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Our stage comes alive with special events that touch our community.

The Emerson Center is proud to provide a venue for special events that reach many people in our community.

Often, these events are benefits and fund-raisers for area charities and non-profits. Sometimes, they're simply programs of interest that have been proposed by our friends and neighbors.

Beyond providing a comfortable 800+ seat auditorium and ample on-site parking, we have the capacity to market tickets. We can provide a/v equipment, lighting, sound system support, and much more.

To learn more, call our Box Office at 772.778.5249.


FYI, let us recall the Special Events programs that have
already appeared on our stage during the 2010-2011 Season.


Sorry, this event
has passed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010
5:30 PM, Meet-The-Candidates Reception follows

Vero Beach’s first-ever bipartisan debate among Florida state candidates, a “pros” and “cons” discussion of the six proposed constitutional amendments and a local charitable fundraiser is planned at the Emerson Center. Sponsored by The League of Women Voters, the Harvard, Princeton and Yale Clubs of the Treasure Coast “the primary purpose of the event is to share vital and non-partisan information with voters and to raise money for local charities,” stated debate committee chairperson Steve Dorrance.

The general admission ticket price is $10 per person with proceeds benefiting the following United Way of Indian River County agencies: the Treasure Coast Food Bank, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the American Red Cross. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling The Emerson Center at 772-778-5249.

Cathy Townsend, President of The League of Women Voters will provide opening remarks followed by Keynote Speaker, David Smick, author of “The World is Curved: Hidden Dangers of the World Economy. New York Times columnist David Brooks described Smick’s book as, “astonishingly prescient.” Former President Bill Clinton called it one of the top three books on the global financial crisis and The Financial Times described Mr. Smick as, “one of Washington’s premier insiders” in the field of economic, financial and trade policy.

Debate moderator Frank Alcock, Ph.D., Fulbright Scholar, of the non-partisan Collins Center for Public Policy will then present the “pros” and ‘cons” of the six proposed constitutional amendments where a very lively debate is expected between Amendment 4 author Lesley Blackner and Ryan Houck, the recognized Amendment 4 opposition leader.

Closing out the evening will be a debate between Scott Maddox and Adam Putnam, candidates for Commissioner of Agriculture. Dorrance declared “With the enormous number of grove owners, farmers and agriculture located throughout Indian River County, this debate should not be missed.” He added that “This is not a fundraiser for the candidates but rather democracy at its best.”

Tickets may be purchased online or by calling The Emerson Center at 778-5249. For further information, please call Debate Committee Chairperson Steve Dorrance at 772-234-0140.


Sorry, this event
has passed.

Colossal Comedy Night
features Peter Fogel
and Ron Johnson
Saturday, November 13
Doors Open: 6:30 PM
Show Starts: 7:30 PM

Presented by
The Rotary Club
of Vero Beach Sunrise


The Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise is sponsoring a Family Comedy Show at The Emerson Center. Tickets are now available online for this "Colossal Comedy Night."

The show starts at 7:30 pm on Saturday, November 13, 2010, but the doors open at 6:30 pm and there will be a cash bar. Tickets are $25 and $20. You can download a special flyer about this event by clicking here.

This is a family show featuring Ron Johnson, a ventriloquist/magician with 20 years experience. Johnson is known for exciting performances with plenty of audience involvement. (Click here to see Johnson in action.)

Also, the program will showcase Peter Fogel, a veteran comedian who has been featured on HBO's Comedy Central and many other comedy showcases. (By clicking here, you can see a clip of Fogel on stage.)

Great seats are available now! So claim your seats right away.


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has passed.

Thursday, January 6, 2011
One performance, 7 PM


One of America’s most acclaimed classical music groups, the Miami Beach String Quartet, is coming to Vero Beach on Thursday, January 6th, 7:00pm.

Many musicologists define string quartets as the “supreme statement of music,” and the Miami Beach String Quartet is a prime example of the ultimate in quartet excellence. Quartets capture the excitement of music and its soul. The music is beautiful, melodic, strong, and can be deeply introspective.

You’ll feel the intimacy of the music and get to know the musicians and their style. You can watch their facial expressions and feel the natural syncopation with their instruments and with each other as their posture changes with the melody or intensity of the music.

You will see four renowned soloists, united by their musical passions without benefit of a conductor, relying on countless rehearsal hours to insure musical perfection.

The Miami Beach String Quartet promises an evening you’ll always remember. To download a brochure with concert details, click here.



Franz Schubert’s Quartet number 13 was written soon after the composer learned at age twenty-eight that he had an incurable disease. It starts with a haunting despondency that flashes into manic energy. It contains spirited German dances on a background of a haunting theme as if the composer was trying to rid himself of the knowledge of his impending death by focusing his thoughts on happier subjects. The music is melodic and beautiful; one of Schubert’s true masterpieces.

Ludwig von Beethoven’s “Rasumovsky” in F major was named in honor the composer’s friend, the Russian Ambassador in Vienna and an amateur musician who provided Russian themes for his composer friend. The F major quartet is an intricate work which displays Beethoven’s innovation. It is a piece of music as lively as the Russian dances and melodies it incorporates. Invigorating and impassioned, this quartet is another masterpiece from Beethoven’s middle quartets which challenges all but the best musicians.




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has passed.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Presented by
Indian River Medical Center

#5 in a Series

Indian River Medical Center’s team of physicians, surgeons, radiation oncologists, hematologists/oncologists and other cancer specialists is pleased to present this series of cancer lectures as a free community service for patients, their families, friends and the general public. Programs answer burning questions and also include thorough review of prevention, early detection and treatment options.

TOPIC #5: Complete Cancer Care: IRMC's Team Approach Saves Lives Right Here in Vero Beach


Stuart Byer, M.D., Board certified radiation oncologist
Donna Callahan, R.N., MSN, Director, IRMC Oncology Services
Noor Merchant, M.D., Board certified hematologist/oncologist
Derek Paul, M.D., Board certified general surgeon
Ramesh Ramanathan, M.D., Board certified pathologist
Heather Nagel, M.D.. Board certified radiologist


(Do not call The Emerson Center Box Office for tickets to this event as all arrangements are being handled by the sponsoring organization. Thank you!)


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has passed.

Monday, January 31 (Voigt) and February 1, 2011 (Giordani)
Starts at 1 PM each day

Presented by the
Vero Beach Opera


Deborah Voigt: Widely acknowledged as the preeminent dramatic soprano today, Deborah Voigt has made her mark on both the operatic and concert stages in a remarkably varied repertoire, especially the operas of Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, and Giuseppe Verdi. She appears at The Emerson Center on January 31.


Marcello Giordani: Opera World has called Marcello Giordani "arguably, the greatest leading tenor of his generation." When he appears at The Emerson Center on February 1, he will bring his extreme talent to instruct and counsel area singers who seek to perfect their operatic abilities.


Those witnessing this two-day event will experience how these world famous master opera singers listen, instruct and critique the technique of opera singing. A group of carefully selected and qualified singers have been invited to participate in the program. By sitting in on these Master Classes, you will, in essence, hear a recital of operatic works sung by these gifted singers and benefit by overhearing the instructions of these noted master singers.


Tickets are now available online or by calling the Box Office at 772-778-5249. You can order tickets for either day ($25) or both days ($40). To attend both days of classes, be certain to order the "Master Classes Subscriptions."


 The lessons will highly inform and enlighten those aspiring singers in the general public about the opera singing genre by two of the most celebrated operatic talents of our days, Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani.


Sorry, this event
has passed.

Saturday, March 26, 2011
4:00 PM

Dr. Bill Schulz, for 12 years executive director of Amnesty International USA and now head of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, will deliver a public lecture entitled “Do Human Rights have a Future?”

A highly recognized advocate of human rights around the world, Dr. Schulz has served in many roles. He is the author of two books on human rights, and currently serves or has served as a consultant to a variety of foundations, including the MacArthur Foundation, UN Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, and Humanity United of the Omidyar Network.

Schulz is an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and an Affiliated Professor at Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago.

In 2002, the New York Review of Books said, “(Schulz) has done more than anyone in the American human rights movement to make human rights issues known in the United States."

A Benefit Appearance: Event proceeds and donations will benefit two international human rights organizations, one in Afghanistan, the other in Haiti. In Afghanistan, Barakat seeks to expand opportunities for girls and women in Afghanistan through schools and literacy programs and women’s empowerment programs. In Haiti, Camp Oasis provides safe, supervised housing for 40 girls aged 14-19 who were orphaned by the earthquake. A similar program is projected for boys.

Tickets for this benefit appearance are $30.


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has passed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
One performance, 7 PM

The Greek word "eidolon" refers to an image, apparition, phantom, or ghost. When included in the name of a Colorado-based musical group, Acoustic Eidolon, it describes a musical duet blessed with a unique sound that many envy but few can achieve. Our Treasure Coast audience will savor their musical mix on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 pm, when Acoustic Eidolon steps to center-stage at The Emerson Center.

Hannah Alkire plays cello and Joe Scott commands the guitjo, a double-necked blend of the guitar and the banjo.  Combining these two instruments, they present a repertoire that some define as Celtic, post-Impressionist, World, or Flamenco. You can be the judge as you enjoy their melodies and marvel over the unique harmonies these two accomplished musicians reveal.

Both have played since childhood. Hannah began the cello at 8, and was classically trained. When she played with the Anasazi String Quartet, her repertoire included everything from Dvorak to Led Zeppelin. Joe began playing the acoustic guitar and the 5-string banjo. He studied with many of the world's finest guitar players, such as Robin Ford and jazz great Joe Pass. In addition, he toured with the New Christy Minstrels. With Wind Machine, he released 13 critically acclaimed recordings.

You can preview their special music from the duet's website, Tickets are $15 and are now available online or by calling the Box Office at 772-778-5249.


Sorry, this event
has passed.


Saturday, April 2, 2011
One performance, 4 PM


Responding to requests from their grateful January audience, the acclaimed Miami Beach String Quartet is returning to Vero Beach's Emerson Center on Saturday, April 2nd at 4:00pm for a special encore performance.

The program will feature compositions of Haydn and Borodin (see program notes below). As our audiences learned at their Emerson Center debut in January, the Miami Beach String Quartet is a prime example of the ultimate in quartet excellence, capturing the excitement of music and its soul. Their encore performance promises to be beautiful, melodic, strong, and often deeply introspective.

Again, you’ll feel the intimacy of the music and get to know the musicians and their style. You can watch their facial expressions and feel the natural syncopation with their instruments and with each other as their posture changes with the melody or intensity of the music. Importantly, you will witness four renowned soloists, united by their musical passions without benefit of a conductor, relying on countless rehearsal hours to insure musical perfection.

The Miami Beach String Quartet's encore performance promises an evening you’ll always remember.



HAYDN: STRING QUARTET IN D MAJOR, OPUS 64, NUMBER 5 - Josef Haydn (1732-1809) wrote “The Lark” quartet in 1791. It is so named by music lovers because of the vibrant melody played by the First Violin in response to the opening chords of the other instruments in the introduction of the first movement. It is heard again in an unusual second recapitulation near the movement’s end. The violin’s theme is an almost uninterrupted bird song with an innocent quality played against active development by the other instruments. The listener never tires of its sustained beauty. The second movement adagio is one of extreme simplicity with little ornamentation, one of Haydn’s most beautiful slow movements. The third movement minuet is vigorous again, and includes and unexpected trio in another key. A perpetual motion style, vivace finale in the same key as the trio tests the skill of the musicians, and ends this magnificent music, one of Haydn’s undying masterpieces.

BORODIN: QUARTET NUMBER 2 IN D MINOR - Aleksandr Borodin (1833-1887) was a well- known chemist in the nineteenth century. To Franz Liszt he referred to himself as a “Sunday Musician.” While he did not come close to Haydn’s unequalled musical output this part time musician helped bring Russian music to the attention of the world. His more famous works include the opera Prince Igor, the exciting Polovtzian Dances, the tone poem In the Steppes of Central Asia, two symphonies and two string quartets. It’s the second of the two quartets we will hear. Fortunately for us, the orchestra includes two Russian born musicians who have been playing Borodin since childhood and love every note of it.

The second quartet is the more famous of the two. It opens with a prominent cello that guides the very lyrical first movement through Russian folk songs and oriental themes. A second movement scherzo appears as familiar music, a waltz we have heard somewhere before. It also is lyrical and melodious. But it is the third movement nocturne, a beautiful love duet for string quartet that distinguishes this work as an unmatched masterpiece of the nocturne form. This quietly beautiful movement is followed by the sometimes slow, sometimes vigorous Russian dances which make up the finale and retains the works melodious quality throughout.




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has passed.

Monday, April 18, 2011
One performance, 7 PM

Some music aficionados know of Andy Wahlberg as "the harp-guitar guy," a reference to the peculiar-looking 1920-vintage string instrument he plays. But, all who have seen him perform know that he blends an infectious brand of humor with unique musical selections to produce a captivating and memorable entertainment experience.

Liz Bumiller of The Miami Herald wrote, "Wahlberg is a born showman...with songs of humor and humanity, and a stage presence bigger than life." Frazier Moore, writing in The Atlanta Constitution, said Wahlberg's show is "...guileless, spirited, nervy and infectious...(He) takes the crowd on a joyride.” And, Lori Darvas for the Naples (FL) Daily News advises, "Don’t try to sit through an Andy Wahlberg show without cracking a smile... He has a boyish grin that shows up early and sticks around."

A towering 6'7" tall entertainer, composer, harp-guitarist, singer, satirist, humorist and multi-album recording artist, Wahlberg is winner of the National Golden Image Award and 28 ADDY awards in the field of music scores. He is the composer of numerous film and television soundtracks, including PBS television's award-winning series about Florida's historic lighthouses. He has toured as the opening act for Chicago, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Spyro Gyra, Reba McEntire, and many more. He was voted "entertainer of the year" two years in a row by both Gulfshore Life and Gulfcoast Magazine.

When Wahlberg arrives at The Emerson Center on April 18 with the harp-guitar he found in a pawn shop more than 20 years ago, he will surely enchant our audience with his varied repertoire and his unique renditions. Don't be surprised if he enlists participation from audience members. By all means, be prepared to leave laughing and carrying a tune in your heart.

Preview a segment from an Andy Wahlberg concert...

Tickets for this event are $15 and are available online or by calling the Box Office at 772-778-5249.


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has passed.

Saturday, May 21, 2011
One performance, 6 PM

The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra is presenting “Brass Blast: A Patriotic Showcase,” a free concert at The Emerson Center at 6 p.m. on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 21.

SCSO's Conductor Aaron Collins will lead the Space Coast Symphony’s 20-piece brass and percussion ensemble in a Sousa-style concert that will showcase the ensemble. A variety of American works will be featured, including Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and “Buckaroo Holiday,” as well as John Williams’ “Summon the Heroes,” Richard Rodgers’ “Victory at Sea,” marches from Sousa and Fillmore, and music from Glenn Miller.

Collins is a 28-year old Brevard County resident. He has established himself as one of the most gifted composers, conductors, and musicians of his generation. His music is of large and romantic gestures, meticulously orchestrated, and rhythmically vibrant. Collins, a prolific composer, has written music both for the concert hall and screen.

In addition to the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, he is conductor of the Space Coast Oratorio Society, The Pegasus and Colbourn Brass Ensemble, Melbourne Community Orchestra, Space Coast Brass Ensemble, Trombonanza, associate conductor of the Community Band of Brevard, and resident conductor of the Central Florida Lyric Opera.

Collins also guest conducts and works with ensembles in and around Florida. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra. Collins will be traveling extensively in 2011/12 conducting orchestras throughout the United States. Described as “the next big thing” and “an absolute powerhouse,” Collins maintains a schedule of 136 concerts a year.

Critics sing the praises of the SCSO. "This group plays with excellent precision, intonation, and energy. They are simply enjoyable and exciting to listen to!" You'll enjoy their performance as well.

No tickets or reservations are required for this special event. Open seating is available on a first-come-first-served basis.


In prior years, our special events programs have brought many distinguished presenters to our stage. Here are just a few examples of the programs we've enjoyed...

Greg Mortenson, Author & Humanitarian

"The Fonz"

Marcello Giordani, Operatic Tenor

Shirley Anne Warshaw, Presidential Advisor

Rory Stewart, Afghani Scholar and Humanist


For a memorable look at other past events, visit our archive page.



Of Interest