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Woodbine Productions plans gala concert to mark 10th anniversary of Performing Arts Center

Brookings S.D. (KELQ FM) - The internationally-acclaimed, Juilliard-trained siblings will make their South Dakota debut Monday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Their concerts include impressive renditions of the great classics performed simultaneously on five Steinway grand pianos. 

“The Performing Arts Center has, in the last 10 years exceeded expectations of the University and community. It is appropriate for the people of Brookings and the region to celebrate this milestone with this incredible performance,” said David Reynolds, head of the SDSU Music Department. “The 5 Browns are the only ten-hand piano concert out there. It will be a fitting tribute to all that has been programmed in the facility to date.”

The Performing Arts Center at SDSU was completed in 2003, marking the success of an unprecedented public/private partnership in Brookings. Through a combination of private gifts and an investment of second-penny funds by the city of Brookings, the current facility boasts a 1,000-seat music auditorium, which is the envy of most facilities in the Upper Midwest.

Additionally, theSDSU Theatre program enjoys outstanding space for the design and construction of sets, as well as a 180-seat black-box theatre. Fundraising is currently underway to expand the building in the near future to accommodate the entire Music, Theatre & Communication Studies Departments, as well as the construction of an 850-seat proscenium theatre.

The inaugural performance in the PAC featured world-famous violinist Itzhak Perlman. As a result of the quality of the facility, over the past decade, the city of Brookings and the PAC has been host to performances by thousands of local school children, regional and state music festivals and conferences, Brookings Community Theatre performances, and presentations by national and international speakers and performers.Brookings Mayor, Tim Reed, considers the Performing Arts Center one of the reasonsBrookings is a destination for visitors, new businesses and residents.

“With a facility like the PAC in Brookings, it greatly enhances the cultural opportunities that attract professionals and families alike. Not only does it serve the students of the University, it benefits all of the community.”Woodbine Productions is a project of the SDSU Foundation and is underwritten by an anonymous benefactor who is committed to bringing great performances and entertainment to Brookings and South Dakota, as well as helping the next generation of musicians.

The series has presented an eclectic variety of entertainers, ranging from Frankie Avalon and Aaron Neville to the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and violin virtuoso Mark O’Connor. Ticket sales benefit scholarships for exceptional music students at SDSU and have supported more than $300,000 in scholarships since its inception in 2007.

The 5 Browns – Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra and Desirae – enjoyed their first wave of critical attention in February 2002 when People magazine dubbed them the “Fab Five.” The New York Post proclaimed, “…one family, five pianos and 50 fingers adds up to the biggest classical music sensation in years…”Well-known in the classical music circles, the group has been featured in its own PBS-TV special, The 5 Browns In Concert, which airs regularly on stations throughout the country.

The group has released three CDs that each went to #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Classical Album Chart. They are set to release their sixth album in October 2013 with the help of Grammy award winning producer, Adam Abeshouse on the Steinway and Sons label.Arriving in Brookings following a performance at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the group heads to Carnegie Hall soon after its South Dakota appearance.

The 5 Browns have performed in numerous venues, including the Grand National Theater in China, Suntory Hall in Japan, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and Chicago’s Symphony Hall.All remaining seats will be sold from the SDSU Music Department office in Lincoln Music Hall, or by phone at (605) 688-5188.