Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Community rallies behind arts festival

By Rachel Haynie

Arts organizations are pulling out all the stops to showcase their talent for the community’s patrons during the inaugural Columbia Festival of the Arts.

The Palmetto Mastersingers are tuned up and in harmony for an entire program of beach and shag music, not their usual fare. They will be backed by Dick Goodwin’s Big Band at 7:30 pm Thursday, May 3, at the Koger Center.

As the two musical groups worked together on the concept, and the rumblings about a Columbia Arts Festival got louder, Goodwin asked, “What if we made a CD?”

The beach and shag standards the chorus has prepared may get drowned out by an audience dying to sing along. If they resist, they’ll hear new arrangements of I Love Beach Music ; a medley of Red Sails in the Sunset and Harbor Lights ; Carolina Girls, and Goin’ Out of My Head.

Mo’town will be in town for numbers like Up on the Roof , Under the Boardwalk, My Girl , and I Heard it Through the Grapevine , an instrumental bass player Terry Trentham arranged. All other numbers were arranged by Goodwin.

One Mint Julep is heavily instrumental,” Goodwin said, “but it has a cameo by the chorus.” The concert also includes Canadian Sunset , Part- Time, Party- Time Man, and My Special Angel.

A few blocks from the Koger Center, the senior pastor at Washington Street United Methodist Church is reprising his role in a duet with his Spartanburg friend Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz of Temple B’nai Israel

“The Cap and the Collar,” a mix of traditional, folk, country, and original songs, features the two musicians who became friends through their Rotary chapter while Harmon was serving Trinity United Methodist Church in Spartanburg. “It presents a bridge between faith and people,” Harmon said.

The University of South Carolina Dance Company’s performance, Now This is Columbia , will feature one of Martha Graham’s most famous works, Sketches from Chronicle.

Dance USC is the only company in the world given permission by the Martha Graham Dance Company to perform this ballet in its entirety. The internationally acclaimed company even sent Jennifer DePalo- Rivera, a company member, to town to work with students who will perform the ballet.

The privilege reflects a tie to USC dance professor Miriam Barbosa who formerly was a principal with the Martha Graham Dance Company; Barbosa gives a scholarship each year on behalf of the Martha Graham Dance Company.

For more information on these and all events, go to

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