Arts

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Charlotte’s oldest and largest museum has a new president and CEO. Mint Museum officials announced today that Dr. Todd Herman will head the museum, starting August 20.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Cassidy Hooper, 22, is pretty typical for a college student. She's trying to keep up with sociology and American government classes at Central Piedmont Community College, juggling a weekend job at Carowinds, and on top of that, she's spent the last few months learning the music to Benjamin Britten's 1962 masterpiece "War Requiem," to be performed this weekend at CPCC.

Jeff Cravotta

The Charlotte Ballet and Charlotte Symphony join forces this weekend with strong support from kids. The ballet and symphony mined the young talent from community centers, and have given the classical composition The Rite of Spring a modern twist. They call it: “The Rite of Spring: Reinvented.” And in the process, hope to engage a younger generation to produce and love the arts. 

Actor's Theatre of Charlotte

Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte is calling a new space home. The theater company announced Wednesday that they’ve signed a five year contract with Queens University. As the resident theater company of Queens, ATC will produce and perform from Hadley Theatre on campus.

The Charlotte area has lost one of its leading jazz men - John Alexander. The longtime saxophonist and composer died last Sunday, Nov. 19, in Gastonia.  He was a regular at the Double Door Inn, Blue and the Ritz, as well as many other local venues where he helped keep jazz alive in the Charlotte area. 

Gantt Museum

Many people only connect the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture to its tall upscale building uptown, its home for the past eight years. But the museum goes back to 1974, well before it was named for Gantt, a former Charlotte mayor and longtime community leader.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

On a recent afternoon, inside a bustling, 8,000 square foot warehouse off Remount Road, workers are carrying out their final preparations for this year's Thanksgiving Day Parade. On one end of the warehouse, workers are testing a life-size locomotive that's spewing steam from its smokestack. On the other end, a painter is doing detail work on Santa's workshop.

Alex Phillipe Cohen

When guitarist Tashi Dorji hits the stage in Charlotte this weekend, he doesn’t know exactly what he’ll be playing. That’s usual for the musician, who lives in Asheville.  All of his music is improvised. 

It’s called free improvisation, because there are no rules to follow. He had an epiphany the first time he heard someone play a guitar this way.

Marshall Terry / WFAE

John Coltrane's Giant Steps is a song that continues to make legions of saxophonists sweat as a practice template with its dazzling display of technique.

"What are we, almost 60 years later?  I mean it's still considered the measuring stick," says Charlotte saxophonist Phillip Whack.

He's not only taking on the song but the whole album Friday and Saturday nights at the Blumenthal Stage Door Theater. Like most fulltime musicians, Whack wears many hats.  He tours overseas in a funk band. He plays regularly at a local church, and you might also catch him in a cover band at a wedding.  Playing Giant Steps in its entirety is the most difficult project he's ever taken on.  

Photo Courtesy of Hamiltonbroadway.com

The 2017-2018 Broadway series at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is sold out. The reason? The Tony Award winning musical Hamilton that comes to Charlotte next fall.  

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