The new semester brings with it a vast array of opportunities for people to enjoy the arts at William & Mary. For more events happening at W&M this semester, see the university’s online arts calendar. – Ed.
“Houses and Trees” showcasing works by artist Laura Vahlberg will be featured at the Andrews Gallery in Andrews Hall from Jan. 25 through Feb. 15. Vahlberg, a resident of Roanoke who holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from James Madison University, paints pictures that represent the everyday and mundane within the context of formal abstraction. Inspired by Pierre Bonnard’s studio paintings, Vahlberg works primarily on unstretched primed linen or canvas cloth taped to a drawing board. Approximately 30 paintings including landscapes, interiors and still lifes focusing on light and created from direct observation will form this exhibition.
The Department of Art & Art History will also host in Andrews Gallery its “Non-Majors Exhibition” Feb. 22-March 8, “Catron Scholars Exhibition” March 23-31, “Senior Studio Art Honors Exhibition” April 10-24 and “Studio Art Senior Show” on dates in May to be announced. For details and more upcoming events, check the department’s online calendar.
The Muscarelle Museum of Art has temporarily closed its current building as it embarks on an expansion and renovation project that will add 42,000 square feet, more than tripling the museum’s size. The new wing, named The Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Visual Arts, will offer expanded gallery and educational spaces to bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni and the broader community in a state-of-the art regional arts venue.
While the building is closed, however, the museum will continue to engage both the campus and local community with rich opportunities for art exploration. Look for exhibitions, lectures and special events popping up across campus and town.
Spring plans include a Muscarelle Explorations series of lectures and events titled “Modern Masters at the Margins” exploring the abstract expressionists of the 1940s and 1950s, lectures and special events commemorating the 40th anniversary of the museum’s history and its vast collection, trips to exhibitions at other museums and a series of art-making workshops for adults and children.
Details, dates and reservation information for spring programming will be available at muscarelle.wm.edu in February.
Student work will be on display as W&M Dance and Orchesis Modern Dance Company present “An Evening of Dance.”
The show is an annual production in which students explore and develop original choreography performed by their peers in the Orchesis Modern Dance Company, under the mentorship of W&M dance faculty. Performances are scheduled for March 30-April 1 at 7:30 p.m. and April 2 at 2 p.m. at the Kimball Theatre. Tickets are available at the Kimball Theatre Box Office and online.
Ewell Concert Series
The music department will begin the Ewell Concert Series at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 with the energetic percussive sounds of Kadencia performing at the Williamsburg Regional Library. Paying homage to and following the traditions of plena music from western Puerto Rico, the lyrics of Kadencia’s original songs are narrative in nature and describe various aspects of Puerto Rican society, culture and traditions. Kadencia’s leader utilizes bomba and plena music’s long-rooted storytelling traditions to vividly capture multiple aspects of the Puerto Rican experience on the U.S. territory and on the U.S. mainland.
The series continues at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24 with Wren Masters baroque ensemble performing “Baroque Brilliance,” which features music by virtuoso composer-performers of the 18th century, in the Wren Building Great Hall. The works will include music by Georg Philipp Telemann, Marin Marais, Dieterich Buxtehude and J.S Bach. Based in Williamsburg, the Wren Masters specialize in historical performance of 17th and 18th century music. The ensemble is sponsored by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and consists of W&M music instructors Thomas Marshall on harpsichord and Susan Via on baroque violin, former instructor Ruth van Baak Griffioen on recorder and Brady Lanier of Colonial Williamsburg’s Governor’s Musick baroque chamber ensemble on viola da gamba.
Next up in the lineup will be the Fanoos Family Ensemble performing on March 3 at 7 p.m. at the Williamsburg Regional Library. After five years apart and following its members’ flight to freedom in the U.S. from Taliban threats in Afghanistan, the ensemble was re-established in the spring of 2022. Comprised of members of
the renowned musical Fanoos family and joined by special musical guests, the group performs songs in the Afghan classical style at the crossroads of Persian poetry, Hindustani rhythms and Central Asian harmonies. They perform on traditional Afghan and classical Western instruments, and their Afghan source material is fused with contemporary sounds and enriched with original improvisations.
The series continues at 7 p.m. on March 24 with classical pianist Liana Paniyeva performing at Ewell Recital Hall. A native of Ukraine, Paniyeva has won prizes in numerous international competitions and performed at festivals all over the world as well as recitals at Carnegie Hall, Worcester’s Mechanics Hall and the Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago. Her music has been featured in various broadcasts and recordings.
A graduate of the Donetsk Music Academy in Ukraine, she earned her professional studies diploma from the Manhattan School of Music and an artist diploma from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. Paniyeva is a founder and artistic director of the Young Stars International Piano Competition.
As part of spending the week working with students as the music department’s Class of 1939 Maurine Stuart Dulin Artist-in-Residence, renowned wind quintet Imani Woods will perform a Ewell concert at 7 p.m. on April 7 at the Williamsburg Regional Library. Celebrating over two decades of music making, the twice Grammy-nominated group has led both a revolution and evolution of the wind quintet through their dynamic playing, adventurous programming, imaginative collaborations and outreach endeavors that have inspired audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The ensemble’s playlist embraces traditional chamber music repertoire, and as a 21st century group, Imani Winds is devoutly committed to expanding the wind quintet repertoire by commissioning music from new voices that reflect historical events and the times in which we currently live.
The spring Ewell program concludes at 7 p.m. on April 28 with W&M Instructor of Trumpet Victor Haskins performing at the Williamsburg Regional Library. Haskins is a multi-instrumentalist, multidisciplinary artist, international performer, composer, improviser, bandleader and educator. He creates transformative, sound-based works that channel the power of human connection, immediacy and inventiveness to engage with time and space. Haskins has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., played concert halls and festivals throughout Virginia and Maryland, performed in clubs from New York to New Orleans and taken his creativity and message of music education internationally to locations in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. He has released three albums of his original music: “The Truth,”“Showing Up” and “Ikigai.”
All performances are free and open to the public.
Entering its 16th year, the former W&M Global Film Festival now called the Ampersand International Arts Festival, presented by William & Mary, will take place Feb. 27 through March 5 in venues throughout Williamsburg. For updates and details on the expanded film and arts events that are planned, visit the festival’s website.
The music department has various concerts scheduled throughout the semester, with more events to be added to its calendar.
The Botetourt Chamber Singers will host their “Broadway Gala” benefit concert, featuring Instructor of Jazz Piano and Harmonica Harris Simon on jazz piano, on Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kimball Theatre. Tickets are $5-$20 and can be purchased online.
The High School Invitational Choral Concert featuring the Botetourt Chamber Singers, Ebony Expressions Gospel Choir and the W&M Choir joined by high school choral ensembles from Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools will be held March 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sadler Center Commonwealth Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
The Barksdale Treble Chorus will perform its spring concert on April 22 at 8 p.m. at Bruton Parish Church; voluntary donations will be accepted. The Botetourt Chamber Singers will perform their free spring concert April 23 at 2 p.m. at the Wren Building Great Hall.
The Choir, Botetourt Chamber Singers, Ebony Expressions Gospel Choir and Barksdale Treble Chorus will perform a combined choral spring concert on April 29 at 2:30 p.m. at Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. Admission is a suggested $10 donation and free for students.
The Ebony Expressions Gospel Choir will perform a Founders Day Concert on April 1 at 8 p.m. in Commonwealth Auditorium and a concert on April 11 at 8 p.m. as part of the Candlelight Concert Series at Bruton Parish Church. Both events are free and open to the public.
The W&M Symphony Orchestra will hold its winter concert on March 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sadler Center Commonwealth Auditorium. The orchestra will perform Camille Saint-Saens’ “Morceau de Concert” featuring Lydia Doughty ’24 as soloist, Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane pour une infante défunte,” Charles Auguste de Bériot’s “Scène de Ballet” featuring Sarah Russell-Hunter ’23 as soloist and Édouard Lalo’s “Symphony in G Minor.” The orchestra will perform its spring concert featuring Vincent D’Indy’s “La forêt enchantée” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No.3” on May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Commonwealth Auditorium. Both events are $10 for general admission and free for students, children under 18 and veterans.
The W&M Wind Ensemble will perform its spring concert on May 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Commonwealth Auditorium. The program will include the world premiere of a commissioned work by Grammy-nominated cellist and composer Dawn Avery. General admission is $10 and free with W&M ID.
The Middle Eastern Music Ensemble will participate in an open workshop and rehearsal of Afghan music with the Fanoos Family Ensemble on March 2 in Ewell Hall Room 207; email email@example.com for details. The MEME will host the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology Gala featuring guest artists and ensembles from the chapter March 31-April 1 at an on-campus location to be announced. The MEME will perform its final spring concert on May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Williamsburg Regional Library Theatre with guest artist composer, performer and Fulbright Scholar Peni Chandra Rini from Indonesia. All MEME events are free and open to the public.
The Appalachian Music Ensemble will perform April 12 at 8 p.m. at Ewell Recital Hall and May 5 at 3 p.m. at Commonwealth Auditorium; both events are free and open to the public.
A free joint concert by the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo will be performed on April 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Ewell Recital Hall.
The Gallery Players, W&M’s conductor-less string ensemble, will present a concert on April 27 at 8 p.m. as part of the Candlelight Concert Series at Bruton Parish Church. The program will feature music by 20th and 21st century American composers. Admission is free and open to the public.
The Flute Ensemble concert will take place May 2 at 7 p.m. in Ewell Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.
W&M Theatre opens the spring season with “Proof,” which was written by Aimé Césaire and will be directed by W&M Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre, Speech and Dance Abbie Cathcart. The story won a Tony Award for Best Play and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. “On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal
with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind,” according to Dramatists Play Service. The show runs Feb. 23-26 at the Kimball Theatre. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Professor of Theatre Laurie Wolf will direct William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “You are cordially invited to the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and his Amazonian bride Hippolyta,” according to a description of the play in Shakespeare’s Globe. “But before the celebration begins, four star-crossed lovers must sort out their own romantic destinies. Hermia and Lysander are deeply in love, but Hermia’s father wants her to marry Demetrius. Demetrius is pursued by Helena, whose passion goes painfully unrequited.” The show runs April 27-30 at the Kimball Theatre. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets are available at the Kimball Theatre Box Office and online.
The Hayes Writers Series will host writer Laura Warrell on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Tucker Theatre for a reading, discussion and book signing reception. Warrell is the author of “Sweet Soft Plenty Rhythm,” which was named a “best book” of 2022 by several publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and Vanity Fair. The novel has been long-listed for the Carnegie Medal in Fiction and short-listed for the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize.
Author Hernan Diaz will participate in a reading, discussion and book signing reception on March 4 at 3 p.m. at the Williamsburg Regional Library in a joint event with the Ampersand International Arts Festival and W&M creative writing program. “Trust” — the second novel by the Pulitzer Prize finalist for “In the Distance” — won the Kirkus Prize, was long-listed for the Booker Prize and named a “best of 2022” by over 30 major publications. One of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year, “Trust” is currently in development as a limited series on HBO.
Authors and poets Aimee Nezhukumatathill, Patrick Rosal, Oliver de la Paz, Sarah Gambito and Joseph Legaspi will participate in workshops, panel discussions and readings April 5-6 at times and locations to be announced as part of the W&M Filipino-American Literary Festival. The inaugural themed literary festival of the Hayes Writers Series, featuring a mix of open-to-the-public readings and panels as well as student-centered workshops, will be promoted in conjunction with the W&M Asian & Pacific Islander American studies program.
De la Paz is poet laureate of Worcester, Massachusetts, for 2023-2025. He is the author and editor of seven books and his newest work, “The Diaspora Sonnets,” will be published this year. De la Paz serves as the co-chair of the Kundiman advisory board. He has received grants from the NEA, NYFA, the Artist’s Trust and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and has been awarded multiple Pushcart Prizes. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the low-residency Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University.
Gambito is author of the poetry collections “Loves You,” “Delivered” and “Matadora.” Her honors include the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers and The Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts from the Asian American Arts Alliance. She is professor of English and director of creative writing at Fordham University and co-founder of Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving writers and readers of Asian American literature.
Legaspi is the author of the poetry collections “Threshold” and “Imago” and chapbooks “Postcards,” “Aviary, Bestiary” and “Subways.” His works have appeared and are forthcoming in POETRY, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Orion, and “Best of the Net.” He cofounded Kundiman, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature.
Nezhukumatathilis the author of The New York Times best-selling illustrated collection of nature essays and Kirkus Prize finalist, “World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments,” which was chosen as Barnes & Noble’s 2020 Book of the Year. She has published poetry collections “Oceanic,” “Lucky Fish,” “At the Drive-In Volcano” and “Miracle Fruit.” Honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pushcart Prize, a Mississippi Arts Council grant and being named a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry. She is professor of English and creative writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
Rosal is the author of five poetry collections including “The Last Thing: New and Selected Poems,” which won the William Carlos Williams Award and was named one of The Boston Globe’s best books of the year. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, Fulbright Research Scholar program, the Civitella Ranieri Residency and the NJ State Council for the Arts. As inaugural campus co-director of the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers-Camden, he leads the Quilting Water Collaboration, gathering global stories of water and supporting local quilting artists.
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