The Howard County Arts Council has announced the guest performers for the 16th annual Celebration of the Arts in Howard County gala. Featured this year are: Misako Ballet Company, with guest dancer Lester Holmes and guest choreographer Eva Anderson, and pianist Brant Challacombe. You can catch them, along with the ten finalists in the Arts Council's Rising Star Competition, at the Celebration gala on March 23, 2013 at 8 p.m. Emcee for the event is Richard W. Story, Senior Vice President for Marketing at JPB Enterprises, Inc.
Under the direction of Misako Aoki-Oda, the Columbia-based Misako Ballet Company mixes classical ballet, contemporary, and Japanese-themed dance. Local and regional performances have included Artscape in Baltimore, multicultural festivals, and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, as well as several local libraries, senior centers, and nursing homes throughout the year.
Guest Dancer Lester Holmes has performed, choreographed, and taught in New York and abroad. He is a faculty member at Goucher College, Towson University, and Howard Community College. He teaches master classes in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area, and has choreographed for several productions in the region.
Guest Choreographer Eva Anderson infuses classical modern dance with elements of African and African-American dance forms. She has founded a number of dance companies including the Eva Anderson Dancers which toured extensively in the U.S. and abroad.
Piano accompanist Brant Challacombe is an educator, arranger, music director and musician. He currently teaches music at Glenelg Country School, is involved with Bridgeway Community Church's music ministry, and works with Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia. Favorite performances include Floyd Collins and Parade; national tours of Cabaret and Annie; and international productions of West Side Story and Once on This Island.
The Celebration is a multi-faceted signature event, showcasing and promoting the arts and raising funds for Howard County artists and arts organizations. In addition to the main stage performance, the evening also features a reception from 6-8 p.m. with a Silent Auction of work by local artists and culinary delights from area restaurants. Entertainment during the reception includes the musical stylings of The Lucky Few, made up of Tony Waddy and Paul Krysiak. The Celebration will take place in Columbia at Howard Community College's Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center. Information and tickets are available on the Celebration page of the Arts Council website at www.hocoarts.org or by phone at 410-313-2787.