Spring Performing and Visual Arts Events in the Upstate

Spring is a time of renewal. A time when the cold, dreary days of winter begin to turn into warmer days filled with the sights and smells of blooming trees and flowers. Springtime also starts to heat up with performing and visual arts performances and calendars are packed full this season. From Edwin McCain at the Walhalla Civic Auditorium to Denyce Graves at the Clemson Brooks Center, these shows are just a few of the many great performances happening in the Upstate through June.

Clinton:

What: Hot 8 Brass Band - Not your typical Dixieland style brass band, Hot 8 Brass Band has epitomized New Orleans street music for over a decade.  The band plays the traditional Second Line parades, hosted each Sunday afternoon by Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, infusing their performances with the funk and energy that makes New Orleans music beloved around the world.

When: February 19th, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Details: Presbyterian College, 503 South Broad Street, Clinton, Belk Auditorium. Tickets will be available IN ADVANCE at Adair's Men's Shop in downtown Clinton. All tickets will be sold as general admission, and reduced prices will be available for PC students, faculty and staff.

What: Celtic singer Julie Fowlis - One of the most beautiful Celtic voices in the world. Fowlis is known all over Britain, Scotland, and Ireland as one of the premier voices and purveyors of the tradition of Gaelic mouth music and a passionate torchbearer for the culture of her native Western Isles.

When: April 9th, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Details: Presbyterian College, 503 South Broad Street, Clinton, Edmunds Hall. Tickets will be available IN ADVANCE at Adair's Men's Shop in downtown Clinton. All tickets will be sold as general admission, and reduced prices will be available for PC students, faculty and staff.

Clemson:

What: Denyce Graves - Recognized as one of the world's most exciting vocalists, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents. Her career has taken her to the world's great opera houses and concert halls, where she has worked with leading symphony orchestras and conductors. Ms. Graves' expressive vocalism, elegant stage presence, and exciting theatrical abilities allow her a breadth of operatic roles.

When: Friday, February 8, 2013, 8:00 p.m.

Details: The Brooks Center is located at the intersection of Perimeter and Cherry roads on the Clemson University campus at 141 Jersey Lane, Clemson, SC 29634. This performance is free.

Fountain Inn:

What: Made in the Carolinas is an all-new ballet featuring world premiere pieces by Hernan Justo, CBT's Artistic Director, and CBT company members Francesca Genovese, Madeline Jazz, and Matthew Harvey. This ballet, made up of works conceptualized and created in the Carolinas, celebrates the talent of CBT's company.

When: February 9th, 7:30 p.m.

Details: Fountain Inn Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 315 North Main Street, Fountain Inn. Tickets are $15 for adults; $12.00 for students. Tickets are available through the Fountain Inn Center for Visual and Performing Arts Box Office online or by phone (864-409-1050).

Greenwood:

What: Keyboard Festival

When: March 7th, 8:00 p.m.

Details: Lander University, Josephine B. Abney Auditorium, 320 Stanley Avenue, Greenwood, SC 29649. This performance is free.

What: Lander Dance Company

When: April 1st and 2nd, 8:00 p.m.

Details: Lander University, Josephine B. Abney Auditorium, 320 Stanley Avenue, Greenwood, SC 29649. This performance is free.

What: Jazz Ensemble Concert

When: April 9th, 8:00 p.m.

Details: Lander University, Josephine B. Abney Auditorium, 320 Stanley Avenue, Greenwood, SC 29649. This performance is free.

What: The Music Man (Mainstage Musical) - An affectionate paean to small-town, U.S.A. of a bygone era, Meredith Wilson's THE MUSIC MAN follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hil, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys' band he vows to organize-this despite the fact he doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain's fall.

When: February 15-17; February 22-24; March 1-3, Show Times: Fridays & Saturdays 7:30 p.m.; Sundays 2:00 p.m.

Details: Greenwood Community Theatre. Tickets: $20 for Adults; $18 for seniors; $15 for Students; $14 for Children under 12 years. Greenwood Community Theatre, 110 Main Street. Greenwood. Box Office, phone 864-229-5704.

What: Bright Inspiration with Brigid: Writing Workshop with Cassie Premo Steele. She was the Celtic muse of poetry, music, smithcraft (think computers and technology) and healing-and later became an Irish Catholic saint. This writing workshop will trace Brigid's story in Ireland (including a trip to her sacred well in Liscannor, County Clare, where Cassie's great-grandfather is from) and then use Brigid's story to bring about inspiration and innovation in your creative practice. Designed for writers, artists, and anyone who uses creativity, this workshop will give you concrete practices that you can apply on a daily basis to write with greater flow and ease.

When: Saturday, February 2nd Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Details: For more information and to register contact (864) 953-2462 or email jenlovesthearts@gmail.com. Registration closes January 23, 2013.Registration Fee: Adult $20; Student $15. The Arts Center of Greenwood, 120 Main Street. Greenwood. Box Office, 864-229-5704.

Laurens:

What: The Laurens County Chorale will perform Sing! A Stephen Foster Songbook! The concert is supported in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission. The choir will sing a wide array of choral music by Stephen Foster, who is described by many as the Father of American Music.

When: Friday, May 3, 7:30 p.m.

Details: First Baptist Church, 300 W. Main St., Laurens, SC. For further information please contact Jean Miller, President, Laurens County Chorale, jmiller138@bellsouth.net.

Spartanburg:

What: Mary Ellen Suitt: In Retrospect - Spartanburg Art Museum (SAM). Mary Ellen Suitt was a native South Carolina artist, who used both opaque and transparent paints in a bold array of colors. She exercised a variety of techniques and expressions to create her vibrant landscapes and her trademark "blue people." She had been a charter member of the Artists' Guild of Spartanburg, founded in 1957, until her death on January 19, 2013.

When: Retrospect through Saturday, Feb. 16th.

Details:Spartanburg Art Museum (SAM), The Chapman Cultural Center, 200 E. St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306.

What: Spartanburg Youth Theatre presents Harold and the Purple Crayon. This gentle story of just how far your imagination can take you is brought to exciting life, when a favorite in the world of picture books meets the magic of theatre. Harold, a curious and imaginative little boy, creates the world he wants to explore by drawing it. With the help of his magic crayon, Harold goes to the circus, swims in the sea, and even gets to be on television, until he meets the villain, Mr. Smudge, who has other plans for Harold's purple crayon. Will Harold get his crayon back and complete the drawing of his adventures? Come see for yourself and celebrate the magic of the imagination!

When: Friday, Feb. 8th, 4:30 & 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 9th at 2 p.m.

Details: David W. Reid Theatre at Chapman Cultural Center Suitable for all ages, $9 Students, $12 Adults, Call 542-ARTS or visit The Chapman Cultural Center, 200 E. St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306.

What: Die Fledermaus (The Bat) The Spartanburg Repertory Company will present the classic opera Die Fledermaus (The Bat) at Die Fledermaus is a comedy of errors, which takes place in Vienna, Austria. The cast of characters includes a husband with a wandering eye, his wife, his wife’s ex-boyfriend (an amorous tenor), the maid, the husband's oldest friend (with a score to settle!), and a Russian prince. A masquerade ball at the prince’s castle is the setting for much of the light-hearted comedy, which is filled with merriment, misunderstandings, and marvelous waltz music by Johann Strauss.

When: Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9, 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, March 10, 3 p.m.

Details: Broome High School. Adults/ $18; seniors/$16; students/$7.

What: Spartanburg Youth Theatre will present Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest. There’s much more to this fascinating story than the beautiful Snow White and her seven funny little friends when this witty adaptation of the beloved fairy tale takes to the stage. Meet a whole host of new characters including the absent minded king, King Absent Minded, his new wife, Bella, who is part queen and part witch, her frantic servant, Maid Dim Witty, and the handsome, but conceited, Prince Goodhearted. Joining them is the intriguing Miss Time, whose father, Father Time, started the whole "Once Upon a Time" business, and, of course, all of Snow White's furry animal friends. Don’t miss this captivating retelling of the fairy tale classic!

When: Friday, April 19 at 4:30 and 7 p.m.; and Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m.

Details: David W. Reid Theatre at Chapman Cultural Center Suitable for all ages, $9 Students, $12 Adults, Call 542-ARTS or visit The Chapman Cultural Center, 200 E. St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306.

What: A Streetcar Named Desire- The Spartanburg Little Theatre will present the classic A Streetcar Named Desire as its last play of the 2012-13 season. One of the iconic masterpieces of American theatre, Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire follows the fading but still attractive southern belle Blanche Du Bois as she arrives unexpectedly on the doorstep of her sister, Stella, and her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Over the course of one hot, sultry New Orleans summer, Blanche’s fragile facade slowly crumbles as she meets her match in the rough-hewn, brutish, and sensual Stanley, who sees through her and is determined to expose her.

When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 8 p.m. and May 5 and 12 at 3 p.m.

Details: David W. Reid Theatre at Chapman Cultural Center Suitable for all ages, Suitable for ages 13 and up. Adults/$25, seniors/$24; students/$17. Call 542-ARTS or visit The Chapman Cultural Center, 200 E. St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306.

Walhalla:

What:Mountain Heart (Bluegrass) - Mountain Heart returns for their 6th appearance on the WCA stage to define the cutting edge of excellence in acoustic music. They deftly combine elements of rock, jam band, country, blues, jazz and bluegrass into a high-energy sound that is at once fresh, accessible and unmistakable.

When: Saturday, February 16, 2013 @ 8 p.m.

Details: Walhalla Civic Auditorium. Tickets are $30.00.Tickets can be purchased by calling our box office at 864 638-5277 or online http://www.walhallacivic.com.

What:James Gregory – "Funniest Man in America," (Southern Comedian). This veteran comedian will have you laughing to his “anti-politically correct” humor and down-to-earth presentation. He now has a grassroots following in the millions. Enjoy good old-fashioned down-home humor at its best!! Buy now- tickets go fast.

When: Friday, February 22, 2013 @ 7 p.m.

Details: Walhalla Civic Auditorium. Tickets are $30.00.Tickets can be purchased by calling our box office at 864 638-5277 or online http://www.walhallacivic.com.

What:Edwin McCain (pop music) - McCain has gone global with massive pop hits "I’ll Be" and "I Could Not Ask for More." After releasing seven albums and selling over 2 million copies, he continues to perform hundreds of concerts throughout the country each year. He has a wall of platinum albums and reams of Top 10, 20 and 40 hits

When: Friday, May 3, 2013 @ 8 p.m.

Details: Walhalla Civic Auditorium. Tickets are $30.00.Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 864 638-5277 or online http://www.walhallacivic.com.

For a more thorough listing of the many more performing and visual arts events across the Upstate this spring, please check the Upstate Information Hub calendar.

Sherry Jackson is a freelance writer, editor and entrepreneur. Her articles have been featured in InfoWorld Magazine,Entrepreneur.com, USA Today, Blue Ridge Country, Jetsetter, Bootsnall, Gadling, Yahoo, See the South, Beckett Media, The Simpsonville Sentinel and many other print and online publications. For clips and examples of her work, please visit her website at www.dragonflyventures.com.