The fifth annual Juilliard in Aiken festival previews this weekend with a familiar face to Aiken.
Jennifer Sheehan, the New-York based cabaret singer who graduated from Juilliard in 2007 and has come to Aiken the last couple of years, will perform in a dinner and cabaret show on Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Willcox.
People who attend Friday's sold-out black tie gala will also be able to socialize with Sheehan during a champagne and dessert reception.
At Saturday's encore, the audience will be able to enjoy the same dinner and show, just in a slightly-less formal environment, according to a news release.
The the singer will perform her new “I Know a Place,” a 60s-centered performance that was a huge success in New York. Songs from Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Barbra Streisand, Karen Carpenter and the Beatles are just a few that can be expected.
Shennan's talents and shows, like her show “Cabaret Under the Stars” last March, won over “people who thought they didn't like cabaret,” Dr. Sandra Field, organization president, said last November.
Tickets for Saturday are still available and are $125. They can be bought online at www.juilliardinaiken.com or the URS Center box office by calling 648-1438.
Both performances serve to benefit the Juilliard in Aiken Festival performances and outreach programs.
Shennan is just the tip of the performing list with the main stream of events in March. Theatrical and musical performances will pack the week of March 9 to 15, as various performers will spread their talent through Aiken.
During that week, organist Paul Jacobs; violinists Charles Yang and Anna Lee; percussion group Triptych; historical-specialized group Juilliard 415; piano duo Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Poe; jazz artists the Diploma Ensemble; a quintet from the school's Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts; drama group Juilliard Juniors; cellist Noah Lee and pianist Naomi Kudo will be among the performers. Jacobs, Yang and Anna Lee are among some of the returning artists.
On March 9, the Drama Division Juilliard Juniors give a free performance at 2 p.m. at the URS Center for the Performing Arts.
The Pisticci String Trio & Charles Yang Duo will perform at 2 p.m. at St. Mary's Help of Christians Catholic Church on March 10, and organist Paul Jacobs will perform "The Sublime Instrument" at 6 p.m. at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church on March 10. Both events are free.
Jacobs and the Drama Division will return on March 11. The former will perform for free at 1 p.m. at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church, while the latter will perform at 8 p.m. at URS Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets for the Drama Division's performance are based on seating and $10, $20, $30 with students being admitted for free.
On March 12, the Drama Division will give another performance at the URS Center for the Performing Arts at 2 p.m., while the Triptych Percussion Ensemble will perform for free at Second Baptist Church at 7 p.m. Tickets for the drama performance are $5, $15 and $25 with students being admitted for free. Pre-college artists will perform a “Brandon Wilde: Chase Series” show at 7:30 p.m. for the Brandon Wilde Senior Living Center residents.
The Festival of Song with Daniel Fung will consist of a concert and tea at 2 p.m. and will be followed by the Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble at 8 p.m. on March 13. Both will take place on the Green Boundary Club lawn. Tickets for the festival at $45, while tickets to see the ensemble are $35, $40, $45 and $50.
On March 14, Julliard 415 will perform for free at noon at the First Presbyterian Church, the Anderson and Roe Piano Duo at 7 p.m. at the USC Aiken Etherredge Center and the Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble for their free “After Hours Show” at 9 p.m. at the Willcox. The duo show costs $5 for students, $25, $35 and $45.
On the final day, March 15, the festival will commemorate the year with its “Fifth Year Anniversary Celebration Concert” at 8 p.m. at the Etherredge Center. Anderson & Roe, Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble, Charles Yang Duo, String Trio, Pre-College Artists, vocalists and Juilliard 415 will perform, and tickets are $5 for students, $25, $35 and $45.
The mixture of old and new talent helps to create “an upcoming season that keeps its sights set firmly on the future with exciting first-time events and a bevy of spectacularly talented rising stars. We hope everyone will be a part of this wonderful week and help us celebrate this very unique and wonderful partnership between Aiken and The Juilliard School,” Field said.
For information about tickets for the events, visit www.juilliardinaiken.com.
“The Aiken community has given such great support to the Festival and outreach during the last four years,” Field said in a release. “And we're so grateful for that.”
Editor's note: This version of this story has been updated to correct some of the upcoming performances. The Aiken Standard regrets the error.