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, 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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‘Love and Doom’ With Charleston Music Fest

“This is a rare opportunity to see vocal masterworks by Shostakovich and Brahms because of the high level of musicianship required. Happily, these College of Charleston faculty performers are more than up to the task.”

          –Edward Hart, Chair of Music Department, College of Charleston

Charleston Music Fest (CMF), presented by the College of Charleston School of the Arts, will stage its second concert of the season, Songs of Love and Doom, on February 16. Charleston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Yuriy Bekker (violin), and College of Charleston Professor Deanna McBroom (soprano soloist) will join CMF co-founder Natalia Khoma (cello), and College of Charleston adjunct faculty member Volodymyr Vynnytsky (piano) for an evening of art songs and chamber music that celebrate love.  

Shostakovich   Seven Songs on Poems by Alexander Blok
Brahms           Songs
Brahms           Trio for violin, cello and piano

The event will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 16, in the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Individual tickets are $30 and can be pre-ordered ONLINE or by calling (843) 953-6575, or purchase at the door with cash and check only.


 Charleston Music Fest, presented by the College of Charleston School of the Arts, is a year-round presenter of chamber music of the highest possible artistic standard and adds to the colorful cultural life of Charleston. The goal of this series is to present the finest classical and contemporary chamber music by world-class artists to Charleston audiences; to develop new and younger audiences for chamber music; and to provide educational activities which encourage, broaden and deepen appreciation of the chamber music art form. CMF is co-directed by College of Charleston music professors Natalia Khoma and Lee-Chin Siow.

Charleston Music Fest is a non-profit endeavor. Proceeds from ticket sales and donations ensure the longevity of the program and support educational opportunities for music students. 

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International Piano Series Presents Jon Kimura Parker

Internationally acclaimed concert pianist Jon Kimura Parker is hosted by the College of Charleston International Piano Series (IPS) for a performance at the Sottile Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at 8 p.m. General admission is $20, and College of Charleston students and those under 18 may attend for free. PRE-ORDER TICKETS and get more info ONLINE or by calling (843) 953-6575.

Parker will perform his own solo piano transcriptions of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” that celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. [Watch his video "Doing Rite by Stravinsky"]  His dynamic program also will include pieces by Rachmaninoff and Schubert. It will conclude with Beethoven’s “Appassionata.

A veteran of the international concert stage, Parker has performed as guest soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Wolfgang Sawallisch in Carnegie Hall, toured Europe with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Andre Previn, and shared the stage with Jessye Norman at Berlin’s Philharmonie.

Some highlights of his extensive list of accomplishments include recitals in London, New York, Chicago, Munich, Budapest, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Tokyo; performance with the Tokyo Quartet and Joshua Bell; and performance in war-torn Sarajevo in 1995 at the 50th Anniversary of AmeriCares. Parker was awarded his country’s highest honor, the Order of Canada, in 1999.

Parker received his doctorate at The Juilliard School in 1988 under Adele Marcus and he is currently Professor of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. 

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

The International Piano Series (IPS) at the College of Charleston School of the Arts 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. 

Each year, IPS stages concerts for pianists hailing from the United States and around the world. While on campus, the guest artists offer masterclasses in which students perform and receive critique. These masterclasses are open to the public. The performers range from young professionals emerging onto the world stage to seasoned performers with long-established careers.

Proceeds from ticket sales and donations ensure the longevity of the program and support educational opportunities for music students.

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In Concert with Ayala Asherov

On Monday, Feb. 3, the Monday Night Concert Series will feature a performance by ASCAP Award winning composer and singer/songwriter, Ayala Asherov. The program will include her own works. The concert will take place at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip Street. Admission is $10 cash or check at the door and free for College of Charleston students with I.D.

[Read about Asherov in The Post and Courier, 12/29/13]

Ayala Asherov-Kalus started writing songs at age 16. She studied at the Rimon School of Music in Tel Aviv and then attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she received her Bachelor of Music Summa Cum Laude in composition and film scoring. She went on to receive her Master of Film Scoring at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Asherov’s music ranges from songwriting to music in the concert hall, and to multimedia including film, museum exhibitions and dance. Her songs are published and recorded by many celebrated Israeli artists. Her best known song, lyrics and music, “Le’Orech Ha Yam”  (“Along the Sea”), was recorded by Ofra Haza in 1994, and is one of the most recorded songs in modern Israeli musical history. She also recorded a duet with Israel’s most celebrated singer, the late Arik Einstein. In 2007, she released her debut CD, “Crossing the River,” performing her songs also at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in 2010 and in 2013. She composed the scores for “The Forgotten Founder,” and “The Baruchs of Hobcaw,” both for the South Carolina ETV (PBS) documentary series, Carolina Stories. In September 2013 “Cycles of the Moon,” a solo album of her chamber music works, was released by Navona Records under the Nexus label, with 7 new original compositions performed by an array of international musicians.

She is a 2010 recipient of the Wild Acres Residency, winner of the 2011 Chamber Music Composition Award at the biennial Athena Music Festival, and winner of the ASCA Plus Award in 2011 and 2012. She was a 2012-2013 recipient of the South Carolina Film Commission Indie Grants Award for “PencilPoint,” an animated short film with orchestral score, performed by the College of Charleston Orchestra (under Yuriy Bekker), and was selected as 2013 S.C. Music Teachers Association Commissioned Composer.

This year she has started a project which she conceived, “Music Tells The Story,” with Communities in Schools and a grant from the Addlestone Foundation, reaching out as a composer with CSO musicians to challenged public schools to help young students better understand literature and music.

Asherov currently teaches songwriting at the College of Charleston.

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