posted August 5, 2003

Great Performance Announces Series Season

Hope College's Great Performance Series announces another year filled with jazz, theatre, dance, and a range of classical music. A unique series offering a range of cultural experiences, the series has been sponsoring performances for the family and connoisseur alike for more than 30 years.

Burning River Brass, a brass and percussion ensemble, starts the season on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The 12-member ensemble has won rave reviews for its recordings and performances. "A thrilling disc with one majestic piece after another," said the "American Record Guide." The large ensemble allows for a variety of instrumentation, creating a broad palette of colors for a range of works.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance takes over the Knickerbocker Theatre for two nights, with shows on Thursday-Friday, Oct. 23-24, at 8 p.m. The company has been creating and performing cross cultural dance experiences rooted in African American traditions for more than 30 years. "They communicated a ...passion one might have thought to be incommunicable," said "The New York Times" in its review.

Terence Blanchard is dominating many areas of music, and he performs with his sextet on Thursday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. "Down Beat" Magazine named him the 2000 Artist of the Year and Trumpeter of the Year, and he has several Grammy nominations, an Emmy nomination, and nine film scores. "The New York Times" said, "His music upholds a jazz tradition of sharp, clear writing that has been languishing since the 1950s."

Cantus is one of most sought after vocal groups in the United States. This young group of 12 men, all under the age of 25, has been featured at major festivals and on NPR's "Performance Today." They will bring their classically-trained voices to Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m. "We weren't merely impressed, we were converted," raved "Stereophile."

Just when you thought it was safe to go to a Baroque concert, along comes Red Priest, performing at 8 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Thursday, Feb. 12. This extraordinary English ensemble has redefined the art of baroque music performance, combining extensive research with swashbuckling virtuosity and compelling stagecraft. "Nothing short of electrifying...a sense of showmanship in a concert that will stand as one of the season's best," said the "Denver Post."

The season will end with the theatre of John O'Neal, who will present "Sayings from the Life and Writings of Junebug Jabbo Jones" on Monday-Tuesday, March 29-30, at 8 p.m. Junebug is a folk character in the fullest sense of the word, part of a long line of African storytellers, from Aesop to Langston Hughes' character, Simple. "The subtlety and strength of Mr. O'Neal's performance are something to behold. He is a very funny man and he is a great actor," said "The New Yorker."

More information about the series can be found at www.hope.edu/arts, or by calling (616) 395-6996. Season subscriptions are $55 for regular adult admission and $45 for senior citizens, a savings of nearly 35 percent. Families can buy a coupon for $115, which saves a family of four nearly 45 percent. Individual tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and $5 for children 18 and under, and go on sale at the DeWitt Center Box Office approximately one week prior to each performance. The box office can be called at (616) 395-7890.

The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street, Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street, and the Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St.