BC3 Cultural Center: Free Concert, Free Ice Cream and Cool Art

The Pittsburgh Philharmonic performs in 2013. The symphony orchestra will offer a free concert at Butler County Community College on Aug. 13.

(Butler, PA) The Cultural Center at Butler County Community College will provide Graeter’s Ice Cream free to those attending the Pittsburgh Philharmonic’s free performance Aug. 13, an overture that will give guests a taste of Succop Theater’s fall 2017 Performing Artists series.

Visitors can also view 35 oil paintings in the Mary Hulton Phillips Art Gallery during the opening of an exhibit by Doreen Currie, a Latrobe resident who studied under BC3 instructor David Ludwick in 2005 and 2006.

Larry Stock, director of BC3’s Cultural Center, said he expects a crowd of at least 300 when the 50-member symphony orchestra begins its pops and classical concert at 2 p.m. inside Succop Theater.

“Hopefully our guests will realize how good the orchestra is,” he said, “and it is amazing. They have always been good, but they have gotten better and better over the years. People will feel uplifted and enlightened following an afternoon of really good music.”

Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide,” Brahms’ “Hungarian Dances,” Lowden’s “Armed Forces Salute,” Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffman,” and Williams’ “Star Wars” are among the selections the symphony orchestra will play, according to Carolyn Carlins, the philharmonic’s president.

Thompson-Miller Funeral Home, Butler, is sponsoring the 75-minute performance, the final of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic’s 2017 summer concert series.

Four Graeter’s Ice Cream flavors will be available after the symphony orchestra’s performance: raspberry chocolate chip, mint chip, cookies and cream, and chocolate, Stock said.

“Paint what you know”

Doreen Currie, of Latrobe, is shown Aug. 2, 2017, inside the Mary Hulton Phillips Art Gallery at Butler County Community College.

Guests can then view Currie’s exhibit, open through Sept. 29, in nearby Mary Hulton Phillips Art Gallery.

Living on her great-grandparents’ farm provides a verdant backdrop and pastoral inspiration for her plein air paintings, Currie said.

“I really have a love for Western Pennsylvania,” said Currie, an artist for 55 years. “I once learned that you should paint what you know.”

Her works, she says, are recognizable by their bright colors – “even my winter scenes,” she said.

“A technique I learned from (Ludwick) is a sunlit look, where you add yellow and orange in strategic parts of the painting where the sun would be hitting the subjects.”

Perhaps the most difficult of all forms of landscape painting is plein air painting, said Ludwick, a BC3 faculty member since 1998 who has taught courses such as introduction to art, drawing, painting and sculpture.

“The challenges of constantly changing light, weather, temperature and the need to capture the subject within a short period of time can be frustrating,” Ludwick said. “But when it goes well, there’s a magic that takes place. That magic is conveyed on the canvas as well and it is very apparent in Doreen Currie’s work.”

Director: Bodiography, “Alice” among fall highlights

Stock hopes the free concert will whet the appetite for a fall 2017 season highlighted by the Bodiography Contemporary Ballet on Sept. 23 and The National Players staging “Alice in Wonderland” on Nov. 3.

Maria Caruso, Bodiography company director, “incorporates ballet elements into all other kinds of modern dance,” Stock said, and within an array of music that has ranged from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Coldplay selections to classical and jazz pieces.

“It is fluid and beautiful to watch,” Stock said of Bodiography, Succop Theater’s resident dance company. “It’s all about poise, style and presence on stage. It’s like live poetry, using your body to convey a message and to communicate. It can be happy or sad. It can be about love lost or love found. They are amazing.”

The National Players, at 68 years old American’s longest-running touring company, will return to Succop Theater for the first time in four years, Stock said.

“They are spectacular,” Stock said. “‘Alice in Wonderland’ is going to be a show for all ages. You can tell the children to come. I thought ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was something different, that you don’t see all the time.”

The Pittsburgh Philharmonic returns Oct. 29 with “Autumn Leaves,” featuring works by Edvard Grieg, Jean Sibelius and Rachel Smith performing the Lalo Cello Concerto; and on Dec. 3, with Holiday Pops.

For more information, visit bc3.edu/succop-theater.

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