Arts & Humanities Campus News

UGA Performing Arts Center celebrates 25th anniversary with gala week performances

Audra McDonald poses in front of a brick wall.
Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald will perform as part of the Performing Arts Center’s 25th anniversary celebration on April 24. (Allison Michael Orenstein)

In 1996, the UGA Performing Arts Center opened with a gala week of performances, including a recital by superstar soprano and Georgia native Jessye Norman, and a concert by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The center’s 25th anniversary season contains another gala week bookended by an appearance by six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and the return of the Atlanta Symphony.

Here are the four events of the gala week.

An Afternoon with Audra McDonald 

25th anniversary gala concert 

April 24, 3 p.m. 

Hodgson Concert Hall  

McDonald is a Broadway legend and TV and film star. Join her and pianist Brian Hertz for a concert of show tunes and standards from the Great American Songbook. Then enjoy a party with food trucks and DJ Dan Geller on the quad.


Arts Chat: City on a Hill 

April 26, 4 p.m. 

Performing Arts Center Lobby 

Georgia Museum of Art Director William U. Eiland and Deputy Director Annelies M. Mondi give an insightful—and free—look at the ceramic work and paintings that have greeted patrons for a quarter century. These include a pair of canvases by Lamar Dodd, founder of the art school at UGA.


UGA Symphony Orchestra 

Mark Cedel, conductor 

Pyeongkang Park, assistant conductor 

April 28, 7:30 p.m. 

Hodgson Concert Hall 

The Hugh Hodgson School of Music performs Mahler’s epic “Fifth Symphony”—with its sublime slow movement—and the world premiere of “Fizzle, Sweep, Crash” by doctoral candidate Daniel Karcher. 


Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Donald Runnicles, conductor 

David Coucheron, violin 

Elisabeth Remy Johnson, harp 

May 1, 3 p.m. 

Hodgson Concert Hall 


The gala week concludes with Beethoven’s mighty Third Symphony (“Eroica”) and Max Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy,” in which Celtic melodies come to life with solo violin and harp.

For the UGA Presents performances (McDonald and the ASO), 25 tickets are available for just $25, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Performing Arts Center. Tickets for UGA students are always $10.

For a complete list of UGA Presents performances, visit

To learn more about all UGA Performing Arts Center events, visit

Three ways to order 

  1. Purchase tickets online at
  2. Call the Performing Arts Center box office at 706-542-4400, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center box office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (five-minute parking is available in the drop off circle at the Performing Arts Center for purchasing or picking up tickets.)

COVID protocols 

For information about the Performing Arts Center’s COVID-19 protocols, visit Flexible ticketing will be in place for all performances occurring through May 2022. Patrons may exchange tickets for another performance or receive a full refund until noon on the day of the performance, if occurring on a weekday, or by Friday at 5 p.m. if occurring on a weekend.