After radiating do-re-mis through Carnegie Hall and China's 2010 World Expo, the Austin Civic Chorus of Chorus Austin embarks upon its 47th year of harmonious belting, energized by a placing among 10 finalists nationwide for the prestigious American Prize in 2011. To kick off the new season, the choir sings the poignant notes of Rossini's “Petite Messe Solennelle,” an 1863 composition that the composer dubbed, “the last of my sins of old age” in reference to his penchant for plagiarizing songbirds. As music director Ryan Heller conducts the tapestry of 130 voices with an experienced ear, two pianos and a harmonium hum along to the beat. Four soloists stand to flex their professional pipes and singing biceps, including soprano Mele Dailey, mezzo Kathryn Findlen, tenor Nicholas Simpson, and bass Bruce Cain.
Tote along your favorite song scientist or chord chemist and watch as the professional orchestral professors fuse favorite rhythms and harmonies during the concert. The setlist includes Leonard Bernstein's symphonic suite from On the Waterfront, John Williams's "Star Wars Suite," Bizet's "March of the Torreadors" from Carmen, music from the James Bond films, and a tribute to Henry Mancini.
When Felicity Coltman founded it in 1981, the Austin Chamber Music Center's goal was simpler than it is today, yet still ambitious: to create a summer chamber-music workshop for teens. Since then, not only have many alumni gone on to become professional musicians, but the center has expanded into an outreach organization whose concerts and instruction brings chamber music to Austin ears, instruments, and hearts. Adults of similar skill levels gather into small chamber-music groups, whereas youngsters meet with instructors on weekends, during the summer, or in school. Just two years after its founding, the center sent students on two European voyages and hosted musicians from Salzburg, starting an international exchange program that continues today.
In 1988, a unique performance series took form with the center’s Intimate Concerts, which take place in private homes so that audiences can experience the music in a personal way and help their cats learn to read sheet music. Led by artistic director Michelle Schumann the center now holds year-round concerts for a variety of musical tastes, with all programs including live program notes.
Black Grace fuses contemporary dance with Pacific and Maori styles—forging a new form of movement at once tribal, thundering, energetic, and suffused with raw spirit. Having toured their homeland to sell-out crowds, the dance troupe has also wowed dance fanatics at many of the world's top dance festivals, including the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Mexico’s Cervantino Festival, and the Aichi World Expo. During their Austin performance, Black Grace will perform a three-part program of the best selections from their repertoire. The show begins with Minoi, a fusion of Samoan and western contemporary dance, followed by excerpts from Surface, a full-length piece centered around Samoan tattooing, before closing with choreographer Neil Ieremia's latest full-length opus, Gathering Clouds.
Penfold Theatre Company takes offense to the notion that the best theater comes from New York. In every successful season, the Round Rock stock of actors and artists give the Great White Way a run for its money with inspired productions. Hatched in the summer of 2007?after an 18-hour road trip led its founders to the dramatic potential of the hills of north Travis and Williamson Counties?Penfold quickly blossomed into a community jewel and a critics? darling. Winner of the Austin Critics Table Award for Best Musical Production for the third year in a row, the troupe embarks on a new season filled with comedy, drama, and music?all while breeding new stocks of young thespians in their Penfold Players acting classes and summer camps.
ColdTowne Theater is Austin's main stage for alternative comedy. We currently run shows Thursday through Monday, featuring the funniest comedians in Central Texas. We also run a conservatory offering the most fun improv and sketch comedy classes Austin has to offer.