Dubbed "Horns to Slippers," Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts' 65th season begins with a Sept. 27 performance by the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, a 19-member band that features five saxophones, four trumpets and four trombones. Playing carefully selected newer tunes as well as Miller's signature pieces, the orchestra specializes in the big band sound of the World War II era.
The slippers referred to in the season's title will be in evidence on March 13, 2012, when the Moscow Festival Ballet brings Russian classical ballet to town with its performance of "Sleeping Beauty."
In between is a Nov. 21 concert by the Karkowska Sisters Duo, a concert pianist and virtuoso violinist whose musical partnership has delighted audiences worldwide.
While the Karkowskas focus on recital and chamber music, the internationally known American Spiritual Ensemble, scheduled for a Jan. 12, 2012, show, performs everything from opera to spirituals to Broadway.
GLPA's 2011-2012 season, sponsored by Lander University, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, will also include a Feb. 20, 2012, performance of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" by the Aquila Theatre, a critically acclaimed British-American company whose self-described mission is "to bring the greatest works to the greatest number."
The Karkowska Sisters Duo, the American Spiritual Ensemble and the Aquila Theatre will also participate in GLPA's 2011-2012 Outreach program, which introduces area youth to a variety of performing arts. The play performed for the Outreach program's young audiences will not be "The Importance of Being Earnest," however, but, more appropriately, Shakespeare's "Macbeth."
Other shows offered in conjunction with this year's Outreach program are "Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical," the record of a trip to the laundromat gone hilariously wrong; and "The Climate Challenge," a recent adaptation in the award-winning "Magic School Bus" series of books.
All five GLPA Concert Series performances begin at 7:30 p.m., in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium. Season tickets are $165 for adults; $150 for seniors (65 and older) and for Lander faculty and staff; and $85 for youth (18 and younger). Individual tickets can also be purchased, but season ticket orders will be processed first, so individual tickets may not be available for all performances.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the GLPA office at 864-388-8326, or by mailing in the 2011-2012 order form, which can be downloaded from the GLPA website, www.greenwoodlanderperformingarts.com.
Like last year, season ticket holders or donors of at least $100 are being invited to attend preshow dinners, which will be served before all evening performances in the lobby on the upper level of the Cultural Center, near the auditorium entrance. Donors may purchase tickets to the preshow dinners for $20, payable in advance, which includes dinner, beverage, dessert and tip.
GLPA executive director Cecily Morris said that she has "already had a lot of positive response" about the upcoming season. She urged area residents to "expand their cultural horizons by attending these performances," which she called "world-class entertainment."