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ABAC Performing Arts Series Kicks Off Season September 24

August 28, 2017

Symphonies, jazz, and dramatic performances are all included in the eight events of this year’s ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

ABAC Arts Connection Director Wayne Jones said the theme for this year’s series is “Ignite.”

“We selected this theme because that is what great performing arts events do. . . ignite the imaginations and emotions of all who are a part of them,” Jones said.

The 2017-18 series kicks off with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. at the Tift County High School (TCHS) Performing Arts Center.  The symphony will feature violinist Corinne Stillwell performing Alexander Glazunov’s haunting violin concerto.

The Neeman Piano Duo will play in Howard Auditorium at ABAC on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.  The husband-and-wife duo will perform a four-hands concert – two pianists playing on the same piano.  They are acclaimed throughout the United States, Asia, and Australia for their wide-ranging repertoire encompassing classical masterpieces and duets by the composers of today as well as arrangements of popular tunes and Broadway hits.

The critically-acclaimed play, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” will come to the ABAC campus on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium.  The story is an autobiography of Mitch Albom, an accomplished journalist driven by his career, and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor.  Many years after graduation, Albom is reunited with Schwartz and what starts as a simple visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage and a last class in the meaning of life.  Jamie Farr from M*A*S*H will star as Morrie in this touching performance.

On Jan. 16, 2018, the musical comedy act, Three Redneck Tenors, will perform at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium.  The Three Redneck Tenors were top finalists on “America’s Got Talent” and have been thrilling audiences since 2006.  The tenors will take you on a musical journey featuring songs from the genres of gospel, country, Broadway, classical, and pop.

The Olney Theatre’s National Players will perform one of the most beloved literary treasures, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” on Feb. 1, 2018 at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium.  Set in the fast-paced Jazz Age of New York, “The Great Gatsby” guides viewers through a world where love, opportunity, deception, and tragedy are always just around the corner.

The California Guitar Trio will perform in Howard Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2018.  This performance marks the fourth time that the Arts Connection has presented the California Guitar Trio to area audiences.  The group has enthralled listeners since 1991 with a singular sound that fearlessly crisscrosses genres. Back again to the Tifton stage by popular demand, this concert is always an audience favorite.

On March 15, 2018, ticket-holders to the performing arts series can join ABAC Fine Arts faculty member Andy Lagrimas (piano) and Jared Starr (violin) for “An Evening at the Cinema” at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium.  Lagrimas and Starr will treat the audience to musical masterpieces of the silver screen for a violin-piano duo by film composer John Williams, including pieces from “Schindler’s List,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Sabrina.” The duo will also perform classical masterpieces such as Claude Debussy’s “Violin Sonata.”

Saxophonist Tim Green will showcase his talents in Howard Auditorium at 7 p.m. on April 19, 2018. Forging a deeply personal sound from a broad swath of the jazz landscape, Green has emerged as a powerful new voice. Called “a player to watch” by JazzTimes, Green seized the attention of the jazz community with his second-place finish in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. He delivered on the promise of that prestigious honor with the release of his 2012 album, “Songs from This Season,” on his own True Melody Music label. He will serve as the guest clinician during the ABAC Jazz Festival during the day and will perform with the ABAC Jazz Ensemble in his concert.

The ABAC Jazz Ensemble’s award-winning performances have taken the group to some of the world’s greatest stages, including the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Amsterdam.  The ensemble is directed by Dr. Thomas Heflin.

Tickets for the entire series are $80 for adults and $25 for students under 18 years of age. Individual ticket costs vary based on the performance.  Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at (229) 391-4895.

The ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly.  The Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency-the National Endowment for the Arts.   Series sponsors for this year’s line-up include Bell Plantation and Tift Regional Health System.
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