ASU Performing Arts
Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 5."
Stravinsky's "The Firebird."
Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son."
No one accuse the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra of having a limited repertoire, especially when the student musicians perform with classic rock outfit Kansas this fall, as part of Appalachian State University's 2011-12 Performing Arts Series.
It's a seemingly unusual collaboration, but exactly what ASU's Office of Arts and Cultural Programs desired.
"We're sticking with our mission of having a diverse lineup - and a culturally diverse lineup - so we're giving our students and community a worldwide perspective," said Megan Stage, the office's marketing and public relations manager. "We looked at more of what our demographic was asking for, and we listened to what the students were saying."
And now Stage and company are delivering.
The Time Jumpers - Sept. 16
The season opens Friday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. with a performance by the Time Jumpers, the popular Nashville Western swing band, featuring Vince Gill, "Ranger Doug" Green, Dawn and Kenny Sears, Paul Franklin and more, at Farthing Auditorium.
"They have a huge lineup," Stage said of the Time Jumpers. "It's incredible."
The band is best known for its Monday night jam sessions at the legendary Station Inn in Nashville, drawing audiences - and artists - from the world over, including musical luminaries like Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Buffett, Bonnie Raitt and Reba McEntire. In fact, that's how Gill came to join the Jumpers, Stage said.
"It's going to be a real treat for us to have them in (Farthing) auditorium," she said.
Tickets cost $28 for adults, $16 for students ages 6 to 18, $15 for ASU students and $10 for children 5 and under and are available at the Farthing Auditorium box office or pas.appstate.edu.
Kansas with Appalachian Symphony Orchestra - Oct. 20
With eight gold albums, two multi-platinum albums, a platinum live album and a million-selling gold single under its collective belt, classic rock group Kansas is now going back to school.
Last year, the '70s rock stalwarts embarked on their Collegiate Symphony Tour, performing their well-known numbers with college orchestras.
"They sent us some video samples, and it sounds amazing," Stage said. "It takes all their classic songs, like 'Carry On Wayward Son' and 'Dust in the Wind,' and enhances them. You don't realize you're listening to a symphony when they do it."
This performance in particular, Stage said, captures the essence of the Performing Arts Series.
"We really wanted to reach out to the students, and this is a great way to connect what's going on at the university now with a classic rock band," she said.
On Thursday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m., fans can see for themselves. Tickets cost $28 for adults, $16 for students ages 6 to 18, $15 for ASU students and $10 for children 5 and under and are available at the Farthing box office or pas.appstate.edu.
Soweto Gospel Choir - Jan. 28, 2012
Hailed by The New York Times as "meticulous and unstoppable ... spirited and spectacular," the Soweto Gospel Choir brings its emotional, earthy vocals and rhythms to Farthing on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 at 8 p.m.
Founded in 2002, the South African choir performs traditional and contemporary music in six of their countries 11 official languages. Over the years, the ensemble has garnered numerous awards, including a 2003 Gospel Music Award for "Best International Choir" and a 2007 Grammy for "Best Traditional World Music."
The group has performed with such popular names as U2, Robert Plant and Celine Dion.
Tickets cost $20 for adults, $11 for students ages 6 to 18, $10 for ASU students and $5 for children 5 and under and are available online or at the Farthing box office.
Punch Brothers - Feb. 17
Although the Performing Arts Series focuses on global entertainment, Stage said it was important to offer students and community members some familiarity, but with a punch.
In this case, it's the Punch Brothers with Chris Thile. Though described as a progressive bluegrass band, the Punch Brothers have also been likened to what The New York Times calls "an emerging style of what might be called American country-classical chamber music."
The critics agree, as the Punch Brothers were nominated for a Grammy for a song ("The Eleventh Reel") off their 2006 debut album, "How to Grow a Woman from the Ground." They've released two albums since and are now the subject of an upcoming documentary, "How to Grow a Band."
They'll appear at Farthing on Friday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $11 for students ages 6 to 18, $10 for ASU students and $5 for children 5 and under and are available online or at the Farthing box office.
'Moulin Rouge: The Ballet' - March 22
When Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet pirouettes onto the Farthing stage in March, the audience may realize this isn't a typical ballet.
"It's a classical ballet, however, they're performing 'Moulin Rouge,' which appeals to a wider audience," Stage said.
According to the ballet's synopsis, "Moulin Rouge" takes place in "turn of the century Paris, a city of exquisite contradiction. The heady elixir of personal freedom bred lifestyles both reckless and addictive. Drawn to Paris by the city's passion, a flame fueled by the hearts of lovers and the souls of poets, Matthew and Nathalie tempt fate as they seek love and destiny at the infamous cabaret, the Moulin Rouge."
In 2010, Atlanta inTown called the show "a triumph ... stunningly beautiful. It's moments like this that make ballet fans out of people who think they odn't like ballet."
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet performance of "Moulin Rouge" comes to Farthing Thursday, March 22, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $11 for students ages 6 to 18, $10 for ASU students and $5 for children 5 and under and are available online or at the Farthing box office.
For more information on Appalachian State University's 2011-12 Performing Arts Series, visit pas.appstate.edu or call (828) 262-6084.