HARVIN COLUMN: Oklahoma!, free music classes, Cuban art take center stage

Alex Agrest will lead the Summerville Community Orchestra in the “Mozart and Movies” season finale.

As the spring arts season builds to a crescendo, there are so many exhibits and performances to take in that you really have to consult our calendar for all the options.

But here's a smorgasbord of productions, so there's something for everyone.

Even though this show has been going for a while, it's a fun one to recommend for families of all ages. “Oklahoma!” takes place in the Wild West on Indian territory. A love story unfolds between Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a charming farm girl, who are too stubborn to admit it. Even through all the bumps in the unpaved road of their relationship, it is easy to see they will succeed together on their journey for a new life in this Rodgers & Hammerstein classic.

The older ones among us will hum along to this classic, and the young will be enthralled by the fun and laughter. Footlight Players at 20 Queen St. is putting it on for five more performances.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors/military, $20 for students (student rush 10 minutes prior to show $15 with valid student ID) and $18 for children

Performances are 8 p.m. May 16-18 and 3 p.m. May 12 and 19.

Contact the Footlight Players box office at 722-4487 or visit www.FootlightPlayers.net to reserve your tickets online.

The 40th Anniversary Celebration for the Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry under the baton of Ruben Camacho will be a Masterworks Concert at 4 p.m. May 18 in Physicians Auditorium at the College of Charleston.

YOLOW is the tri-county area's oldest and most advanced classical music youth ensemble. Alumni have gone on to study music at world-renowned conservatories, and the Youth Orchestra has reached out to them for this production.

The program of the concert includes Verdi's Overture to “La Forza del Destino,” Saint-Saens' Cello Concerto, first movement, and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, movements 2, 3, and 4.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youths and are available at the door.

Pinar Del Rio, Cuba, is an area steeped in rich culture and history that has been the birthplace and home of many of the country's most outstanding writers, musicians and visual artists.

This group exhibit at North Charleston City Hall is curated by Reynier Llanes and includes nine professional contemporary artists from the province of Cuba. They will present a collection of post-Cuban Revolution art in various media and styles that capture their culture and heritage.

These artists are products of the 1990s, and their work is based on the ideas of freedom of expression and experimentation in both media and styles. Featured works include representational landscapes, figurative expressions, magic surrealism and abstract expressionism styles of contemporary art in Cuba today.

The exhibition goes through June 20.

The Charleston Academy of Music is offering free sample classes in flute, clarinet and cello for adult and young students. On Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., participants will have the chance to work with Christine Arant on the flute and Philip Lipton on the clarinet. On May 31 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Terry Muir will meet and teach visitors on the cello.

The one-on-one lesson is free and will be held at the Charleston Academy of Music, 189 Rutledge Ave. downtown. Space is limited. To register, call 805-7794 or email cam746@yahoo.com.

The Charleston Academy of Music is a music education institution for Lowcountry youths. CAM has more than 220 students and 20 faculty, teaching piano, violin, viola, cello, guitar, voice, clarinet and flute lessons in conjunction with theory and chamber music classes and Kidzymphony.

The sample classes are one of the ways CAM reaches out to students in the Greater Charleston area.

Music Director and Conductor Alex Agrest is at it again with the Summerville Community Orchestra finale called “Mozart and Movies.”

It features Mozart's music that has been used in the movies like “The Entertainer” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” among others. Like the other concerts in this series, there are two locations on two nights and each has a preconcert talk at 6:30 p.m. followed by a 7:30 p.m. performance. Thursday's concert will be at Northwood Baptist Church, 2200 Greenridge Road in North Charleston, and Friday's at Summerville Baptist Church, 417 Central Ave.

Tickets are $10 adults and free for concert-goers under 18 and those in wheelchairs.

For information and tickets, go to summerville orchestra.com or call 873-5339.

Applications are available for artists and arts organizations seeking grants from the Expansion Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation. Priority will be given to minority, rural and economically disadvantaged artists, and to the creation of art that reflects Lowcountry heritage.

To be eligible, artists must live and work in Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester or Georgetown county and have at least three years' experience in their art forms or crafts. The deadline for grant proposals is July 12.

For complete information about the Expansion Arts Fund or an application, contact program officer Richard Hendry at 723-3635, ext. 104, or Richard@CoastalCommunityFoundation.org. Guidelines and applications also are available on the Foundation's website at www.CoastalCommunity Foundation.org.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or sharvin@postandcourier.com.