The opener for our 2018-19 season will be our Gala featuring the operatic talents of Sarah Mesko. Musical selections by Mesko will be framed with the theme ‘Through The Years’. Praised by The Washington Post for her “consistently beautiful sound,” American mezzo-soprano Sarah Mesko is rapidly gaining attention for her “rich mezzo soprano” voice and musicality. A native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Mesko holds a master of music degree in vocal performance from Rice University and a bachelor of music degree in vocal and flute performance from the University of Arkansas.
Candid Camera's 8 Decades of Smiles! with Peter Funt
“Candid Camera’s 8 Decades of Smiles! With Peter Funt,” has pleased audiences nationwide. Peter’s hilarious stage comedy is blended with clips, quips and behind-the-scenes tales from the show’s funniest moments. The stage show incorporates the best Candid Camera clips in a fast-paced, laugh-filled romp through the decades. Peter’s topical humor is blended with audience participation and special surprises to make the show an event you won't want to miss!
The Hillbenders "Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry" with Maybe April
Forty-five years after its original release, The Who’s ‘Tommy', a masterpiece of the American songbook, has now been fully realized as a full-length bluegrass tribute featuring Springfield, Missouri’s The HillBenders. The live performance is a full 75-minute show covering the original album from start to finish with audience participation. The show will open with Maybe April, a Country Americana trio made up of Katy Bishop, Kristen Castro, and Alaina Stacey
Gina Chavez is blending the sounds of the Americas with tension and grace. A multi-ethnic Latin pop songstress, Chavez is a nine-time Austin Music Award winner — including 2015 Musician of the Year and Album of the Year for her sophomore release, Up.Rooted. Her independent album topped the Amazon and Latin iTunes charts following a national feature on NPR's All Things Considered and has been hailed by The Boston Globe, USA Today, Texas Monthly and the Austin Chronicle. Her band’s Tiny Desk concert made NPR’s top 15 of 2015.
Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra
Hop aboard a musical time machine to hear the syncopated classics of Scott Joplin brought back to life by the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra! Peacherine, “the premier American ragtime ensemble” as hailed by The Washington Post, celebrates the King of Ragtime and his stirring instrumental favorites, all played from the original historic orchestral scores. Although you may not know the name Scott Joplin by heart, you’ve heard his classic melodies everywhere - from the soundtrack to the 1973 Academy Award winning film The Sting, to the tunes played by the ice cream truck! Conductor Andrew Greene and the 11 piece Peacherine Orchestra celebrate Joplin’s hits including The Maple Leaf Rag, The Entertainer (the theme from “The Sting”) and much more! Musical fun for the whole family!
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Ruthie Foster brings her powerful voice and history to Northwest Arkansas. She comes fresh off the release of her album - Joy Comes Back. Stemming from a story of love, loss, and fracture, Foster pours the heartache of her family’s fracture and the cautious hope of a new love into a moving performance. This performance will feature the U of A Inspirational Choral and presented in association with the Walton Arts Center.
Victor & Penny and the Loose Change Orchestra
Victor & Penny deliver swing-infused folk-jazz in the band’s signature high-energy style with joy, humor, and soaring musical improvisation. V&P were named “Best Folk Ensemble 2015” by the PITCH; “Standout Concert of the Year” by the Joplin Globe; and are two-time Folk Alliance International official showcase artists. Victor & Penny impress and delight with charm and hot licks and they are an "absolute rollicking blast."
The Other Mozart
Sylvia Milo’s award-winning ‘The Other Mozart is the true, untold story of Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus - a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer, who performed throughout Europe with her brother to equal acclaim, but her work and her story faded away, lost to history. The one-woman drama is set in and on a magnificent 18-foot dress, created to fill and spill over the entire stage. ‘The Other Mozart’ is based on facts, stories and lines pulled directly from the Mozart family's humorous nand heartbreaking letters.
Trout Steak Revival
Ever since winning the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Trout Steak Revival has quickly become a quintessential Colorado band. The band won an Emmy Award for a soundtrack they contributed to a Rocky Mountain PBS. They collaborate with school children in mentoring programs in Denver and Steamboat Springs. Their music is featured on Bank of Colorado’s radio and television advertisements. Most recently, Westword named them Denver’s Best Bluegrass Band, and they were nominated as a Momentum Band of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
Salma El Assal
Originally from El Obain in western Sudan, Salma El Assal has a magnificent voice that hails the roots of Sudanese culture. With her birth name literarily meaning "Honey Sweet Salma," Salma El Assal was born to sing and spread love through her music. Her style has its own unique and authentic flavor. Some describe the sound as a blend of reggae based in African origins, and her dynamic and powerful voice has been compared by her fans to that of the legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev, with many awards and honors to his credit, continues to astound and mesmerize audiences at major venues on three continents. Yakushev received his first award at age 12 as a prizewinner of the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg. Since then he has received acclaim in North America, Europe, and Asia, including the Winner of the 2005 World Piano Competition which took place in Cincinnati, Ohio.