The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday January 18th

Carolina Performing Arts celebrates 10 years with new season lineup

They will all be featured in the upcoming 2014-2015 season at Carolina Performing Arts, which focuses on celebrating the 10th anniversary of the organization.

“One of the most important things is celebrating our audience,” said Mark Nelson, CPA’s director of marketing. “We’ve got a total of 40 different programs with 50 performances over the season — 18 are artists that we’re bringing back, so it’s something that we haven’t done before.”

The 18 performers are known as CPA 10 Artists, meaning they were crowd favorites throughout the years. Some of these include The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, Brooklyn Rider and Carolina Ballet.

CPA and Carolina Ballet have been partners since 2006, when the organization offered to host the ballet company’s annual production of “The Nutcracker,” a touring show now performed at CPA, Durham Performing Arts Center and Raleigh Memorial Hall.

“For the longest time, (the ballet) was the same, but in 2011 we hired a magician from Las Vegas to create some new magic tricks,” said Carolina Ballet marketing director Sara Reichle.

As the show has grown, the company remains with CPA.

“We have a lot of loyal patrons that like to come see us at Chapel Hill,” Reichle said.

In addition to the CPA 10 performers, the lineup includes various partnerships with campus programs such as the Institute of the Arts and Humanities, which is focusing on the 100-year anniversary of World War I.

But CPA’s new season will first kick off Aug. 22 with a twang provided by the Southern Folklife Collection. As part of the partnership, New Orleans-based Rebirth Brass Band and Dumpstaphunk will be performing on the first night, followed by country music legend Merle Haggard on Aug. 23.

“We were really excited to work with Steve Weiss, who manages Southern Folklife Collection,” said Marnie Karmelita, CPA’s director of programming. “The performances that we’ve been able to bring across to Memorial Hall over two nights will bring a new audience into the hall, but let folks know about the Southern Folklife Collection.”

The inaugural Arts@TheCore initiative, featuring UNC associate Asian studies professor Afroz Taj, will also go into effect this season.

“(Taj) has been working with us over the past year to put together three performances exploring an area of academic interest to him, and that’s really adding to what we do,” Karmelita said. “He’s bringing a whole new group of artists that we’ve never seen before.”

In a season that focuses so highly on remembering the past, it is important to distinguish the newcomers that will be coming to Memorial Hall.

“What I really like about (this season) is that there are so many different kinds of performances, whether it’s an orchestra from Russia, or it’s a new performance that will be performed here,” Nelson said.

“We’re paying tribute to our audiences over the past ten years.”

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