George C. Foreman named director of UGA Performing Arts Center

George C. Foreman named director of UGA Performing Arts Center

Athens, Ga. – George C. Foreman, a musicologist and conductor with more than 30 years of experience managing performing arts centers, will be the director of the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center effective Jan. 1.

Foreman is currently managing director of the Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Arnett C. Mace Jr., UGA’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, announced today that Foreman will succeed Timothy A. Bartholow, who transferred to the Terry College of Business to teach in the music business program. David S. Levenson has served as interim director since August 2008.

“Dr. George Foreman brings a wealth of experience, expertise and vision for advancing the arts at the University of Georgia,” Mace said. “He has a distinguished record of leadership in attracting high quality artists to the Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College. His vision and desire for collaboration with the arts community within the university, local community, and Georgia offer the opportunity to advance the quality of performances at UGA and the arts in general. I look forward to George assuming this leadership role and to future performances at the University of Georgia.”

The UGA Performing Arts Center houses two world-class concert halls, the nearly 1,100-seat Hodgson Concert Hall and the 360-seat Ramsey Concert Hall. Now in its 14th season, the Performing Arts Center offer six series a year, presenting some of the world’s best performers in classical music, jazz, world music, ballet and folk dance.

“I am pleased and honored to be named the director of the UGA Performing Arts Center,” Foreman said. “It enjoys a national reputation for the high quality of its performances, and I am eager to join the dedicated and capable staff already in place there and to become part of a team that will achieve an even higher level of excellence in a broader range of programs.”

Foreman said he expects the Performing Arts Center to take on an expanded presence in the cultural lives of the university, the community and the state.He added that he also looks forward to establishing close bonds with all of the academic areas in the fine arts, particularly the leadership of the School of Music and the department of theatre and film studies, to identify and implement innovative ways in which the Performing Arts Center can help those programs achieve their goals.

“On a personal note,” he added, “my wife, Lisa, and I are excited by the prospect of becoming a part of the UGA and Athens communities.”

Foreman has directed the Norton Center since 1983. The center presents a broad variety of performances, including classical artists, touring Broadway shows, popular artists, dance, and symphony orchestras. Recent performances have included Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Bennett, Dolly Parton, and the New York Philharmonic. The center also provides space for visual arts exhibitions. In 1990, Foreman co-founded and was for thirteen years the artistic director of the Great American Brass Festival, which draws approximately 50,000 visitors to Danville each summer for three days of free outdoor concerts by brass bands and ensembles from throughout the world.

While at Centre College, Foreman has served as conductor and co-founder of the New Columbian Brass Band, which performs the music of the Golden Age of American Bands (1880 to 1920). The 23-piece ensemble is comprised of leading professional musicians from coast to coast. A review in The New Yorker of the band’s recording The Teddy Bears Picnic called it “the most delightful collection of musical levity on the market.”

Foreman also founded the Advocate Brass Band and served as its conductor for twenty years. Composed of amateur and professional musicians from the region, the band has performed more than 150 live concerts and released six CDs of historic American band music, including four compilations of marches named for American newspapers. Before directing the Norton Center, Foreman was director of the Thomas H. Bowlus Fine Arts Center in Iola, Kansas.

Foreman earned his doctorate in musicology from the University of Kansas and holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico.

Highlights of this year’s season at the UGA Performing Arts Center include two performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra, the medieval singers and instrumentalists of the Waverly Consort, Taikoza Japanese Drums and Dancers, Celtic fiddler Natalie MacMaster, and America’s own first family of bluegrass, Cherryholmes. This season also marks the 12th year of the center’s recording of concerts for broadcast on American Public Media’s “Performance Today,” heard by millions around the world. For more information, see http://www.uga.edu/pac.