The Captivating, The Vibrant and The Expressive Lenfest Season 2019-2020

THE CAPTIVATING: Delight in the spectacle of Lenfest’s presentation of the dynamic stepping dance company introducing Zulu and South African Gumboot Dance—STEP  AFRIKA! The blend of technique, agility and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding. Experience the high-energy explosive performance of Drum TAO! Combining highly physical, large-scale drumming with contemporary costumes, precise choreography and innovative visuals, the performers of Drum TAO create an energetic and unforgettable production. Bathe in the sultry and seductive sound of Trade Winds by Chanticleer. Guiding us to exotic places, the trade winds have always been a part of the world’s history, urging explorers on. Gentle winds accompany the folkloric beauties of music from Pacific Islands such as Hawaii, Samoa and New Zealand. The Concert Guild also presents Matt Haimovitz, cello, hailed by the New York Times as the “…ferociously talented cellist who brings his megawatt sound and uncommon expressive gifts to a vast variety of styles.” Savour the great chamber music of the Marinus Ensemble, presented by the Concert Guild. The Marinus Ensemble is a music collective that presents music through the talents of emerging international artists. The concert is dedicated to the memory of H. F. “Gerry” Lenfest ’53 (1930-2018) whose philanthropy not only funded the Lenfest Center for the Arts and significant programs at W&L, but nurtured the Marinus Ensemble during its early days.
 
THE VIBRANT: Be inspired by the 2020 Bentley performance, Considering Matthew Shepard. Anchored by the University Singers in the highlighted choir role, the performance features both professional and student soloists, instrumentalists and narrators. This multi-media fusion oratorio is a heart-wrenching musical telling of the tragic story and aftermath of the kidnapping, torture and death of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming in 1998.  Celebrate Professor Timothy Gaylard’s  “The Final Solo Piano Recital” at W&L. He is retiring June 2020, and will go down memory lane—covering some of the many works he has performed over his 36 years at the University. Composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Gershwin will be included. Join in the madness of  A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented by the Department of Theater, Dance, and Film Studies. Fairies, players, lovers, royals and one giant ass all meet up in a magical forest full of mischief, passion, mystery and delight. Relish in the impressive artists’ collection programmed for Staniar Gallery, including works by Ida Floreak: Punctuated Evolution; Christa Bowden, Emily Gómez and Ernesto Gómez: Cumberland Island: Land, Water, Wind, and Light; and The Watercolors of Louise Herreshoff.
 
THE EXPRESSIVE: Feel the passion of SonoKlect’s Jeremy Wilson, trombone. Acclaimed for the versatility and lyricism of his playing, Wilson is something of a legend in trombone circles.  Be amused at political satire that hits the mark with a prelude to W&L’s Mock Convention—The Capitol Steps. They offer a mix of song parodies and stand-up, lampooning modern political leaders and taking on the major issues of the day—no one and no side is spared. Be entertained by the Department of Theater, Dance, and Film Studies’ EVERYBODY—the Pulitzer Prize winning play. This hilarious and unconventional take on the medieval mortality play will have you thinking and laughing all the way to the end. Be astounded by the talented Nobuntu, the female vocal quintet from Zimbabwe who will present the 2019 Pickens World Music Concert at W&L. The group’s wide-ranging repertoire spans Zimbabwean songs, Afro-Jazz and Gospel music, and is performed unaccompanied or with minimal percussion and mbira (thumb piano). Enjoy the additional Department of Music recitals and concerts featuring faculty and students, University Singers, Wind Ensemble, University Orchestra, and Jazz Ensembles.
 
The Lenfest Center 2019-2020 calendar of events and brochure can be found in its entirety online at wlu.edu/lenfest-center and season brochures are available for pick-up at the Lenfest Center box office.
 
Tickets for events scheduled September 9, through November 3 go on sale  September 9, 2019. Tickets for events scheduled after November 3, become available approximately 60 days prior to the event. To place an online order, click on the Buy Tickets Now tab on the Lenfest home page. University Swipe is available to purchase tickets online. The Lenfest Center box office opens for in-person and telephone sales on Monday, September 9, on a first-come, first-served basis. The box office hours are Monday–Friday, 9–11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., for cash, check or credit card purchases.
 
The Lenfest Season opens Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre with The Capitol Steps. No matter what’s in the headlines, The Capitol Steps tackles the bipartisan spectrum and all things foolish. Heavy on puns and impressions with a sense of humor that works, the show is constantly updated to keep pace with the quickly changing news. Ticket sales will begin Friday, September 20.
 
Coming to the Keller Theatre on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. is STEP AFRIKA! ranking as one of the top ten African-American dance companies in the United States. Performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation. The blend of technique, agility and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding. Ticket sales will begin Friday, November 15.
 
The Lenfest Season concludes with the explosive Drum TAO on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre. TAO’s modern, high-energy performances showcasing the ancient art of Japanese drumming have transfixed audiences worldwide. Enthralling legions of audiences in sold-out halls worldwide, Drum TAO brings a fusion of explosive Japanese Taiko drumming, contemporary costumes and eye-popping choreography. Ticket sales will begin Friday, December 6.
 
Lenfest events are sponsored in part by the W&L Class of 1964 Arts Fund. Tickets are required for all Lenfest events. Visit wlu.edu/lenfest-center for more information.
 
The Department of Theater, Dance, and Film Studies initiate the 2019 season with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Performances run October 31-November 2 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on November 3 in the Keller Theatre. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays comes to life on the Keller stage! Come join the madness as their worlds unexpectedly collide.  This production is appropriate for believers of all ages. Ticket sales will begin Monday, September 9.
 
Under the artistic direction of Jenefer Davies, W&L Dancers Create… is dedicated to works performed and composed by students and showcases the diversity and talent within the W&L dance program. Works are presented November 14-15 at 7:30 p.m.  and November 16 at 2 p.m. in the Keller Theatre. Ticket sales will begin Friday, September 13.
 
Opening the 2020 season is EVERYBODY.  Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, a recent MacArthur Genius winner, weaves together artful conversation about mortality and why we’re even here in the first place. It’s a play of strange surprises and imaginative meaning. Performances are March 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee on March 15 in the Johnson Theatre. Ticket sales will begin Monday, January 10.
 
Concluding the Theater, Dance, and Film Studies’ season is the first ever collaboration between W&L Repertory Dance Company and the University Jazz Ensemble. W&L student composers and choreographers will be join forces on a series of new works for the program. Repertory Dance Company Artistic Director Jenefer Davies and UJE Director Terry Vosbein are combining on a new work as well. A selection of guest choreographers will round out the bill, all of it accompanied by the Jazz Ensemble’s driving beat. Performances are Thursday, April  2–April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre. Ticket sales will begin Monday, February 3.
 
Tickets are required for all Theater, Dance, and Film Studies performances. Visit wlu.edu/lenfest-center or wlu.edu/theater-dance-and-film for more information.
 
Concert Guild’s season, featured in Wilson Concert Hall, opens Saturday, September 28 at 8 p.m. The Marinus Ensemble is a music collective that presents great chamber music through the talents of emerging international artists. This concert will examine nationalism in music as exemplified in Turina’s Piano Quartet in A Minor, Op. 67, Bloch’s Suite Hebraique and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57. Ticket sales will begin Monday, September 9.
 
Chanticleer performs Friday, January 31, 2020 at 8 p.m. This remarkable male a cappella ensemble returns to W&L to present a program entitled Trade Winds. The program features a new work by Zhou Tian, setting Chinese poetry and John Masefield’s poem, Trade Winds. Chanticleer’s foundational repertoire of early pieces will be handsomely represented by music of the sea and the spheres from Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Victoria and, for the first time, Portuguese composer Filipe de Magalhães. Ticket sales will begin Monday, December 2.
 
The season concludes with Matt Haimovitz, cello Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 8 p.m. He has inspired classical music lovers and countless new listeners by bringing his artistry to concert halls and clubs, outdoor festivals and intimate coffee houses—any place where passionate music can be heard. Haimovitz brings a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, champions new music, and initiates groundbreaking collaborations, as well as creating innovative recording projects. A recent review in The Boston Globe opines, “…Haimovitz played with great concentration, nobility of expression, and technical panache.” Ticket sales will begin Friday, January 31.
 
Tickets are required for all Concert Guild events. Visit wlu.edu/lenfest-center or wlu.edu/music for more information.
 
SonoKlect’s season, featured in Wilson Concert Hall, opens Saturday, September 21 at 8 p.m. with The Brubeck Brothers Quartet Celebrates Dave Brubeck’s Centennial. The group’s creativity, technique and improvisation can be heard in their uncompromising music reflecting their dedication to melody, rhythm, culture and the spontaneous spirit of jazz.
 
On Saturday, February 1, 2020, at 8 p.m., Jeremy Wilson, trombone will perform. He is acclaimed for the versatility and lyricism of his playing as well as his insight and commitment as a teacher. Currently he is associate professor of trombone at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.
 
No tickets are required for SonoKlect performances. Visit wlu.edu/lenfest-center or wlu.edu/music for more information. For a complete listing of W&L Music fall, winter and spring performances, visit wlu.edu/lenfest-center or wlu.edu/music.
 
Staniar Gallery boasts a full array of exhibitions including Xavier Tavera: On the Edge/En el Filo; Ida Floreak: Punctuated Evolution; Mari Hernandez: Figments of Truth; Christa Bowden, Emily Gómez and Ernesto Gómez: Cumberland Island: Land, Water, Wind, and Light; The Book Expanded: Language Art, Form; and The Watercolors of Louise Herreshoff.
 
For a complete listing of exhibit openings, lectures and receptions, visit wlu.edu/lenfest-center and/or go.wlu.edu/staniar.