College of Arts and Humanities

Brooks Center for the Performing Arts announces its 30th season 

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From Grammy Award-winning musicians and classical powerhouses to ballet dancers and circus artists who defy gravity, the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts unveils a diverse lineup of world-renowned talent for its 30th season. With a dazzling array of performances, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – even Taylor Swift enthusiasts.

Executive Director of the Brooks Center, Janice Crews, has programmed an exciting lineup. “Our 30th season is a major milestone in the Brooks Center’s history, and it might just be our best year yet. As always, our tradition of offering world-class performances at affordable prices continues to make the Brooks Center second to none in our region.”

Beginning Wednesday, May 15, 2024, season tickets are available at a 10% discount for Friends of the Brooks Center who have made a gift of $100 or more between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024. Visit the Brooks Center website to make a gift and order tickets. Single tickets will be available to the general public beginning August 7, 2024.

Celebrating 30 Years at the Brooks Center

The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts was established in 1994 through the determination and generosity of students, faculty, staff and the Clemson community. This 87,000-square-foot facility has served as a professional roadhouse for three decades, hosting world-class professional music, theatre and dance performances throughout the academic year in its spacious yet intimate 979-seat proscenium auditorium. In addition to professional productions, the Brooks Center is also home to the Department of Performing Arts, offering a dynamic, hands-on undergraduate experience. A 30th-anniversary exhibition will be displayed in the Brooks Center lobby through September. The exhibition includes historical information and artwork featuring the center. 


Boni Belle Brooks Series

Named for the daughter of benefactor Robert H. Brooks, the Boni Belle Brooks Series features noteworthy and emerging artists from a variety of genres.

Rodney Marsalis

Philadelphia Big Brass

Friday, September 20, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

$35 Adults / $20 Students

Sponsored by Bill Dowler

The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass is America’s premier large brass ensemble. A group that always reflects the diverse makeup of men and women in the American culture, RMPBB is dedicated to the notion that music is a gift to be enjoyed by everyone. The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass is a family-owned and operated business that began on the streets of New Orleans. On the advice of family patriarch Ellis Marsalis, the group created a concert format that breaks the usual barriers between genres and strives to create a connection between the audience and performers. Enjoy pieces by Bach, Sousa, Wagner, and Elvis Presley, to name a few, in this Big Brass program.

“No one plays absolutely beautifully all the time…unless you’re my cousin Rodney.”

– Wynton Marsalis

Cirque Kalabanté

Tuesday, October 1, 2024 at 7 p.m.

$40 Adults / $20 Students

Sponsored by the Ruth B. Wood Foundation

Prepare for an unforgettable journey with Cirque Kalabanté. This performance, inspired by daily life in Guinea, shares the beauty, youth and artistry of African culture. Acrobats execute gravity-defying moves accompanied by the contemporary sounds of live Afro-Jazz, percussion and kora.

Yamoussa Bangoura, a multidisciplinary artist of Guinean origin, created Kalabanté Productions. Bangoura’s dream was to found a school of circus arts and direct his own multidisciplinary company specializing in the African arts. Now, his company tours all over the world and in 2018, Kalabante opened their studio and school in Montreal, where they offer classes in African dance, cirque and drumming.

“Explosive drumming and dance routines, the group delivered mind-blowing acrobatic sequences with extraordinary precision.”

– Vice Magazine

Samara Joy

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

$50 Adults / $20 Students

Sponsored by Joe and Cathy Turner

With her Grammy Award-Winning Verve Records debut, Linger Awhile, 24-year-old Bronx native Samara Joy has positioned herself to join the likes of Sarah, Ella and Billie as the next mononymous jazz singing sensation recorded by the venerable label.

The winner of two 2023 Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Jazz Album, Samara Joy’s rich and velvety, yet precociously refined voice has made her the first Gen Z jazz singing superstar, with appearances on countless television shows, millions of likes on TikTok, and sold out shows around the world. In 2024, Samara won a third Grammy Award for her take on the Betty Carter classic “Tight” and is currently in preparation for her full-length follow-up album. The New York Times praised the “silky-voiced rising star” for “helping jazz take a youthful turn,” while NPR All Things Considered named her a “classic jazz singer from a new generation.” Samara will be accompanied by seven instrumentalists, including piano, saxes, brass and bass.

Photo of jazz singer Samara Joy
Photo: Meredith Traux

The close precision and frothy power of her voice stand out immediately … so does the depth of her comfort within the jazz tradition”

– The New York TImes

The Cher Show:

A New Musical

Sunday, November 10, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

$60 Adults/ $20 Students

Sponsored by Elizabeth Branstead

Superstars come and go. Cher is forever. For six straight decades, only one unstoppable force has flat-out dominated popular culture — breaking down barriers, pushing boundaries, and letting nothing and no one stand in her way. THE CHER SHOW is the Tony Award-winning musical of her story, and it’s packed with so much Cher that it takes three women to play her: the kid starting out, the glam pop star, and the icon. THE CHER SHOW is 35 smash hits, six decades of stardom, two rock-star husbands, a GRAMMY®, an Oscar®, an Emmy® and enough Tony Award-winning Bob Mackie gowns to cause a nationwide sequin shortage, all in one unabashedly fabulous new musical that will have you dancing in the aisles!

Production photo from The Cher Show: A New Musical

Tomáseen Foley’s

A Celtic Christmas

Sunday, December 1, 2024 at 4 p.m.

$35 Adults / $20 Students

Delores St. Clair Wright Christmas Show

Now in its 28th season, Tomáseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas recreates the joy and innocence of a night before Christmas in a remote farmhouse in the parish of Teampall an Ghleanntáin in the west of Ireland – when the neighboring families gather around the fire to grace the wintry night with the haunting melodies of traditional Irish Christmas carols, to raise the rafters with the joy of their music and to knock sparks off the flagstone floor with traditional dances, and to fill the night with the laughter of their stories.

…warm, comforting and full of cheer.”

– JUSTINE SUTTON, 
SANTA BARBARA NOOZHAWK

Chanticleer

Friday, January 17, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.

$35 Adults / $20 Students

The GRAMMY® Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer is known worldwide as “an orchestra of voices” for its wide-ranging repertoire and dazzling virtuosity. Founded in San Francisco in 1978 by singer and musicologist Louis Botto, Chanticleer quickly became one of the most prolific recording and touring ensembles worldwide, selling over one million recordings and performing thousands of live concerts to audiences around the world. Chanticleer’s repertoire is rooted in the Renaissance. It has continued to expand to include a wide range of classical, gospel, jazz, and popular music and a deep commitment to the commissioning of new compositions and arrangements. The ensemble has committed much of its vast recording catalogue to these commissions, garnering GRAMMY® Awards for its recording of Sir John Tavener’s “Lamentations & Praises” and the ambitious collection of commissioned works entitled “Colors of Love.” Chanticleer is the recipient of the Dale Warland/Chorus America
Commissioning Award and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming, and its Music Director Emeritus Joseph H. Jennings received the Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award for his contribution to the African American choral tradition during his tenure with Chanticleer.

Photo: Stephen K. Mack

“America’s a cappella pride and joy.”

– Classics Today

Vitamin String Quartet

The Music of Taylor Swift, Bridgerton, and Beyond

Friday, February 7, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.

$30 Adults / $20 Students

Long before Bridgerton broke the Netflix algorithm, Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ) had helped establish classical crossover as a genuine force in contemporary music. Fresh off high-profile placements in Seasons 1 and 2 of the aforementioned streaming smash, VSQ has “reached a mainstream, global audience” (Variety) and “charmed the world with their classical covers” (Nylon). New York Observer wrote, “VSQ’s atmospheric hits have made classical versions of pop music cool.” On their latest tour, VSQ have created fresh arrangements of the cultural phenomenon that is Taylor Swift, performing spellbinding and innovative renditions of Swift’s music, alongside familiar hits from Billie Eilish, BTS, Bridgerton, The Weeknd to Daft Punk. VSQ are one of the most popular string ensembles in the world with over 2 billion streams and seven albums charting on both Billboard Classical and Classical Crossover charts.

“VSQ’s atmospheric hits have made classical versions of pop music cool.”

– New York Observer

Collage Dance Collective

Thursday, February 13, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.

FREE – Ticket required

Working to inspire the growth and diversity of ballet, Collage Dance Collective showcases a repertoire of relevant choreography and world-class dancers representative of the communities they serve. The professional company has presented thirteen full-length seasons in Memphis, plus national and international touring, presenting a diverse range of classical and contemporary choreography. Collage Dance Collective will perform Their Eyes Were Watching God, a neoclassical ballet based on the book by Zora Neale Hurston, and Rise, set to the iconic “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.

Presented in partnership with the City of Clemson, Clemson African American Museum, Global Black Studies program, Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center, College of Arts and Humanities, Clemson Humanities Hub and the Office of the Provost.

New Orleans Songbook: A Jazz at Lincoln Center PRESENTS Production

Tuesday, March 4, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.

$45 Adults / $20 Students

Sponsored by Bill and Donna Eskridge

Jazz at Lincoln Center PRESENTS brings the soul of New Orleans and the spirit of Mardi Gras to this amazing evening, celebrating the composers and inspired songs of the Crescent City, the historic epicenter of jazz. From Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong to Ellis Marsalis and James Black, New Orleans has long been an apex of innovation and inspiration. Led by pianist Luther S. Allison and vocalists Quiana Lynell and Milton Suggs, the New Orleans Songbook immerses audiences in this vibrant city’s captivating and timeless spirit.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Friday, March 28, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.

$50 Adults / $20 Students

R.E.S.P.E.C.T is an electrifying tribute celebrating the music of the legendary Aretha Franklin. This concert experience takes audiences on a journey of love, tragedy, courage, and triumph. Starring a live band and supreme vocalists, experience a night of music by one of the greatest artists of all time.

The concert features all your favorite hits in one evening, including “Natural Woman,” “Think,”
“I Knew You Were Waiting for Me,” “Chain of Fools,” “Respect,” and many more. You’ll be out of your seat and dancing in the aisles as you lose yourself in the music that inspired a generation.

Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Utsey Chamber Music Series

Now in its 38th season, the Lillian and Robert Utsey Chamber Music Series offers outstanding chamber music experiences to the Clemson community at no cost.

Borromeo/Verona Octet

Thursday, September 26, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

FREE – No ticket required

Quartet of New England Conservatory and the Verona Quartet of Oberlin Conservatory. This concert explores three masterpieces of the string octet repertoire: Enescu’s Octet for Strings, Op. 7; Shostakovich’s Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11; and Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings, Op. 20. The renown Borromeo Quartet performed at the Brooks Center during its first season 30 years ago. Shortly after the Verona’s performance at the Brooks Center in 2022, their second album, SHATTER, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart.

Photo: Dario Acosta

WindSync

Tuesday, October 29, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

FREE – No ticket required

Versatile and vibrant, the musicians of WindSync “play many idioms authoritatively, elegantly, with adroit technique, and with great fun” (All About the Arts). The quintet frequently eliminates the “fourth wall” between musicians and audience by performing from memory, creating an extraordinary connection. The ensemble’s personal performance style, combined with its three-pronged mission of artistry, education, and community-building, lends WindSync its reputation as “a group of virtuosos who are also wonderful people.” (Alison Young, Classical MPR). Winners of the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Competition and the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, WindSync was also a prize winner at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition.

Photo: Carlin Ma

“… staunchly dedicated to pushing the boundaries of wind quintet performance with youthful, pop-rock sensibility.”

– Winnipeg Free Press

Merz Trio

Thursday, January 30, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.

FREE – No ticket required

Hailed as “entrancing” (BBC Music Magazine) and called “artists in the deepest sense of the word” (CutCommon), the Merz Trio (piano, violin, cello) has established itself at the forefront of the U.S. chamber music scene with recent debuts at Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Chamber Music Houston, Chamber Music Detroit, the Schubert Club, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, among others. Top prize winners at the 2021 Naumburg, 2019 Concert Artists Guild, 2019 Fischoff, and 2018 Chesapeake Competitions, the ensemble’s narrative programming style juxtaposes classical standards and their own arrangements of familiar and forgotten works.

Photo: Dimitri Mais

“…careful layering of timbre, minute sculpting of the phrases, perfection of intonation and ensemble, and sincerity and elegance of performance…”

— Elizabeth Lyon, Hudson Review

Clayton Stephenson

Tuesday, April 1, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.

FREE – No ticket required

A 2023 graduate in the Harvard-New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program, Clayton earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Harvard and a master’s degree in piano performance at the NEC. His unique voice and captivating stage presence have charmed audiences and critics alike. The first Black finalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2022, Clayton was named a 2024 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, 2022 Gilmore Young Artist, 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and a Young Scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation.

“Stephenson is not just a remarkable virtuoso, but a poet, a dramatist and a master story-teller.”

– Gramophone

A community favorite is back!

The Concert Truck

September 9 – 14, 2024

Sponsored by Bill and Donna Eskridge and Hank and Kay Owen

The Concert Truck is back in the Clemson area by popular demand! The Brooks Center is hosting eight performances in just five days by professional musicians on The Concert Truck, a 16-foot box truck that was converted into a fully functioning mobile concert hall, complete with lights, sound system, and a piano. The Concert Truck brings music out of the concert hall and into local communities. A complete schedule of performance locations will be announced in August.

Susan Zhang and Nick Luby stand in front of The Concert Truck on a city street.

Department of Performing Arts

The Brooks Center is proud to once again present outstanding student performances from the Department of Performing Arts at Clemson University, combining the disciplines of music, theatre and audio technology. The full season listing can be found on the Brooks Center website.

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