September 26 - through28
Event Start Time: 7:30 PM
October 3 - through5
Event Start Time: 2:30 PM
American playwright, screenwriter, and author Neil Simon’s Tony Award winning comedy “Biloxi Blues” is the second part of his semi-autobiographical trilogy of plays about a writer growing up in New York during the 1930s and 1940s. This play features Eugene Jerome, a young army recruit during WWII at basic training, as he learns about life and love (along with some harsher lessons) while stationed at boot camp in Biloxi, Mississippi. During his journey, he meets up with a number of younger recruits, a Biloxi beauty, and a local prostitute – learning that life can be both ugly and tender.
Location: Loca Lee Buckner Theatre
Cost: Adults: $18, Students: $9
Like his renowned grandfather Henri before him, Pierre Henri Matisse made art — and creativity — his life’s passion. The French-born Pierre moved to Florida in the 1960s, and, before his passing in July at 91 years old, he was excited to bring his adventurous and innovative work to the Polk Museum for the first time. Now, we honor him with an ever more timely retrospective exhibition. Ever the experimental artist, Pierre never settled on one style alone, although his unique voice and whimsical nature shine forth in each and every piece he created. This exhibition puts a spotlight on the artist’s irrepressible creative process, and visitors will see how Pierre and his art were inspired deeply by his grandfather and his legacy. One half of a two-site set of Pierre Henri Matisse exhibitions, this original Melvin Gallery show coincides with an exhibition of the artist’s narrative-based work at the nearby Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College.
Location: Melvin & Burks Art Galleries
Once the beautiful (and ever so slightly cooler) Florida fall season begins, we are once again offered the special treat of hearing beautiful instrumental music under the stars, performed by our FSC Symphony Band, conducted by Jo Jossim – and members of the FSC Jazz Ensembles, directed by Jeff Benatar. Indulge yourselves in this remarkably festive event as FSC’s expert musicians perform with amazing skill and artistry. And don’t forget – also programmed are a number of pieces conducted by senior music education majors poised to intern in the public school system in spring 2020. You won’t want to miss this event!
Location: Pipkin Bandshell (Rain Location - Branscomb Auditorium)
How exciting! Valerie Gillespie has agreed once again to lead a performance on the Faculty Artist Series. A saxophonist known internationally for her incredible jazz performances (solo and ensemble) and as a wonderful orchestral saxophonist with The Florida Orchestra – she also teaches a studio of saxophone students at FSC, sharing all that she knows regarding classical and jazz performance on this remarkable instrument. Come join her (along with some special jazz collaborative artists) as she delivers a delightful evening of music dedicated to all of those who truly love to hear entertaining music performance.
Location: Anne MacGregor Jenkins Recital Hall
This fall, Florida Southern College is proud to host the prestigious United States Air Force Concert Band and the Singing Sergeants in our beautiful concert hall at Branscomb Auditorium! Performing worldwide each year, these treasured musicians honor, inspire, and connect with over six million listeners at 5,000 live and televised events. The USAF Band will take the stage first, performing an array of traditional, innovative, and varied repertoire – while the Singing Sergeants will take the stage for the second half, ending the performance with music for both groups that will inspire positive and long-lasting impressions in the hearts and minds of those who attend. Come join us for this outstanding event!
Location: Branscomb Auditorium
As human beings, we often question what is around us, and it is important not to shy away from that instinct. This evening, our inquisitive nature is reflected in the music of this concert presented by the FSC Chamber Singers under the direction of Beth Gibbs, with each selection posing a question, challenge, or predicament to be considered. With varying styles of music and composers from the Renaissance to the present day, the FSC Chamber Singers dive head-first into our complex and beautiful world – and “Live the Questions.”
Cost: Adults: $8; Students: $4
October 31 - throughNovember 2
Event Start Time: 10:00 PM
Written by playwright Michael Frayn, this play features a meeting held in Copenhagen in 1941 by two international physicists, Werner Heisenberg from Germany and Niels Bohr from Denmark. Together they had revolutionized atomic science in the 1920s, but in the 1940s, they were on opposite sides of a world war. In this incisive drama, the two men meet in a situation fraught with danger in hopes of discovering why we do what we do. Come join us in a remarkable Frank Lloyd Wright Theatre presentation of this fascinating historical drama.
Location: Frank Lloyd Wright Theatre-in-the-Round
In this, her first concert in FSC’s Festival of Fine Arts in Branscomb Auditorium, conductor Martha Placeres takes up the baton to conduct the splendid Florida Southern College Symphony Orchestra and share with you her special look at the first year of her engagement with them. Through beautiful musical styles, wonderful composers, and a couple of innovative ideas here and there, she will let you know just how warmly the orchestra has greeted her. In turn, that will allow you to simply sit back and enjoy another exciting, beautiful, and comfortable evening of music – from the orchestra and its fine new conductor.
Cost: Adults: $8, Students: $4
Join us for the FSC Dance Program’s annual fall dance performance, FSC│Dance: Fall into Dance 2019, as we showcase an eclectic array of works from Florida Southern College faculty and guest artists. This performance will feature new and diverse choreography, ranging from ballet to contemporary modern dance, all performed by the talented students of FSC’s Dance Program under the incredible artistic direction of Erin LaSala. Mark your calendars now so that you do not miss what promises to be an exciting evening of dance!
The FSC brass faculty (including Brian Brink, trombone; Don McLaurin, trumpet; and Richard Sparrow, horn) have returned to our Faculty Artist Series through popular demand, enticing selected instrumental colleagues to join forces with them to present a wonderful, wild, and wacky evening of sonic amusements for our students, faculty, and patrons. A selection of diverse pieces will include musical scores augmented by curious collaborations outside the brass’ domain – and in the center ring for the evening will be composer John Cheetham’s delightful piece, A Brass Menagerie.
November 14 - through16
November 21 - through23
This final collaboration between musical theatre giants Rodgers and Hammerstein was clearly destined to become the world’s most beloved musical. When Maria, a young postulant, proves to be too high-spirited for the religious life, she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval captain. She immediately falls in love with the children – and eventually with their father. During this time, Captain von Trapp is ordered to take on a commission from the German navy, but he and Maria decide to flee Austria with the children instead. This revered Tony and Oscar-winning musical features classics like My Favorite Things, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Edelweiss, and Do-Re-Mi.
Please join us for a celebration of current work created by Florida Southern College art majors. This exhibition showcases the exceptional skills of our talented freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in all media. The breadth of the Department of Art and Art History is emphasized as we feature works in ceramics, painting, digital illustration, printmaking, and sculpture. The prestigious Florida Art Award is presented to a junior studio art major at the opening reception.
Location: Melvin and Burks Art Galleries
Featuring an array of large and small ensembles with diverse repertoire ranging from classical and jazz genres to popular and rock favorites, this Music Department’s annual event promises to simply take your breath away. Conceived and directed by FSC Symphony Band conductor Jo Jossim, this virtual kaleidoscope of musical styles, colors, and textures moves at a non-stop pace guaranteed to keep you completely enthralled. The larger ensembles include the FSC Symphony Band, the FSC Jazz Ensemble, and the FSC Chamber Singers – while a potpourri of small groups (any number of performers from one to ten) provide quick changes throughout the performance.
The title simply says it all: From its inspiring beauty in a sunrise, or the warmth it gives on a summer day, to the life-force it offers for the growth of crops, there is no wonder that the sun has held a place of majesty in societies across the ages and around the globe. This inspirational evening of beautiful choral music is sung by FSC’s Concert Choir and conducted by Beth Gibbs. Please join us as we explore the influence and majesty of the sun, as reflected in words and music – poetry and song.
How may we better express our hopes and dreams for the holidays – but by celebrating the music and words that pull it all together in Spirit of the Holidays: The Christmas Gala! The FSC Music Department showcases its large ensembles – including choral, instrumental, and strings – along with special smaller groups to perform music that incorporates old favorites, new pieces, classical standards, and exciting new surprises! Certainly, you will hear our revered O Holy Night (FSC’s three pianists, vocal soloist, and multiple choruses) and the always riveting Christmas Carol Sing-Along; but you will also have the opportunity to hear some new renditions of older pieces and a variety of other innovative works that will fill us with hopes and dreams for the future. What a great way to get the holiday season started!
Having just celebrated their 25th anniversary last year, the members of this exciting dance company, the Florida Dance Theatre (FSC’s company-in-residence), bring their classic holiday tradition of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to the Festival of Fine Arts. Come see this timeless holiday masterpiece, performed with charm and perfection by the dynamic dancers of this impressive ensemble in a breathtaking production featuring colorful scenery, dazzling costumes, and entrancing choreography. Bring your family and enjoy the music, dance, and spectacle that define the holiday season around the world.
Cost: Adults: $25, Students (under 12): $15
In her encaustic paintings, Janet Siegel Rogers translates the aura of time and place into layers of oil paint suspended in beeswax. Through her subtle use of pulsating shifts between different color hues, Rogers explores the nuances of color, creating the illusion of movement as light shines through her works. Ethereal and contemplative, Rogers’ animated environments evoke her family’s experiences along the shimmering shores of Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, and more recently, South Florida. Inspired by the interactions between light and environment, Rogers' expansive color fields and expressive mark-making invite viewers to meditate on light, mood, and the transience of our everyday experiences.
Once again, in collaboration with Florida Southern College, the Imperial Symphony Orchestra is pleased to present this year’s annual Night at the Opera, Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème, which will transport the audience to Paris in a wondrous nineteenth century story, celebrating the joys of love, the loneliness of life, and finally, the tragedy of death. Reuniting an artistic staff that includes faculty and students from Florida Southern College, as well as members of the Imperial Symphony Orchestra and the local community, this production will capture your imagination and lead you through an incredible evening of beautiful music through outstanding orchestral playing and exquisite singing.
Now in his second year at Florida Southern College as Director of Jazz Studies and Coordinator of Music Management, Jeff Benatar continues to impress students, faculty, and community patrons with his wonderful approach to jazz, both as a leader and as a formidable jazz pianist. In this Faculty Artist Series event (Volume 1!), Jeff pulls together other faculty jazz enthusiasts to create the Jazz Faculty Ensemble and to perform an array of jazz charts, especially emphasizing the music of Hank Jones. Please come by to support this wonderful evening of jazz … You won’t be disappointed!
February 13 - through15
February 20 - through22
In a 1920’s Berlin nightclub (Kit-Kat Klub), the Emcee welcomes audience members, assuring them they will forget all their troubles – at the cabaret. With the Emcee’s songs as wry commentary, Cabaret explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. The story revolves around the relationships between American writer Cliff Bradshaw and British cabaret singer Sally Bowles – and older boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and Jewish fruit vendor Herr Schultz. Musical numbers include such wonders as Willkommen, Cabaret, Don’t Tell Mama, and Two Ladies.
Just think: The “wedding” of words with music – and music with words – evokes feelings that at times are difficult to describe, yet absolutely undeniable. These emotions allow us to be human, and they are a marvelous gift. This evening’s performance is a concert of songs that weave a rich tapestry of feelings through our lives that becomes more complex as time moves on – and life is lived. Explore these feelings through songs and arias by a variety of composers, including Robert Schumann, Jules Massenet, Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, to name but a few.
The Russian National Ballet returns to Florida Southern College to present its marvelous setting of the children’s fairy tale, Cinderella, composed by Russian giant Sergei Prokofiev between 1940 and 1945. This is a full-length ballet in three acts, replete with beautiful costumes, grand scenery, elegant dancers, and of course, the famous glass slipper. While the music is dark and brooding, the story is comedic – and audiences embrace it for its visual beauty and artistic classicism. Please come enjoy this wondrous fairy tale ballet, presented in Branscomb Auditorium.
Cost: Adults: $18, Students: $9
Come and enjoy an evening dedicated to exploration of Chinese music through piano and pipa with Fen-Fang Chen. This evening’s interactive recital will provide opportunities for you to experience various Chinese compositions, ranging from famous traditional Chinese tunes to contemporary Chinese dance musical arrangements – performed on two very different instruments (piano and pipa) that illustrate differences between American and Chinese approaches. The program will include pieces like Thunder During the Drought, Great Waves Washing the Sand, Flute and Drum at Sunset, and The Mermaid Suite.
We are so pleased this evening to bring back the youthful enthusiasm and savvy musicianship of our Florida Southern College Jazz Ensemble under the expert leadership of Jeff Benatar. For this special performance, Jeff has engaged internationally known jazz trumpeter Clay Jenkins as guest Artist-in-Residence – to work with the students for a few days and perform with them for this concert. As a premiere jazz trumpeter, composer, and arranger, Jenkins has toured, recorded, and/or performed with the big bands of Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Count Basie, and the Clayton/Hamilton orchestra – and also shared the stage with folks like Milt Jackson, Joe La Barbera, and Diana Krall. You won’t want to miss a note!
As you may have noticed from past exhibitions, Florida Southern’s senior graphic design students are challenged each year to create a fictitious company. They are then responsible for creating its print and digital materials, products, and storefront displays in the Melvin/Burks Art Galleries as part of their thesis. At times humorous, clever, and surprising, the ideas presented by our students still maintain the professionalism needed to enter the graphic design field. Awards are presented at the opening reception to our top three talented students.
Concluding her first year as conductor of Florida Southern College’s Symphony Orchestra and strings program, Martha Placeres leads her ensemble through an evening of music designed to showcase the diversity of orchestral repertoire and the hard work of her students. Through varied pieces by a variety of composers, you’ll hear some familiar pieces, yes – and others that will simply command your attention for the first time. Please join this gifted conductor as she presents the rich range of timbres, expression, and styles characteristic of this treasured musical medium, the symphony orchestra.
The members of the Hollingsworth Trio have been invited to return to the FSC Faculty Artist Series this spring to lead a performance celebrating strings – and other things – in performance. Certainly, the Trio (Parsché, Sedloff, and Thielen) has become rather well-oriented to that concept with over 30 years of performing as a piano trio with 2 stringed instruments and a piano. But they are especially excited to surprise you in this concert as they engage other musicians to broaden the range of musical interpretation and collaboration with Strings – and Other Things. Come join them to see what they have in mind!
It is spring – and the annual spring dance concert is up again, featuring works and choreography by FSC Dance Program faculty and invited guest artists that celebrate the dynamic exchange of inspiration, manifestation, and sharing that encompass the creative process. The first act of this exciting program includes an abbreviated performance of the mystical and ethereal romantic-period ballet Giselle, followed by innovative and riveting original contemporary works in the second act – all performed by the gifted students of the FSC Dance Program, under the revered leadership of Erin LaSala.
April 2 - through4
April 9 - through11
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and Critics Circle Award, this poignant classic is an essential part of how we remember one of the darkest periods of human history. The Diary of Anne Frank tells the story of Anne, a young Jewish girl, forced to hide for nearly two years in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. This story of resilience, optimism, and a young girl’s extraordinary spirit transcends time and continues to resonate deeply.
Our final student exhibition showcases artwork created by Florida Southern College’s own senior studio art students. Each senior explores a unique central idea over the course of a year and creates a thematic body of work that conveys the technical and experiential nature of artist expression and creation. Their refreshing artistic approaches are celebrated at the opening reception, culminating with the presentation of the John R. Reuter Award.
Tonight Jo Jossim and the Florida Southern College Symphony Band invite you to join them on a special musical journey exploring light and its infinite destinations into space. Among the selected pieces that will assist this musical ensemble in taking their journey are John Mackey’s Aurora Awakes, a piece about the heralding of the coming of light; Julie Giroux’s Journey Through Orion, a piece that enables travel with music 1,500 light years away through sections of outer space – where stars and ideas are born; and other musical works relying on technology to move forward. You won’t want to miss Jo Jossim and her students on this mystical journey, so come join them!
An opera about ghosts, witches, and curses – oh my! Long ago, a witch’s curse was cast upon the family Murgatroyd, commanding that each successive Baronet of the Murgatroyds must commit a horrible crime every day – or die in agony. Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera Ruddigore opens, revealing that the one true Baronet, Sir Ruthven, has gone into hiding, allowing his younger brother, Despard, to assume the title … and the curse! However, the rightful heir is soon discovered – and as family ghosts display their disgust with the situation, Sir Ruthven attempts to find a way to lead the honest life and marry the woman he loves. Please join FSC’s Opera Theatre and Orchestra as they perform this wonderful Gilbert and Sullivan gem!
In a world often filled with great division, it is crucial that we focus more on what unites us. Fortunately, we are aided by the universal language that is music – so we celebrate our oneness with musical selections in many different languages and styles, knowing that the picture is broad, and that we are all part of it. Please join Beth Gibbs and both the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers of Florida Southern College as we rejoice in our unity.
For over thirty years, the Melvin and Burks Galleries have partnered with the Lakeland Art Guild to host their annual spring exhibition. Founded in 1952, the Lakeland Art Guild is the oldest local community arts organization in Polk County. We are pleased to exhibit works created by local artists, both established and emerging, and to bring together the members of our community to recognize “homegrown” talent. Join us at the opening reception for the announcement of awards given by select judges.