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The Arts & Happenings May 2016

Imani Winds members (l-r)Jeff Scott, horn; Mariam Adam, clarinet; Monica Ellis, bassoon; Valerie Coleman, flute; and Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe.

Imani Winds members (l-r)Jeff Scott, horn; Mariam Adam, clarinet; Monica Ellis, bassoon; Valerie Coleman, flute; and Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe.


Chamber music and jazz come together in the adventurous Da Camera season finale concert Passion for Bach and Coltrane: Imani Winds, Harlem Quartet and Special Guests, Friday, May 6 at 8 p.m. at Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center. This concert celebrates the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane’s legendary album A Love Supreme.

The acclaimed Imani Winds, the dynamic Harlem Quartet and an outstanding jazz trio each perform individually. The concert features the Houston premieres of Chick Corea’s The Adventures of Hippocrates for string quartet and Houston native pianist and composer Jason Moran’s Cane for wind quintet. All three ensembles and respected poet A.B. Spellman come together for the Houston premiere.

The ensemble consists of Imani Winds (Valerie Coleman, flute; Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe; Mariam Adam, clarinet; Jeff Scott, horn; Monica Ellis, bassoon); Harlem Quartet (Ilmar Gavilan, violin; Melissa White, violin; Jaime Amador, viola; Matthew Zalkind, cello); Alex Brown, piano; Zach Brown, bass; Neal Smith, drums; and A.B. Spellman, narration.

Imani Winds has established itself as one of the most successful chamber music ensembles in the United States. Harlem Quartet’s mission is to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers. A.B. Spellman is an African-American poet, music critic, music historian, arts administrator and author.

Tickets are $25 and are available at 1402 Sul Ross, at 713-524-5050 or online at dacamera.com. Tickets for students and senior citizens are always half-price. $5 student rush tickets available 30 minutes before the concert begins.


(L-R): Kristin Wolfe-Jenson, Alecia Lawyer and Danielle Kuhlmann.

(L-R): Kristin Wolfe-Jenson, Alecia Lawyer and Danielle Kuhlmann.


The Unchambered Series and The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) Brass Quintet 2015­–2016 season closes with “Singing Our Song” on May 15 at 5 p.m. at the Midtown Arts & Theatre Center Houston. The event is a special concert featuring artistic director and principal oboist Alecia Lawyer and associate artistic director and violist Suzanne LeFevre. The program includes works by Hugo Kauder and Ignaz Lachner, Robert Kahn’s “Serenade” and more. The evening is crowned by the performance of a world premiere piece by composer Reena Esmail, commissioned in honor of LeFevre. Tickets are $25 general admission; $15 students (+$2 serving and processing fee by MATCH).For more information, visit rocohouston.org.


The Cosmos – An HD Odyssey will truly take audiences out of this world.

The Cosmos – An HD Odyssey will truly take audiences out of this world.


The Houston Symphony’s 102nd season will come to a close in May with a varied sampling of family, classical, and POPS concerts. Classic rock will kick off the month, the final 2015-16 family concert will encourage children to follow their dreams, and Andrés Orozco-Estrada will take the stage for the season’s final classical concerts, which include the world premiere of The Cosmos – An HD Odyssey.

Joined by guest vocalists Shem von Schroeck, Micah Wilshire and Lori Wilshire, the orchestra will perform music by some of the most distinguished rock bands of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s in Journey, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac & More at 8 p.m. May 6-7 and 2:30 p.m. May 8.

The same weekend, at 10 and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, families and children of all ages are encouraged to attend the season’s final family concert, Dreams Can Come True. Led by Associate Conductor Robert Franz, the program explores the imagination with music from Disney’s classic “The Little Mermaid” as well as A Midsum­mer Night’s Dream.

Andrés Orozco-Estrada returns to the podium at 8 p.m. May 21 and 2:30 p.m. May 22 for Andrés Conducts Symphonie Fantastique.

In the season’s grand finale, The Cosmos – An HD Odyssey will truly take audiences out of this world at 8 p.m. May 26-29 featuring video and imagery of the universe’s far distant galaxies, the sun, and other astronomical wonders as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope. The film, from producer Duncan Copp, will be accompanied by the Houston Symphony’s live performance of Dvořák’s famous Symphony No. 9, From the New World.

All concerts will take place at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana Street. For tickets and information, please call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org.




TUTS Underground presents Heathers The Musical through May 8 at The Hobby Center for Performing Arts – Zilkha Hall (800 Bagby St.)

Heathers, based on the 1989 cult classic film, is a dark, delicious story of the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High – Heather, Heather and Heather. Veronica Sawyer, the only non-Heather of the clique, rejects their ruthless regime when she falls for bad boy J.D. who wants to see all the Heathers six feet under. Relive your high school years, friends and foes, in this rollercoaster ride of a musical.

Join the group for the grand finale of TUTS Underground’s third season as these original “mean girls” show Houston audiences just how depraved the high school social stratosphere can really be.

Ticket prices are $25 – $50 and can be purchased at tutsunderground.com or by phone at 713-558-TUTS (8887).



The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) is now part of Toyota Texas Fest presented by JBL, a three-day festival of events to be held May 20-22 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. In addition to celebrating the 10-year anniversary of TTBC, Toyota Texas Fest will enable the event to further its mission to help broaden the audience reach and ultimately increase the awareness and funding for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Toyota Texas Fest will include concerts, an outdoor festival and fun activities for all ages.

“We are very excited to introduce the Toyota Texas Fest presented by JBL. For 10 years, TTBC has been proud to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. We look forward to continuing this tradition through Toyota Texas Fest,” said Katie Scallan, executive director of the Texas Bass Classic Foundation.

Fans can expect a fun and exciting event that will offer live concerts from top country music artists, an outdoor consumer expo, the TPWD Outdoor Adventure Area, aKids Zone and the 10th anniversary celebration of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic––the championship of professional bass fishing. All activities will be held at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, but the championship fishing will take place on Lake Ray Roberts near Denton.

Since TTBC’s inception over nine years ago, the partnership between TTBC and TPWD has helped raise awareness for TPWD’s conservation efforts and helped raise funding for youth and urban outreach programs. To date, TTBC has donated $2.25 million to the TPWD and will continue its support in 2016.

Visit ToyotaTexasFest.com or call 1-866-907-0143 for additional information.



On Saturday, May 21 at 9 a.m., join co-chairs Matt Davis and Ryan van Steenis for the Pink Door – Sporting Clays Charity Tournament at American Shooting Centers – 16500 Westheimer Pkwy.

The tournament is an opportunity to bring together community and business leaders, medical professionals, philanthropists and shooting enthusiasts in support of women cancer patients in the Houston community.

More than 100 participants/teams will compete in a private, 10‐stand sporting clay course, as well as shooting challenges and contests throughout the day. Following the competition, guests will enjoy food and drinks. Prize drawings and top‐team prizes will be awarded. The day will wrap with an informative talk about cancer risks and ­prevention from Julie Rowe, M.D., oncologist at UTHealth/Memorial Hermann‐Texas Medical Center.

Sponsors include BQ Catering, Profes­sional Insights and Saint Arnold Brewing Co. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities visit pinkdoornonprofit.org/sportingclays or call 832-727-3121. For more information, email ktankersley@pinkdoornonprofit.org.




Moody Gardens is offering some new entertainment and traditional favorites at Palm Beach as this popular private beach attraction opens for the summer.

Guests are invited to sink their toes in white sand, lounge beneath palm trees and splash amongst a variety of beach attractions. Visitors can even enjoy concerts and fireworks. Palm Beach will open weekends beginning May 21, including Memorial Day before opening daily for the summer season June 4 through August 21. As the summer season comes to an end, Palm Beach will be open weekends only August 27 through September 10, including Labor Day.

Visitors can enjoy the interactive 650-foot lazy river, wave pool and two 18-foot tower slides. Other attractions include beach volleyball on regulation courts and the Aquarium Adventure play area. The Splashpad automated aquatic water feature offers interactive dump buckets, spray arches and fountains for a day of fun at the beach. Palm Beach admission is $23.95 for adults, $17.95 for children and seniors, or $55 for a season pass. Children ages three and under are free.

Visitors can make it a weekend of entertainment with the popular Bands on the Sand summer concert series at Palm Beach. Beginning June 4, this live music series runs throughout the summer following each show with fireworks over the Moody Gardens pyramids and Offatts Bayou. Admission to each concert is $15 and free for kids three and under. Bands on the Sand will be held from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through August 13. Some of the area’s top local and regional bands will perform. For a complete schedule visit moodygardens.org or call 800-582-4673.


Many wounded veterans participate in the 5K Walk, Run and Wheel, which will be held at Cinco Ranch HIgh School on May 21.

Many wounded veterans participate in the 5K Walk, Run and Wheel, which will be held at Cinco Ranch HIgh School on May 21.


The 12th Annual Impact A Hero Weekend is a three-day event from Saturday, May 21 through Monday, May 23. The event is hopsted by Impact A Hero, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization that provides immediate and ongoing emotional and financial support to severely wounded, post-9/11 combat veterans and their families.

The weekend begins Saturday from 7:30 -10 a.m. with the 5K Walk, Run and Wheel, which will be held at Cinco Ranch High School. Participants should arrive at 6:30 a.m. Impact A Hero anticipates that more than 2,500 runners, including 50 wounded heroes and their families, will participate in the event. There will be a Family Focus with activities for kids. The cost per person is $35 until May 14, then $40 until race day.

The Kids 1K race will also take place during the 5K event. The cost for the Kids 1K (age 10 and under) is $12 until May 14, then $18 until race day.

The Impact a Hero Hall of Fame Gala dinner, “Diamonds & Denim,” will be held at NRG Stadium on the 50-yard line on Sunday, May 22 starting at 5 p.m. A standard single gala ticket is $250.

On Monday, May 23, the Impact a Hero Golf Challenge will be held at Shadow Hawk Golf Club & Black Hawk Country Club. The Individual Champions golf play is $1,250.

For more information on any of the events and to buy tickets, visit impactahero.org.




Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is encouraging quilters from across the Lone Star State to participate in the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) 2016 Quilt Block Competition. This year’s quilt competition theme is Texas Wine and Floral – Two Texas Treasures. This theme was chosen to celebrate two shining industries in Texas that complement each other beautifully.

“The best things in life spring from the Texas earth,” Miller said. “The same rich Texas soil that gives birth to the wine grape brings to life a wide array of colorful Texas plants. When you pair these two Texas treasures together, you will make the ultimate Lone Star statement.”

As in previous years, each contestant will use a variety of fabrics to create a quilt block to submit to TDA. A panel of judges will select the winning entries, which will be pieced together into a quilt and unveiled in Septem­ber at TDA’s Food and Fiber Pavilion at the 2016 State Fair of Texas. At the conclusion of the State Fair, the quilt will become part of TDA’s popular quilt collection. The final quilt will be designed and constructed by Terri Vogds of Denton and quilted by Maria Hall of Flower Mound.

To participate, email gotexan@Texas­Agriculture.gov or download a participant form at gotexan.org. The deadline for submissions is June 10.


Abby Mueller as Carole King.

Abby Mueller as Carole King.


Broadway at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby Street, presents Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. The musical, which will run May 31-June5, tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

Featuring a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song, Beautiful has a book by Tony Award-nominee and Academy Award-nominated writer Douglas McGrath and choreography by Josh Prince, and took home two 2014 Tony Awards.

Shows are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets start at $35; discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

For more information, call 800-982-ARTS or visit BroadwayAtTheHobbyCenter.com or TheHobbyCenter.org.


Mei-Ann Chen conducts with exhilaration.

Mei-Ann Chen conducts with exhilaration.


The 27th annual Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival (TMF) will chart several musical firsts.

TMF Orchestra Series opens Saturday, June 11 with a rich “Roman Holiday”-themed musical getaway. Mark Hughes, Houston Symphony principal trumpet, will provide fitting fanfare as guest soloist under the baton of TMF Music director and chief Conductor Franz Anton Krager. For Week 2, June 18, Hans Graf will conduct three musical firsts: Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 13; Webern: Passacaglia, Op. 1; and Berg: Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6.

Week 3 will be “The Audience’s Guide to the Orchestra,” TMF’s first approach to an orchestral “primer” program for classical music lovers of all ages. Guest Conductor Mei-Ann Chen will be on the podium for the June 24-25 concerts, which will boast the student winner of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition as soloist, complemented by the following family-friendly program: Piotr Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture – Fantasy; Benjamin Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34 narrated by Houston Public Media’s St. John Flynn; and Igor Stravinsky: Petrouchka.

The Grand Finale on Saturday, July 2, features Richard Strauss: An Alpine Symphony, Op. 64 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds, Op. 297b spotlighting four of TMF’s faculty members with native Texan Carl St. Clair conducting. For a full calendar of events, visit uh.edu/class/music/tmf/ .

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