Performing Arts Series
Celebrating 23 years of the Hill College Performing Arts Series
In the 1993-94 academic year the Hill College Performing Arts Series presented its first season of concerts on the Hillsboro campus. The series began with the help of Dr. William Auvenshine and the initial seed money from Hill College as well as help from Scotty Cason in enlisting community leader support. From the beginning it was decided that the series would be free to the public and that donations from the public and financial help from Hill College would be our only means of support. From a very modest initial budget of $2,000, support, both financial and in attendance, has grown tenfold in the past twenty years.
The Performing Arts Series presents four to six programs per year to students, faculty, staff and the community. These free-admission programs bring outstanding performing artists of all genres to Hillsboro each year and, in addition to the concerts, allows for those in attendance to interact with the artists in the receptions which follow each event.
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Thurs., October 13, 2016
Glenn Miller disappeared on December 15, 1944. The bandleader went down over the English Channel on a flight from London to Paris at the height of his popularity. In September 1942, just prior to going into the army, he had disbanded his famous orchestra and eventually formed the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band to entertain the servicemen.
Not long before he enlisted, he nosed-out Tommy Dorsey, the “Best Sweet Band” in the Downbeat poll. His recordings of In The Mood, Chattanooga Choo Choo, A String of Pearls, Moonlight Serenade and Tuxedo Junction were all major hit records. Miller played to sellout crowds, and his music constantly dominated the airwaves.
On December 15, Major Miller took off in an ancient, single engine plane to precede his band to Paris. The weather was foreboding. Not very confident, he said to the pilot, “Maybe we ought to call this off?” The flight officer ribbed him about his fear of flying, “Do you want to live forever?”
Now, over sixty years since the public first embraced the successful Miller Sound, both the legend and the music live on. The Glenn Miller Orchestra is the most sought after big band in the world today for both concert and dance engagements. Still considered the greatest band of all time, its unique sound is loved by almost anybody that cares for dance music.
The Miller Estate formed the present Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1956 following strong popular demand aroused as a result of the successful motion picture, an immense box office smash-The Glenn Miller Story, starring James Stewart and June Allyson. The band has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year around the globe to millions of fans.
Glenn Miller and His Orchestra made a big impact right before and during the war. And it had more hit records in one year than anybody in the history of the recording industry. In fact, its recording of Chattanooga Choo-Choo earned the first Gold Record ever awarded to a performing artist. Additional Gold Record recordings include “In the Digital Mood” and “In The Christmas Mood,” Volume I & II.
Back in the days of the big band era of the forties, any dance band “worth its salt” had a distinctive theme song. It was the musical signature with which they signed on and signed off at their engagements and radio broadcasts. The theme of Glenn Miller and His Orchestra was the beautiful Moonlight Serenade, and it is still the signature tune of the Glenn Miller Orchestra today. Interestingly enough, Glenn Miller originally wrote the music of the song himself as an exercise for a course in arranging. He composed it long before he organized his band, when he was a trombonist and arranger with Ray Noble’s famous band.Today, it is considered a standard in the field of popular music with its popularity as an instrumental continuing undiminished through the years. It is now more than 75years since Glenn Miller first succeeded with the Orchestra, which still bears his name until this day. Except for a few years following his disappearance, Glenn’s orchestra and music have been heard around the world continuously since 1938.
The Night Before Christmas Carol
Thurs., December 1, 2016
The Night Before Christmas Carol is a historically accurate and highly humorous holiday production by renowned Dickens Scholar, Elliot Engel. It takes place in 1843 on the night that Charles Dickens dreams up his idea for a ghostly little Christmas book that becomes world famous. As he composes his winter morality tale, the audience glimpses into the life of the real Dickens explaining his inspirations. Elliot Engel has crafted a work that complements most any holiday event schedule. Ideal for large, medium, and small venues alike, this one-man production has provided family entertainment for ages 8 to 80.
David zum Brunnen cleverly performs the role of Dickens and over seventeen Dickensian characters in this 75-minute performance. Critics say "David zum Brunnen, does it very well, indeed . . . zum Brunnen's performance is lively, physical and energetic." Even Charles Dickens own great- grandson, Cedric Dickens, chimes in with "David absolutely becomes my great-grandfather on stage!" Director Serena Ebhardt has honed this production into a spirited holiday present.
El Paso Brass
Tues., February 7, 2017
One of the Southwest United States' finest brass quintets, renowned for outstanding musicianship and the diversity of its repertoire.
The ensemble is composed of key members of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and other distinguished musicians from the Southwest.
Each member of EPB is also an educator and the ensemble has many performance programs which place an emphasis on education as well as entertainment. These programs have been presented to more than 100,000 students as part of EPB's "Brass in Class" series.
Baylor University Chamber Ensembles
Thurs., March 2, 2017
An extensive chamber music program is a central element of instrumental study at Baylor. It is a vital part of both the BM and BME programs and students have the opportunity to work closely with peers in smaller ensembles. Collaborative skills necessary for work as a musician and educator are honed in these chamber music settings and enhance the overall quality and professionalism of Baylor's large ensembles. Active faculty-in-residence ensembles provide mentoring roles and weekly coaching for these instrumental ensembles.
Voices of Fort Worth
Thurs., March 30, 2017
VOICES of Fort Worth, the newest vocal ensemble in the Fort Worth music scene, gave its premier performance on May 1, 2012 in conjunction with the Wesleyan Chorale in a concert presented in Martin Hall on the campus of Texas Wesleyan University. Both groups were conducted by Dr. Jerome M. Bierschenk, who is the Music Department Chairman at Texas Wesleyan University, and also serves as Artistic Director of the new group.
VOICES is a consort of highly skilled singers whose vocal blend and exceptional reading skills and musicianship combine to create a unique presentation that spans every musical period from early Renaissance to the 21st century. Specializing in a cappella literature, the vocal chamber ensemble creates the full spectrum of vocal colors ranging from the most intense and dramatic dissonance to the most palliative and soothing consonance.
In the fall of 2015 Voices was selected to perform as a featured choir at the Southwest American Choral Directors Association Conference (SWACDA) in Kansas City.
Supporting the Hill College Performing Arts Series
If you would like to support the Hill College Performing Arts Series, you are invited to become a BENEFACTOR ($100.00), a SUSTAINER ($50.00), a PATRON ($25.00), or a SUPPORTER ($10.00) of the Hill College Performing Arts Series. Also, for a donation of $1,000 or more you can become a LIFETIME BENEFACTOR. Names of Lifetime Benefactors, Benefactors, Sustainers, Patrons, and Supporters appear in each program. You may send your donation to:
Hill College Music Dept.
Attention: Phillip Lowe
112 Lamar Dr.
Hillsboro, TX 76645
Or give online at www.hillcollege.edu/giving.
Select "Performing Arts Center" as your gift designation.
Whether or not you support the series with a monetary gift, we hope you will support the series with your presence and invite others to wonderful evenings of entertainment at Hill College.