CofC Ensembles

CofC Ensembles is a series of student performances by College of Charleston Orchestra, College of Charleston Concert Choir and College of Charleston Opera. (Dates/times/venues are subject to change.)

2022-23 SEASON

Opera: The Tales of Hoffman

  • College of Charleston Opera presents The Tales of Hoffmann. Jacques Offenbach’s fantastical opera is based on the thrilling short stories from the mind of the poet E.T.A. Hoffmann. Follow Hoffmann on a surreal journey as he searches for love, meaning and reality. Performance will be sung in French with English supertitles and is presented alongside musicians from partnering Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Watch rehearsal video
  • Friday, Feb 24 at 7:30pm and Sunday, Feb 26 at 2:00pm; Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.
  • The George Street Box Office (Tue-Fri, 10am-4pm) can help you navigate the online system or take your order by phone at 843.953.GSBO (4726), by email, or in person at the Sottile Theatre. BUY TICKETS ONLINE:
  • Adult: $40-$50, Senior Citizen & Military/Veteran: $40 
  • CofC students: $15
  • CofC faculty/staff: $15

Spring Orchestra Concert featuring SARAH CHANG

  • The College of Charleston Orchestra presents a spring concert featuring multiple award-winning violinist Sarah Chang in a performance of Bruch’s Violin Concerto and for a movement of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto alongside the orchestra’s conductor, Yuriy Bekker. Recognized as one of the foremost violinists of our time, Sarah Chang has performed with the most esteemed orchestras, conductors, and accompanists in an international career spanning more than two decades. Since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of eight, Ms. Chang has continued to impress audiences with her technical virtuosity and refined emotional depth. The concert will open with a movement of Schumann Piano Concerto performed by CofC music major Clara Camacho and a work by student composition alumnus Jacqueline Eberhard.

  • Monday, April 3 at 7:30pm; Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.
  • TICKET INFO

Gospel Choir Concert 

  • College of Charleston Gospel Choir will perform a spring concert featuring other South Carolina Gospel Choirs
  • Saturday, April 22 at 4:00pm; Trinity United Methodist Church, 273 Meeting St.
  • FREE admission, donations accepted at the door

 


PAST CONCERTS IN 2022-23 SEASON

Orchestra Concert: From Elgar to Brahms

  • Conducted by Yuriy Bekker, the College of Charleston Orchestra is one of four select orchestras to perform for the exclusive Capital Orchestra Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C. In celebration, the CofC orchestra will present a local "send off" concert, highlighting works that will be presented at the Kennedy Center in February 2023, such as Brahms' Academic Festival Overture and Hungarian Dance no. 1, in addition to "Charlestonia: A Folk Rhapsody" composed by Charleston's own Edmund Thornton Jenkins. The concert also will include the first movement of Elgar's Cello Concerto (student soloist Zachary Butler), and Vivaldi and Manfredini's Concertos for Two Trumpets (featuring trumpeters Antonio Martí and Timothy Hudson).
  • Monday, Nov. 28 at 7:30pm; Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.
  • The George Street Box Office (Tue-Fri, 10am-4pm) can help you navigate the online system or take your order by phone at 843.953.GSBO (4726), by email, or in person at the Sottile Theatre. BUY TICKETS ONLINE:
  • Adult: $20-$35 
  • CofC students: $20
  • CofC faculty/staff: $20
  • PROGRAM NOTE Courtesy of the Charleston Symphony: EDMUND THORNTON JENKINS — Charlestonia — Born in April 1894, Edmund Thornton Jenkins was a native Charlestonian and his composition Charlestonia is one of the greatest musical tributes to his vibrant hometown. It is perhaps surprising that part of the piece premiered in 1919 in London and received its only complete performance in Jenkins’s short lifetime in Brussels, Belgium. Charlestonia finally debuted here in the Holy City in October 1996 when the CSO, under the baton of the late David Stahl, presented the American premiere as part of the broader “Edmund Jenkins Homecoming Month” festivities proclaimed by former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. By all accounts, Jenkins had a complicated relationship with his home city, which he visited infrequently after moving to Europe. Jenkins chose to commemorate Charleston in much of his music, but consistently found the freedom and opportunities to create outside of the Jim Crow South. Jenkins was the son of a prominent Charlestonian, Reverend Daniel Jenkins, who ran the Jenkins Orphanage from 1892 until his death in 1937. At that time the orphanage occupied the Old Marine Hospital on Franklin Street and often had more than 500 young men and women in its care at any given time. From the founding, Reverend Jenkins saw music as a salvific force for good and encouraged local citizens to donate any unused instruments for children to play. That first year, the orphanage hired two local musicians to tutor a small band of 11 boys who would give impromptu performances on the street in hopes of soliciting small donations from passersby. Upon its founding, the Jenkins Orphanage Band became the only black instrumental group organized in South Carolina. By the turn of the 20th century, the Jenkins Orphanage Band was renowned up and down the East Coast. They played in inaugural parades for Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft. They appeared at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1914. They toured the country extensively throughout the 1910s and 1920s, playing hundreds of shows from coast to coast as well as international engagements in Paris, Berlin, Rome, London, and Vienna. One of these overseas tours brought 20-year-old Edmund to London. By 1914, Jenkins had graduated from Morehouse College and was serving as Director of Bands for his father’s orphanage when he received an offer to remain in London as a student at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music. In London and eventually in Paris, the young composer began to find his voice through musical opportunities organized by British composer of African descent Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and through the political activism of the African Progress Union. But he never forgot the music of his youth in Charleston. Will Marion Cook, an African American composer and student of Antonin Dvořák, ran into Jenkins during a trip to Paris and wrote back to his father in Charleston: “Want to congratulate you on your son… with whom I had a most wonderful association while in Paris. He is possibly the best musician in the colored race, the very best instrumentalist in any race, and one of the most perfect Gentlemen I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.” With funds provided by the Avery Center for African American History and the League of Allied Arts, both Charleston-based institutions, [Vincent Plush] went to view the manuscript collection at Columbia College in Chicago in December 1995. With permission from the Jenkins Estate, I returned to Charleston with copies of the sketches for a short orchestral work called Charlestonia, subtitled variously, American Folk Rhapsody for Full Orchestra, No.1. The work was played with considerable success in Europe in the 1920s, but never in America. There is no surviving full score or set of parts; all that remain are a harp part and two piano reductions. The first of these, dated 30th July 1917, contains very few orchestral cues. The second, dated 10th August 1917, reveals more orchestral cues, but has an inconclusive ending. In preparing the work for modern performance, I retained the harp part and adhered to every orchestral cue in this second score; I fleshed out the harmony and orchestration and appended a new ending, based on Jenkins’s scribbled sketches. With funds provided by the DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, a new score and set of parts was prepared for the premier modern-day performance given in Charleston by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and their Music Director, David Stahl, on 4th October 1996. Several other works by Jenkins were played in Charleston that month, declared “Edmund Jenkins Homecoming Month” by mayoral decree.

Gospel Choir Concert (CANCELLED)

  • Unfortunately the Gospel Choir's MOJA Festival concert, scheduled for Oct. 3, and the reunion concert (Nov. 19) have been cancelled. 

"WHAT IF" Opera & Music Theatre 

  • College of Charleston Opera presents popular selections from opera and music theater in a showcase called What If. The event challenges both the audience and performers to think how the “butterfly effect” can influence a character’s life: what if a different choice had been made? What If gives the College’s voice students an opportunity to answer this question through works by Strauss, Rossini, Bizet, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and others.. 
  • Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:00pm; and Saturday Nov. 12 at 2:00pm and 5:30pm; Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun St. 
  • The George Street Box Office (Tue.-Fri., 10a.m.-4p.m.) can help you navigate the online system or take your order by phone at 843.953.GSBO (4726), by email, or in person at the Sottile Theatre (44 George St.) BUY TICKETS ONLINE:
  • Adult: $20
  • CofC Faculty/Staff: $15 
  • CofC Student: $10

Gospel Choir Concert 

  • College of Charleston Gospel Choir will perform a reunion concert celebrating 13 years of continued legacy (2009-2022) - honoring Conductor Brenten M. Weeks, M.A.T.
  • Saturday, Nov. 19 at 6:00pm (doors open at 5:30pm); Venue TBA. 
  • FREE for CofC students with I.D., General admission is $15 at the door

PAST CONCERTS IN 2021-22 SEASON

CofC Gospel Choir, April 23 (CONCERT CANCELLED - we apologize for any inconvenience)

College of Charleston Concert Choir, Monday, May 2

  • Spring Concert directed by faculty member Robert Taylor: Johannes Brahms' best known motet Warm ist das licht gegeben; works by popular American composers Jake Runestadt, Moses Hogan, and Eric Whitacre; and fun arrangements made popular by the King Singers performed by the CofC Madrigal Singers
  • 7:30pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St.
  • FREE, donations accepted 

College of Charleston Orchestra, March 21

  • The College of Charleston Orchestra will present a concert headlining renowned Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich in a performance of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s lush and virtuosic Violin Concerto, op. 35. Conducted by Yuriy Bekker, the concert also will highlight music major Misha Pekar performing the first movement of Alexander Scriabin’s Piano Concerto in F Sharp minor, op. 20. The program will open with the energetic Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila by Mikhail Glinka. 

    Augustin Hadelich is one of the great violinists of our time. From Bach to Paganini, from Brahms to Bartók to Adès, he has mastered a wide-ranging and adventurous repertoire. He is often referred to by colleagues as a musician's musician. Named Musical America’s 2018 "Instrumentalist of the Year", he is consistently cited worldwide for his phenomenal technique, soulful approach, and insightful interpretations. Born in Italy to German parents, Hadelich studied with Joel Smirnoff at The Juilliard School. After winning the Gold Medal at the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, concerto and recital appearances on many of the world’s top stages quickly followed. He has performed with every major American orchestra as well as an ever-growing number of international ensembles. He also has appeared at most of the world’s prominent music festivals, including the BBC Proms, Tanglewood, Blossom, Aspen, Bravo! Vail, Chautauqua, and others.

    Among Hadelich’s other distinctions include an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in the UK, the inaugural Warner Music Prize, a Grammy Award, as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter in the UK. He has recently been appointed to the violin faculty at Yale University.

    7:30pm at Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. 
    Sponsored by Frank and Peggy Oldham

  • BUY TICKETS (tickets range from $20 to $40)

Video clips of Hadelich:

  1. VIDEO: Augustin Hadelich, Paganini Concerto 1 with Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Jader Bignamini (2020)

  2. VIDEO: Augustin Hadelich & Orion Weiss play Debussy Sonata for violin and piano

  3. VIDEO: Augustin Hadelich pays Ysaÿe Sonata No. 3 “Ballade” LIVE 

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), Feb. 25 & 27

  • This classic and timeless fairytale of darkness, light, and finding your way in the world explores the search for truth and reason, love and enlightenment. Through comedy and romance, the blend of the human and the supernatural brings us into a journey of trials and tribulations on the path toward a deeper understanding of true love and happiness. The production is a collaboration between the Department of Music, the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Charleston Symphony. Sung in German with English dialogue and supertitles. Led by College of Charleston Director of Opera, Sandy DeAthos-Meers, and directed by Evan Parry; recommended for all ages. 
  • Friday, Feb 25 at 7:30pm and Sunday, Feb 27 at 2:00pm; Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.
  • BUY TICKETS

College of Charleston Concert Choir, Dec. 6

  • Holiday Candlelight Concert of sacred and secular music, directed by faculty member Robert Taylor. 
  • 7:30pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St.
  • BUY TICKETS ($20 public • $10 for CofC faculty & staff • $5 for CofC students)

Yuletide Madrigal Feast, Dec. 2, 3 & 4

  • The College of Charleston Madrigal Singers present their annual Yuletide Madrigal Feast: A Renaissance-style evening of Holiday entertainment. Enjoy a multi-course meal, wassail, instrumental music, plus carols performed by the Madrigal Singers led by faculty member Robert Taylor.
  • 7:00pm at Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St.

College of Charleston Orchestra, Nov. 29

  • Join Yuriy Bekker and the College of Charleston Orchestra in their fall program, "Two Geniuses: Tchaikovsky and Orellana." The orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 5 and Variations on a Rococo Theme, featuring CofC cellist Maria Savelyeva. Both works are examples of some of Tchaikovsky's beloved and treasured masterpieces. This concert also will feature the U.S. premiere of Joaquín Orellana's Ballet Contrastes. An experimental Guatemalan composer and violinist, Orellana's musical career has been marked by embracing experimentalist techniques inspired by de-colonial ideologies and Guatemala's cultural history and conflicting social context. His Ballet Contrastes beautifully marry traditional composition with innovative sound. See this article on the fascinating CofC student research on Orellana's music and career.

    Our chamber orchestra consists primarily of music students from the College with some non-music majors who are experienced performers that participate in order to stay active as musicians. Professional artists also perform. Under the direction of Yuriy Bekker (Charleston Symphony Concertmaster and Principal Pops Conductor), the chamber orchestra performs twice each school year. 7:30pm at Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. 

Opera Scenes, Nov. 13 & 14 

  • “Back to the New Normal" is an evening of opera scenes and musical favorites, directed by faculty members Saundra DeAthos-Meers and Amanda Castellone. The event's program is a dynamic one, featuring students of the Opera Workshop and music by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Puccini and others. 2:00pm on Saturday, 11/13 and 5:00pm on Sunday 11/14, at Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun St. 
  • CONCERT PROGRAM

College of Charleston Concert Choir, Nov. 5

  • The College of Charleston Concert Choir will present the concert “Songs for Thanksgiving,” featuring the choral cantata Song for Thanksgiving by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Fürchte dich nicht by Johann Sebastian Bach, Exultate by Brian Galante, and Trinity Te Deum by Erik Esenvalds. The concert will feature College of Charleston President Andrew Hsu as Narrator. Guest musicians will include members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and choristers from Christ Our King-Stella Maris School, led by Suzanne Atwood. The Concert Choir is directed by faculty member Robert Taylor. 7:30pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St.
  • Admission is free. Donations accepted at the door.