A wide array of musical ensembles from the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University will perform Saturday, April 30—part of Soirée, a cultural experience in downtown Anderson.
“We’ll have AUthenticity, three other commercial music ensembles, the big bands, a jazz group, a faculty group and the West African Drum Ensemble,” said Dr. Derick Cordoba, professor of music and director of the Johnny Mann Center for Commercial Music at the South Carolina School of the Arts. Dr. Cordoba said all ensembles will perform in the heart of downtown at the square in front of the Anderson County Courthouse.
It’s an exciting time in the life of Anderson, South Carolina, welcoming Soirée back after a long hiatus.
Soirée is a two-day cultural experience featuring live performances on multiple stages downtown, visual artists selling original handcrafted works and delicious food prepared by some of Anderson’s finest chefs.
This past fall, when Dr. Cordoba found out about Soirée’s plans to return, he knew he had to get his students involved. He contacted Caroline Gaddis, event coordinator for the city of Anderson, and plans to perform were put into motion.
“I’ll give Derick a lot of credit because he’s the first person that reached out to me about the Soirée when he found out it was coming back, wanting to get involved, wanting his students involved,” Gaddis said. “That’s just the sign of a great professor that he cares that much about the community and his students, wanting them to be engaged in things outside of the university.”
Dr. Cordoba believes that performing at Soirée will provide his students with a valuable experience.
“It will give them an opportunity to play at an outdoor festival and see all the workings. As a working musician, I’ve played… many festivals, but it’s a different experience also to play on an outdoor stage. It will give them a chance to… just have a different kind of concert experience and to learn how to adjust to that environment. It will be a lot of fun and a great chance for them,” Dr. Cordoba said.
Also that day, AUthenticity will premier its new album of original compositions, which will be available on CD or download from major online music platforms.
“It’s definitely huge for us that Anderson University and the South Carolina School of the Arts will be participating, because anywhere there’s students, there’s vibrancy,” Gaddis said. “We love our partnership with Anderson University and we’re thrilled they’re coming alongside us and making this arts festival come to life. Ultimately it is an arts festival and Anderson University is an arts school, so it’s a great partnership to have students involved and to see the students at the Soiree, at the festival, enjoying all of the activities and also participating in providing something for the public, showing off their skill set and talent that sometimes the public doesn’t get to see because they don’t know what’s going on with Anderson University a lot of times unless they’re directly connected.”
Soirée was a huge part of the Anderson arts scene from 1985 to 2009 and built a reputation as one of Upstate South Carolina’s signature events.
Anderson University is a Legacy Sponsor for the 2022 Soirée, taking place April 29 and 30. Admission is free. Details are available online.