College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Brooks Center announces 2019-20 season


CLEMSON — The 2019-20 season at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts offers variety, with Grammy winners, world music, dance companies, chamber ensembles and much more. From the homespun sounds of The Earls of Leicester to the mesmerizing staging of “An American in Paris” in the Boni Belle Brooks Series; from the brassy virtuosity of trumpeter Brandon Ridenour and Septura to the melodic tones of the Miro Quartet and the Polonsky/Shifrin/Wiley Trio in the Utsey Series; and with the offering of many student ensemble performances, there is something for everyone.

Campus and community members are invited to attend with colleagues, family and friends. Tickets will be available beginning Wednesday, Aug. 14, online, by phone at 864-656-7787 or at the Box Office.

The Earls of Leicester – Tuesday, Sept. 10
Sponsored by Bill Dowler.

Men in cowboy hats stand on stage with guitars with backs to camera.
The Earls of Leicester kick off the Boni Belle Brooks Series in September

When the Earls of Leicester formed in 2013, their mission was ambitious but exact: to preserve and promote the legacy of bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. The Nashville-based six-piece group has won a Grammy and earned six International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. Twisted Pine will serve as the opening performer.

Snarky Puppy – Monday, Sept. 16 

Displaying a rare and delicate mixture of sophisticated composition, harmony and improvisation, fusion-influenced, genre-bending Snarky Puppy makes exploratory jazz, funk and rock. Join this award-winning jam band as it brings its special blend of feel-good tunes to the Brooks Center.

The Four Italian Tenors – Thursday, Sept. 26

On their first U.S. tour, the Four Italian Tenors perform the greatest tenor arias and songs of all time in unique arrangements created for American audiences. Hear this new generation of world-class tenors present classic works with panache, verve, and vivacity, all in their own inimitable style.

Nella – Thursday, Oct. 10 

Nella, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, is a new voice hailing from the Venezuelan island of Margarita. Her music is a meeting place for her country’s folklore roots, the influence of her contemporaries and the music of the Andalusian region of Spain.

Kingdom Choir – Monday, Oct. 21

Kingdom Choir sits in front of rustic structure smiling and singing.
The Kingdom Choir travels to Clemson in October.

London’s Kingdom Choir is best known for its breathtaking performance at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Founded in 1994 by award-winning conductor Karen Gibson, the choir draws from various traditions and is dedicated to creating a sound that reflects the community they share.

Ballet Hispanico – Monday, Oct. 28

From its grassroots origins as a dance school and community-based performing arts troupe, Ballet Hispanico has grown into a world class institution. Now, under the artistic direction of Eduardo Vilaro, the Company performs a diverse repertory that fuses Latin dance with classical and contemporary techniques to create a new style of concert dance in which theatricality and passion propel every move.

Midtown Men: Holiday Hits – Friday, Dec. 6
The Delores St. Clair Wright Christmas Show

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with The Midtown Men as they return to the Brooks Center to debut their “Holiday Hits” show, blending iconic rock-and-roll hits of the 1960s with the all-time greatest holiday classics. The group will perform “Let It Snow,” “Winter Wonderland,” Christmas Waltz,” and “Sherry” with their dynamic choreography, electrifying arrangements and signature four-part harmony. (Not a performance of, and not affiliated with the show “Jersey Boys.”)

Matthew Whitaker – Thursday, Jan. 23

Young man sits at Yamaha grand piano smiling.
Matthew Whitaker takes the stage in January.

Born in 2001, jazz pianist and organist Matthew Whitaker began teaching himself to play the Hammond B3 organ when he was 3 years old. By age 7, he became the youngest artist in the company’s history to be endorsed by Hammond. He was named a Yamaha Artist at 15, and has toured the United States and abroad, performing at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, the Apollo Theater, and at venues in France, Italy, Germany, Indonesia, the U.K., Japan and Morocco. Don’t miss this rising star who has been hailed as the next Stevie Wonder.

TAO – Tuesday, Feb. 4

TAO’s modern, high-energy performances showcasing the ancient art of Japanese drumming have transfixed audiences worldwide. Combining highly physical, large-scale drumming with contemporary costumes, precise choreography, and innovative visuals, the performers of TAO create an energetic and unforgettable production.

MOMIX – Tuesday, March 3
Sponsored by Bill and Donna Eskridge

Woman in blue spins a rope to create a circular effect onstage.
MOMIX dances into the Brooks Center in March.

Small vignettes make up this two-act performance from acclaimed dance company MOMIX, which brings “Viva MOMIX,” a mix-and-match variety of selections from six classic productions, to the Brooks Center stage.

“An American in Paris” – Monday, March 30

“An American in Paris” is the Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning. Inspired by the Academy Award-winning 1951 film, “An American in Paris” features music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin and book by Craig Lucas.

Special Events:

Greater Clemson Area Music Festival Presents The Box Tops – Tuesday, April 28

The legendary, Grammy Award-winning American rock band the Box Tops was formed in Memphis in 1967. The group is best known for such hits as “The Letter,” “Cry Like a Baby” and “Soul Deep.”

2020-21 Season Reveal Party – Friday, May 1

Be the very first to see what’s coming up in the 2020-21 season! Join us at our next season reveal party for food, fun, and an exclusive peek at next season’s performances.

Lillian and Robert Utsey Chamber Music Series • 7:30 p.m.

Brandon Ridenour, trumpet – Thursday, Sept. 19

Man in a gray suit with a trumpet stands on a street corner.
Brandon Ridenour opens the Utsey Series in September.

A virtuoso trumpeter and composer, Brandon Ridenour’s brilliance and self-assurance on the concert stage led to his victory at the 2018 Concert Artists Guild Competition and a thriving career worldwide. Recognized as “…the trumpet of the future (Chicago Sun Times) and for “demonstrating the trumpet’s huge potential for lyricism” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), Ridenour has combined his wide-ranging activities as a soloist and chamber musician with his passion for composing and arranging. His latest project, “Come Together,” features his arrangements of Beatles’ songs in celebration of the 50th anniversary of this Lennon and McCartney classic.

Polonsky/Shifrin/Wiley Trio – Monday, Nov. 4

After receiving the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award at the 2018 Chamber Music America Conference for historic service to the chamber music field, clarinet virtuoso David Shifrin formed a new trio with distinguished cellist Peter Wiley and rising piano star Anna Polonsky. In addition to the well-known trios for piano, clarinet, and cello by Beethoven and Brahms, the concert will include Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Piano, Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, and piano selections from Brahms’ Opp. 118 and 119.

Septura – Thursday, Feb. 6

Seven brass musicians stand against stone pillars with instruments
Brass ensemble Septura dazzles in February.

Septura brings together London’s leading players to redefine brass chamber music through the uniquely expressive sound of the brass septet. Currently Ensemble in Residence at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Septura’s members are the leading players of the new generation of British brass musicians, holding principal positions in the London Symphony, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and Basel Symphony. “The standard is absolutely higher than brass playing has ever been before.” – Alison Balsom

Miró String Quartet – Thursday, March 26

Founded in 1995, the Miró String Quartet has developed an ambitious project for 2019-20, a series of programs that replicate concerts from the 250-year history of string quartets performing in the concert hall. The Quartet’s Archive Project commemorates two major musical celebrations in 2020: the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Miró Quartet. The program to be performed at the Brooks Center will include Schubert’s beloved “Death and the Maiden” String Quartet, as well as works by Mozart, Glière, Franck and Servais.

Family Series (7 p.m.)

Okee Dokee Brothers – Thursday, Oct. 3

The Grammy Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers put their passion for the outdoors at the heart of their Americana Folk music with the goal of inspiring children and their parents to get outside and get creative. The four-time Parents’ Choice Award winners have garnered praise from the likes of NPR’s “All Things Considered” and USA Today, and have been called “two of family music’s best songwriters.”

“Charlotte’s Web” – Friday, Feb. 28

Based on E.B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte, this treasured tale features madcap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship.

Sonia De Los Santos – Monday, March 23

Woman stands with ukulele against wood paneling.
Sonia De Los Santos Brings songs of joy and hope on the Family Series in March.

Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, this performer was born with a smile on her face (that’s what her mom always says) and she can easily find the things in the world that bring her joy: migrating butterflies, waking up early, wildflowers, maracas, being grateful to her parents, playing with her band, and of course, singing about birds! De Los Santos and her band bring messages of joyful community music-making and cultural bridge building that will inspire children and grown-ups.

Department of Performing Arts Student Ensembles • 7:30 p.m.

Music in the Air XVII Carillon Concert – Sunday, Sept. 22 (5 p.m.) – Tillman Hall

Bring a picnic, enjoy fresh air, and unwind as University Carillonneur Linda Dzuris performs on our 48-bell instrument. You are invited to tour the playing cabin following the performance.

CU Singers and Cantorei – Thursday, Oct. 24 – Fort Hill Presbyterian Church

Join us at Fort Hill Presbyterian for an evening of exciting choral music. CU Singers will perform a variety of a cappella and accompanied works. The Clemson Cantorei will present a chamber music experience with contemporary choral works accompanied by piano, cello and percussion.

CU Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band and Drumline – Thursday, Nov. 7

This one-of-a-kind percussion extravaganza features the top marching, concert, and world percussion ensembles at Clemson sharing the stage in a celebration of percussion.

CU Symphony Orchestra – Tuesday, Nov. 12

From the powerful opening chords to the triumph of the finale, Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony is truly a game-changer. Enjoy the talent of the winner of our annual concerto/aria competition.

Tigeroar/TakeNote – Fall Performance – Friday, Nov. 15

The women of TakeNote and the men of Tigeroar team up for our combined show, featuring unique arrangements for both groups together, and on their own.

CU Jazz Ensemble – Tuesday, Nov. 19

Join the Clemson University Jazz Ensemble, The Jungaleers, as the musicians share the stage and collaborate with the talented guest artist, trumpeter Dean Pratt.

CU Men’s and Women’s Choirs – Thursday, Nov. 21

The Men’s and Women’s choirs will perform an evening of inspiring music ranging from classics to contemporary arrangements.

CU Symphonic Band – Monday, Nov. 25

Music inspired by the moon highlights this concert with conductor Mark Spede and guest conductor Timothy Hurlburt.

Clemson Choirs: Sounds of the Season – Sunday, Dec. 8 (3 p.m.)

This year, we are excited to present a new Clemson tradition! Join us for an afternoon of holiday favorites performed by each choral ensemble and a festival orchestra. With a sing-along, cookies, and a visit by a special guest, it will be an event the whole family can enjoy!

CU Symphonic Band – Monday, March 9

Traditional band favorites are featured in this concert, along with fascinating new music for the wind ensemble.

CU Symphony Orchestra – Thursday, April 2

Enjoy the sound of Clemson instructor David W. Jones in a concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra, followed by selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” ballet and other favorites.

Tigeroar/TakeNote – Spring Performance – Saturday, April 4

The women of TakeNote and the men of Tigeroar perform recent favorite hits and classics from a variety of genres and styles for an exciting night of pop music!

Department of Performing Arts “POPS” Scholarship Concert – Sunday, April 5 (5 p.m.)

Bring a picnic to Patrick Square and enjoy a variety of ensembles perform at the 21st annual “POPS” concert, benefitting the department’s scholarship fund.

CU Men’s and Women’s Choirs – Tuesday, April 7

The Men’s and Women’s choirs will perform an evening of inspiring choral music, featuring an additional collaboration with special guests from the Choral Arts Exchange program.

CU Symphonic Band and CU Concert Band – Tuesday, April 14

The Symphonic Band and Concert Band join forces for a concert of serious and fun music written for percussion and winds.

CU Singers and Cantorei – Thursday, April 16

The CU Singers perform a masterwork with a professional chamber orchestra while Cantorei is thrilled to perform a new choral work commissioned by American composer Eliane Hagenberg.

CU Jazz Ensemble – Tuesday, April 21

Make plans to join the Clemson University Jazz Ensemble, The Jungaleers, when it is joined by the incomparable Wayne Bergeron. A guest artist with high-profile orchestras, Bergeron’s trumpet solos can be heard on more than 400 television and movie soundtracks.

CU Percussion Ensemble and CU Steel Band – Friday, April 24

The percussion ensemble features contemporary drumming and percussion from around the world.

Clemson Players

“The Tempest,” by William Shakespeare

Monday, Sept. 30 – Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 6 at 3 p.m.

Among Shakespeare’s final plays, “The Tempest” is a story of family, betrayal, love and what holds us captive. Equal parts heartfelt and humorous, this production set in the late 1930s will explore the magic, both literal and figurative, of this classic play.

“John Proctor Is the Villain,” by Kimberly Belflower

Monday, Nov. 18 –  Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 24 at 3 p.m.

What do 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts, and a one-stoplight town in present-day Georgia have in common? In “John Proctor Is the Villain” by Kimberly Belflower, high school students confront the uncomfortable connections between literature and life.

“She Kills Monsters,” by Qui Nguyen

Monday, April 13 – Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 19 at 3 p.m.

Agnes Evans is a young woman grieving for her deceased sister, Tilly. When Agnes discovers her sister was a popular Dungeons and Dragons player, she begins a journey of action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s safe haven.

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