Culture Calendar

A list of upcoming artsy events in Harrisonburg. 

Opera Spotlight: An Evening in Strauss’ Vienna

Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m.

Forbes Center For the Performing Arts — Recital Hall

Tickets: $5 for students

The students of the JMU Opera Theater will perform songs by Johann Strauss II, better known as “The Waltz King,” on Thursday and Friday at the Forbes Center.

The Austrian composer is famous for popularizing the waltz in Vienna during the 19th century, and has written over 500 pieces of music in his lifetime. These pieces range from waltzes and other types of dance music to operettas and ballets.

The students will play pieces from the Strauss operetta titled “Wiener Blut (Viennese Spirit),” as well as pieces by other famous composers, such as Richard Heuberger and Franz Lehar. It’s a great opportunity for JMU students to expose themselves to compelling music being performed by some of the best singers the university has to offer.

The Country Gentlemen Tribute Band

Saturday from 7-10 p.m.

Court Square Theater

Tickets: $13 in advance, $16 at the door

The Washington, D.C., bluegrass group “The Country Gentlemen” have been hailed as one of the most influential groups in the genre, helping expand bluegrass to a wider audience by incorporating more pop appeal into some of their music. The group was even inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s Hall of Fame in 1996.

Since the passing of the group’s core members Charlie Waller and Bill Yates, the Country Gentlemen Tribute band has made it a mission to continue the band’s legacy through passionate performances of some of its most recognizable material for fans around the country.

Thru Hiking the AT: Stories & Send-off Party

Sunday from 4-6 p.m.

Pale Fire Brewing Company

Tickets: Free

Thru-hiking is a term used for hiking a long-distance trail from end to end in a single hiking season. Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is a colossal task, considering the entire trail is approximately 2,910 miles from start to finish.

It can take between 5 and 7 months for a person to thru-hike the trail, and only around one in four people who attempt the hike actually finish it. Considering all of these factors, one can only imagine the stories thru-hikers have from all the time spent on the trail.

On Sunday, Pale Fire Brewing Co. is giving the Harrisonburg community a chance to hear stories from three local thru-hikers about their time on the trail. There will also be time reserved for questions, making this a perfect event for people interested in possibly thru-hiking the trail themselves in the future.

Ray Chen

Feb. 20 at 8 p.m.

Forbes Center for the Performing Arts — Concert Hall

Tickets: $41

Ray Chen is truly one of the most talented young violinists in the world today. He was the first-prize winner of the 2008 International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition, as well as the first-prize winner of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition.

Since these accomplishments, Chen has signed with Sony Classical, appeared with world-renowned orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra and performed at events like France’s Bastille Day, which was broadcasted to over 80,000 people.

Chen is now bringing his compelling performance to Harrisonburg, playing a one-time show in Forbes Center’s Concert Hall. This is a rare opportunity to hear one of the most famous modern classical musicians without having to travel to a large city.

Group Sculpture Exhibition Encore Artists 

Feb. 26 to April 4

Duke Hall Gallery

Tickets: Free

Duke Hall will hold a sculpture exhibition featuring pieces from five different East Coast artists, including JMU alumnus Dan Carlson, Virginia Tech assistant professor Sam Blanchard, Brooklyn-based artist Martha Burgess and PLAKOOKEE, a Washington, D.C., collaboration between Justin Plakas and Rachel Debuque.

Each of these artists has an interesting take on sculpture design, with each tackling the medium from a unique point of view. The combination of their respective styles and inspirations into one exhibition will certainly make for a unique experience one doesn’t want to miss.

Quarterly Metal

Feb. 28

Brothers Craft Brewing

Tickets: Free

Brothers Craft Brewing returns with its Quarterly Metal series in which the brewery partners with Steel Anvil Records to bring local and regional metal acts to the brewery with no cover charge.

This month’s Quarterly Metal features local grindcore act Algorithmic Death and Washington, D.C., band No/Más. With this show having no cover charge, it’s a great chance for someone with interest in the genre to hear it performed live without any worry of ticket price. For the experienced metal fanatic, Quarterly Metal provides the opportunity to potentially find a new favorite band free of charge.

For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.