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Every year, Andrew Holzaepfel attempts to bring in an “eclectic” line up of performers for the Performing Arts and Concert Series — and this year, he said the line up is “extremely strong.”
The Performing Arts and Concert Series is a set of shows covering everything from pop artists to comedians and jazz to theater. Most of the shows, with the exception of some special add-on events, take place in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.
The series is split into two primary sub-series, concert and main. The concert series showcases artists people might hear while tuning their car radios to their favorite stations.
As of now, there are only two acts on the roster for the concert series. Country duo Brothers Osborne will perform Sept. 8, and The Simon and Garfunkel Story will celebrate its 50th anniversary in MemAud on Oct. 4. Tickets for those two events are already on sale.
PROVIDED VIA Andrew Holzaepfel
Brothers Osborne for Performing Arts and Concert Series.
The main series is similar to a traditional subscription package that other performing arts venues might offer, Holzaepfel, the senior associate director of student activities, said. The main series is a group of nine diverse shows that can be sold as a package or broken up into its individual shows.
There are certain types of shows Holzaepfel looks for every year, he said, including touring Broadway shows. Two Broadway hits, Cabaret and The Wizard of Oz, will stop in Athens this academic year.
As for the other shows, Holzaepfel said he rotates between the traditional fine arts genres, such as jazz and theatrical pieces.
“Some years we’ll have dance; some years we’ll have a classical orchestra; some years we’ll have a theater piece,” he said. “We kind of rotate through, on a year-to-year basis, the type of shows that are on there, but we try to keep the series pretty eclectic.”
Along with the two Broadway titles, Holzaepfel said the addition of Kenny G enhances the line up. The musician, known for his skills on the saxophone, will perform in MemAud during Spring Semester.
The Performing Arts and Concert Series will also highlight and teach students at Ohio University.
The series will team up with the School of Music to bring Broadway for the Holidays. The show will be in celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary.
“We will be working directly with the School of Music in kind of producing that show, so that’s a really exciting opportunity for Athens,” Holzaepfel said.
Another exciting opportunity for Athens will come when Project Trio will visit for five days in September to teach master classes, conduct outreach in the city and educate people, Holzaepfel said. When the chamber music group performs in MemAud, it will be accompanied by OU's School of Music Symphony Orchestra.
“On top of their performance on the series, they’re going to do another (number of) activities over the course of the week, so we’re pretty excited about that,” he said.
In addition to the concert and main series, the Campus Involvement Center will put together upward of 20 more shows. Those events include sponsored events or special add-ons for university weekends.
The show for Dads Weekend will feature comedian Dave Coulier, who is known for his role as Uncle Joey on Full House and its reboot, Fuller House.
Mallory Walsh, a senior studying studio art, has seen some of the shows OU has to offer. She said the acts that come to OU are “pretty neat” and provide an enriching experience at a discounted price.
As a person who studies art, Walsh believes it is important to appreciate the performances OU brings to Athens.
“After being in this major for a while, you kind of realize how much the arts are on a decline lately. … It’s kind of forgotten,” she said. “People kind of see it as, ‘Oh, this is a cool hobby,’ (so) it’s always downplayed. So I really appreciate that OU offers (performances) because it kind of helps keep the art community alive.”
Holzaepfel also encourages students to come check out the shows in MemAud. Because the venue seats 2,000 people, he said it offers a closer look at live entertainment.
“It feels really intimate because there’s just not much distance between even the back seats and the stage,” Holzaepfel said. “I think MemAud is a jewel. I just try to bring in the shows to accent that.”
Mae Yen Yap contributed to this report.Back