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ABAC Presents! Begins Season Sept. 29 with Albany Symphony Orchestra

TIFTON— The Albany Symphony Orchestra will kick off the ABAC Presents!  Performing Arts Series on Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. in the Tift County High School Performing Arts Center with the performance of “East Meets West” conducted by Music Director Claire Fox Hillard and featuring internationally-renowned guzheng artist Su Chang.  Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. for this event.

Chang will perform“Identity: Zhongshang Zhuang,” a striking and distinctive piece that combines the richness of the Western orchestra with a 3800-year-old Chinese folk instrument called the guzheng. It is a Chinese-plucked zither with 18 or more strings and movable bridges.           

The orchestra will also perform Paul Hindemith’s 20th century masterpiece, “Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber.”  The second movement of this piece features themes from Weber’s music for Schiller’s Chinese-based tale, Turandot.  Rounding out the concert will be Weber’s Overture from Oberon and “Symphonic Poem on 3 notes: La-Si-Do,” by Oscar Award-winning composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). 

The Albany Symphony Orchestra was organized as the Albany Symphonette in 1965 by a group of individuals who enjoyed playing good music and foresaw the potential for an orchestra in Albany.    Celebrating its 50th anniversary this season, the orchestra currently performs a series of Masterworks Concerts, two sets of Carnegie Hall’s LinkUp Concerts for third through fifth grade students in the area, and a Pops concert. The Albany Symphony has received multiple recognitions for adventurous programming by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publications (ASCAP) and the League of American Orchestras.

The Symphony collaborates regularly with many diverse organizations and agencies in the region. Chamber ensembles perform in three concerts at the Albany Museum of Art, and the Symphony has participated with the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce in its hosting of the Red Carpet Tour of Georgia.  The orchestra has also partnered with the SOWEGA Council on Aging’s Elder Abuse Awareness program, Albany’s annual King Celebration, Phoebe Putney Hospital’s Gala Fundraising event with Debbie Reynolds, the Southeast Alabama Dance Company’s Nutcracker production, and with numerous area colleges and universities.

While available tickets will be sold at the door on the day of the event, Series Director Wayne Jones encourages advance purchase of tickets to ensure seating for patrons.  Tickets for the entire series are $50 for adults, $20 for students under 18 years of age, and $125 for a Family Pass that includes two adults and two or more student passes.  Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at (229) 391-4895. Individual tickets for each event are $15 each for adults and $10 each for students under 18 years of age.

Other performances in the series include “It’s A Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre” on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in ABAC’s Howard Auditorium, the Azalea Quartet on Feb. 18, 2014 at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium, the Fisk Jubilee Singers on March 29, 2014 at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Tifton, and jazz saxophonist Roger Pemberton on April 17, 2014 at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium.

The series is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly.  The series is also supported, in part, by a generous grant from South Arts.  GCA and South Arts also receive support from their partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. 

To learn more about all the series, interested persons can visit the “ABAC Presents!” web page at
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