CofC Ensembles

CofC Ensembles is a series of student performances by our orchestra, opera, Concert Choir, Gospel Choir, Latin American music ensemble and steel pan band. (Concerts added throughout the year. Dates/times/venues are subject to change.)

2023-24 SEASON

Spring Orchestra Concert 

  • The College of Charleston Orchestra is proud to present celebrated and internationally renowned violinist Augustin Hadelich in a performance of Brahms Violin Concerto, conducted by Yuriy Bekker. Hadelich returns to perform with our orchestra after a triumphant performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in 2022. He has performed worldwide with every major orchestra and has won numerous prestigious awards, fellowships and distinctions. The concert also features a movement of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto performed by music major Katie Banish. The evening will be rounded out with an orchestral feature of Finlandia by Sibelius. | April 1 at 7:30pm; Sottile Theatre

  • Featured on the cover of last month's issue of THE STRAD magazine, Hadelich is one of the great violinists of our time. From Bach to Brahms, from Bartók to Adès, Hadelich has mastered a wide-ranging and adventurous repertoire. He is often referred to by colleagues as a musician's musician. Hadelich has performed with all the major American orchestras as well as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest, Orchestre National de France, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo and many others. Hadelich is on the violin faculty of the Yale School of Music at Yale University. He plays the violin "Leduc, ex-Szeryng" by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù of 1744, generously loaned by a patron through the Tarisio Trust.
  • Our College of Charleston Orchestra is a symphony orchestra consisting primarily of music majors. Members also include non-music majors and faculty, who are experienced performers that enjoy expanding their musicianship and artistic connection.
  • Under the direction of Yuriy Bekker, the orchestra performs numerous times a year and has featured internationally renowned guest artists, including violinists Augustin Hadelich (2022) and Sarah Chang (2023).
  • In 2023, the College of Charleston Orchestra was one of four select orchestras to perform for the exclusive Capital Orchestra Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This milestone concert featured Brahms' Academic Festival Overture and Hungarian Dance no. 1, and "Charlestonia: A Folk Rhapsody" composed by Charleston's own Edmund Thornton Jenkins. The orchestra will perform at Carnegie Hall in 2025.



George Street Box Office (GSBO) is available (Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.) to help you navigate the online system or process your order by phone 843.953.GSBO (4726), by email, or in person at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.



Spring Choir Performance

  • The College of Charleston Concert Choir, directed by Carlos B. Brown, will perform The Choral Sounds of Dr. Sharon J. Willis: A Celebration.

    Sharon J. Willis is the only woman composer in the United States to have founded an opera company (Americolor Opera Alliance) and been its principal composer. She has written 16 operatic works to date that feature Afrocentric, social, health and American subjects. Willis is the former department chair of music at Morris Brown College and Clark Atlanta University.

    The CofC Concert Choir is proud to present a concert celebrating her work.

    March 24 at 7:00pm, Mt. Zion AME Church, 5 Glebe St. 


Die Fledermaus Opera 

  • College of Charleston Opera and the Department of Theatre and Dance will stage Die Fledermaus. Known as one of the world’s most beloved operettas, Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus tells the story of a practical joke with unexpected consequences. Rife with mistaken identities, flirtation, seduction and champagne, Die Fledermaus offers a farcical comedy with a captivating score sure to delight and enchant audiences of all ages.

    The production is a collaboration between the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Department of Music and presented alongside musicians from partnering Charleston Symphony. Director: Peter Spearman | Associate Director: Sandy DeAthos-Meers | Music Director and Conductor: Wojciech Milewski • Feb. 24 and 25 at 7pm; Sottile Theatre 

Concert Choir "Candlelight Christmas" Performance 

  • The College of Charleston Concert Choir presents "A Candlelight Christmas Concert" featuring music celebrating the holiday season – with works by Bach, Southall, Thompson, Mendelssohn, Coleridge-Taylor, Bass, Wilberg, Carter, Whalum and Moravec. The choir is conducted by Carlos B. Brown, who recently joined the music department as Director of Choral Activities. The performance also features collaborative pianist Lorna T. Barker and guest tenor soloist Johnnie Felder. | Dec. 2 at 7:00pm; Saint Michael's Church, 71 Broad St. 29401


Fall Orchestra Concert (info below)

  • Performance by College of Charleston Orchestra composed of students, faculty and professional musicians. Conductor Yuriy Bekker unifies students, faculty, and professional musicians for a captivating performance featuring two Ukrainian musicians — international multiple award-winning violinist Nazar Pylatyuk and accomplished music student Maria Savelyeva. The orchestra will perform Smetana’s tone poem Moldau, and Beethoven’s Overture to Egmont.

    Bekker expounds on the program: "With the ongoing war and devastation in Ukraine, we aim to express our support to the Ukrainian community in Charleston through our music. For months, we've prepared for this special concert featuring student cellist Maria Savalyeva, who will perform Schumann's Cello Concerto, and award-winning violinist Nazar Pylatyuk, who will return to Charleston to perform Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk's Carpathian Rhapsody and Violin Concerto no 7. Skoryk, a prominent figure in Ukrainian music, dedicated this concerto to our guest violinist, Mr. Pylatyuk. With the power of music, we want to bring people together and uplift our Charleston-Ukrainian community during this difficult time." | Nov. 27 at 7:30pm; Sottile Theatre

"L'amour et la mort" Opera & Music Theatre 

  • College of Charleston Opera presents a staged scenes program, "L'amour et la mort," exploring the themes of love and death as portrayed in opera and musical theater. You will enjoy the works ofPuccini, Wagner, Donizetti, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gounod, Mozart and more. Directed by Saundra DeAthos-Meers and Amanda Castellone. | Oct. 21 at 5pm and Oct. 22 at 2pm and 5:30pm; Chapel Theatre



Otro Sur Performance

  • CofC Latin American Music Ensemble for an exciting performance |Tuesday, April 25

Concert Choir Performance

  • Performance of carefully crafted moments of 20th and 21st-century composers such as Poulenc, Gershwin, Whitacre and Saygun – showcasing songs in English, Turkish and Latin | Sunday, April 16 at 7:30pm

    The students worked selflessly to meet the standards during this interim year under the direction of Dr. Nisan Ak. They sang for the Charleston Symphony twice and prepared for very challenging programs. After the spring concert, they professionally recorded a select program with Grammy winning alumnus Quentin Baxter.

  • Program: 

    Saygun – Katibim Variations

    Tippett – Child of Our Time

    1. Steal Away
    2. Nobody Knows
    3. Deep River

      Oh I can't Sit Down

    Whitacre – Sleep

    1. O Magnum Mysterium
    2. Quem Vidistis Pastores Dicite
    3. Videntes Stellam
    4. Hodie Christus Natus Est

Spring Orchestra Concert featuring SARAH CHANG

The College of Charleston Orchestra presents a concert featuring violin prodigy 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, 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 age eight, Chang has continued to impress audiences with her technical virtuosity and refined emotional depth. The concert opens with a movement of Schumann Piano Concerto performed by CofC music major Clara Camacho and a work by student composition alumnus Jacqueline Eberhard.

Chang studied at the Juilliard School. She has appeared at many of the world’s prominent music venues, including the Hollywood Bowl, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and the Aspen Music Festival. Her other distinctions include an Avery Fisher Grand Prize, a Harvard University Leadership Award, a Royal Philharmonic Award for Young Artist, a Nan Pa Award, a Gramophone Award for Young Artist of the Year, and the Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana Prize. 

Learn about the CofC Orchestra and its February 2023 performance at the Kennedy Center.

VIDEO 1: Sarah Chang, Presto (Summer) from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons coupled with Concerto for Violin in G 

VIDEO 2: Sarah Chang & Simon Rattle, Shostakovich & Prokofiev Violin Concertos 

VIDEO 3: Sarah Chang, Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 6 

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


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.
  • View behind-the-scenes video & story

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.
  • 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.

"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.