Early Evening Performances
Here are the First Night performances scheduled to begin between 5 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on December 31, 2016. Click on the + for each listing to learn more.
This page reflects information available as of November 1, 2016. Events are subject to change. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact us.
Faith United Church of Christ
Anne-Marie Hildebrandt is a composer, arranger, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Although a graduate of The Juilliard School in Piano Performance, her musical path has been unique and varied, She has released several CD’s, including her 2009 album with her Utah-based women’s choir, Citrine, and their band, entitled Aglow, featuring her Celtic-inspired arrangements and original songs. She performs as a singer/songwriter, a choral conductor, and as a singer, pianist and fiddler with various bands and groups.
State College Presbyterian Church
Founded in 2010, the Allegheny Ukulele Kollective is a ukulele enthusiast-slash-evangelist club from Altoona. Members have jammed together on college campuses, in cafes, and at the local YMCA. The group meets for three monthly jams and welcomes newcomers, especially beginning players.
The ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii, though it has been enjoyed waves of popularity in other parts of America. It has been associated with jazz age crooners, 1960s television personality Tiny Tim, and of course, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, founded in 1985. In the 21st century thousands of YouTube watchers have been awed by the artistry of ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro.
The group will give a workshop at 7:30 pm in Westminster Hall, State College Presbyterian Church.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
This delightful trio consists of Diane Gold Toulson, flute, Smith Toulson, clarinet and Anne Sullivan, harp. Diane Gold Toulson is an active orchestral and chamber music flutist, who has performed throughout the Commonwealth, the United States, and Europe. Smith Toulson, faculty member in Penn State’s School of Music, is a member of the Pennsylvania Quintet and is principal clarinet for the Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra, The Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, and the Altoona and Nittany Valley Symphonies. Harpist Anne Sullivan has accompanied many artists including Luciano Pavarotti and Frank Sinatra. She is the harp instructor at the University of Delaware and at Swarthmore College.
Grace Lutheran Church
The State College Area High School Jazz Band is among the finest in the United States and has an international reputation for excellence. The band has received 30 consecutive years of superior ratings in festivals and competitions. In 2003 and 2006, the band travelled to Europe and performed at both the Vienna Jazz Festival and the Montreaux Jazz Festival. The band has performed at Lincoln Center in New York City as a finalist in the prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition.
Community Room, State College Municipal Building
Laura Herts, a wacky, energetic female non-scary clown was born in Washington D.C. (the home of lots of different clowns) and began a world tour at the age of 18. Determined to evolve in the combining of theatre, physical comedy, and mime, she studied in Belgium at The School of Mime-Theatre Lassaa. After finishing her formal training, she created a unique world of clown-comedy derived from observations she made during her world travels. Since 1990, she has played at festivals, theatres, and cabarets all over the world, sometimes in the company of her own theatre company, The Traveling Laughter Association. This is her first trip to First Night State College
University Baptist & Brethren Church
The Monk’s Brew has been creating what JazzErie has described as a “unique brand of contemporary jazz” since October 2011, when the group met at Mercyhurst University. The Monk’s Brew is Dillon Shidemantle – trumpet, flugelhorn and vocals, Bobby Lucas – piano and keyboards, Alex McLaughlin – bass, and Michael Hibbler II – drums. Inspired by the jazz tradition, the band has endeavored to create the next generation of jazz music that is strong and smooth.
The group released its first album, The Monk’s Brew: Live at the PAC in August 2015, following its performance at the Erie Art Museum’s Blues and Jazz Festival
State College Municipal Building Plaza
The hand cranked street organ was developed in 18th century Europe as a small instrument used to aid in training songbirds to sing specific songs. From this humble beginning, this small musical box evolved into larger instruments that we think of as street organs. As in pipe organs, sounds are created when a bellows forces air through organ pipes of different sizes. A roll of perforated paper, like a piano roll, controls which pipes open and which close, to create the enjoyable melodies we hear.
Penn State Downtown Theatre Center
A native of Shanghai, Yang Xiao Di became an apprentice acrobat at the age of six and rapidly excelled a variety of Chinese acrobatic genres, including equilibristics, juggling, trapeze, teeterboard, the traditional Lion Dances and clowning. In a career with several renowned circus troupes, he travelled the globe. Today he is a senior instructor with the National Circus Project, an arts-in-education project that teaches American kids performing skills. Since joining the NCP, he has toured in hundreds of public schools and community centers throughout the U.S., performing and teaching circus skills in his unique style to more than 150,000 American children.