Music Features

Performing Arts Center Dives Into New Season Full of Music, Theater and Dance from Around the World

The War and Treaty. Credit: David McClister.

After recently celebrating its 25th anniversary this past spring, the UGA Performing Arts Center is back in full force with a stacked new season bringing a variety of music, theater and dance performances to campus from around the world. You don’t have to be a student to take a seat; events at both the Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall and the more intimate Ramsey Concert Hall are open to the public and worth taking advantage of. 

The season officially kicks off this week on Sept. 8 with a performance by The War and Treaty, the Americana husband-and-wife duo of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount Trotter. Over the past eight years, the two have crafted an eclectic sound that melds elements of Southern soul, gospel, country and rock and roll. Representing the catharsis and healing that comes after experiencing trauma and grief, their music conveys raw vulnerability and earnest hopefulness. 

Fans of NPR will be excited for “Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Afternoon with Ira Glass.” Well-known as the creator, producer and host of “This American Life,” Glass has also contributed to “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Talk of the Nation.” Held on Sept. 18, his presentation will combine audio clips, music and video to illuminate the lessons he’s picked up throughout the past four decades as one of America’s most popular storytellers. 

Merging the worlds of pop and classical music, local songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi will join the UGA Symphony Orchestra for a special performance on Oct. 6. Recognized for his distinctive melodies that escape categorization through soaring violin, vocal looping and occasional beatboxing, Kishi Bashi also debuted a feature-length documentary Omoiyari: A Songfilm by Kishi Bashi at South by Southwest earlier this year. This specific performance will spotlight Improvisations on EO9066, a multi-media work that reflects on the incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans during WWII. 

On Nov. 15, the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir will perform “Hope: It’s Been A Long Time Coming.” Commemorating South Africa’s Freedom Movement, the program spotlights freedom songs and African gospel, while also calling back to the American Civil Rights movement through tributes to Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte, Mahalia Jackson and the like. 

Closing out the year with a beloved holiday favorite, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chamber Chorus will perform Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 21. The program will center on the first act, often referred to as the “Christmas portion,” and include the celebratory chorus “Hallelujah.” 

Scheduled in between the performances noted above are all sorts of impressive acts. From the corners of the world come Israel’s Yamma Ensemble (Sept. 22), British brass players Septura (Oct. 25), Belgian early music group Vox Luminis (Oct. 27), Veracruz violinists Villalobos Brothers (Nov. 2) and Germany’s Schumann Quartet (Nov. 20). Other performers include the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo (Sept. 16), Complexions Contemporary Ballet (Sept. 29–30), Harlem Quartet (Oct. 2), Eric Owens with singers from the Curtis Opera Theatre (Oct. 13) and Take 6 (Dec. 17).

The Performing Art Center’s current season will continue into 2023 to round out UGA’s spring semester with an additional 20 performances. Highlights include Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna Leyla McCalla (Jan. 18), Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine (Jan. 23), Scottish folk act Breabach (Feb. 24), Yamato: The Drummers of Japan (Mar. 24), legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman (Apr. 29) and progressive bluegrass group Yonder Mountain String Band (May 13). 

Many events will be preceded by insightful pre-performance lectures, and several dates will offer discounted morning shows for kiddos as part of the Piedmont Athens Regional Performances for Young People series. Tickets to UGA Presents events for students run $10, and a limited number of $25 general admission tickets are available each night in celebration of the 25th anniversary. Visit for the full schedule and to reserve tickets.