There’s Plenty to Do at WCU!

By Bear Lake Staff / October 21, 2013

As many of you know, Western Carolina University is one of our close neighbors and we have a lovely relationship with the great folks over there.  Lately, we have been to a few events over there to keep the creativity flowing – and the shows they are putting on have been phenomenal!

Marc traveled over to WCU at the end of September and watched the performance Next to Normal, held at Hoey Auditorium.  The show was directed by multiple-Tony-Nominated Terrence Mann, who brings an extensive acting background of his own to the program at WCU (click here for more information).  This performance follows a woman struggling with depression, memory loss, and a worsening bipolar disorder, and how these affect the members of her family.  Next to Normal is an award-winning rock musical with choreography directed by Karyn Tomczak – WCU Dance Program Director.  Marc came back with raving reviews of the performance, noting the amount of students who were in attendance as well.  Tickets for the Mainstage Season can be purchased through the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center by calling 828-227-2479 or by visiting

We weren’t done there!  Marc & Katie ventured back out to WCU, this time to hear just what the Alash Ensemble – Tuvan Throat Singers – where all about!  This show was held at the John Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center, the perfect place with the awesome acoustics the building creates.  But, if you’re anything like me, I probably lost you back at “Tuvan Throat Singers”… WHAT is that?? describes Tuvan Throat Singing as such:

Imagine a human bagpipe – a person who could sing a sustained low note while humming an eerie, whistle-like melody.  For good measure, toss in a thrumming rhythm similar to that of a jaw harp, but produced vocally – by the same person, at the same time.

It’s difficult to wrap your mind around it (and very difficult to try – Katie & Marc got some good laughs in trying to practice), so here is a video for good measure!

It was an amazing concert to say the least.  The WCU FPAC was pretty full for this event, and everyone was mesmerized from the time the Alash Ensemble took the stage until the moment they ended.  As the translator joined the show intermittently to give the crowd some insight into the songs and the culture, he took time to remind those in attendance that just because the songs were in another language and that most of us didn’t understand them – that the audience should remember that all of the songs weren’t as serious as they sounded.  In fact, one of the songs was about fast horses and beautiful women!

There are many more opportunities to watch shows and concerts like these.  Make sure to keep an eye out on the Bear Lake Reserve Facebook page for updates, and check out the WCU Event Calendar here!

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