Juilliard in Aiken off to early start through outreach events

Members of the American Brass Quintet are seen through a cross-shaped window as they perform at First Presbyterian Church as part of the 2010 Juilliard in Aiken, which will return for its fourth year in March.


Although Juilliard in Aiken is still several months away, Sandra Field is working to get the word out about the unique artistic festival.

“Aiken is the only community with which Juilliard partners,” said Field, president of the fourth annual Juilliard in Aiken, which will be held March 10-16. “We are extremely fortunate to have this relationship with this prestigious conservatory and world-class artists.”

The partnership came through Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith’s bequest of Joye Cottage to the Juilliard School as a retreat for future generations of Juilliard students, faculty, and alumni. Joye Cottage is the 60-room Whitney-Vanderbilt estate where, in its heyday, artists such as Enrico Caruso and Nellie Melba, pianist Józef Hofmann and dancer Fred Astaire once performed.

Feasts of the Festival, a series of fundraisers to support Juilliard in Aiken programs, are already sold out.

Some of the outreach programs include Juilliard musicians visiting area schools, a jazz residency at the University of South Carolina Aiken and young people’s concerts for middle school students.

More than 8,000 students have participated in the outreach program during the festival’s first three years.

Juilliard in Aiken kicks off on March 10, with an invitational black tie gala and concert for sponsors.

Nearly 40 performers, including dancers, percussionists, organists, vocalists and pianists are scheduled for the week.

Jennifer Sheehan is one of the highlighted performers for a concert March 14.

“She is a vocalist and Juilliard graduate with a cabaret career which has become very successful,” said Field.

To find out more about the performances, visit www.juilliardinaiken.com.