Cultural Excursion to Tuskegee, Alabama
Morning of June 4, 2018
Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration Dinner
Evening of June 4, 2018
In honor of the 25th anniversary of IWAC and thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we will be hosting a gala dinner at Auburn University’s iconic (and yes, air conditioned!) Red Barn. The dinner will be an authentic farm-to-table dining experience featuring fresh local cuisine. Musical entertainment for the evening will be provided by talent from the local Auburn-Opelika music scene, including some Auburn faculty and students. There will be performances in a variety of genres; banjos, fiddles, guitars, and at least one upright bass will be playing Appalachian fiddle tunes, bluegrass, folk, blues, and maybe some rockabilly. All music is guaranteed to be suitable for listening, dancing, singing along, or otherwise celebrating in the Red Barn.
Weaving Stories: A Cabaret of Connections
Evening of June 5, 2018
Elizabeth Ann Benson will preform an evening of stories and songs for IWAC 2018. Selections for this special IWAC event are drawn from classical art song, musical theater, and contemporary pop. These seemingly eclectic songs are woven into a tapestry of common authors, themes, and experiences. Join us on a journey through literature, languages, and the circle of life. This event is free and open to conference attendees and their guests.
Praised for her “delightful” (The Boston Globe) and “delicately compassionate” (Times Herald Record) singing, Elizabeth is recognized as a dynamic and versatile performer. In her Carnegie Hall debut, she created the title role of Lucy by Tom Cipullo, and her performance was acclaimed as “excellent” (The Big City). Other roles include Áljana (A Little Princess), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), and Hope (Anything Goes). In Colorado, Elizabeth sang leading roles with Loveland Opera Theater, Luminous Thread Productions, and Coal Creek Theater of Louisville. She was a 2015 winner of The American Prize Chicago Musical Theatre Award, and made her solo debut at Chicago’s Symphony Center singing music by Rodgers and Hammerstein with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony. She was a special prizewinner in the 2015 George Gershwin International Music Competition. In 2016, she was a national finalist in the American Prize Art Song competition.
Elizabeth holds a master of music degree from New England Conservatory, and a doctorate from The City University of New York Graduate Center. She is also multi-lingual and specializes in crossover vocal technique, spanning from opera to musical theater to rock; her secondary research interest is in the development of collegiate musical theater curricula. She is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the BFA Music Theater program at Auburn University. She serves as the department of theater’s principal singing instructor and music director. To learn more about Elizabeth’s work, click here.