This Friday I have the distinct privilege of joining fellow Columbia musicians Vicky Saye Henderson, Chris Cockrell, Greg Apple and others to perform at the Jasper Artists of the Year Party. Henderson is herself a former Artist of the Year (Theatre), and these talented musicians are sure to get you dancing at Columbia’s own Big Apple Swing. The show begins this Friday (November 21st) at 7pm. Tickets are $35 at the door, less beforehand. See you there – with my saxophone!
- Singing Scientist Podcast
Last week, I had the great pleasure to perform at Trustus Theatre’s Vista Pajama Party, along with the incredibly talented Avery Delores Bateman and Catherine Hunsinger. Catch the performances below. Similar events are coming up soon, and will help to augment Trustus’ current space by adding a piano bar and cabaret space, in addition to updating its sound and light capabilities. Be sure to come out and support Trustus as it continues to rock Columbia, SC!
Beautiful City (Godspell)
Keeping Out of Mischief Now (Ain’t Misbheavin’) – Avery Delores Bateman
Always True to You in My Fashion (Kiss Me, Kate) – Catherine Hunsinger
Fellow musician Danny Katz was kind enough to record my entire set with Martin Leroux for Calm Me Maybe at the Crawfish Akasaka in Tokyo. Among the songs we performed were two great originals by Martin Leroux: Crash and Butterskies. You can see the full set below. Additionally, be sure to check out snippets of amazing original performances by Danny Katz and Lensei. We’d love your feedback!
When they said that music soothed the savage beast, they were clearly talking about this lineup! Come enjoy a night of chill music from The Watanabes, Danny Katz, DieByForty, Lensei, and Martin Leroux with touring musician Chase W. Nelson, at the always fantastic Crawfish in Akasaka.
7:30 – 8:00 : DieByForty
8:10 – 8:40 : Danny Katz
8:50 – 9:20 : Lensei
9:30 – 10:00 : Martin Leroux and Chase W. Nelson
10:10 – 10:40 : The Watanabes
Doors open: 7:00 pm
By Hannah Spicher, originally published by the University of South Carolina
Chase W. Nelson is a third year doctoral student in bioinformatics and recipient of two prestigious National Science Foundation grants. But you won’t find him around the lab in the evenings, because for the next few weeks Nelson is starring in Trustus Theatre’s latest musical production, See Rock City and Other Destinations.
“When I first arrived at the University of South Carolina, I was interested in so many things,” says Nelson, a Presidential Fellow and researcher in the lab of Dr. Austin L. Hughes.
“But now my approach has changed. I realize I can’t be an expert at everything. But I can get good at a few things,” he says.
To make his dual training in science and music effective Nelson works strategically, focusing on areas that complement his natural strengths.
“There are lots of different methods to use and questions to ask when studying DNA sequences,” he says. “I want to become an expert in a few useful areas, such as Perl programming and detecting natural selection.” In order to improve these skills, Nelson spent last summer studying with a leading expert on DNA sequence analysis in Taipei, Taiwan, which also allowed him to pursue his interest in the Chinese language.
His approach to musical growth is similar. “With the guidance of my voice teacher, I’ve decided to focus on strengthening my voice as a baritenor. I want to develop a beautiful, rich tone that is within my healthy range,” he says.
Nelson is able to balance his passions in two demanding fields—integrative biology and musical theatre—by being judicious about everything, from his choice of friends to his focus on specific research methodologies.
“I spend half of my time doing research and half of my time training musically,” he says. “It’s not work to do music; it’s rejuvenation. Or, if my voice is tired, studying DNA sequences is rejuvenation. I find the two are perfect buffers for each other.”
You can read Nelson’s recent research on H5N1 influenza in Nature Communications. See Rock City and Other Destinations is showing March 14th through April 5th at Trustus Theatre.
What Jasper Said has published the first review of Trustus’ production of See Rock City & Other Destinations, running March 14 – April 5. Arik Bjorn calls attention to the success of the set and lighting design, the simple acoustic musical ensemble, and the performances of each cast member. Calling the show “a stage-cation well worth the trip,” he even says that I “prove that science and the arts can mix,” which I consider a personal victory. Come to see the show before it’s sold out for the whole run!
After a week of tech rehearsals and promotional events, See Rock City & Other Destinations is ready for its first preview audience at Trustus Theatre this evening, with an opening on Friday (March 14). The show runs through April 5. Tonight’s preview audience, which will be attended by the University of South Carolina Presidential Fellows, is encapsulated in “Family Night,” which especially welcomes LGBT folks in the area. Thursday’s audience is a Dining With Friends fundraiser, which still has tickets available.
Trustus’ production has also received a shout-out from BroadwayWorld.com and the writers of the show, so we’re especially excited to give this show its South Carolina debut. We hope you’ll join us for some useful feedback on a preview night, or else we’ll catch you on opening!
The official website for See Rock City & Other Destinations has given a shout-out to the production taking place at Trustus Theatre by featuring our run on their home page! As you may know, the show is directed by Dewey Scott-Wiley and Randy Moore (music), with a (from my perspective) humbling cast and crew, and runs March 14 through April 5. Tickets are available at the Trustus Theatre website, or by calling the box office at (803) 254-9732.
You can read more about the show and its endorsements, and listen to or order music, at the official website. The show’s official Facebook page has also posted a video of our cast singing an acappella version of the title song, “Rock City,” with the comment: “Soundin’ good, gang!” You can check out the video below. We’re so honored by the encouragement, and can’t wait to open this amazing work by Brad Alexander and Adam Mathais — in just 9 days!
I am so thrilled to be part of the cast of See Rock City and Other Destinations, opening March 14 at Trustus Theatre, directed by Dewey Scott-Wiley and Randy Moore (music). Under the guise of visiting tourist destinations across America, this musical tackles the underlying struggle that drives us to vacation: we need a change. We need hope. We wish for growth and movement in our lives, and we hope that a different geography or culture or community will help us to achieve it. As such, vacation spots may represent crossroads in our lives — and this collection of stories and songs gives us glimpses into the lives of individuals who, whether together or alone, are experiencing something that will leave them changed forever.
BroadwayWorld.com remarks that “The show, with music by Brad Alexander and lyrics and book by Adam Mathias, has one of the greatest contemporary-rock soundtracks since Jonathan Larson’s Rent.” The music encompasses numerous styles, so there’s a bit for everyone. We hope you’ll come out to see us.
520 Lady Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Box Office: (803) 254-9732
JESS / WAITER: Kevin Bush
CUTTER: Kendrick Marion
DODI / LILY: Linda Collins
EVAN / RICK: Me
LAUREN / JUDY: Vicky Saye Henderson
GRAMPY / CARNEY: Matthew DeGuire
DEMPSEY / TOUR GUIDE: Kyle Collins
CLAIRE / KATE: Caroline Weidner