Weatherford College is celebrating 20 years of the Marjorie Black Alkek Fine Arts Center with a full calendar of performances including a concert by the Fort Worth Symphony Chamber Orchestra, which played at the Alkek grand opening in 1998, and a revival of “Into the Woods,” the first musical performed in the Alkek theatre.
“We are looking at this performance series as an opportunity to celebrate not only this great facility, but also our ability to teach and perform there,” said WC Dean of Community Relations Duane Durrett. “Our students are able to learn, rehearse and perform in this facility that was a vision of former WC President Jim Boyd and many community members.”
Directed by Maestro John Giordano and featuring pianist Dr. Hyeyoung Song, the Fort Worth Symphony Chamber Orchestra will perform “A Night of Mozart” on Saturday, April 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices for this concert are $50 to $75.
Giordano has a long, respected history in the classical music world, having served as chairman of the jury at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition multiple times and as the founder of the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival for Young Artists.
The cast of “Into the Woods” has been working on the production since August and contains many repeats from the 1998 cast and, in a few cases, the children of original cast members.
The production is directed by WC theatre instructor James Brownlee who was a WC student in 1998 and played Prince Charming in the original production. Show times are 7:30 p.m. April 12 through April 14 and 2 p.m. on April 15. Tickets are $5.
“We are coming full circle on the building and this production really brings that home for me,” said Mike Endy, WC vice president of instruction and student services. “The Alkek Center brought to WC what its naming benefactor hoped, a beautiful and welcoming environment for the fine arts and the students who study them.”
Additional events in the series include:
- Friday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. – Coyote Jazz Fest concert. A day-long festival of area jazz bands culminates with a performance by the WC Jazz Band and special guests. Admission is free.
- Saturday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. – “Celebrating the American Songbook,” a concert celebrating the most influential American popular songs and jazz standards from the early 20th century, featuring WC Choir director Rob Laney, voice instructor Rick Rainey, pianist Dr. Hyeyoung Song and guests Miss Sandra Kay and her trio. Tickets are $10.
- Monday, April 9, at 6 p.m. – Student Art Reception in Texas Hall. Admission is free.
- Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. – WC Spring Choir Concert. Admission is free.
- Friday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. – “N’Awlins Gumbo Kings” concert. Music celebrating the Big Easy, featuring musicians who toured with the likes of Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Dr. John, Ellis Marsalis and others. Tickets are $20.
- Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. – “Nothin’ but the Blues” featuring vocalist Victor Cager. Admission is free.
- Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. – WC Jazz Band Alumni Concert, led by former directors Tom Burchill and Durrett with current director Cal Lewiston. Admission is free.
“We hope the community joins us for a wonderful series of concerts and events celebrating this new era of the arts for our community,” Durrett said. “This is one celebration you don’t want to miss.”
To purchase tickets or for more information on individual performances, visit www.wc.edu/Alkek20.