Music Events

Athens Chamber Singers presents COME SHAKER LIFE: settings of Shaker songs for choir and harp
Founded in 1979, this small choral ensemble based in Athens, Georgia, is recognized for the quality of its musical performances, the diversity of its repertoire and the popularity of Yuletide dinners and Spring concerts. This concert will focus on the beauty and sacredness with which the Shakers have regarded life through their music. Free to attend, donations accepted.

  • June 10 at 5:00pm; Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting Street

Chamber Music Charleston Presents Forgotten Voices: Celebrating Women Composers of the Baroque Era
The world has celebrated the music of composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi for centuries, but what about the female composers who were writing equally glorious music during the Baroque and early Classical era?  In 1756 Anna Bon, “virtuosa di musica di camera,” penned extraordinary flute sonatas for her employer, the illustrious Margrave of Brandenburg and his music-loving wife.  And then there is Anna Amalia, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar and composer who played harpsichord, flute, and violin.  Chamber Music Charleston curates a special program of music that explores the compositions of these lesser-known composers, performed alongside their male contemporaries.

Chamber Music Charleston Presents Capturing the American Spirit: music of Dvorak, Price, Burleigh, and Still

The story begins with a young singer named Harry Thacker Burleigh, who was working as a custodian at the National Conservatory in New York City during the 1890s to fulfill the requirements of his scholarship. One evening, Antonín Dvořák, the newly appointed director, overheard Burleigh’s deep baritone voice singing the spirituals that his grandfather had taught him. This chance encounter marked the beginning of a remarkable friendship and Dvořák’s introduction to the world of African-American spirituals.

Chamber Music Charleston’s program brings together the music of Burleigh and Dvorak, alongside those of other important but long-neglected composers such as Florence Price and William Grant Still. Through their music, the program paints a vivid portrait of a distinctive yet classically-informed, American sound rooted in the country’s diverse cultural heritage.

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The Charleston Academy of Music is celebrating its 20th anniversary!  Come enjoy the stars of tomorrow, selected students of the Charleston Academy of Music  performing alongside its faculty featuring a variety of genres, ensembles, and instruments including piano, guitar, violin, cello, with  few surprises along the way. Free.

  • Sunday, June 4 at 2:00pm – Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting Street

Charleston Gospel Choir Presents: A Twenty Five Year Retrospective

The Charleston Gospel Choir is pleased to present A 25-Year Retrospective under the musical direction of guest conductor Dr. Tony McNeil.  A Piccolo Spoleto Return Performance the acclaimed Charleston Gospel Choir presents a musical retrospective chronicling the choir’s two-decade of international performances.

Through song and narration provided by Dr. Karen Chandler, the Choir’s long-time storyteller and recently retired College of Charleston Professor Emerita, the performance will showcase the energy and joy of Charleston’s very own internationally acclaimed Choir has brought to the Holy City for the past 25 years.  Since its inception in 1998-99, the Charleston Gospel Choir celebrates and performs gospel, spirituals, and sacred music events including Palm Sunday performances, Gospel Christmas, Piccolo Spoleto, and regional events throughout the Southeast with numerous international engagements including Paris, London, Rome, Prague and Ghana, West Africa.

A bold idea planted by long-time arts patron Wally Seinsheimer, Sr., Darryl Edwards,  then CEO of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, along with the Choir’s seminal first artistic director Vivian E. Jones, and Choir founder Lee Pringle produced the Symphony’s holiday season opener―Gospel Christmas―in 1999 for a 12-year run that forever changed Charleston’s choral landscape. Pringle would rebrand the CSO Gospel Choir into the Charleston Gospel Choir and continued its legacy with the Charleston Spiritual Ensemble in 2007, and most recently in 2013 with the nationally recognized Colour of Music Festival, the country’s largest Black classical music organization.

Selections will span traditional gospel gems to toe-tapping contemporary works including Grammy Award-winner Aretha Franklin’s How I Got Over along with Order My Steps in Your Words and Donny Hathaway’s To Be Young, Gifted and Black and many others the Choir has become known for.

Admission: $25 Adults; $12 Students.

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Please join the Charleston Men’s Chorus on Memorial Day as we honor and celebrate in song those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

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The Sound of Charleston, featuring music of Charleston’s history, from gospel to Gershwin, has been a Festival favorite for eight years. This year we have expanded the series to include concerts featuring artists from The Sound of Charleston performing gospel, jazz, and Gershwin selections reflective of this city’s rich musical heritage.  All concerts at Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting Street.

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The Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestras showcases nearly one hundred young musicians ages 9-18, from over twenty schools throughout the Lowcountry. CSYO and CSYS engage and inspires young musicians in a collaborative environment, where students strive for excellence with the highest quality performing arts education and offers unique opportunities for growth through mentorship from Charleston Symphony musicians. Free to attend

  • May 29 at 11:00am, Charleston Music Hall, 37 John Street

The Charlestones were formed in 2014 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  An a cappella quartet consisting of Todd Monsell (bass), Brink Norton (tenor), William Purcell (lead), and Stephen Spaulding (baritone), they have quickly made a name for themselves with their trademark flawless intonation, rocksteady camaraderie, and wide variety of vocal styles.

The Charlestones Sing Everything – The Holy City’s favorite a cappella quartet presents a program of 8 musical genres, including Renaissance, sacred hymns, spirituals, musical theatre, country, patriotic, jazz, and pop!

May 29 at 5:00pm, St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5 Clifford Street.


Columbia Choral Society
The CCS is group of musicians who share a passion for choral music and are dedicated to supporting the choral arts through performance and community engagement. Free to attend, donations accepted.  Visit for more on the Columbia Choral Society.


All Things New (Elaine Hagenberg)

Sunrise Mass (Ola Gjeilo)

Dr. Elizabeth M. Mears received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Furman University.  She also holds a Master of Music Education and a Doctorate of Music Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of South Carolina.  A Columbia, South Carolina native, Dr. Mears has participated in many aspects of the musical life of the city.  She is known as a teacher, adjudicator, soloist, conductor, and clinician.

In 2016, Dr. Mears became Artistic Director of the Columbia Choral Society, which is the longest-performing community chorus in the state of South Carolina, now in its 93rd season.   In addition, Dr. Mears is the Choral Director at Richland Northeast High School, where she oversees vocal instruction for the Palmetto Center for the Arts Magnet Program.  She also serves as Director of Music at Forest Lake Presbyterian Church in Columbia.

  • June 4 at 4:00pm; Summerall Chapel, The Citadel,

Since 1986 the Early Music Series has been a major part of Piccolo Spoleto. This year the series moves to Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, 89 Hassell St, Charleston.

Bach, Vivaldi, and Mozart  are the composers that will be featured in this years’ series. The stunning acoustics and intimate setting of Old St. Mary ‘s will make these concerts memorable events.

All concerts 3 pm – one hour in length

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  • Thursday, June 8 at 6:00pm; Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Drive

All That Jazz! Housing Authority of the City of Charleston presents Charlton Singleton and Contemporary Flow with performances by Bill Wilson and Devone Barry. Free admission.

  • Thursday, June 8 at 4:30pm; Enston Homes, 900 King Street

The In-Between ensemble opens communication between the two art worlds of classical and jazz music to highlight the shared qualities and enjoy exploring the differences. Soprano Jill Terhaar Lewis, with jazz musicians Robert Lewis (saxophone) and Gerald Gregory (piano) collaborate for a one-of-a-kind performance of original works by the ensemble members and arrangements of an eclectic mix of genres and a truly unique chamber music experience. The concert program will include new premiers of original songs as well as some additional favorites carefully curated for this festival.

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Lowcountry Voices is widely admired for their concerts of African-American spirituals and gospel music.  For Piccolo this year, they have turned their attention to another musical genre–Broadway.

Since the mid- and late 19th century, through the 20th century and right up to the present, Broadway has increasingly felt the influence of Black music, composers, and actors.  Plays like Porgy and Bess, The Color Purple, The Wiz, The Lion King, and many others have become standards in the Broadway musical canon.

Lowcountry Voices will present Black Broadway, a musical revue, on Saturday, May 27th, 5 pm at the Charleston Music Hall, under the direction of Nathan L. Nelson.

This event is free and open to the public – Donations accepted

Palmetto Bronze, the Lowcountry’s premiere auditioned community handbell ensemble, returns to Piccolo Spoleto, presenting “Through the Decades”, an entertaining concert for all ages featuring music from each decade starting with the 1900’s and going through the 2010’s. The songs will be performed using 7 octaves of handbells and 6 octaves of handchimes, and will include classics such as Rock Around the Clock, America, Dancing Queen and Living on a Prayer.

  • June 4 at 4:00pm, Bethel United Methodist Church, 57 Pitt Street

The New South Festival Singers, formerly William Baker Festival Singers, have performed to capacity audiences annually at Piccolo Spoleto since 1989.  Under the baton of Music Director Lynn Swanson since 2016, the 40-voice Atlanta-based semi-professional chorale has presented their most exciting signature a cappella classics and spirituals.  Their 2023 program includes music that extends over 1000 years, from the Gregorian chant Pange lingua to Mendelssohn’s Verleih uns freiden, to the Charleston premiers of a new setting of Over the Rainbow by Composer in Residence Sean Sweeden and British composer Edmund Jolliffe’s Wessobrunn Prayer.  The program culminates with gospel spiritual settings by Robert Ray and Robert DeCormier.  The New South Festival Singers have produced two-dozen nationally released recordings and been featured on NPR’s Performance Today.

Free to attend, donations accepted.

  • Monday, May 29 at 3:00pm; Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting Street

Now in its 15th year, Palmetto State Arts Education will host its Rising Stars Series will showcase young actors, dancers, musicians, writers and visual artists in the high-profile venue as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

A series of six programs, each program will feature 6 young artists and/or ensembles in a conversation and performance format. All programs are presented at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church across from Marion Square on King Street in the heart of downtown Charleston. Schedule of performers:

Performance Dates:

  • May 29 at 11:00am
  • May 29 at 3:00pm
  • June 3 at 1:00pm
  • June 3 at 4:00pm
  • June 10 at 11:00am
  • June 10 at 3:00pm

What is a Rising Star?

In its 15th year, Rising Stars Piccolo Spoleto provides artistically talented youth of the US Southeast (SC, NC, GA, TN, AL, MS, and FL) with a high profile performance venue that recognizes their exceptional artistic talent. The 2023 Performance Series will feature students with the following talents!

  • visual artists
  • improv performers
  • dancers
  • musicians
  • vocalists
  • writers
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Bonafide Blues royalty Poppa Dupree and JoJo Wall will take their talents around the globe, blending American roots blues with Middle Eastern music (Peter Kfoury and Pete Cortese), Native American Soul (Delia Chariker) and African Kora Vibes (Kurt Lamkin). Performers will share a few tunes individually and also combine to raise the blues of every culture to the sky. Join us for a unique concert with some of the top musicians in the area joining hands to bring a message of peace, love  and the very human experience we all share.

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A World of Jewish Culture at Piccolo Spoleto Inaugurated in 1998 as a joint project of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston, in cooperation with Piccolo Spoleto. This year’s series is sponsored by the Herzman-Fishman Fund and the Seltzer-Lovinger Endowment for Jewish Cultural Programming.

Charleston Jewish Filmfest Feature Film Series in Arnold Hall
VENUE Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center at the College of Charleston
ADDRESS 96 Wentworth Street

Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30 PM
March ‘68
Two young students – Hania and Janek – meet and fall in love in the midst of social turmoil and Jewish discrimination in 1960’s Warsaw. While the young lovers are uninterested in politics, they find themselves unable to avoid it when Hania’s father and mother lose their jobs due to the anti Semitic purge and are forced to emigrate. Hania does not want to leave Janek, and the couple soon participate in a protest rally at the university where they discover freedom comes at a high price.

Thursday, June 1 at 6:30 PM
An offbeat, comedic journey that delights and surprises, Karaoke follows Tova and Meir, a standard aging couple with 46 years of marriage and two grown daughters. They live a comfortable life, with Meir currently on sabbatical from his academic professorship, and Tova running a boutique shop. Their lives get a jolt of excitement from their neighbor from above Itzik, who invites them to his penthouse for karaoke nights. Tova and Meir fall hard for Itzik’s energetic lifestyle. They enter into a competition amongst their other neighbors and soon themselves, trying to win Itzik’s attention.

Sunday, June 4, 3:00 PM
“A Klezmer Journey” with Viva Klezmer! (75 min)
Charlotte based ensemble Viva Klemer! will trace the evolution of klezmer music from its first appearance in the United states in the early 1900’s to the present day. This concert examines the influence American popular music and klezmer music has one each other. The ensemble consists of four instrumentalists; clarinetist, Gene Kavadlo; violinist, Ali Kavadlo; guitarist, Mike Mosley; and bassist, Ron Brendle. Together, they bring an impressive background to their Klezmer interpretations. This program promises to be lively and entertaining for all.
VENUE Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim
ADDRESS 90 Hasell Street

Sunday, June 4, 6:00 PM
Chamber Music Featuring Jewish Composers with Yuriy Bekker and Friends (75 min)
Experience an unforgettable evening of intimate chamber music by prominent Jewish composers at the magnificent KKBE synagogue, featuring Charleston’s own critically acclaimed violinist, Yuriy Bekker. This year’s event will be even more special as Yuriy will be joined by renowned violinist/violist Michael Klotz, award-winning cellist Julian Schwarz, and pianist Marika Bournaki. The program will include Mendelssohn’s Piano Quartet, Krein’s Elegy, and selections from Korngold’s Suite. Additionally, the program will feature works by two contemporary composers: Jonathan Katz’s ethereal Berceuse and Paul Schonfield’s playful and lively Cafe Music. Join us for a diverse and entertaining evening of music, rich with history and artistry, sure to captivate your senses.
VENUE Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim
ADDRESS 90 Hasell Street

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Young Artists’ Series at the College of Charleston 2023
Hill Gallery at Cato Center for the Arts, 161 Calhoun St.
All performances at noon
Admission: $10-$12

Monday, May 29

Isn’t It Romantic – Features Elgar’s Cello Concerto in e minor (Zach Butler, cello & Misha Pekar, piano); lieder of Brahms (Jimmy Cyganek, baritone) and The Browning Songs by Amy Beach (Jonathan Gragg, tenor); Frank Violin Sonata (Payton Lee, violin and Clara Camacho, piano) and the Wagner-Liszt Isolde’s Liebestod (Misha Pekar, piano).

Tuesday, May 30

Go for Baroque – Join us for this concert featuring the music of JS Bach and others!  Compositions of Bach with are included:  Partita No. 2 Sarabande & Sonata No. 2 Andante(Peyton Lee, violin); Suite III for Cello in C Major (Isaac Hill, cello); Prelued and Fugue in C minor (Lucy Richmond, violin); French Suite No. 2 in C minor, Allemande and Courante (Joanna Norwood, piano).  Also included in this concert are arias from the Italian masters:  Caldara (Jimmy Cyganek, baritone) and Stradella (Logan Smith, bass-baritone).

Wednesday, May 31

CofC Jazz – CofC’s top jazz combo of James Tomberg (saxophone), Axel Rangel (guitar), Brice Tiffany, (bass), and Alex Brouwer (drums) will captivate the audience with their selections of jazz standards.

Thursday, June 1

Music of the Romantics – Like Rachmaninov?  Here you go!  Rachmaninov’s Etude-Tableaux in D Major (Clara Camacho, piano) and selected art songs (Lauren Funkhauser, soprano).  Also presented, will be Brahms’ Trio for Clarinet (Anna Cogbill, clarinet; Zach Butler, cello; Misha Pekar, piano); Chasson of Fauré (Seth Younglove, tenor) and lieder of Schubert (Justin Floyd, tenor); and Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole (Laura Diaz, violin).

Friday, June 2

A Day with the Romantics – This will be a fun concert, featuring Clara Camacho in the first movement of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in a minor, Op. 54 and Maria Savelyeva, cello and Misha Pekar, piano in Schumann’s Cello Concerto in a minor.  Seth Younglove, tenor, will sing selections from Vaughn-Williams’ Songs of Travel and Max Mast, baritone, will sing two of Verdi’s rarely performed romanzes.

Monday, June 5

To Infinity and Beyond – From late Romantic and Impressionist to Minimalist, this concert has something for everyone.  This concert includes songs R. Strauss (Erin Oldstrom, soprano) and Tom Cipullo (Lauren Funkhauser, soprano).  Joanna Norwood, piano, will perform Debussy’s Nocturne.  The music of Scriabin is included with in his Etude in C-sharp Major, Op. 42, No. 5 (Misha Pekar, piano).  Hälis Runk, soprano, will sing A Lady With a Handmirror from Postcards from Morocco by Argento.  Shostakovich’s Pieces for Two Violins and Piano (Beryl Ayiku & Emily Oldham (violin) andAlina Galiyeva (piano) is included as well as Prokofiev’s first movement of Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14 (Reed Kurtz, piano).  Reed will also perform the first two movements of Bolcom’s The Garden of Eden.

Tuesday, June 6

Mostly Mozart – In addition to “mostly Mozart,” the audience will be treated to music of Haydn and Beethoven in this concert.  Haydn’s Duo for Two Cellos in D Major (Zach Butler and Allyson Dorsey) and the 1st mvt of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 30 in E-major, Op. 109 (Misha Pekar, piano) are featured along with the 1st mvt of Mozart’s Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 333 (Reed Kurtz) and arias from Mozart’s opera:  Le Nozze di Figaro (Logan Smith, bass-baritone); La Clemenza di Tito (Meleana Cabales, mezzo-soprano, and Lauren Funkhauser, soprano); Cosí fan tutte (Justin Floyd, baritone).

Wednesday, June 7

My Romance – Lieder of R. Strauss (Max Mast, baritone) and Schubert (Logan Smith, bass-baritone) are featured in this concert along with the first two movements of Franck’s Sonata in A Major for Cello and Piano (Maria Savelyeva, cello; Clara Camacho, piano) andLiszt’s Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (Joanna Norwood, piano).

Thursday, June 8

What’s Opera, Doc? – Arias and ensembles galore from many of music’s greatest operas!  Favorites from Mozart (La Clemenza di Tito), Offenbach (Tales of Hoffman), Puccini (La Bohème), Bellini (Il Pirata), Donizetti (L’Elisir d’Amore), R. Strauss (Der Rosenkavalier), Gounod (Faust) are all included here.  The roster of singers include:  Jonathan Gragg, tenor; Lauren Funkhauser, soprano; Meleana Cabales, mezzo-soprano; Erin Oldstrom, soprano; Seth Younglove, tenor; Logan Smith, bass-baritone; Hälis Runk, soprano; Justin Floyd, baritone; Jimmy Cyganek, baritone.

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