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ExCEL Awards for Outstanding SOTA Individuals

The School of the Arts (SOTA) congratulates the following SOTA individuals for receiving 2014 Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Awards:

Outstanding SOTA Student of the Year:  Corinne Williams (Theatre major)

Female Student Athlete of the Year:  Alyssa Frye (Arts Management major)

Outstanding SOTA Faculty of the Year:  Evan Parry (Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance)

Diversity Service of the Year Award:  Karen Chandler (Associate Professor, Arts Management Program)

The 2014 ExCEL Awards honored more than 30 students, staff, faculty and community members for their commitment to creating a campus environment that promotes diversity and excellence. The winners were chosen from more than 125 nominations.

[more info]

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School of the Arts Interactive Garden Series

Bring your lunch or drop by the Barnet Courtyard to enjoy a FREE arts showcase, while soaking in the predicted sunny weather and temps in the 70s! 

The College of Charleston School of the Arts (SOTA) is hosting a new Garden Series from Monday, March 31 – Wednesday, April 2. The Series, free and open to the public, will run daily 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Barnet Courtyard at 58 George Street, between the Sottile Theatre and the Communications Museum. Performances range from 15-45 minutes to allow for casual viewing for students, faculty, staff and the downtown Charleston community.

SOTA Dean Valerie Morris shares her excitement about the Garden Series:

Communication students at the College have developed this series to highlight some of the exciting things that are happening at the School, and we are delighted to have friends of the College joining us. Enjoy the performances, discussions, visual art, and the beauty of Barnet Courtyard… and then come back for more!

The Series will feature an array of musical and artistic talent from members of the SOTA community. Singer/Songwriter Mark Bryan, a SOTA instructor in the Arts Management Program, will be the guest emcee and performer on Monday to kick off the Series.

Musical artists will include: Musician and professor Frank Duvall, jazz singer Joseph Tan, and the College’s Ukulele Club.

Artists involved in the series are Tommy Fox, Victoria Honick, Nikki Scioscia, Hannah Shepard, Kyle Victory, Sabrina Gutknecht, Kate Ritchie, Taylor Epps, Heather Thornton, Susanna Brylawski, Lea Cockerham, Paul Nyguen, Cara Fischer, Elizabeth Koury, Ashley Stanol and Blakely Grinrod.

In addition, costume designs by Anna Todisco will be featured for the upcoming SOTA theatre performance She Kills Monsters.

Attendees will have a chance to interact through caricatures, live art, taking part in an audience paint masterpiece, perusing/purchasing inexpensive art from students and faculty, and Q&A with the performers.

Jeff McCarragher, the 2014 South Carolina Sportscaster of the Year, will introduce acts for the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions.

The Garden Series is managed by a group of senior capstone students in Communication at the College of Charleston. All of the performances for the Garden Series are affiliated with the School of the Arts.

Follow along on TWITTER and FACEBOOK and spread the word!  #cofcgardenseries


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Performance by Acclaimed College of Charleston Concert Choir

The nationally recognized College of Charleston Concert Choir will present a performance on Monday, April 21 as part of the College of Charleston School of the Arts’ Monday Night Concert Series. The event will take place at 8:00 p.m. in the Grace Episcopal Church Sanctuary, 98 Wentworth St.

This concert will feature a performance of the 20th century masterpiece Psalm 90 by Charles Ives as well as a new edition of a Regina Coeli setting by Renaissance composer Pierre de Manchicourt. Other music will include Tafellied by Johannes Brahms, Abenlied by Josef Rheinberger, Dawn and The Sounding Sea by Eric Barnum, All That Hath Life and Breath by Rene Clausen along with musical tributes to the late Nelson Mandela.

The Concert Choir will be conducted by Mr. William Bennett, Assistant Director of Choirs at the College of Charleston, who is filling in for Dr. Robert Taylor who is on sabbatical. The choir will be accompanied by Jack Cleghorn on organ and piano.

The College of Charleston Concert Choir is one of the nation’s finest collegiate choral ensembles. Directed by Dr. Robert Taylor, its membership represents a wide range of the student population at the College of Charleston. Over the past decade, the Concert Choir has been one of the most decorated collegiate choirs in the nation: appearing in national choral conventions three times, and regional conventions twice. The Concert Choir also regularly performs with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and has participated in performances of  Ralph Vaughan William’s Serenade to Music and Dona Nobis Pacem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Bizet’s Carmen, and many others.

Admission will be $10.00 cash or check (payable to the College of Charleston) at the door.  This performance is FREE for College of Charleston Students with a photo I.D.


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Contemporary Classical Music With a Carolina Connection

***UPDATED NEWS: Contemporary music with ties to South Carolina has received support from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) through the One-Time Grant Awards program. “The Carolina Connection II,” the second and final event of this season’s Magnetic South concert series, is the recipient of the award, which will help offset visiting composers’ expenses and the purchase of instruments.

“Magnetic South is a pioneer in bringing contemporary music to this community. I am beyond thrilled to have received this award from the SCAC, as it validates and echoes my excitement in connecting Carolina composers with their audience and the contemporary scene at large,” comments Yiorgos Vassilandonakis, Artistic Director and Conductor of Magnetic South.


Magnetic South, a collaborative project between the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the College of Charleston Department of Music, continues to present contemporary classical music to Charleston audiences. The next concert, ”The Carolina Connection II,” will take place on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 8 p.m. A pre-concert discussion panel, led by Chair of the Department of Music and Magnetic South co-founder, Edward Hart, will start at 7:30 p.m.

Yuriy Bekker is concertmaster. Yiorgos Vassilandonakis will conduct.

The concert will honor and promote local and contemporary music creation. “The Carolina Connection II” specifically will feature composers with close ties to S.C. and Charleston –  Ayala Asherov, Jon Schwabe and Andrew McKenna Lee. 

Ayala Asherov, an Israeli-born composer and singer / songwriter, lives and works in Charleston. Her music ranges from songwriting to music in the concert hall, and to multimedia including film, museum exhibitions and dance. Her new piece, “‘Beh-Rehsheet’ -In the Beginning,” is a Magnetic South commission and world premiere.

Jon Schwabe received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of South Carolina and is Professor of Theory and Composition, and chairs the composition and theory area at the University of Northern Iowa. His piece, ”Morning of the Curious Hoarfrost,” is commissioned by Magnetic South where it will make its world premiere.

Andrew McKenna Lee was born and raised in downtown Charleston. Having recently received his Doctorate degree in Composition from Princeton University, he is known as “an astoundingly virtuosic guitar player… and far more importantly… a thoughtful and original composer.” (Jayson Greene, eMusic) His new piece, “Harlan Variations,” is a Magnetic South commission and world premiere.

Lee’s latest cd with neo-psychedelic band The Knells will be available for purchase at the concert.  The CD’s cover is the work of SC native and Andrew’s childhood friend, Shepard Fairey.

“The Carolina Connection II,” will take place on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 8 p.m., in the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Tickets are $25.00 general admission and $10.00 for students. Call the CSO at 843.723.7528 or purchase tickets ONLINE


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International Piano Series Presents Konstantinos Papadakis


Piano virtuoso Konstantinos Papadakis of Greece, is hosted by the College of Charleston International Piano Series (IPS) for a performance on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. He will perform sonatas by Chopin and Scarlatti, excerpts from “Petrushka” by Stravinsky and will premiere Edward Hart’s “Blue Impromptu” a virtuosic “spur of the moment” piece inspired by Chopin and influenced by Jazz.

Edward Hart, Chair of the Music Department at the College of Charleston, entrusted him with his Impromptu because “if [he] were a pianist, [he] would like to play like Konstantinos.”

The concert will take place at 8 p.m. in the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. Individual tickets are $20. College of Charleston students and those under 18 years old are admitted free of charge. Purchase tickets ONLINE or by calling (843) 953-6575.

[Watch a video of Papdakis]

Konstantinos Papadakis has performed in recitals and collaborated with chamber ensembles and orchestras in the world’s major concert halls and famous artistic centers from Russia and Southern Europe to the United States and Canada. He has won several prizes and distinctions at international piano competitions, including the prestigious Yannis Vardinoyannis Award, given for the first time to a pianist, as well as the Esther & Albert Kahn Award. He makes regular solo appearances with Boston’s Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and holds the prestigious Motoko and Gordon Deane Principal Chair as the Orchestra’s pianist. From 2006 to 2011, he was the “Samuel Barber Artist-in-Residence” at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He has recorded several works especially written for him by contemporary composers, many of which have been broadcast on radio and television. Papadakis teaches at the New England Conservatory’s Pre-College Division and recently joined the piano faculty at the Boston University.

Papadakis will teach a masterclass that is open to the public, on Wednesday, March 19, at the College.

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CofC Dance Concert: Embracing Pangaea

The College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance is proud to present its 6th annual spring dance concert, Embracing Pangaea. The performance explores multiculturalism through dance, and features faculty, student and guest artist choreography.

Artistic Director Gretchen McLaine has re-staged excerpts from August Bournonville’s ballet entitled “Napoli.” Created in 1842, “Napoli” was inspired by the Danish choreographer’s travels and experiences in Italy. McLaine notes, “The technique is extremely difficult, not only with the technical demands required for the intricate and powerful jumps, but also in terms of the nuanced style and coordination inherent in Bournonville’s work. It’s an incredible challenge for the students to work in such an unfamiliar style.”

Guest artist and College of Charleston alumnus Julia Rodriguez is setting a work based on West African, cha-cha, and other folkloric dance styles. Rodriguez founded Buen Aché, a Charleston-based Afro-Latino dance company in 2006 and serves as the Artistic Director and principal choreographer.

Additionally, the concert will present two student works that will represent the college at the 2014 American College Dance Festival regional conference.

The concert will be held Saturday, March 15 through Monday, March 17 in the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the college’s Simons Center for the Arts at 54 St. Philip St. Performance times are 7:30 PM on Saturday and Monday night, and Sunday at 3:00 PM. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and College of Charleston students, faculty and staff. Purchase tickets ONLINE, by email oleksiakm@cofc.edu, or by phone (843) 953-5604.

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Artist Lecture by Aaron Fink

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
4 – 5 p.m.
Maybank Hall, Room 100, 165 Calhoun St.

Born in 1955, Aaron Fink received a BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art (1977) and an MFA from Yale University School of Art and Architecture (1979). For the past two decades, he has composed powerful two and three-dimensional compositions that depict quotidian objects such as fruit, vegetables and ice cream scoops on both monumental and intimate scales. To achieve this, the artist works with a wide range of materials, which include such diverse media as oil, prints, monotypes, clay, plaster and fiberglass.

This lecture is made possible through the generous support of the Frances Grimball Gaud Endowed Fund.


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Rave Review of ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ – runs through Feb. 25

The College of Charleston School of the Arts has sparked an exciting connection with England’s historic Bristol Old Vic Theatre (known for its production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the 2013 Spoleto Festival USA, and multiple Tony Award-winning production of War Horse). On February 19 you will see firsthand the early impact of this international partnership on the College’s Department of Theatre and Dance at a special preview of 1992 Tony Award-winning Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel. Directed by the Old Vic’s own Miranda Cromwell, a rising star on the British theatre scene, the production is steeped in Irish culture and is regarded as the playwright’s masterpiece.

Set in County Donegal, Ireland, in 1936, this darkly humorous and passionate play – a semi-autobiographical story of the playwright’s childhood – is the story of the five Mundy sisters and is told through the memories of Michael, the love child of one of the sisters.


February 20-25, 2014, Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts – MORE INFO & TICKETS

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Performer Change for International Piano Series, Feb. 18

Due to illness, Jon Kimura Parker, originally scheduled to perform for the College of Charleston International Piano Series (IPS) on Tuesday, Feb. 18, will be replaced by elegant and dramatic pianist Di Wu.

Fresh from a spectacular performance with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in January, Wu will grace the IPS stage and perform Debussy Preludes, Book 2; and, Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19 with cellist Adrian Daurov.

Watch a video of Wu.

Wu’s concerts have taken her across the globe, charming audiences from East to West with her “charisma, steely technique, and keen musical intelligence” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and her “fire and authority” (Washington Post). 

See more about Di Wu here

We look forward to sharing with you this evening of beautiful music performed by Wu on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

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