Patten Performances has a wowser season opening this week
One thing you can’t say about the Patten Performances series is that it’s stuck in a rut. Each year, Director Bob Boyer has a few new tricks up his sleeve, and the 2015-16 season is no exception.
Take the starting date, for example: July 7. In a new partnership with The University of the South’s Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the series opens with two faculty shows from the festival. “The idea is to bring some of the great music from the festival into a more urban setting,” says Boyer. “These are world-class musicians, and we are presenting them in summer, when there is not much chamber music in the city.”
The first concert, which will feature a brass ensemble, will be held on the patio next to the new UTC library (this is change from what was announced in the brochure). The second, on July 14, features a mixed string ensemble playing in the new library’s fourth floor Grand Reading Room, which Boyer believes will give patrons a chance to experience how lovely the new facility is.
Back from a successful first year are the two Patten Unplugged performances (Oct. 10 and Jan. 30), which respectively feature the Malpass Brothers and Cardon Smith. “I saw the Malpass Brothers in concert and I haven’t had that much fun at a show in years,” says Boyer. “We want to go in different directions with the ‘Unplugged’ concerts, and this year, it’s a nod to the country-style of Americana.”
On Sept. 13, taiko drumming will resound through the Roland Hayes Concert Hall as Nagata Shachu raises the roof and your heart rate with all sorts of classic taiko drums, combined with gongs, bells, wooden clackers, shakers and bamboo flutes.
Boyer is thrilled with the “get” of The Q Brothers, who perform on Oct. 22 (another change from the brochure). The Brothers describe themselves as “two guys who share parents and rewrite Shakespeare plays into hip hop musical add-RAP-tations.”
They’ll be performing their latest adaptation, “Q Gents,” a version of “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” The two gents, in this case, are two high school football stars at Verona College Prep.
“I have got to put in a huge plug for the The Q Brothers,” says Boyer. “They are heading to London after Chattanooga to perform ‘Q Gents’ at the New Globe.” While the two are here, he says, they will also be visiting local schools and introducing a sometimes-reluctant new generation to the musicality of Shakespeare.
Dance comes next, with Keigwin + Company on Nov. 9. The contemporary dance troupe has been featured at the Kennedy Center and New York Center, among many others theaters and festivals.
Back for the first time in 20 years are Grammy winners BeauSoleil (pictured above) on Feb. 24. Garrison Keillor has called them “the best Cajun band in the world,” and Boyer expects this show to sell out early.
As, undoubtedly, will the final show of the season: the one, the only Pilobolus, on April 18. “They’ve been here twice before and we’ve tried for years to get them back,” Boyer says. “It finally came together. Everyone who knows they’re coming is looking forward to.” He notes that he hopes they replicate their world record for most people in a Mini. “It’s pretty amazing,” he says.
Meanwhile, the UTC Fine Arts Center has switched booking systems and Boyer strongly feels the new system will make booking both individual shows and buying season subscriptions much easier. The new system goes live on July 2. He also highly recommends season tickets for this year’s super line-up, to avoid the disappointment of not being able to get in to see your favorite shows.
For more information, and to purchase both individual show tickets and subscriptions, visit utc.edu/fine-arts-center or call (423) 425-5249.