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 calendar. – Ed.
William & Mary will celebrate the Year of the Arts in 2023-2024 with a community-wide celebration of artistic accomplishments, showcasing the vital role that the arts play in all facets of the university’s educational experience.
The opening of the new Fine and Performing Arts Complex and major events during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend Oct. 19-22 will be among the fall’s highlights as the year kicks off.
The complex is comprised of the newly renovated and expanded Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall and the new Music Building and is home to music and theatre & dance. W&M’s Arts Quarter also will include The Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Arts, which will open in fall 2024 and serve as the home to the expanded and renovated Muscarelle Museum of Art. The quarter’s existing Andrews Hall is home to the Department of Art & Art History and its Andrews Gallery.
The Arts Quarter dedication & open house will take place on Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. at PBK Memorial Hall. This highly-anticipated dedication gives W&M and the surrounding community a chance to come together and celebrate the crucial importance of arts education in the 21st century for students across all disciplines.
The Department of Art & Art History will host the exhibition “Whittled Down: The Carvings of Christopher B. Wagner” featuring figurative sculpture carved from reclaimed lumber by Christopher Wagner, a woodworking artist and the department’s studio technician, at the Andrews Gallery in Andrews Hall from Sept. 8 through Sept. 29. An opening reception, free and open to the public, will take place Sept. 8 at 4 p.m. in Andrews Gallery. It will be followed by an artist talk at 5:30 p.m. in Andrews Hall Room 101. Wagner will conduct a carving workshop on Sept. 22 at 12:30 p.m. in Andrews Hall Room 118.
“Larger than Still Life: Paintings by Xico Greenwald” will be featured at the Andrews Gallery from Oct. 5 through Oct. 31. Greenwald is associate professor of art at City University of New York-Borough Community College and an art critic. An opening reception, free and open to the public, will be held Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. in Andrews Gallery. It will be followed by an artist talk at 5:30 p.m. in Andrews Hall Room 101.
Andrews Gallery will host the “Curatorial Project Exhibition,” with its title to be announced, from Nov. 3 through Nov. 29. Students majoring in art history curate all aspects of the show, which evolves as they go through the steps of choosing and preparing pieces for inclusion. An opening reception will take place Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. in Andrews Gallery.
Although the Muscarelle Museum of Art is temporarily closed for expansion and renovation, with its new wing, The Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Visual Arts, slated for re-opening in late 2024, a full schedule of events and programming is planned this fall as the museum celebrates its 40th anniversary.
“40 Years of Art at the Muscarelle,” a new exhibition chronicling the museum’s history, its most significant works of art and the people who have shaped its story, is on display at the Williamsburg Regional Library Gallery at Stryker Center through Nov. 1. Docent-led tours of the exhibition are available on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and Fridays at 10 a.m. with other tours provided by request.
The museum’s fall lecture series, “40 Years of Collecting,” will feature notable guest speakers on topics related to the past, present and future of the museum. Learn about some of the museum’s most iconic works and the artists who made them and hear about the museum’s forward vision focused on expanding diversity and representation in the collection.
A Community Art Day will offer fun-filled art exploration for people of all ages on Sept. 30 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Williamsburg Community Building, and a ticketed 40th anniversary dinner gala celebration will be held Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m. at W&M Alumni House.
W&M will unveil the “Unity” sculpture by Michelle Erickson ’82 on Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. and the piece will remain on display in the atrium of the McLeod Tyler Wellness Center this fall. The President’s Office commissioned Erickson to create a piece to commemorate the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Erickson involved students, faculty and staff in the creation of the piece by inviting them to add their handprints and inscribe words that she incorporated into the final work.
The Center for Student Diversity will sponsor an exhibition and events focused on the late labor leader Cesar Chavez as part of its Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. “Cesar Chavez: Legacy of a Leader,” an exhibition of 30 black and white photographs from the National Chavez Center archives showing an overview of Chavez’s life and work, will be displayed in the Slice and upper floor hallways of the Sadler Center from Sept. 5 through Oct. 30. A grand opening will take place on Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. with Paul F. Chavez, Cesar Chavez’s son, in the Slice and a panel discussion on Oct. 5 at 5 p.m. in Sadler Center Commonwealth Auditorium. The exhibition and events are free and open to the public.
Performed by a group of dancers from the Leah Glenn Dance Theatre and selected W&M students at Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall on Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m., “Nine” will serve as the soft opening for the Fine and Performing Arts Complex. Leah Glenn, Year of the Arts Professor of Dance and founder and artistic director of LGDT, choreographed the multi-media piece, which is a tribute to the Little Rock Nine.
The performance will be free and open to the public. Tours will start at 6 p.m. with a reception at 8:30 p.m.
Orchesis Modern Dance Company will present “DancEvent,” with original choreography by dance faculty members performed by faculty, students with Orchesis and guest artists, from Oct. 26 through Oct. 29 at PBK Memorial Hall. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets will be available at the PBK Memorial Hall Box Office and online starting one week prior to performances.
Ewell Concert Series
The music department will showcase applied faculty members performing at the Ewell Concert Series for 2023-2024. All shows start at 7 p.m., take place in the new Music Building Recital Hall and are free and open to the public.
The series opens on Sept. 14 with the Jordan Ponzi Quartet. Ponzi is instructor of jazz bass at W&M and is a local professional bassist, instructor and arranger. He has performed with the Virginia Symphony, the Rhythm in Blue jazz ensemble based at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Bio Ritmo and numerous other jazz/Latin/pop groups during over 20 years of local and regional performing.
Michael Byerly with the Daniel Inamorato Duo on Sept. 28 continues the series. Byerly, instructor of clarinet at W&M, has been principal clarinetist with the Virginia Symphony since 2014. Before moving to Virginia, he spent three years in Nishinomiya, Japan, as a member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, and two seasons as the Tucson Symphony’s principal clarinetist. Inamorato, instructor of piano at W&M, is a multidisciplinary performing artist and pedagogue from Brazil.
The final performance of the fall series will be Eric Lyttle Trio on Nov. 16. Lyttle is instructor of piano, jazz piano and musicianship at W&M. An active performer in jazz and Latin-jazz in the Richmond and Williamsburg areas, Lyttle’s recent engagements include the Richmond Jazz Society concert series at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Tin Pan Alley.
The music department has various concerts scheduled throughout the semester, with more events to be added to its calendar.
The Wind Ensemble and Botetourt Chamber Singers will perform the free Homecoming Concert on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively, in the Music Building Concert Hall. General admission is $10 and free with W&M ID. Former W&M directors of bands Laura Rexroth, Angela Holt and Evan Feldman will serve as guest conductors for the Wind Ensemble. The W&M Choir will perform a free Homecoming Concert on Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall.
On Oct. 27 as part of Family Weekend, the large ensembles will host an instrumental shared concert at 7 p.m., followed by a choral shared concert at 8 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Admission is free. The W&M Orchestra’s Halloween Concert, featuring selections by French composer Max d’Ollone, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 in the Recital Hall. General admission is $3.
The Barksdale Treble Chorus and Botetourt Chamber Singers will perform a free fall concert at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 in the Concert Hall. All three choral groups will perform their free Winter Choral Concert at 2 p.m. on Dec. 2 in the Concert Hall.
The Wind Ensemble’s Winter Concert will be Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall. General admission is $10 and free with W&M ID.
The orchestra will perform its Winter Concert on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall, including Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker, Suite No.1” and John Williams’ “Star Wars suite.” General admission is $10 and free for students, children and veterans.
The Gallery Players, W&M’s conductor-less string orchestra, will perform Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” accompanied by a slideshow of images from Muscarelle exhibitions from the past 40 years on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Recital Hall. Registration is required. The Gallery Players will play a free Candlelight Concert on Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. at Bruton Parish Church featuring the music of Vivaldi, Elgar and Mussorgsky.
The Music of India Ensemble with special guest Irfan Khan on sarod will perform Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall. Admission is free. The Flute Ensemble will hold a free concert at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Recital Hall. A free joint concert by the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo will be performed at 7 p.m. on Nov. 28 in the Concert Hall.
W&M Theatre will stage William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Professor of Theatre Laurie J. Wolf, as the first main stage production in the newly renovated and expanded PBK Memorial Hall. A modern twist on a Shakespeare classic, star-crossed lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet hope their love will be the end of an ages-old feud between their families. Parties quickly turn to bloodshed and secrets turn to tragedies as the lovers’ schemes fall apart. The show runs Nov. 16 through Nov. 19. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets will be available at the PBK Memorial Hall Box Office and online starting one week prior to performances.
Writer Nancy Schoenberger kicks off the free and open to the public Patrick Hayes Writers Festival series with an appearance at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7 at the Tucker Theatre. Schoenberger directed the creative writing program at W&M before retiring in 2019. Her latest book of nonfiction is “Blanche: The Life and Times of Tennessee Williams’s Greatest Creation.”
The series continues with a talk by author Helon Habila at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24 at Tucker Theatre. Habila is a professor of creative writing at George Mason University and the author of four novels and one creative nonfiction book. His most recent novel is “Travelers.”
Writer Jes Hammonds will conclude the series with a presentation at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 at Tucker Theatre. Their debut novel, “We Deserve Monuments,” won the 2023 Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award. Hammonds’ second novel, “Thirsty,” will be published in the summer of 2024.
English and creative writing will host Concord Scholarship presentation “Gone Away Somewhere (Be Back Soon)” by recipient Shawna Alston at 5 p.m. on Oct. 19 in Tucker Theatre. Alston will discuss her writing project, during which she traveled from Virginia to Mississippi to speak with family members about their experiences as African Americans in the South. She will read prose and poetry inspired by her travels and share photos. A reception will follow.
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