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Single-event tickets go on sale Friday, July 20, for the 2012-13 Bluffton University Artist Series, featuring The Alley Cats, the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, pianist Alexander Schimpf, the Petar Jankovic Ensemble and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.
Tickets can be purchased on the Web, at http://tickets.bluffton.edu. Single-event tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for senior citizens and non-Bluffton students, and $15 for Bluffton faculty and staff. Season tickets are also available, at $80 for adults, $70 for senior citizens and non-Bluffton students, and $65 for faculty and staff. A family pass is $55 with the purchase of any season ticket.
All performances will be at 7:30 p.m. in Yoder Recital Hall, beginning Aug. 30 with The Alley Cats. Tight harmonies, a cappella energy and universal humor describe the doo-wop group, which blends musical talent and comedic timing while singing the greatest songs of the 1950s and '60s. Premiering at Fullerton College in California, The Alley Cats have appeared on TV and radio and at Disneyland and numerous other venues. In March 2012, they were the opening act for Jay Leno in Las Vegas.
Second in the series will be the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Michigan's premier contemporary dance company, on Oct. 4. Artistic director Laurie Eisenhower founded the company in the summer of 1991 in metropolitan Detroit. Since its inception, the ensemble has been dedicated to the performance of a diverse range of contemporary dance works. The group's eclectic production expresses artistic viewpoints from comedy and drama to virtuosic movement pieces.
Ringing in the new year on Jan. 31, 2013, will be German-born pianist Alexander Schimpf. Schimpf has risen to international prominence in the last four years by winning several prestigious competitions. At the 2011 Cleveland International Piano Competition, his final-round performance, accompanied by the Cleveland Orchestra, inspired a standing ovation as well as the Audience Favorite Prize. Schimpf, who turned 30 just last year, has already performed in many important music centers around the world.
The Petar Jankovic Ensemble will take the Bluffton stage on March 21. Jankovic, an international award-winning classical guitarist and faculty member at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, joins other Indiana musicians to form a collaboration of classical guitar and string quartet for a unique and classical crossover-chamber ensemble. The guitar's Spanish and Latin American performing practices, blended with the string quartet's classical European background, invigorate traditional chamber music.
Wrapping up the series on April 25 will be the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. Formed in 1943 as the Friends of Music and incorporated in 1951 as the Toledo Orchestra Association Inc., the Toledo Symphony has grown from a core group of 22 to a regional orchestra employing nearly 80 professional musicians. The evening of chamber music will feature the orchestra's breakout string quartet, woodwind quintet and brass quintet. The program will end with a nonet for strings and winds, combining forces from each of the three chamber groups.