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Last blasts of the semester at NCSA and UNCG

by Mark Burger

It’s the end of the spring semester as we know it, and the NC School of the Arts feels fine. With graduation right around the corner, NCSA has a variety of events and attractions to keep area audiences satiated until classes and performances resume in the fall. (Of course, there’s the Magnolia Baroque Festival, sponsored by the Kenan Institute for the Arts next month, but that’s a special event.)

First up is the Guitar Class Recital, tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Watson Chamber Music Hall on the NCSA campus (1533 S. Main St.), which features the students of Gerald Klickstein in concert. This performance is free.

The Spring Dance Concert, one of the school’s most popular performances, opens Thursday night at the Stevens Center (405 W. 4th St.) and runs through Sunday. The program will include works from the classical ballet and contemporary dance repertoire, including “Duets,” as choreographed by Merce Cunningham, Mario Petipa’s Paquita, and “Rodeo,” as choreographed by the legendary Agnes de Mille. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and students.

Speaking of Agnes de Mille, the NCSA theater that bears her name will be the scene for the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute’s production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. This presentation also opens Thursday and runs through Sunday. Guest stage director Michael Shell has joined forces with James Allbritten (music director) and Angela Ward (musical preparation) for this American opera, with music by Kurt Weill and libretto by Elmer Rice, and featuring lyrics by Langston Hughes. Tickets are $12 adults, $10 for senior citizens and students.

If jazz is your thing – and who can blame you? – May 13, will be the only performance of the emerging artist concert, Jazz Ensemble. Ron Rudkin will lead the big band through a selection of timeless classics in the Thrust Theatre at Performance Place on the NCSA campus. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and students.

On May 18, the NCSA Wind Ensemble teams up with the Philidor Percussion Group for a special presentation of North Carolina composer Russell Peck’s The Glory and the Grandeur. Conductor Mark Norman will also lead the ensemble in Gustav Holst’s Hammersmith and H. Owen Reed’s La Fiesta Mexicana (sounds like a spicy treat!). This performance will take place in the Stevens Center, and tickets, as you might have guessed, are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and students.

It’s back to the Stevens Center on May 23, for the NCSA Symphony Orchestra’s emerging artist concert. On the menu are Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, NCSA alumnus Keith Gates’ “Sonatina for Saxophone and Orchestra,” and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 featuring faculty artist Taimur Sullivan on saxophone. Yes, tickets are $12 adults, $10 senior citizens and students.

The Cantata Singers will perform on May 25 at Watson Chamber Music Hall on the NCSA campus. James Allbritten, fresh from Street Scene, will lead the NCSA Chorus in this presentation, which is free.

Then, of course, it’s movie time. The NCSA School of Filmmaking will present its “3rd Year Film Screenings” at 7 p.m. on May 29 in the Main Theatre, and again at 8 p.m. in Babcock Theatre – both theaters located within the ACE Exhibition Complex on campus. Not to be outdone, the “4th Year Film Screenings” will be presented on May 30 at 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the Main Theatre, and at 8 p.m. in Babcock Theatre. Tickets: $12 adults, $10 senior citizens and students.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for any of these events, see ncarts.edu/performances or call 336.721.1945.

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For yet another taste of the burgeoning filmmaking talent in the region, UNCG will be screening its student documentary and feature films this Friday and Saturday at Elliott University Center on campus (1000 Spring Garden St., Greensboro).

The screenings will take place 7 p.m., with a reception beforehand at 6 p.m. on both nights. This event is free and open to the public.

The selection of films includes such award winners as Adam Weldon’s Some Apologies, which won the UNCG Student Award at this year’s Carolina Film and Video Festival, and Nicole Triche’s Metacarpus, which was screened earlier this year at the prestigious Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Raleigh.

“Each of these films… has its own unique beauty and represents the interests and sensibilities of the filmmaker,” said event coordinator Jonathan Scott Parker, in a press release. “This is a group of highly dedicated students, many of whose previous films have screened at film festivals across the country.”

Parker, himself a graduate student in the university’s Department of Broadcasting and Cinema, is the go-to guy for this event.

For more information, e-mail him at jsparke2@uncg.edu or call him: 336.662.5703.

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