By Josette Keelor -- email@example.com
For its upcoming school year, Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University in Winchester plans an unprecedented number of guest artists, said Sloan MacRae, managing director of the conservatory.
"They're really accomplished," he said, and the school hopes to build on past successes with this year's performances.
"These artists are interested in us, they want to be here," MacRae said.
Highlights will include jazz legend Doc Severinsen, Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer William Bolcom and a fully staged production of Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni."
The conservatory's Performing Arts Live program will begin its professional arts series Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. with Red Baraat, who will bring a mixture of Indian folk, world music, jazz and funk to the stage at the Armstrong Concert Hall.
The conservatory also will bring a ground-breaking dance therapy program for those with Parkinson's disease, accompanied by a performance by the D.C.-based Bowen McCauley Dance company, MacRae said.
Beginning with a concert in the Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre at 8 p.m. Oct. 11, Bowen McCauley will continue its program with a workshop, yet to be scheduled, free for patients in the Winchester area who have Parkinson's.
The program is Bowen McCauley's signature community outreach program, MacRae said.
"It's received a lot of considerable national praise," he said.
World-renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will perform with the New Century Chamber Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, and the Grammy-nominated North American wind quintet Imani Winds will perform at 8 p.m. Feb. 9.
Joined by the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra, jazz icon Doc Severinsen, famous for leading Johnny Carson's band on The Tonight Show for three decades, will close the Performing Arts Live season at 8 p.m. March 22.
Other highlights of the season will be the Main Stage Theatre's musicals Into the Woods and Sweet Charity, and the play Dangerous Liaisons, all of which will feature students and faculty members.
The jazz ensemble will perform five concerts, featuring the works of guest composers Zach Stanton and Dan Visconti, and the symphony orchestra will perform four concerts including Mozart's Piano Concerto in A Major, which will feature John O'Conor, artist in residence, on piano.
The Main Stage Opera will team with the symphony orchestra to present a fully staged production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" April 26 through 28.
Now in its 20th season, the Bach-Handel Festival will take place Oct. 19 to 21 and will celebrate the music of Johannes Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel and other Baroque-era composers.
Tickets, which go on sale Monday, range from $10 to $25, MacRae said, and season subscription packages are on sale now and offer lower prices for performances. The conservatory, he said, is proud that it can bring such entertainers to the Winchester area at prices much more manageable than they would be for the same performances in Washington or New York City.
"That's part of our mission," MacRae said, "and we're quite pleased to continue to expand and attract our performers at this price."
For tickets or more information, call 665-4569 or visit www.ConservatoryPerforms.org.