry (from the past), and Julian Wachner, Libby Larsen and Gabriel Jackson (from the present). The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, 126 Coming St. Admission is $10 at the door / FREE for College of Charleston students.

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.

Visiting Artist Lyle Ashton Harris to Present Lecture

For more than two decades Lyle Ashton Harris has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photographic media, collage, installation and performance. His work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic. Known for his self-portraits and use of pop culture icons, such as Billie Holiday, Zinedine Zidane and Michael Jackson, Harris teases the viewers’ perceptions and expectations, re-signifying cultural cursors and recalibrating the familiar with the extraordinary.

Hosted by the College of Charleston’s Department of Studio Art, a free lecture will be presented by Harris focusing on his artwork on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 6:00p.m., in (NEW VENUE) Room 309/Simons Center (54 Saint Philip St.). 

Sara Frankel, Chair of the Studio Art Department, expounds, “In addition to the public lecture, Mr. Harris will meet with our advanced photography students and also students in the “Ancestries of Enslavement” class in the African American Studies Program; his visit is a cross-curricular effort and is sponsored by the School of the Arts Dean’s Excellence Fund, the Frances Grimball Gaud Professor of Art Fund, the Marilynn and John Hill Studio Art Support Fund, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, the College’s Office of Institutional Diversity, and the College’s African American Studies Program.”

Harris’ work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the 52nd Venice Biennale. His work has been acquired by major international museums, most recently by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His commissioned work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times MagazineNew York Magazine and the New Yorker. In 2014 Harris joined the board of trustees at the American Academy in Rome and was named the 10th recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Born in New York City, Harris spent his formative years in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. He received his Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Wesleyan University in 1988 and a Masters in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in 1990. He currently lives and works in New York City and is an Associate Professor at New York University.

Earlier this year, Harris was awarded his own room at the Whitney Museum Biennial exhibition, in which he displayed a video-portrait installation.