Performing Arts Series announces 2019-20 season

The Moanin’ Frogs, Backtrack, Take3, Martha Redbone and Steel Betty visit University of Nevada, Reno

The Moanin’ Frogs, an all saxophone-sextet, will kick off the 2019-20 Performing Arts Series on Sept. 26 at the University of Nevada, Reno.

A group of musicians in suits gathered playing a variety of different saxophones

The University of Nevada, Reno School of the Arts announces its 59th season of the Performing Arts Series. This year’s season features five distinct shows by contemporary performers who traverse genres, challenge tradition and actively contribute to the evolution of performance today. All events are held in Nightingale Concert Hall in the Church Fine Arts building at the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to their performance, each visiting artist will engage with the off-campus community through the facilitation of workshops and demonstrations for K-12 students, regional artists and communities with limited access to the arts.

  • The season will open at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 with a performance by The Moanin’ Frogs, an energetic saxophone sextet. Audience members will travel the musical spectrum through a rousing collection of familiar classical, ragtime, jazz and pop music. This conservatory-trained ensemble delivers technically precise performances with engaging choreography. During their visit, they also will perform for middle and high school music students and hold a free and public presentation at the Northwest Reno Library on Sept. 25 at 6 p.m.
  • Backtrack, the a cappella YouTube sensation, will perform on 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17. With more than 10 million views of their video mash-up hits by artists such as Sia, Ariana Grande, Pitbull, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Beethoven, they traverse genres and decades with finesse. The effervescent quintet has performed at Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theater on Broadway in “Kinky Boots,” and throughout the U.S. During their visit, they will participate in a family-friendly Story Time at the Spanish Springs Library on Oct. 17 at 10:30 a.m.
  • With rock-star charisma and masterful technique, Take3 will astonish audience members by skillfully pairing classical and contemporary music. The dynamic trio will perform on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Their repertoire includes songs such as their electrifying rendition of “Natural” by Imagine Dragons merged with the “Habanera” aria from Bizet’s opera “Carmen.” During their visit, they will hold a special workshop at 6 p.m. Nov. 6 for teens at the Downtown Reno Library in partnership with the Holland Project and the Washoe County Library System.
  • On Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m., “Bone Hill: The Concert” will expose a never-before-told piece of American history. This dramatic musical is written by Martha Redbone and longtime collaborator Aaron Whitby. Inspired by Redbone’s ancestors, the saga tells of a Cherokee/Shawnee and African American family in the hills of coal-mining Appalachia. Redbone and the cast of jazz and blues singers inspire, as new revelations are unveiled.
  • Steel Betty, a refreshingly authentic Austin, Texas-based folk-grass band, will close the season at 7:30 p.m. March 12. Their performance honors the original musical pioneers of bluegrass, folk, country and conjunto music. Band members will lean in to share vocals on a prominent Edwina stand microphone while playing upright bass, guitar, mandolin and banjo.

To purchase tickets for the Performing Arts Series, call Lawlor Events Center Ticket Office at (775) 784-4444, visit (convenience fees apply for online and phone purchases), or purchase in person at either Lawlor Events Center Ticket Office (open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1550 N. Virginia St, Reno, lower level) or at the Church Fine Arts Box Office beginning one hour before performances. Season tickets are only available by phone and mail (printable order form available online). Orders received less than 10 business days before the date of the performance will be held at the Church Fine Arts Box Office for pick up.

In addition to the Performing Arts Series, the School of the Arts also presents the Reno Jazz Festival as well as world-class visual art exhibitions, musical performances, theatre productions, dance concerts and public arts events presented by the departments of art, music, and theatre and dance. Its degree programs provide a strong foundation in a range of artistic disciplines, enabling students to contribute as artists, educators and scholars at the local level and beyond. Finally, the school, as well as the College of Liberal Arts, encourages broad campus and community participation in the arts through its numerous performances, lectures, exhibitions, core courses and outreach activities that explore diverse cultures and encourage lifelong learning.

The 2019-20 Performing Arts Series is funded in part by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the City of Reno; WESTAF (the Western States Arts Federation); Western Arts Alliance Advancing Indigenous Performance Touring Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; IGT; the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, and the Graduate Student Association. In-kind support is provided by Circus Circus Hotel Casino, THE ROW – Reno, The Jesse Hotel & Bar, and CLM Design, Advertising, Interactive.

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