students on stage

Festival Events

Schedule of Events

Theatre Arts
dividing the estate playbill

Kiss Me, Kate
First Week

Directed by Paul Bawek
Musical direction by Bradley Vieth

November 15 to November 18
Loca Lee Buckner Theatre

Read More about Kiss Me, Kate
First Week

Passions run high as leading lady Lilli Vanessi and her ex-husband, actor/director Fred Graham, battle onstage and off in a production of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. With romance, comedy, sophistication, and behind-the-scenes hijinks, Tony Award winning musical Kiss Me, Kate combines the irreverent humor of two brilliant writers, Cole Porter and William Shakespeare. Musical numbers include “Another Op’nin – Another Show,” “Always True to You In My Fashion,” “I Hate Men,” “Wunderbar,” and “Brush up Your Shakespeare.”

Adapted from the book by Samuel and Bella Spewack

 

Art Exhibition
dividing the estate playbill

Opening All Student Art

A celebration of work created by Florida Southern art majors!

November 16 at 7:00 PM
Melvin and Burks Art Galleries

Read More about Opening All Student Art

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. Please note that the prestigious Florida Art Award will be presented to a junior studio art major at the opening reception.  

 

Event is Free
Art Exhibition
dividing the estate playbill

All Student Art Exhibition

A celebration of work created by Florida Southern art majors!

November 17 to December 7
Melvin and Burks Art Galleries

Read More about All Student Art Exhibition

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. Please note that the prestigious Florida Art Award will be presented to a junior studio art major at the opening reception.  

 

Event is Free
Music
dividing the estate playbill

Postcards From Russia

FSC Symphony Orchestra, Kira Omelchenko, conductor

November 19 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium
 

Read More about Postcards From Russia

Now in her fifth year as orchestra conductor and string director at FSC, Kira Omelchenko has chosen to share with us a stunning performance featuring symphonic works by the truly great Russian masters. In pieces like Rimsky-Korsakov’s Procession of the Nobles (from the “Mlada Ballet Suite”), Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March, Glazunov’s Spanish Dance, and selections from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, this conductor and her FSC Symphony Orchestra will share music that evokes musical images of Russia’s cities, culture, and people.

Opening reception to be held at 7:00 PM.

Faculty Series
dividing the estate playbill

Brass Explorations

The FSC Faculty Brass: Don McLaurin, trumpet; Brian Brink, trombone; Richard Sparrow, horn
 

November 27 at 7:30 PM
Anne MacGregor Jenkins Recital Hall

Read More about Brass Explorations

FSC’s delightful faculty brass invite you to join them in an evening dedicated to the exploration of brass!  Beyond their studios, classrooms, and rehearsal halls, these artist-teachers turn their focus to significant contributions of literature for brass, such as Poulenc’s sublimely beautiful work, Sonata for Horn, Trumpet, and Trombone. Throughout the dynamic repertoire presented  this evening, you’ll see these performers delve into a variety of stylistic settings and historically diverse genres, proving that brass is indeed noble, humorous, and edgy. 
 

Theatre Arts
dividing the estate playbill

Kiss Me, Kate
Last Week

Directed by Paul Bawek
Musical direction by Bradley Vieth

November 29 to December 2
Loca Lee Buckner Theatre

Read More about Kiss Me, Kate
Last Week

Passions run high as leading lady Lilli Vanessi and her ex-husband, actor/director Fred Graham, battle onstage and off in a production of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. With romance, comedy, sophistication, and behind-the-scenes hijinks, Tony Award winning musical Kiss Me, Kate combines the irreverent humor of two brilliant writers, Cole Porter and William Shakespeare. Musical numbers include “Another Op’nin – Another Show,” “Always True to You In My Fashion,” “I Hate Men,” “Wunderbar,” and “Brush up Your Shakespeare.”

Adapted from the book by Samuel and Bella Spewack

 

Music
dividing the estate playbill

'Tis The Season: The Christmas Gala
Afternoon

FSC Music Department

December 8 at 2:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium
 

Read More about 'Tis The Season: The Christmas Gala
Afternoon

FSC’s Department of Music presents ‘Tis the Season: The Christmas Gala with a riveting group of musical holiday favorites, beautifully performed by choral, instrumental, and string groups – and selected special music by other musical combinations.  Among favorite pieces to be performed are Sleigh Ride, Christmas Song, and The Nutcracker (for orchestra/dancers), O Holy Night (FSC’s three pianists, vocal soloist, and choruses), and the concluding Christmas Carol Sing-Along for the FSC Symphony Band and audience. Come join us for a traditionally spectacular evening – filled with surprises!  
 

Music
dividing the estate playbill

'Tis The Season: The Christmas Gala
Evening

FSC Music Department

December 8 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium
 

Read More about 'Tis The Season: The Christmas Gala
Evening

FSC’s Department of Music presents ‘Tis the Season: The Christmas Gala with a riveting group of musical holiday favorites, beautifully performed by choral, instrumental, and string groups – and selected special music by other musical combinations.  Among favorite pieces to be performed are Sleigh Ride, Christmas Song, and The Nutcracker (for orchestra/dancers), O Holy Night (FSC’s three pianists, vocal soloist, and choruses), and the concluding Christmas Carol Sing-Along for the FSC Symphony Band and audience. Come join us for a traditionally spectacular evening – filled with surprises!  
 

Special Event
dividing the estate playbill

Florida Dance Theatre Presents: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker

Classic holiday tradition of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker

December 15 at 7:30 PM

Branscomb Auditorium

Read More about Florida Dance Theatre Presents: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker

In celebration of their 25th anniversary, the members of Florida Dance Theatre (FSC’s company-in-residence under the direction of Carol Erkes), 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. Please come bring your family and enjoy the music, dance, and spectacle that define the holiday season around the world. 

 

Art Exhibition
dividing the estate playbill

Opening Reception for John Briggs

Delve into the mysterious coastal landscapes of John Briggs.

January 18 at 7:00 PM
Melvin and Burks Art Galleries

Read More about Opening Reception for John Briggs

This spring, we invite you to delve into the mysterious coastal landscapes of John Briggs.  Simultaneously realistic and uncanny, familiar and eerie, and inhabited by inexplicably nude fishermen casting nets in open water, the artist’s latest series invites viewers to question the simplicity of the paintings before their eyes, What exactly is going on here? How are the paintings connected? Is there a symbolic story underlying these works? Finding the deeper meaning – if there is one – is just a start for the intrigue.  
 

Event is Free
Special Event
dividing the estate playbill

A Night At The Opera: Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” (The Magic Flute)

The Imperial Symphony Orchestra’s annual A Night at the Opera.

January 19 at 7:00 PM
Branscomb Auditorium

Read More about A Night At The Opera: Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” (The Magic Flute)

The Imperial Symphony Orchestra’s unique annual A Night at the Opera welcomes opera professionals to Lakeland for a two-week rehearsal/performance schedule to fuse these nationally and internationally renowned guest singers (like Wesley Morgan, Maria Kanyova, Eric Lindsey, and Teresa Castillo) with local professional, community, and FSC singers, production staff, and members of the ISO. Together they will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) in English, exuding the fantasy and fairy tale side of Mozart in this extraordinary – and magical – opera. 
 

Art Exhibition
dividing the estate playbill

John Briggs: Casting For The Unknown

Delve into the mysterious coastal landscapes of John Briggs.

January 19 to February 22
Melvin and Burks Art Galleries

Read More about John Briggs: Casting For The Unknown

This spring, we invite you to delve into the mysterious coastal landscapes of John Briggs.  Simultaneously realistic and uncanny, familiar and eerie, and inhabited by inexplicably nude fishermen casting nets in open water, the artist’s latest series invites viewers to question the simplicity of the paintings before their eyes, What exactly is going on here? How are the paintings connected? Is there a symbolic story underlying these works? Finding the deeper meaning – if there is one – is just a start for the intrigue.  
 

Event is Free
Special Event
dividing the estate playbill

Julian Gargiulo, Pianist: Back By Popular Demand!

Welcome Julian Gargiulo back to Branscomb Auditorium.

January 30 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium

Read More about Julian Gargiulo, Pianist: Back By Popular Demand!

When last seen in Lakeland in January 2017, this incredible piano virtuoso and Steinway Artist had just completed his second year in Florida Southern College’s Festival of Fine Arts, sharing (with his favorite audience) his inimitable style, irrepressible humor, and brilliant musicianship. Back, due to popular demand, he once again treats us to a delightful, unconventional, and unique concert experience, guaranteed to entertain, educate, and please. Do join us in welcoming Julian Gargiulo back to Branscomb Auditorium.
 

Theatre Arts
dividing the estate playbill

Jesus Christ Superstar
First Week

Directed by James Beck
Musical direction by Christianne Roll

February 14 to February 17
Loca Lee Buckner Theatre

Read More about Jesus Christ Superstar
First Week

An enduring rock opera from 1971, Jesus Christ Superstar follows the last week of the life of Jesus Christ largely through the perspective of Judas Iscariot. Based on the Gospels’ accounts of those incredibly meaningful last few days, the story explores the personal relationships and struggles between Jesus, Judas, Mary Magdalene, his disciples, and the Roman Empire. The iconic 1970s rock musical score contains such well-known numbers as “Superstar,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane,” and “Everything’s Alright.” 
 

Theatre Arts
dividing the estate playbill

Jesus Christ Superstar
Last Week

Directed by James Beck
Musical direction by Christianne Roll

February 21 to February 24
Loca Lee Buckner Theatre

Read More about Jesus Christ Superstar
Last Week

An enduring rock opera from 1971, Jesus Christ Superstar follows the last week of the life of Jesus Christ largely through the perspective of Judas Iscariot. Based on the Gospels’ accounts of those incredibly meaningful last few days, the story explores the personal relationships and struggles between Jesus, Judas, Mary Magdalene, his disciples, and the Roman Empire. The iconic 1970s rock musical score contains such well-known numbers as “Superstar,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane,” and “Everything’s Alright.” 
 

Special Event
dividing the estate playbill

The Russian National Ballet: Leon Minkus’ Don Quixote

Russian ballet at its most powerful and thrilling.

February 23 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium 

Read More about The Russian National Ballet: Leon Minkus’ Don Quixote

Resplendent with glittering costumes, lavish sets, and a sweeping musical score, the Russian National Ballet’s colorful production of Don Quixote is Russian ballet at its most powerful and thrilling, transporting audiences to a make-believe Spain where dancing dryads, gypsies, and knights will delight both young and old alike. Founded in Moscow, this company brings the beauty and timeless tradition of classical ballet to this beautiful production – and you will enjoy the vibrant, direct, and spontaneous sense of joy Minkus’ score arouses throughout the evening. 
 

Music
dividing the estate playbill

Ballad To The Moon

FSC Chamber Singers, Beth Gibbs, conductor

February 25 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium

Read More about Ballad To The Moon

For centuries the moon has enthralled poets, composers, and laymen alike, as expressed in poems, music, and other works. In this evening’s rousing concert, please join Beth Gibbs and her gifted Chamber Singers as they explore a variety of musical styles by such composers as Finland’s Einojuhani Rautavaara and America’s Daniel Elder, with poems by Spanish author Federico García Lorca and American poet Emily Dickinson, as they pay tribute to this beautiful and inspiring part of our galaxy. 
 

Art Exhibition
dividing the estate playbill

Senior Graphic Design Thesis Exhibition

Artwork created by Florida Southern’s own senior students.

March 15 at 7:00 PM
Melvin & Burks Art Galleries

Read More about Senior Graphic Design Thesis Exhibition

Our final student exhibition showcases artwork created by Florida Southern’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.  The results of their refreshingly artistic individual approaches to studio art production are celebrated at the opening reception, culminating with the presentation of the John R. Reuter Award. 

Event is Free
Music
dividing the estate playbill

Evening At The Symphony

FSC Symphony Orchestra, Kira Omelchenko, conductor

March 15 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium

Read More about Evening At The Symphony

FSC’s Symphony Orchestra, directed by Kira Omelchenko, shares with us a concert featuring a potpourri of symphonic pieces showcasing an impressive array of techniques, timbres, textures, and themes. In music highlighting impressive technical standards, fiery rhythms, and beautiful – but powerful – melodies, we will hear pieces by Glinka (Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila), Maurice Ravel (selections from Tombeau de Couperin), and Antonin Dvořák (Symphony no. 8 – last movement).  As a very special treat, we will hear the talented winners of the 4th annual Concerto/Aria competition.  

Dance
dividing the estate playbill

FSC|DANCE: Then and Now

Erin LaSala, artistic director

March 23 to March 24
Branscomb Auditorium

Read More about FSC|DANCE: Then and Now

The past seems always to be reflected by the future. In FSC|DANCE: Then and Now, the dance program demonstrates the truth of this statement with a two-act performance that pays homage to the past, as well as to the present. Act I of this fabulous program features the dancers’ talents as they perform an abbreviated version of Marius Petipa’s infamous classical ballet, Swan Lake – followed by innovative original modern and neoclassical choreography by dance faculty and guest artists in Act II. Please come join us!  

Faculty Series
dividing the estate playbill

Hollingsworth Trio Evening

Artists: Paula Parsché, piano; Michael Sedloff, cello; Mark Thielen, violin

March 26 at 7:30 PM
Anne MacGregor Jenkins Recital Hall

Read More about Hollingsworth Trio Evening

Embracing the classic chamber music combination of violin, cello, and piano, the members of the popular Hollingsworth Trio share an evening of beautiful music designed to engage the listener in every way. Choosing from a potpourri of delightful pieces for the ensemble, these charming musicians are guaranteed to demonstrate and celebrate the supremely collaborative art of the piano trio throughout music history. Come join us to see what they have selected for this special performance!  

Event is Free
Music
dividing the estate playbill

Jazz Extraordinaire

FSC Jazz Ensemble

March 28 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium 

Read More about Jazz Extraordinaire

Youth and jazz – what a perfect combination! In this special concert dedicated to all things jazz, the youthful members of the Florida Southern College Jazz Ensemble pool their considerable talents, wonderful instrumental techniques, and unbridled passions to provide us with an evening filled with a variety of jazz genres. Please join this group, their director, and some very special guest artists as they lead us on an energetic, free-wheeling, and exciting journey through the world of jazz. Don’t miss it! 

Music
dividing the estate playbill

Festival Te Deum

FSC Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, Beth Gibbs, conductor

April 1 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium

Read More about Festival Te Deum

The historic and sacred Te Deum (Thee, O God) text is a beloved annunciation of praise set by countless composers. In this special evening of choral music spanning the centuries, Beth Gibbs and FSC’s Chamber Singers and Concert Choir share several settings of this well-known laud and celebrate the many ways the praise can be sung. From Franz Joseph Haydn in the classical era to Ēriks Ešenvalds during this time period, we will take a musicological journey across time, space, and style in our Festival Te Deum

Faculty Series
dividing the estate playbill

Women of Note II

Artists: Directed by Diane Stahl

April 3 at 7:30 PM
Anne MacGregor Jenkins Recital Hall

Read More about Women of Note II

To once again celebrate women composers who have made significant contributions to music, Professor Diane Stahl proudly presents Women of Note II. Encompassing different genres, from voice to chamber music, an impressive group of faculty artists will offer you an evening of total joy as they share music composed by such extraordinary women as Clara Schumann and Libby Larsen.  Among the performers, you will hear the Hollingsworth Trio (Parsché, Sedloff, and Thielen,), Colleen Blagov, Fernando Traba, and Mark Thomsen.  

Event is Free
Theatre Arts
dividing the estate playbill

See How They Run
First Week

By Philip King
Directed by Paul Bawek

April 4 to April 7

Loca Lee Buckner Theatre

Read More about See How They Run
First Week

In a hilarious case of mistaken identity, this play is set in the idyllic English village of Merton-cum-Middlewick during the 1940s. It is World War II, and the village inhabitants are preparing themselves for the imminent threat of Nazi invasion. However, resident spinster, Miss Skillon, becomes convinced that her beloved vicar's wife is having an affair and she must attempt to expose her. Add an escaped German prisoner of war, a handsome actor, and some meddling neighbors – and hilarious confusion and utter mayhem are bound to result!  

Art Exhibition
dividing the estate playbill

Opening Reception for Studio Art Senior Thesis Exhibition

Studio Art Senior Thesis Exhibition

April 5 at 7:00 PM
Melvin and Burks Art Galleries

Read More about Opening Reception for Studio Art Senior Thesis Exhibition

Our final student exhibition showcases artwork created by Florida Southern’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. The results of their refreshingly artistic individual approaches to studio art production are celebrated at the opening reception, culminating with the presentation of the John R. Reuter Award. 

Event is Free
Art Exhibition
dividing the estate playbill

Senior Graphic Design Thesis Exhibition

Senior Graphic Design Thesis Exhibition

April 6 to April 26
Melvin and Burks Art Galleries

Read More about Senior Graphic Design Thesis Exhibition

Our final student exhibition showcases artwork created by Florida Southern’s own senior 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. The results of their refreshingly artistic individual approaches to studio art production are celebrated at the opening reception, culminating with the presentation of the John R. Reuter Award. 

Event is Free
Theatre Arts
dividing the estate playbill

See How They Run
Last Week

By Philip King
Directed by Paul Bawek

April 11 to April 14

Loca Lee Buckner Theatre

Read More about See How They Run
Last Week

In a hilarious case of mistaken identity, this play is set in the idyllic English village of Merton-cum-Middlewick during the 1940s. It is World War II, and the village inhabitants are preparing themselves for the imminent threat of Nazi invasion. However, resident spinster, Miss Skillon, becomes convinced that her beloved vicar's wife is having an affair and she must attempt to expose her. Add an escaped German prisoner of war, a handsome actor, and some meddling neighbors – and hilarious confusion and utter mayhem are bound to result!  

Music
dividing the estate playbill

The Opera Gala: Soirée at Prince Orlofsky’s

Mark Thomsen, Director
Kira Omelchenko, Conductor

April 17 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Auditorium

Read More about The Opera Gala: Soirée at Prince Orlofsky’s

A masked ball takes place at Prince Orlofsky’s Villa in Vienna, and as guests arrive (including Eisenstein, Adele, Dr. Falke, and Rosalinde), many begin to resemble people or characters from other lands or operas. As the energy builds (and the champagne flows), guests begin performing scenes from various operas and operettas by composers that include Mozart, Puccini, and Gilbert & Sullivan. Finally, the evening comes to a convincing end as they all waltz off into the night, just as Johann Strauss’ Act II of Die Fledermaus concludes.   

Music
dividing the estate playbill

Reflections

FSC Symphony Band, Jo Jossim, conductor

April 23 at 7:30 PM
Branscomb Memorial Auditorium

Read More about Reflections

The year 2019 marks the twentieth FSC spring band concert led by Dr. Jo Jossim! Can you believe it?  In this performance, she will pull some musical pieces from previous spring concerts that allow her to look back on past bands and themes, but – because wind band literature is always evolving and changing – she will also program pieces new to her and to this year’s FSC Symphony Band, creating the perfect time for us to look back, reflect, and then plan for the future with this charismatic band conductor. 

Faculty Series
dividing the estate playbill

The Spirit of the Violin

Artists: Rimma Bergeron-Langlois, violin; Keiko Andrews, piano

April 24 at 7:30 PM
Anne MacGregor Jenkins Recital Hall

Read More about The Spirit of the Violin

How wonderful to have our last Faculty Artist Series performance of the year be given by violinist Rimma Bergeron-Langlois and her formidable partner at the piano, Keiko Andrews!  Together, these two remarkable musicians have led us through recitals that have engaged, challenged, and even gently humored us. You will enjoy the surprises they have to offer this year – so PLEASE – mark this date on your calendar for a sublime performance of violin/piano music, designed to soothe and excite your souls.  

Event is Free
Art Exhibition
dividing the estate playbill

Opening Reception for Annual Lakeland Art Guild Exhibition

The Lakeland Art Guild's annual spring exhibition.

May 10 at 6:00 PM
Melvin and Burks Art Galleries

Read More about Opening Reception for Annual Lakeland Art Guild Exhibition

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.  

Event is Free
Art Exhibition
dividing the estate playbill

Annual Lakeland Art Guild Exhibition

The Lakeland Art Guild's annual spring exhibition.

May 11 to June 7
Melvin and Burks Art Galleries

Read More about Annual Lakeland Art Guild Exhibition

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.  

Event is Free