The PAC on a sunny day.

The Department of Fine Arts and the University Artist Series sponsor a wide variety of performances that are open to the public, usually free or at a minimal charge. Those held in the downtown Performing Arts Center venues are typically ticketed, Box Office: 843-661-4444 between 12:00 and 5:00 pm. Other than University Theatre performances, events held in venues on the main campus are typically general admission with no advance reservation system.

OPEN AUDITIONS RESCHEDULED due to Hurricane
Next to Normal
by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt

NEW DATES:
4:30 pm Wednesday, September 6, 2023
5:00 pm Thursday, September 7, 2023
Kassab Recital Hall, Hyman Fine Arts Center

Auditions are OPEN to EVERYONE, regardless of major or affiliation with the University.

You may bring a prepared singing audition, or audition materials will be provided.

Next to Normal will be performed October 26-28, 2023.  It is the story of Diana Goodman and her family. Traumatized by the death of her infant son from an undiagnosed intestinal obstruction, Diana has lived with bipolar depressive disorder and delusional episodes for the past seventeen years. The illness has affected everyone in her life and has nearly torn her family apart on several occasions. With subject matter rendered achingly recognizable by Brian Yorkey, and a dynamic, energetic pop-rock score by Tom Kitt, Next to Normal is a show that enables a small group of actors to showcase powerhouse vocals while exploring pressing contemporary issues of trauma, loss, mental health treatment, and the meaning of family.   stageagent.com

For more information contact:
Dr. Fran Coleman – mcoleman@fmarion.edu
Professor Glen Gourley – agourley@fmarion.edu

Lillian White, Birdbrain / Mente de Pollo

FMU Artist Series
Kassab Recital Hall, Hyman Fine Arts Center
7:30 p.m. Thursday, 21 September 2023

Originally from South Carolina, Lillian makes theater in New York, the Carolinas and Peru and beyond. Her artistic perspective is shaped by rural roots and global travels, which inspire a passion for dynamic, elemental performance that stokes the imagination and asks big questions. Her work has been seen in and outside of traditional theater spaces at the BorderLight Festival, HERE Art Center, Dixon Place, Governor’s Island, Grafton Reintegration Center, Burning Coal Theatre, SETC, Asheville Fringe Festival, the Darlington GOPO, as well as La Alianza Francesa and El Galpón (Peru). She has assisted for directors Pálína Jónsdóttir and Shana Cooper, and completed SDCF Choreography Observerships with Steven Hoggett and Andy Blankenbuehler. She trained with Double Edge Theatre and earned her BA in Performance Studies at Oberlin College. In 2019, Julie Taymor sent her to Latin America to study theater, which opened the door to ongoing international research and collaboration.

RESERVATIONS: This performance is free and open to the public. No reservations, general admission.

Jazz Quartet

Brian Jones, drum set
J.C. Kuhl, tenor saxophone
Kevin Hamilton, bass
Alan Parker, guitar

FMU Faculty Recital Series
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Dr. Brian Jones, FMU Assistant Professor of Music Industry and jazz drummer, will perform a faculty recital on September 26, 2023 at 7:30pm in the PAC Black Box Theater. The Brian Jones Quartet will perform jazz standards and original compositions.

Brian Edward Jones is an Assistant Professor of Music Industry at Francis Marion University. Before joining the faculty at FMU in 2022, Jones taught at the University of Richmond, the College of William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Old Dominion University.

Jones received his Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William & Mary. His research interests include jazz studies, American popular music, and critical studies in improvisation.

As a freelance session drummer/percussionist, Jones has worked with Lonnie Holley, Jason Mraz, Liz Phair, Gary Thomas, Mark Turner, Randy Brecker, John Abercrombie, Melissa Aldana, Jandek, René Marie, and many others. Jones has released over twenty-five recordings on the independent label Slang Sanctuary Records. He is currently working on a book about the life and music of jazz drummer/composer Paul Motian.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

Canções Praieiras
Scott Clark and Laura Ann Singh, percussion and vocal duo

FMU Artist Series
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Clark/Singh is a minimalist duet of voice and drums. Their first project is a study of a song cycle written by Brazilian composer Dorival Caymmi, Canções Praierias. Stripping songs down to their most essential form, the duo employs sweeping melodies, rhythmic interplay and changing timbre as the tools to explore spaces typically filled with harmonic movement. Their performances are educational, powerful and engaging, connecting listeners to the visceral and essential experience of music across time and culture.

“Laura Ann Singh’s performance of ‘Canções Praieras’, a poetic set of compositions by bossa nova originator Dorival Caymmi, accompanied only by the seaside murmur and crash of Scott Clark’s drums, was as lovely and surprising as anything in this or any year.” – Peter McElhinney, Style Weekly

More about Canções Praieiras:
Dorival Caymmi composed and recorded his first full album, Canções Praieiras in 1954 at the age of 40. An avid writer, composer, musician and painter, Tom Jobim said of Dorival, he “picked up a guitar and orchestrated the world.” In Canções Praieiras, Caymmi crafts vivid scenes depicting life by the sea as fishermen and villagers go to work, fall in love, celebrate, and face death. All this activity happens around the main character of this song cycle: the sea. The sea is first beautiful, enticing and mesmerizing, but also awesomely powerful, demanding. Sweet, even when it exacts sacrifice, placating yet unforgiving, constant but everchanging. It serves as both a metaphor for the complexities of the human heart as well as an acknowledgement of something indomitable and beyond comprehension. The communities by the sea face these dichotomies of life and death, beauty and destruction, tenderness and passion, daily. Caymmi makes these far away characters accessible and even familiar in the simple sophistication of his music and lyrics.

Drummer and composer, Scott Clark keeps time in the balance. His performances behind the kit are generous and empathetic, establishing his voice immediately upon striking the surface.

Laura Ann Singh is a multilingual American singer, recording artist and composer, often associated with musica popular brasileira and Latin boleros. She has performed internationally in Europe, Russia, and South America as well as the Tiny Desk concert series on NPR and headlining the annual Globalfest festival in New York City.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Concert Band
Dr. Terry Roberts, conductor

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Mainstage Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The Francis Marion University Concert Band will be performing its fall concert at the FMU Performing Arts Center in downtown Florence.

The Francis Marion University Concert Band is composed of FMU students as well as community members from the Pee Dee region. Community members include professional area music educators, band directors, choir directors, ministers of music, and FMU music faculty members.  Membership is open to all FMU students and area residents who are experienced concert band instrumentalists. Performances include traditional concert band music as well as popular and show music. The program began as a way to give students of FMU a chance to perform music, earn academic credit for performance in the ensemble, and to become involved with other students in campus life.

Beginning in the spring of 2002, the FMU Concert Band rehearsals were scheduled on Tuesday evenings and adult musicians from the region were invited to participate. The band continues to rehearse every Tuesday evening.

We are always seeking additional participants; if you play a band instrument or know someone looking for a place to play, please contact us. Information can be found at Music – Instrumental Program or email Dr. Terry Roberts at troberts@fmarion.edu

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

Next to Normal by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt

Francis Marion University Theatre
Director: Prof. A. Glen Gourley
Choral Director: Dr. Fran Coleman
Conductor: Dr. Terry Roberts
Fine Arts Theatre, Hyman Fine Arts Center
7:30 pm, October 26-28, 2023

Next to Normal is the story of Diana Goodman and her family. Traumatized by the death of her infant son from an undiagnosed intestinal obstruction, Diana has lived with bipolar depressive disorder and delusional episodes for the past seventeen years. The illness has affected everyone in her life and has nearly torn her family apart on several occasions. With subject matter rendered achingly recognizable by Brian Yorkey, and a dynamic, energetic pop-rock score by Tom Kitt, Next to Normal is a show that enables a small group of actors to showcase powerhouse vocals while exploring pressing contemporary issues of trauma, loss, mental health treatment, and the meaning of family.   stageagent.com

RESERVATIONS: This performance is free and open to the public. No reservations, general admission.

Trigger Warnings: This show contains foul language and themes of death, grief, drug use, sex, mental health, electroshock therapy, neglect, emotional abuse, and suicide. Due to these themes and situations, this show is not recommended for audiences under 17.

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Warehouse Theatre

FMU Artist Series
Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Four rebellious teens. A band of mischievous magical creatures. And the worst community theatre troupe you’ve ever seen. In Shakespeare’s classic tale of love, jealousy, and hijinks, what happens in the woods, stays in the woods. This new production, at once both contemporary and timeless, features six actors playing multiple roles and utilizes The Warehouse Theatre’s highly theatrical approach to Shakespeare’s texts.

The Warehouse Theatre strives to be Upstate SC’s premier, professional theatre, where community engagement and education complement thought-provoking theatre experiences.  We are committed to creating high-quality professional work that is vital, diverse, and adventurous. We aim to inspire and challenge our audiences and artists alike through cutting-edge productions.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU String Ensemble
Dr. Terry Roberts, director

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Open to all university students and faculty interested in learning and performing chamber music, the University String Ensemble members meet for weekly rehearsals during Fall and Spring academic semesters, giving public recitals and accompanying other campus ensembles.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Jazz Combo
Dr. Paolo André Gualdi, director

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

The FMU Jazz Combo allows students in a small group setting to learn and hone improvisational skills within the the jazz idiom. Works have been selected from music by Corea, Glasper, Shorter, and more.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Percussion Ensemble
Dr. Brian Jones, director

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 pm Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Francis Marion University Percussion Ensemble is a contemporary chamber ensemble that explores the world of percussion from an improvisation-based approach. We model our performance methodology and musical ideology on the performance practice of drummer/composer Max Roach’s percussion ensemble M’Boom, especially in their focus on jazz and non-Western musical cultures as a touchstone for aesthetic inspiration. We employ improvisation as a key mode of praxis—both in terms of theory and practice—and special focus is given to compositions invented during collective improvisation exercises. Additionally, we explore “minimalism,” “game,” and “open score” notation/compositional systems, while also examining the ways in which poetry and literature can be interpreted in a musical setting.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Concert Choir and Voice Collective
Dr. Fran Coleman

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Monday, November 20, 2023

Open to all university students, the University Concert Choir has an average enrollment of between 35 and 45 students. This group has sung in numerous area churches and has also performed with the Florence Symphony Orchestra. They have performed such major choral works as the “Polovetzian Dance and Chorus” of Alexander Borodin, the “Schicksalslied” of Johannes Brahms, and the Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Recently their concerts have included selections accompanied by the newly formed Francis Marion string ensemble.

Francis Marion’s Voice Collective is a small, audition-only vocal group. This group performs throughout the region for schools and service organizations. They have also performed in Orlando, Florida, in Baltimore, Maryland, in Washington, D.C., in Vienna, Austria, and on a performance cruise to the Bahamas.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Music Industry Christmas Concert

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
4:00 p.m. Sunday, December 3, 2023

The various performance ensembles of the FMU Music Industry program will join forces for a bit of holiday hoopla!

Included will be the FMU String Ensemble, Concert Band, Choirs, Jazz Combo, Percussion Ensemble, M.I. Ensemble and the FMU Music Faculty.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

Studio Voice Recital – Students of Dr. Fran Coleman

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Adele Kassab Recital Hall, Hyman Fine Arts Center
7:30 pm Monday, December 4, 2023

Come celebrate the accomplishments of voice students in Dr. Coleman’s studio as they perform classical as well as contemporary songs.

RESERVATIONS: This performance is free and open to the public. No reservations, general admission.

Brooke McCarthy, How to Be an Ethical Slut

FMU Artist Series
Kassab Recital Hall, Hyman Fine Arts Center
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 24 January 2024

​Experience the ride of your life as an unethical slut penetrates lies, STDs, triads, orgies, and love in her musical journey to becoming an Ethical Slut. Don’t miss this AWARD-WINNING, original, one-woman musical comedy by and starring Brooke McCarthy. In this bold, sexy, and vulnerable story, watch how one woman tackles topics that are often unseen onstage such as sexual health and nonconventional relationship styles like polyamory and swinging.

For mature audiences, this original one-woman cabaret comedy show is a bold, sexy, & vulnerable story that is sure to leave you laughing about sex & wondering about love.

Brooke McCarthy, a member of the Virginia Tech theatre faculty, enjoys creating new works, experimenting with new techniques, making known stuff different, and having fun.  Comedy is a passion of hers, and she’s convinced that writing and performing her own comedy show is more terrifying (in the best of ways) and rewarding than all other forms of theatre combined! She debuted her original, full-length, one-woman cabaret-comedy show How to be an Ethical Slut in November 2020 at Hendershot’s in Athens, GA.

RESERVATIONS: This performance is free and open to the public. No reservations, general admission. For mature audiences.

Film Score Recording Masterclass by Brandon Gilliard

FMU Guest Artist Series
Kassab Recital Hall, Hyman Fine Arts Center
2:30 p.m. Monday, 29 January 2024

Award-winning bass player Brandon Gilliard will discuss his experience in the industry of film scoring. His Hollywood movie soundtrack recording credits include working with Henson Studios, Fox, Blue Sky Studios and world-renown composer, John Powell on RIO 2, Ferdinand and, most recently, MigrationStill: a Michael J. Fox Movie, just won an Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary.

RESERVATIONS: This workshop is free and open to the public. No reservations, general admission.

U. S. Air Force Heritage Brass

FMU Artist Series
Chapman Auditorium, McNair Science Building
7:00 p.m. Tuesday, 30 January 2024

Heritage Brass is a six-member pioneering symphonic brass ensemble. Bringing the military tradition of brass and percussion to the concert stage, Heritage Brass presents programs that are both exhilarating and intimate.

Representing Air Force professionals serving across the globe, Heritage Brass showcases the service’s excellence and precision in every performance throughout the eastern seaboard, from South Carolina to Maine. The ensemble maintains a rigorous performance schedule, presenting a diverse repertoire featuring orchestral transcriptions, patriotic favorites, jazz standards, and new compositions. Whether performing at a concert hall, educational venue, a large sporting event, or in support of a military function, their innovative approach allows them to perform both as a large symphonic group and a small chamber ensemble.

As professional Airmen, the musicians of Heritage Brass are committed to inspiring patriotism, communicating Air Force priorities, recruiting the best to serve our country, and honoring our nation’s veterans through the power of music. They are proud to represent our nation’s Airmen who fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace.

RESERVATIONS: This performance is free and open to the public. No reservations, general admission.

Desiree Roots, jazz vocalist

FMU Artist Series
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 1, 2024

Desiree is revered for her powerful yet controlled, lush voice with its 3½ octave range. Her ability to sing nearly every genre including Jazz, Gospel, Opera and popular music has made her one of the region’s most sought-after vocalists. She has performed throughout the East Coast with orchestras, regional Jazz bands and, as leader of her own ensembles, often to standing-room only audiences. She has shared the stage with Grammy Award winning guitarists, Buddy Guy and BB King; Jazz saxophonists Gerald Albright and Boney James; and, was a featured vocalist with The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra. Desiree was awarded the Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts (2004) for “Best Vocalist in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

DUELING VIOLINS
Susanna Klein, violin
Micah Gangwer, violin
Paolo André Gualdi, piano

South Carolina Chamber Music Festival
Paolo André Gualdi, artistic director

FMU Department of Fine Arts, Artist Series and REAL Grant Program
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Monday, February 26, 2024

Susanna Klein is an Associate Professor of violin and coordinator of strings at Virginia Commonwealth University and plays with the Richmond Symphony when time allows. Before entering the field of academia, she was a full-time member of the Memphis, Colorado, and Richmond Symphonies, where she served as principal second violin.  She performs regularly with the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble and Trio 826.  Ms. Klein received her MM from Boston University under the tutelage of Roman Totenberg.

Micah Gangwer, originally from Ohio, lives in Charleston SC where he is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Concertmaster of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and recently joined the violin faculty as an adjunct instructor at the University of South Carolina School of Music in Columbia SC.

Italian pianist Paolo André Gualdi regularly performs recitals and gives master classes in the United States, South America, Asia and Europe. He has recorded for Mark Records and IFO Classics, and his performances have been broadcasted by radios such as BBC, NPR, Clásica 650 and Radio Vaticana. He has won the top prize in numerous piano competitions, including the First Prize in the 15th Bartók-Kabalevsky International Competition. Gualdi is the founder and artistic director of the South Carolina Chamber Music Festival and is currently Professor of Music at Francis Marion University and on the music faculty at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

MEMOS OF HERITAGE: FROM SCHUMANN TO RACHMANINOFF AND BEYOND
Eunice Koh, cello
Chee-Hang See, piano

South Carolina Chamber Music Festival
Paolo André Gualdi, artistic director

FMU Department of Fine Arts, Artist Series and REAL Grant Program
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Eunice Koh is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts at University of South Carolina with Professor Claire Bryant. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with her Masters under the tutelage of Dr. Eric Lenz, and received her Bachelor of Music with Honours from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts – Royal College of Music, under the guidance of Professors Zhao Yu Er and Amanda Truelove.

Chee-Hang See is a prize-winning Singaporean pianist, composer, and conductor who has been called “a cool and confident performer” by the Charleston City Paper. After an appearance at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, CharlestonToday.net wrote that “he displayed absolute clarity and through his refined dynamic range brought gorgeous contrasts to each section”, and is termed an “expert and sympathetic collaborator” by Fanfare Magazine. He has performed in concert series and festivals such as the Internacional Festival de Colonia (Uruguay), Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Musicale (SC), South Carolina Chamber Music Festival, Chicago Duo Piano Festival, Hawaii International Cultural Arts Festival, and Piccolo Spoleto Festival (SC). He has soloed with the Montevideo Philharmonic (Uruguay), Charleston Symphony, Toa Payoh West Chinese Orchestra (Singapore), Bela Bartok Orchestra (Italy), among others.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

LIVE RECORDING OF A NEW WORK BY DR. BRANDON GOFF
Balkan Quartet

South Carolina Chamber Music Festival
Paolo André Gualdi, artistic director

FMU Department of Fine Arts, Artist Series and REAL Grant Program
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The South Carolina Chamber Music Festival will host a series of chamber recitals to showcase the artists participating in workshops and masterclasses taking place throughout the week.

There will be very limited seating to attend the recording session, available on a first come basis.

MUSICAL HERITAGE OF SERBIA AND THE BALKANS
Balkan Quartet at Gately Gallery

South Carolina Chamber Music Festival
Paolo André Gualdi, artistic director

FMU Department of Fine Arts, Artist Series and REAL Grant Program
Steven F. Gately Gallery, University Place/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 29, 2024

Connected by their mutual background and passion for the music of the Balkans, Serbian violinists Sinisa Ciric and Mirna Ogrizovic, violist Danijela Zezeji-Gualdi, and Bulgarian cellist Martin Gueorguiev formed the Balkan Quartet a dynamic and inspiring string group whose playing reflects their love for the energy and intricate nuances of the region’s musical language.

Balkan Quartet’s focus is to inspire and involve composers to create new music using indigenous melodies and rhythms from the Balkans, reviving the region’s rich musical heritage on a high artistic level. The quartet has performed works by talented contemporary composers including Nikitas Demos, Alexandra Vrebalov, Milos Simic, Brian Mitchell, and Alexander Gajic.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Concert Band
Dr. Terry Roberts, conductor

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Mainstage Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Francis Marion University Concert Band will be performing its fall concert at the FMU Performing Arts Center in downtown Florence.

The Francis Marion University Concert Band is composed of FMU students as well as community members from the Pee Dee region. Community members include professional area music educators, band directors, choir directors, ministers of music, and FMU music faculty members.  Membership is open to all FMU students and area residents who are experienced concert band instrumentalists. Performances include traditional concert band music as well as popular and show music. The program began as a way to give students of FMU a chance to perform music, earn academic credit for performance in the ensemble, and to become involved with other students in campus life.

Beginning in the spring of 2002, the FMU Concert Band rehearsals were scheduled on Tuesday evenings and adult musicians from the region were invited to participate. The band continues to rehearse every Tuesday evening.

We are always seeking additional participants; if you play a band instrument or know someone looking for a place to play, please contact us. Information can be found at Music – Instrumental Program or email Dr. Terry Roberts at troberts@fmarion.edu

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

Visiting Artist Lecture Panel: Succeeding in Art & Design
Amy Fichter, Andrew Bogard & Hannah Phelps

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Art History Lecture Room, Hyman Fine Arts Center 213
11:30 a.m. Monday, March 18 2024

FMU String Ensemble
Dr. Terry Roberts, director

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Open to all university students and faculty interested in learning and performing chamber music, the University String Ensemble members meet for weekly rehearsals during Fall and Spring academic semesters, giving public recitals and accompanying other campus ensembles.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

Sean Kennard, piano

FMU Artist Series / Burns Memorial Recital
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Sean Kennard has won top prizes in the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), the International Music Competition of Viña del Mar (Chile), the Vendome International Piano Competition (Portugal), the Sendai International Music Competition (Japan), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition (USA), the National Chopin Competition, the Iowa Piano Competition, the American Pianists Association, and the International Chopin Competition of the Pacific.

The Washington Post praised Kennard’s “powerful and involved music making,” describing him as “a strong luminous pianist.” His 2011 debut album received a rave review in American Record Guide, which pronounced it “a hidden gem,” attesting to its “perfect blend of lyricism and romantic passion,” “huge romantic sound, and bold melodic vision.” It proclaimed that he “plays the dickens out of the Stravinsky [Three Movements from Petrushka]” and “plays Chopin’s Preludes with more poise and vision than most pianists who have recorded them.” Fanfare affirmed the enthusiastic reception, naming the album “a very desirable disc” and citing “Kennard’s mastery of Chopin’s idiom,” its “impression of complete effortlessness” and “emotional responsiveness.” The review characterized his playing as “full of life and sparkle,” summing up: “while I wouldn’t necessarily say that Kennard outclasses Ashkenazy, Rubinstein, Moravec, Ohlsson…in this repertoire, he surely equals them.”

THE DAVID MARSHALL AND CATHERINE KOGER BURNS MEMORIAL RECITAL SERIES:
David Marshall Burns, Jr., and Catherine Koger Burns, natives of Charleston, South Carolina, were married and moved to Florence in 1933 where they became actively involved in civic activities and the arts. The Bums Recital Series was established in 1989 by Catherine Burns in memory of her husband and, upon her death in 1995, the Series was renamed the David Marshall and Catherine Koger Burns Memorial Recital Series.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Percussion Ensemble
Dr. Brian Jones, director

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2024

The Francis Marion University Percussion Ensemble is a contemporary chamber ensemble that explores the world of percussion from an improvisation-based approach. We model our performance methodology and musical ideology on the performance practice of drummer/composer Max Roach’s percussion ensemble M’Boom, especially in their focus on jazz and non-Western musical cultures as a touchstone for aesthetic inspiration. We employ improvisation as a key mode of praxis—both in terms of theory and practice—and special focus is given to compositions invented during collective improvisation exercises. Additionally, we explore “minimalism,” “game,” and “open score” notation/compositional systems, while also examining the ways in which poetry and literature can be interpreted in a musical setting.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Concert Choir and Voice Collective
Dr. Fran Coleman

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, 2024

Open to all university students, the University Concert Choir has an average enrollment of between 35 and 45 students. This group has sung in numerous area churches and has also performed with the Florence Symphony Orchestra. They have performed such major choral works as the “Polovetzian Dance and Chorus” of Alexander Borodin, the “Schicksalslied” of Johannes Brahms, and the Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Recently their concerts have included selections accompanied by the newly formed Francis Marion string ensemble.

Francis Marion’s Voice Collective is a small, audition-only vocal group. This group performs throughout the region for schools and service organizations. They have also performed in Orlando, Florida, in Baltimore, Maryland, in Washington, D.C., in Vienna, Austria, and on a performance cruise to the Bahamas.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Jazz Combo
Dr. Paolo André Gualdi, director

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Blackbox Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The FMU Jazz Combo allows students in a small group setting to learn and hone improvisational skills within the the jazz idiom. Works have been selected from music by Corea, Glasper, Shorter, and more.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

FMU Music Industry Ensemble
Dr. Brandon Goff, director

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Mainstage Theatre, Performing Arts Center/Downtown Florence
7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Music Industry Ensemble is a chamber ensemble devoted to the development of individual performance and improvisation skills through the staging of music for small groups representing a variety of classic and modern jazz, pop, rock and soul styles. The M.I.E. provides a workshop in which students also learn arranging, microphone technique and scheduling, sound reinforcement and lighting design.

Please contact Dr. Brandon Goff bgoff@fmarion.edu for additional information about participating in the M.I. Ensemble.

Tickets are available to FMU students, faculty, and staff at no charge upon showing an FMU ID. Tickets to the general public are $10, as space allows. The FMU PAC Ticket Office at 201 South Dargan Street is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm, or by calling 843-661-4444.

The Sweet Abyss by Jon Tuttle

Francis Marion University Theatre
Director: Dr. L. Dawn Larsen
Fine Arts Theatre, Hyman Fine Arts Center
7:30 pm, April 11-13, 2024

With “The Sweet Abyss,” audiences are introduced to Cass, a woman who is dealing with an overprotective boyfriend, health issues and her defiant daughter, Dori, according to the theater’s press release on the play. Cass gets the solace and companionship she needs from her cat. But when her cat becomes ill, she is overcome by grief and must find her way to comfort again. What follows is Cass’ personal journey and rebirth as she leaves her home and spends time with a unique psychiatrist and even a blind ‘communicator’ who claims to be able to look through Cass’ cat’s eyes in the afterlife.

“The play is built as a journey through grief,” Tuttle said. “It’s really about facing mortality and recovering from grief, but it’s not a total downer. I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to not write comedy. So yes, there are plenty of laughs to be had.”

Dr. Jon Tuttle is Director of FMU’s Honors Program, a Board of Trustee’s Research Scholar, and a specialist in Modern and American Drama, Playwriting and the literature of the Vietnam War. His own plays, which include The Hammerstone, Drift, Holy Ghost, The Sweet Abyss, The Palace of the Moorish Kings, and Boy About Ten, have been produced at Trustus Theatre (where he is Playwright-in-Residence) and at theaters across the country. His plays also have been published individually and in the collections The Trustus Plays and Two South Carolina Plays.

RESERVATIONS: This performance is free and open to the public. No reservations, general admission.

Junior Voice Recital – Students of Dr. Fran Coleman

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Adele Kassab Recital Hall, Hyman Fine Arts Center
7:30 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Come celebrate the accomplishments of voice students in Dr. Coleman’s studio as they perform classical as well as contemporary songs.

RESERVATIONS: This performance is free and open to the public. No reservations, general admission.

Studio Voice Recital – Students of Dr. Fran Coleman

FMU Department of Fine Arts
Adele Kassab Recital Hall, Hyman Fine Arts Center
7:30 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Come celebrate the accomplishments of voice students in Dr. Coleman’s studio as they perform classical as well as contemporary songs.

RESERVATIONS: This performance is free and open to the public. No reservations, general admission.