After more than a year of online performances, Shenandoah Conservatory announces the return of live, in-person music, theatre and dance to its academic season. The Conservatory Performs 2021/22 season features dozens of opportunities to witness and experience the arts, including a rich variety of performances by students, faculty and internationally renowned guest artists. The season will also feature a number of in-person outdoor performances and livestream concerts — both of which were crucial to the conservatory thriving during the pandemic.
The season kicks off in September with a free arts open house. First launched last year as a way to safely engage audiences outdoors during the pandemic, the Inside/Out: Arts Open House will feature a range of performances by the conservatory’s music, theatre and dance programs.
“Inside/Out was born out of the necessity to move our performances outdoors, in order to safely bring the arts to our community,” said Executive Director of Performances and Engagement Courtney Reilly. “This year, we are keeping the spirit of that festival alive, but with performances both in- and outdoors, it’s taking on a slightly different meaning. We are creating opportunities for campus and community members to experience all the conservatory has to offer — inside and out!”
In addition to reuniting with existing audiences, the conservatory hopes the open house will attract new audiences for its season. Providing audiences with an opportunity to sample a range of artforms, the afternoon will feature a lineup of several shorter performances, as well as demonstrations and workshops by faculty and students.
The 2021/22 season features a diverse array of performances by the conservatory’s instrumental ensembles, including the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, EDGE new music ensemble, along with jazz ensembles, such as the Studio Big Band and Little Big Band.
The Vocal/Choral Division will present a lineup of performances by the Conservatory Choir and Cantus Singers, as well as an intimate Opera Up Close performance and a Main Stage Opera, both of which will feature scenes from various works.
Additionally, the conservatory’s Dance Division will present a season of new original dance works, while the Theatre Division will present popular musicals such as “A Chorus Line,” “Hair” and “Bright Star.” There will also be fresh spins on plays such as “Dracula” and Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.”
The 2021/22 season also brings internationally renowned talent to Winchester through the World of the Piano series, which features the conservatory’s own John O’Conor, as well as guest artists Anne-Marie McDermott, Michelle Cann, Anagnoson & Kinton Piano Duo and Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon.
Finally, Performing Arts Live, the conservatory’s multidisciplinary arts series, features a range of masters and innovators of music, theatre and dance, including a new contemporary theatre performance, “Cartography,” and performances by the acclaimed Harlem Quartet with Cuban pianist Aldo López-Gavilán; the Resistance Revival Chorus and Ballet Hispánico, whose April 2020 performance was canceled due to COVID-19.
In addition to the fall open house, audiences will have two other opportunities in the spring to attend large-scale festivals on campus, including the annual Jazzathon, newly minted as the John Kirby Jazz & Blues Festival in honor of the great Winchester-born jazz bassist. Also, the conservatory’s annual ShenCoLAB: Festival of Arts & Ideas culminates the season in May with collaborative student-generated projects.
To view an entire calendar of events, purchase tickets and learn more, visit Conservatory Performs online at www.conservatoryperforms.org, in person at the Shenandoah University Box Office located in the Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre lobby or by phone at (540) 665-4569. Regular box office hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, July 21, and patrons are able to save 20 to 30 percent off general admission tickets with a flexible Pick 5 or Pick 8 subscription package.