Juilliard in Aiken returns

Musicians, dancers and actors will travel to the area in March for Juilliard in Aiken's third annual Performing Arts Festival.

The festival, set for March 5-11, will feature performances by 39 faculty members, students, alumni and pre-college students from The Juilliard School in New York City, one of the world's most prestigious performing arts conservatories.

The artists will showcase their talents in 14 performances and 17 outreach programs, said Sandra Field, the president of Juilliard in Aiken's board of directors, during a media-only performance Friday at Joye Cottage in Aiken.

Because of the success of the previous two festivals, Juilliard in Aiken has added two days and will incorporate new genres of performing arts.

For the first time, the festival will include artists from all three divisions of The Juilliard School: dance and theater along with music, Field said.

"This was a dream that we thought would happen in the next five years, but in a short three years we have realized that dream with the community's support and their enthusiasm," Field said. "We think we're on

our way to making this a regional and state event, on par with other highly respected festivals throughout the country."

School President Joseph W. Polisi will attend the festival this year, she said.

The relationship with The Juilliard School was made possible through the work of Greg Smith and Steve Naifeh, the chairman co-chairman, respectively, of Juilliard in Aiken's board of directors.

Artists will conduct workshops, master classes and interactive performances for school children in Aiken, Richmond, Columbia, Greenville and Edgefield counties, reaching more than 3,000 pupils, Field said.

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