Hamilton College Performing Arts announces an exciting season of music, theater, and dance for the 2014-15 season in Wellin Hall, Schambach Center for Music and the Performing Arts. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
The season opens with the chamber orchestra A Far Cry on Saturday, Sept. 13. Called “hugely enjoyable” by the Boston Globe, the self-conducted chamber orchestra A Far Cry stands at the forefront of an exciting new generation in classical music. The Hamilton College program includes Thomas Adès’s Arcadiana; Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata, with Augustin Hadelich, violin; and Janácek’s Idyll.
The Senegal St. Joseph Gospel Choir performs on Friday, Sept. 26. Direct from Dakar, the Senegal St. Joseph Gospel Choir is comprised of singers and traditional Senegalese drummers. Founded in 1950 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Ambassador Artist for Peace, Julien Jouga, the choir presents African-American spirituals, traditional African songs, and masses composed by Jouga in Senegal’s four national languages: Ouolof, Diola, Sérère, and Portuguese Creole.
The all-female Lark Quartet continues the season on Saturday, Oct. 4. Lark delights audiences with its energy, passionate commitment, and artistry. Lark offers audiences new insights into the art of chamber music with a program that ranges from traditional to contemporary and includes Mendelssohn’s Four Pieces, Op.81; Haydn’s String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 2; Copland’s Two Pieces for String Quartet; and Aaron Jay Kernis’s Sarabande.
The American Shakespeare Center presents William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing on Saturday, Nov. 1. The American Shakespeare Center seeks to make Shakespeare, the joys of theatre and language, and the communal experience of the Renaissance stage accessible to all. In Much Ado About Nothing, the villainous Don John devises a scheme to shatter the nuptials of Claudio and Hero as the young lovers conspire to trick Beatrice and Benedick into admitting their much-denied love. In this powerful comedy full of sparkling wit, Shakespeare gives us the joy of love won and the ache of love lost. He makes us laugh and breaks our hearts, then magically puts them back together again.
Continuing in November, the Hamilton College and the Mohawk Valley Dance Partnership present Brian Brooks Moving Company on Saturday, Nov. 8. According to the Village Voice, “Brooks’s brilliant escalating repetitions call for endurance, not to say heroism, on the part of the performers… Smart, utterly unpretentious heroes, they make your eyes water and your spirit soar.” A 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship awardee, choreographer Brian Brooks has established himself as one of the most interesting dance makers in New York.
Axiom Brass takes the stage on Saturday, Nov. 15. Praised for their high level of musicality, technical ability, and for their clean, clear and precise sound, the award-winning Axiom Brass Quintet has quickly established itself as one of the major groups in brass chamber music. The Hamilton program covers a wide spectrum of music from original brass quintet to transcriptions, including works by J.S. Bach and others.
The spring semester opens with jazz vocalist Gregory Porter on Saturday, Feb. 21. Funded by the Jazz Touring Network of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Porter is the winner of the 2014 Grammy for best jazz vocal album for his third release, Liquid Spirit. He presents an evening of original jazz with gospel, blues, and R&B influences.
Symphoria returns to Hamilton College on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 3 pm. Conducted by Heather Buchman, Symphoria returns to the Hill for a program that includes Sibelius’s Symphony No. 7 and Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B-flat Major, with Gregory Quick as soloist.
February concludes with Anonymous 4 with Bruce Molsky on Saturday, Feb. 28.
The critically-acclaimed vocal group Anonymous 4 join forces with renowned singer and old-time fiddler, master banjo, and guitar player Bruce Molsky to present 1865: Songs of Hope and Home from the American Civil War, focusing on the music of the Civil War. The program is comprised of songs representing the personal experiences of men, women, and children from the North and from the South toward the end of the Civil War and in its immediate aftermath. Historic source material includes pieces originally written for the stage and for the parlor, as well as songs and instrumental tunes from the hills and back roads of America.
The series concludes with Laurie Anderson’s The Language of the Future on Saturday, April 11. Innovative composer, vocalist, and writer Laurie Anderson has been creating groundbreaking works that span the worlds of art, theater, and experimental music for decades. This visionary artist offers the latest chapter in her ongoing exploration of the American narrative and how we tell it: The Language of the Future, a witty and poignant collection of songs and stories about contemporary culture, crossing the border between the reality of performance and the elusive dream world suggested by technology and information.
All concerts will held in Wellin Hall, Schambach Center for Music and the Performing Arts, at 7:30 p.m. Seating is general admission. Individual ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for senior citizens and Hamilton employees, and $5 for students. Discounted series rates are available. For more information, call the box office at 859-4331 or visit www.hamiltonpa.org.