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ABAC Presents!

The ABAC Presents! series showcases professional performing artists selected to support ABAC and area students’ study of the arts and to present high-quality arts experiences to the entire community. All ABAC Presents! performances are held in Howard Auditorium on ABAC’s Main Campus beginning at 7:00 PM with doors opening at 6:15 PM. 

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Broadway's Next Hit Musical 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 7:00 P.M.
Howard Auditorium, Tifton Main Campus

Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised and  it’s all funny. The New York Times calls Broadway’s Next Hit Musical “Hilarious!” Time Out NY says “At last! A musical of, for, and by the people.” Broadway’s Next Hit Musical presents “The Phony Awards”, the original improvised awards show! Master improvisers gather made-up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, comedy and a ton of laughs! The audience then votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns this Phony Award winning song into a full-blown, improvised musical — complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, plot twists galore and songs that you will be humming for days! Broadway’s Next Hit Musical has toured extensively throughout the United States and internationally. When the group is not on the road, the show can be seen at their home in NYC, the 2022 Tony Award-winning cabaret club “54 Below”. Under the direction of improv veterans Rob Schiffmann and Deb Rabbai, TheaterWeek hailed the show as “brilliant” and The New York Post called Broadway’s Next Hit Musical “remarkable.” 

 

$20 Adults     $10 Youth

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The Vega Quartet 

Thursday, October 12, 2023, 7:00 P.M.
Howard Auditorium, Tifton Main Campus

Quartet in Residence at Emory University, the Vega String Quartet is on the cutting edge of the new generation of chamber music ensembles. After their Lincoln Center debut in 2001, the New York Times raved about its “playing that had a kind of clean intoxication to it, pulling the listener along . . . the musicians took real risks in their music making.”  The Los Angeles Times also praised its “triumphant L.A. debut.” They concertize both nationally and internationally, most recently in Baltimore, Chicago, Nashville, Sacramento, Berlin, San Miguel, and the Brahmssaal in Vienna’s Musikverein. 

 

The Vega Quartet has won numerous international awards, including at the Bordeaux String Quartet Competition, as well as top prizes from the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, the Carmel Chamber Music Competition, and the National Society of Arts and Letters String Quartet Competition.  They tour throughout Asia, Europe and North America and have appeared at Weill Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Bargemusic, and Duke Hall at the Royal Academy of Music, London.  The members of the Vega Quartet collaborate with some of the world's finest musicians including Eliot Fisk, Christopher O’Riley, William Preucil, Richard Stoltzman, Robert Spano, Charles Wadsworth and the Eroica Trio. They also commission, premier and record works by leading composers.  The Quartet is a frequent guest at numerous music festivals, including Amelia Island, Aspen, Brevard, Highlands-Cashiers, Juneau Jazz & Classics, Kingston, Mostly Mozart, Rockport, San Miguel de Allende, and SummerFest La Jolla. 

$20 Adults     $10 Youth

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Jasmine Arakawa

Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 3:00 P.M.
Howard Auditorium, Tifton Main Campus

Hailed by Gramophone for her ‘characterful sparkle’, Jasmin Arakawa has performed widely in North America, Central and South America, Europe, China and Japan. A prizewinner of the Jean Françaix International Music Competition, she has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Salle Gaveau in Paris and Victoria Hall in Geneva, as well as in broadcasts of the BBC and Radio France. She has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Philips Symfonie Orkest in Amsterdam, Orquestra Sinfonica de Piracicaba in Brazil, and numerous orchestras in the United States and her native Japan.  

 

Other performance highlights include guest artist appearances at the Toronto Summer Festival, Ribadeo International Music Festival in Spain, Bicentenaire de Chopin in Switzerland, Scotiabank Northern Lights Music Festival in Mexico, Festival de Música de Cámara in Peru, Festival Internacional de Música Erudita de Piracicaba in Brazil, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago and Distinguished Concerts International New York. Arakawa released her debut solo album Klavierabend on MSR Classics to critical acclaim, praised by American Record Guide for her ‘rich lyricism’ and ‘supreme clarity’. 

$20 Adults     $10 Youth

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Mad River Theatre Works in Keep Marching: The Road to the March on Washington

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 7:00 P.M.
Howard Auditorium, Tifton Main Campus

Keep Marching: The Road to the March On Washington is a new play with music by Mad River Theater Works. Bringing collected oral history to life, the one-act play explores the historic 1963 March On Washington. Revered as the day that Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech in August of 1963, the event drew over a quarter of a million people together in a peaceful gathering, and was a shining moment in the progression of equality in America, as well as a pivotal action in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's.  

  

At the heart of the play is the following question: Not knowing that Dr King was going to deliver one of the most iconic speeches in modern history, why did so many people go? And seeing that 1963 was one of the most violent years of the civil rights movement, this question is then further focused to What inspired young people in their teens or twenties to go?  

  

The play is built upon two threads of storytelling. One is the historical record of the plans, motivations, fears and concerns that went into organizing the march. The second stems from collected oral histories, gathered by playwright Daniel Carlton, of people who attended the March. Weaving these threads together are the play’s news reporters: through these fictitious characters, Keep Marching brings to life many of the iconic figures behind the demonstration including Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, and John Lewis. 

$20 Adults     $10 Youth

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Akropolis Reed Quintet

Thursday, April 4, 2024, 7:00 P.M.
Howard Auditorium, Tifton Main Campus

Celebrating their 14th year making music with a “collective voice driven by real excitement and a sense of adventure” (The Wire), Akropolis has “taken the chamber music world by storm” (Fanfare). As the first reed quintet to grace the Billboard Charts (May 2021), the untamed band of 5 reed players and entrepreneurs are united by a shared passion: to make music that sparks joy and wonder. 

Winner of 7 national chamber music prizes including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal, Akropolis delivers 120 concerts and educational events each year and has premiered over 130 works. 

 

“There's nothing tentative in [Akropolis’] approach, and that extends to their programming of 

multifariously challenging and imaginative new works” (The Wire). Akropolis’ 22-23 season 

featured the New York City world premiere of a 30-minute ballet by Pulitzer Prize finalist 

Augusta Read Thomas, choreographed by New York City Ballet soloist, Troy Schumacher. 

Akropolis will also perform with GRAMMY-nominated pianist/composer Pascal Le Boeuf and drummer Christian Euman on their Are We Dreaming the Same Dream? project, an album and touring program drawing classical and jazz idioms together to reflect on American identity. 

$20 Adults     $10 Youth

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The Jim Gasior Trio with the ABAC Jazz Ensemble

Thursday, April 18, 2024, 7:00 P.M.
Howard Auditorium, Tifton Main Campus

Jim is the Associate Professor of Jazz and Instrumental Studies at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. As the director of NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble, he has led the group to numerous national successes including performing/competing at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington competition twelve times. Many of his students have been awarded Downbeat Student Music Awards as well as honors such as selections to GRAMMY High School Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band of America, Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, and other nationally renowned groups. NWSA's Jazz Ensemble and Combos have recorded eleven CDs under his direction. Jim has served as a faculty member for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Band Director Academy. As a pianist and keyboardist he has performed and/or recorded with international pop artists and groups – Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Alih Jey, Chayanne, Smokey Robinson, Jose Feliciano, Michael Bolton, as well as jazz artists - Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Terell Stafford, Jason Marsalis, Jeremy Pelt, Robin Eubanks, Patti Austin, Jay Leonhart and many others. Jim performs regularly in South Florida with Wendy Pedersen, Ed Calle, The Fernando Ulibarri Quartet, and the Russ Spiegel Organ trio. Jim and his trio join the ABAC Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Andrew Peal, for an evening of truly great jazz! 

$20 Adults     $10 Youth

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