UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music announces Thursday Scholarship Series lineup

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The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music is preparing a series of concerts for 2016-2017 that will offer audiences new, interesting ways to engage with the world-class music they’ve come to expect from the School: the Thursday Scholarship Series.

Formerly the Second Thursday Scholarship Series, the revamped concert series promises to make each concert into an event, with opportunities in and around the concert to deepen and enhance the experience of listening to the School of Music’s unparalleled talent in the world-class UGA Performing Arts Center.

Each of these concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall, and attendees are encouraged to arrive as early as 5:30 p.m. to enjoy activities surrounding the concert and explore UGA’s vibrant East Campus, including the Georgia Museum of Art and Lamar Dodd School of Art.

The series opens with “A Golden Age Band Concert” on August 25, which will assemble School of Music faculty members and students to create the UGA Golden Age Band. Modeled after American bands of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the band will take the audience on a journey through the “Golden Age” of band music.

The UGA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Mark Cedel, opens its season with another fantastic night of music on September 8, featuring some of the best student musicians in the country and the School of Music’s renowned Despy Karlas Professor of Piano, Martha Thomas.

October 20 and 21 will see the return of the UGA Opera Theatre to Hodgson Hall. Following last year’s productions of “The Merry Widow” and “Così fan Tutte,” the Opera Theatre will combine with the UGA Symphony Orchestra and the School of Music’s choral area to create another masterful opera production, semi-staged with English supertitles, for two nights.

An all-star faculty ensemble takes the stage on November 3 for “An Evening in Paris,” a musical tour of the City of Light by way of French chamber music of the ‘20s and ‘30s. The audience will have its very own storyteller guiding them through the music and the era. This event is part of UGA’s 2016 Spotlight on the Arts festival.

One of Athens’ grandest holiday traditions returns on December 1 and 2: the UGA Holiday Concerts. The spirit of the holidays will rise to the rafters of Hodgson Concert Hall when the finest musicians at the School of Music take to the stage, singing and playing the music of fellowship, joy and love.

The Thursday Scholarship Series begins 2017 with Evgeny Rivkin, professor of piano, performing a solo recital on January 12 of works from Chopin and several other iconic composers. Rivkin, who has performed across the globe and mentored countless musicians in his 21 years at UGA, will lend his deft touch to these classic pieces in an unforgettable performance.

February’s Thursday Scholarship Series event will ask its audience, “What do two dozen hands on 440 piano keys playing a million notes sound like?” The 2017 Piano Extravaganza, on February 9, showcases the piano area and its beautiful Steinway pianos with a wide array of music, faculty-led talks on the history of the instrument, a behind-the-scenes look at the piano selection process and a special opportunity for an audience member to become a one-note soloist.

Join the Hodgson Wind Ensemble for a night of jazz-inspired fun as they share exciting works by Swedish legend Christian Lindberg and George Gershwin on March 2. This concert mounts several of Gershwin's masterworks, including “Rhapsody in Blue” with soloist Evgeny Rivkin, professor of piano, and “Catfish Row” with School of Music alumni Washington Isaac Holmes and Monica Murphy singing the title roles of Porgy and Bess.

The final Thursday Scholarship Series event assembles some of the School of Music's best, including the ARCO Chamber Orchestra, on April 13 for a stirring performance of Bach, Schnittke and Stravinski. Regents Professor and Franklin Professor of Violin Levon Ambartsumian, Director of Bands Cynthia Johnston Turner and UGA Wind Symphony Director Jaclyn Hartenberger will lead ensembles composed of some of UGA's finest student and faculty musicians in a rousing conclusion to the year’s series.

More information on the Thursday Scholarship Series and all 2016-2017 School of Music ticketed events, including subscription and ticket details, is available at