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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 about Special Events at The Emerson Center, call our Box Office at 772.778.5249.


FYI, let us recall the Special Events programs that appeared on our stage during the 2011-2012 Season.


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Sunday, November 6, 2011, 4 PM


Described by critics as “Bocelli of the Cello,” cellist and composer Ian Maksin announced that his solo tour of Florida will include a November 6th stop at Vero Beach's Emerson Center in which he will introduce listeners to a diverse collection of pieces and genres, bridging the gap between classical and popular music.

Besides standard repertoire such as Bach Suite for Unaccompanied cello No 3 in C major and Cello Suite by Gaspar Cassado, Ian will give several Florida premieres: Sonata for Cello Solo No. 1, Op. 72 by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, a Polish-born, Jewish, Soviet composer and contemporary ofShostakovich; Three Pieces for Cello Solo by an award-winning Chicago composer Ilya Levinson; and finally, Maksin’s own new work “Meditations on Themes by Sting”, a rhapsody for cello solo based on popular Sting songs such as “Fields of Gold” and “Fragile.”

Known for his intense, passionate performances, Ian Maksin is quickly gaining international acclaim as both as a cellist and a composer. He recently returned from his sold-out European tour, where he captivated audiences with his unique style and his incredible range. Maksin’s performance career encompasses many musical genres: he has collaborated with artists such as Sting, Andrea Bocelli, P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan, Beach Boys, as well as Riverdance and Cirque du Soleil. In addition to appearing as a soloist with numerous orchestras around the World and at many classical music festivals such as Ravinia, Spoleto, and the White Nights Festival in his native St. Petersburg, Russia, Maksin has also performed at Lollapalooza and on MTV.

Maksin’s mission as a performer is to deliver music to as many listeners around the globe as possible, and reach out specifically to people who have limited or no exposure to classical music, and cello in particular. “I don’t believe there is another instrument that sounds more like the human voice than the cello” says Maksin. “I fell in love with it when I was five years old, and I have introduced the cello to thousands since then. My goal is to make sure no one is left behind”.

Tickets may be purchased online or by calling The Emerson Center at 778-5249.



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Friday, November 11, 2011, 8 PM


One of New York’s premiere cabaret performers, Corinna Sowers-Adler, will be appearing at The Emerson Center with an especially stirring Veterans' Day presentation, “Songs from the Heart.” In this unique night-out, Sowers-Adler will feature new found love songs we’ll never forget and the standards we’ll always remember. This will be a single performance November 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm.

Sowers-Adler was named one of NYC’s top 15 cabaret acts of 2010 by Andrew Martin of Nitelife Exchange. Stephen Hanks, reviewer for “Cabaret Scenes,” writes, “during her right and well-crafted performance... Corinna not only exhibited a lovely and powerful soprano voice... but a burgeoning sassy-blonde comedic ability.”

For more information and to sample her enchanting style, visit her web site

Tickets for the event are specially priced at only $15. Tickets may be ordered online or you may call 778-5249. Also, tickets will be available at the door at a cost of $20.



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Sunday, November 13, 2011
One performance, 3 PM


On Sunday, November 13 at 3:00 PM, The Treasure Coast Symphony will fill The Emerson Center with music in their debut performance on our stage. In fact, this performance will be the orchestra's first performance of their 27th season.

Under the baton of Conductor Terence Kirchgessner, this appearance will showcase the talents of a guest soloist, cellist Aziz Sapaev, a highly recognized performer from Uzbechistan who has performed since age 13. On our stage, he will present Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major.

In addition, this concert program offers the overture from Rossini's Barber of Seville and Schubert's Symphony No. 3 in D Major, D.200.

The Treasure Coast Symphony is a non-for–profit organization made up of volunteer musicians from the Treasure Coast area. Since 1984, the orchestra has been dedicated to providing cultural enrichment, education, and activity for the performing and non-performing segments of our community. For more information please visit their website at





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Thursday, December 15, 2012
7:00 PM

Vero Beach's Silver Tones Chorus, in cooperation with the Senior Resource Association, will be staging "A Holiday Concert" at The Emerson Center on December 15 at 7:00 PM.

The concert will feature the Gifford "Tigers" Youth Orchestra and the Sebastian River High School Chorus. The event is being sponsored by the Leo and Peggy Pierce Family Foundation.

Organizers are suggesting a $5 donation per individual at the door to support the work of the Senior Resource Association. For more information, call 772.469.2062 or email



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Saturday, January 7, 2012
One performance, 4 PM


Responding to requests from their appreciative local audiences, the acclaimed Miami Beach String Quartet is returning to Vero Beach's Emerson Center on Saturday, January 7th at 4:00pm for a special performance. Due to scheduling complications, this will likely be their only performance in our area this season. (Download a brochure about this event.)

The program will feature compositions by Mozart, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky (see program notes below). As our audiences learned at their two Emerson Center performances last season, 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.

Once 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 upcoming performance promises an afternoon you’ll always remember.



To open the concert, the quartet chose Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile, the slow and melodic second movement written for the composer’s quartet number eleven, but frequently played as a separate piece because of its compelling beauty. The origin of the melody is said to be a tune whistled by a workman which fascinated the composer who orchestrated it for string quartet. In any case it has undoubtedly become one of the most beloved andantes in musical repertoire. Another famous piece follows.

Mozart’s String Quartet Number 17 in B flat major has been named “Hunting” because of its opening movement’s general mood of happiness and its suggestion of intense joy in effortless music making. The second movement slows the rhythm to a dance movement contrasted by a more youthful sounding trio. Then a lyrical Adagio third movement changes the perspective with a melodic phrase played by the first violin with the accompaniment of the other instruments. A joyful and untroubled Finale returns to the original mood to conclude the “Hunting Quartet.” The quartet ends in jubilant music befitting Mozart’s gratitude to Josef Haydn to whom this piece and five others were dedicated.

The concert will end with Antonin Dvorak’s Quartet in F major, commonly called ”The American.” This famous quartet was written during Dvorak’s two year stint as Director of the National Conservatory of Music of America, specifically during a vacation visit to the Czech immigrant settlement in Spillville, Iowa. There he made musical sketches of the Indian and American Western music which he studied until he was able to capture their characteristics well enough to make a musical picture of the American west described in this quartet and in his Quintet in E flat major. Although the music sounds familiar they are Dvorak’s own compositions written in accordance with the keys, rhythms, scales, and tonalities which give the themes their American indigenous characteristics while still retaining the techniques of European art music. The Quartet in F major is considered a masterpiece of multi-cultural composition which we will enjoy as it is performed by four outstanding musicians.


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Sponsored by
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
One performance, 7 PM

When Bob Milne sat down at the piano for a recent meeting of the Treasure Coast Yale Club, the audience was amazed. "It was incredible," explained Lucy Sohm who quickly became a fan of this versatile pianist. "He showed a command of the instrument that is rarely encountered. If we could only hear more!"

Her wish (and the wishes of many others) will be granted in a special performance at The Emerson Center when this exceptional pianist, dubbed a "national treasure" by the Library of Congress, will perform live at 7 PM on Valentine's Day (Tuesday, Feb. 14).

To help make the day even more memorable, the event's sponsor, Monti's Flower Market in Vero Beach (on Commerce Avenue behind Staples), will present a complimentary single red rose to the first 200 couples (or unaccompanied ladies) purchasing their tickets in advance. "We want to help make this special evening even more special," states Monti Jones, owner of Vero's creative floral design shop, "and nothing sets the tone more perfectly than flowers."

While pianist Milne's forte is spirited ragtime/boogie-woogie music (in this genre, his performances are critically acclaimed around the world), for this February 14 performance, he will build a diverse show which also incorporates romantic melodies spanning the decades. "You'll want to grab somebody's hand and give it a squeeze," Milne advises our audience. "If you feel like tapping your toes, go right ahead. And, if you want to dance in the aisles, enjoy yourself. We will have no shortage of fun at this Valentine's concert."


Learn more about this diverse and capable musician from his website at

Advance tickets ($20 per person) for this evening performance, which include a complimentary rose for the first 200 couples (or unaccompanied ladies), are available online or by calling The Emerson Center's box office at 772.778.5249. Tickets will be available at the door for $25.

A Valentine's suggestion: Make Valentine's Day even more special for the one you love by visiting or calling the floral experts at Monti's Flower Market. They're located at 1163 Commerce Avenue (directly behind Staples on US 1) and their phone number is 772.778.9850. Want something really special? Contact Monti Jones directly via .



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A Trilogy of concerts sponsored by
Sunday, November 20, 1022, 2:30 PM
Sunday, December 18, 2011, 2:30 PM
Sunday, March 11, 2012, 2:30 PM


The Emerson Center, along with Presenting Sponsor CenterState Bank, is proud to announce the “Jazz on Sundays,” a trilogy of musical events to be introduced for Vero Beach’s upcoming social season. Music will be performed by the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra.

The first of the three-part series will be held on Sunday, November 20 at 2:30 p.m. at the Emerson Center. “An Afternoon with Basie, Ellington, & Friends” showcases the styles of music by these jazz artists who were the backbone of some of the musical heritage in America and Europe. Don't miss this incredible inaugural concert that will have you tapping your toes all night.

Then, on Sunday, December 18 at 2:30 p.m., The Space Coast Jazz All-Stars will present two iconic Christmas albums, A Stan Kenton Merry Christmas and Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker.

The third part of the series will be held on Sunday, March 11, 2012, at 2:30 p.m. when the Orchestra presents iconic pieces from the jazz roots of Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans, through the Boogie Woogie of Harry James and Lionel Hampton, including Count Basie and Louis Prima’s swing and jump styles, and tastes of contemporary jazz rooted in rock and roll.

The Space Coast Symphony is a lively and passionate Central Florida orchestra comprised of professional musicians and select youth players. The Orchestra was formed with a two-fold mission: to provide mentoring and performance opportunities for Florida’s finest youth musicians as well as to provide professional-level concerts at genuinely affordable prices. The ultimate goal of the organization is to help ensure the symphonic tradition for the enjoyment of future generations.

“We worked with the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra in May 2010, when they performed a patriotic concert to a very enthusiastic crowd,” said The Emerson Center’s Don Croteau. “We wanted to bring them back with their Jazz Series for this season, and with the sponsorship from CenterState Bank, we were able to accomplish that.”

Advance tickets of $20 may be purchased online or by calling the Box Office at 772.778.5249. Tickets at the door are an additional $5. Students 18 years of age and under (with identification) are admitted free.


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Sunday, March 18, 2012
One performance, 4 PM

At 4:00 PM on Sunday, March 18th, distinguished Ice Age archaeologist, BBC commentator, and writer Dr. Paul Bahn will be the featured speaker at a free program at The Emerson Center in Vero Beach. This event is made possible by the Old Vero Ice Age Sites Committee.

As a specialist in Ice Age art, Bahn comes to Indian River County because of his interest in the carved fossil bone found locally in 2009 by James Kennedy and the unique deposits here that include the well known Vero Man site. The carved artifact, the only known example of a man-made Pleistocene carving in the Americas, has heightened interest in Florida’s earliest human inhabitants.

Paul Bahn is the author of the well known book Journey through the Ice Age. In 2003, he led the archeological team that discovered Britain's first Ice Age cave art at Creswell Crags in Nottinghamshire. Bahn received his PhD from Cambridge and completed several post doctorial fellowships, including a Getty Foundation fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities. He is a contributing editor to Archaeology magazine, BBC commentator on archaeology and art, and translator of numerous books on archaeology. With a primary research interest in prehistoric art, especially rock art of the world and Paleolithic art, he has expressed an interest in the carving from Vero Beach.

Bahn will speak on recent discoveries in Ice Age art from Europe and other parts of the world. While in Vero, Bahn plans to inspect the carved artifact which was found here. The authenticity of this artifact has been established by the University of Florida and confirmed by the Smithsonian Institution. The discovery of a mammoth carving on the bone of an extinct Florida mammal has caused the National Geographic to ask if this “the tip of the iceberg” of what may be yet discovered in the sunshine state.

UF archaeologist Barbara Purdy, professor emerita of anthropology, will also be visiting Vero Beach for this presentation.

Admission to this Special Program at The Emerson Center is free. General admission seating is available on a space-available basis.

For more information on this event, contact OVIASC volunteers Susan Grandpierre at 860 277 2771 or Sandra Rawls at 772 778-5274.



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* Edwidge Danticat,
Haitian author & peace activist
* Kent Annan,
Author & co-director of Haiti Partners
March 24, 2012, 4:00 PM
(Optional reception follows)

A benefit program for Haiti Partners and the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation.



The devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti focused attention of the world on a small country no more than 700 miles off the coast of Florida. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives and as many as one million lost their homes. More than a million Haitians are still struggling to recover their lives. And yet this earthquake is just the latest challenge in a history of injustices, dictatorships, natural calamities, and economic disasters following the breathtaking accomplishment of the Haitian independence from France in 1804.

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is the only slave colony – ever - to achieve freedom. Its people are steeped in the concept of justice, even as they live through injustice. Their story provides the world a rich tradition of art, music, and culture. These are our neighbors; they have lived and worked among us since the founding of our country. Every Haitian alive has hope for change in Haiti.

On March 24, 2012, at 4:00 PM the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation and Haiti Partners will present words of new hope for Haiti through the voices of renowned author and Haitian expert, Edwidge Danticat, and local author Kent Annan. A reception to meet the authors, purchase books and Haitian arts and crafts will follow.


Haitian-born Edwidge Danticat is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books and winner of numerous awards and honors, including the National Book Award and an Oprah Book Club selection. Recipient of the MacArthur "genius award" last year, Ms. Danticat received degrees from Barnard and Brown University. Her work appears regularly in The New Yorker Magazine and she is frequently heard on NPR. She has edited two anthologies, The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from The Haitian Dyaspora in the United States and The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Men and Women of All Colors and Cultures. Her writings are regularly anthologized and translated into many languages. In addition to teaching creative writing at New York University and the University of Miami, she has worked with filmmakers Patricia Benoit and Jonathan Demme on Haiti-related documentaries and is active in various social causes. Ms. Danticat lives in Miami with her husband.

"I come from a place where breath, eyes and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head. Where women return to their children as butterflies or as tears in the eyes of the statues that their daughters pray to."

 - Edwidge Danticat, from Breath, Eyes, Memory

Kent Annan is the author of two nonfiction books, After Shock (2011) and Following Jesus through the Eye of the Needle (2009). His work has been published in numerous literary journals. He is co-director and co-founder of Haiti Partners, a nonprofit focused on education in Haiti. He began living and working in Haiti in 2003 after previously working for refugee ministries in Western Europe, Albania and Kosovo. His work with Haiti Partners has him traveling to Haiti regularly, including numerous immediate earthquake response trips in spring of 2010. Mr. Annan is a resident of Vero Beach, Florida, where he lives with his wife and two children. He holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.


This event is being presented by the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation in partnership with Haiti Partners. Sponsors are encouraged to add their voices of support for this important cause.

About Haiti Partners

Haiti Partners works to help Haitians change Haiti through education, training, and resources for teachers, students, leaders, and disciples. One in three children never get to attend school, and the vast majority of Haitians live on less than two dollars a day. Haiti Partners strives to equip individuals to nurture dignity and foster the critical thinking, group learning, and self-confidence essential to making social enterprises flourish. Haiti Partners has responded to the earthquake by launching a program to build and provision Learning Centers. These Learning Centers shelter families, provide schools for children, and offer ongoing jobs to the Haitians who teach, build, and sustain the centers. Haiti Partners maintains a past, present, and future commitment to education in Haiti, not as an emergency fix, but as a long-term strategy for change in Haiti (

About the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation

Founded in 1992, the Laura (Riding Jackson) Foundation interprets its mission to “create awareness, understanding and appreciation of Laura (Riding) Jackson and her works” by emphasizing in its programs the skills and dedication required to be a good writer, and the value and possibilities in a life devoted to language and literature. The Foundation has preserved the author’s home, an example of Florida’s historic “cracker” style of vernacular architecture. The home is a focal point for the study of literature and history, an example of a disappearing architectural style, and a symbol of an older, more environmentally-sensitive way of life. The Foundation’s vision is to become a regionally significant provider of literary and humanities-based programs for a broad range of audiences (


Tickets are now available online or by calling the Box Office at 772-778-5249. You can order tickets for the authors' presentation ($25) and, additionally, for the reception which follows ($25).



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Saturday, April 21, 2012
One performance, 7 PM

A trio of Vero Beach's top entertainers are serving up an evening of jazz music to raise funds for the scholarship program at Vero's Academy for the Performing Arts. This 7 PM event on April 21 promises to provide an outstanding evening of musical fun supporting an important cause.

Dr. Ray Adams, the artistic director at Indian River Charter High School's Schumann School for Visual and Performing Arts, will be joined on stage by Dave Mundy and Richie Mola. Mundy is a Berklee graduate and instrumental jazz instructor at the Indian River Charter High School. Mola is a successful music instructor in nearby Palm Bay. Both of these instrumentalists are well-known to Treasure Coast Chorale audiences.

The jazz trio plays a variety of jazz favorites... from the American Songbook to Contemporary jazz while specializing in the 1940's bebop era. This popular group has entertained audiences in The Moorings, John's Island, McKee Gardens, and many other venues.

The name "SoulFege" is a play on the Italian "sol fege," a term describing the words which comprise the notes of the major scale (do, re, mi, etc.)

Don't miss this talented group of musicians presented by The Academy for the Performing Arts to benefit the scholarship fund. Advance sale general admission tickets are $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for students. They are available from our online box office or by calling 772.778.5249. Also, you can visit The Emerson Center's box office at 1590 27th Avenue in Vero Beach.


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Sunday, April 29, 2012
One performance, 5 PM

"Forever Kitten" features Lauren Chapin, forever known as Kathy "Kitten" Anderson on television's vintage "Father Knows Best." In this single-show appearance, she offers us a walk down Hollywood's "Memory Lane" as she reminisces about her experiences in perhaps the most popular comedy series of the late fifties to early sixties. Her presentation, accompanied by entertaining video clips from that by-gone era and personal perspectives about stars Robert Young and Jane Wyatt, promises to shed insights into this television treasure - as well as to reveal the challenges faced by young actors who must deal with fame at such a tender age.

Recently, Lauren Chapin has appeared on numerous shows including "The Regis and Kathy Lee Show," "The Today Show," "Entertainment Tonight," and "Oprah Winfrey." In addition, she has hosted a seven-hour Fathers Day telethon on The Family Channel. For more information, visit her website,

At the end of her presentation, we anticipate that Ms. Chapin will entertain questions from the audience as well. You can download a flyer about this special event by clicking here.

General admission tickets for this Sunday afternoon appearance (April 29, 5 PM) cost $25. Tickets are currently available from our online ticket office or by calling our Box Office at 772.778.5249.


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Israel Scouts
Friendship Caravan 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012
One performance, 7 PM

The Israel Scouts Friendship Caravan 2012 is a group of highly talented Israeli youth who are part of a larger delegation of Israel Scouts who, each summer, represent Israel in camps and communities across North America. Their performance is an energetic and patriotic display of goodwill and friendship between countries. Performing songs in both Hebrew and English, the Scouts bring smiles to the faces of audiences of all ages, cultures and religions. Their joy and optimism is contagious.

The Friendship Caravan is comprised of ten incredibly motivated and talented Israel Scouts, ages 16 and 17, and two adult leaders. The troupe is part of the International Scouting Movement and is a sister organization of the Boy and Girl Scouts of America. They will perform at churches, schools, summer camps, community centers, synagogues, senior centers and hospitals throughout the United States during the summer months. In addition to their lively show, the Caravan members can also lead dozens of various activities for children, answer questions about life in Israel and discuss what it is like to be an Israeli teenager.

There will be a reception with light refreshments following the performance where audience members will have the opportunity to mingle with and meet the delegation.

Temple Beth Shalom hosts this group annually with the help of our sponsors. This year’s sponsors to date include: Mike and Colleen Kessler, Mike and Bev Swatt, Paul and Carol Kanarek, Dan and Mindy Pollack, Matt and Roxy Zoffer, Gary and Karen Kaplan. If you would like to be a sponsor, please contact us.

Join in the fun at the Israel Scouts Friendship Caravan 2012 performance on Saturday, June 9th at the Emerson Center in Vero Beach. Advance tickets are available ($10 for adults and $8 for students and children) in the Temple Beth Shalom office, 355 43rd Avenue, Vero Beach, or from the Emerson Center's online ticket office. Call (772) 569-4700 for information.

We encourage you to buy early and avoid a line at the door where general admission tickets will also be available on the evening of the performance.


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Sunday, June 10, 2012
One performance, 2:30 PM

A hot June day is about to get even hotter when the Space Coast Jazz Orchestra steps onstage for its swinging Big Band Showcase.

This Sunday afternoon concert (June 10 at 2:30 PM) launches the orchestra's highly anticipated 2012 Summer Series and features music of the 1920's, '30's, and '40's. Join us as the Jazz Orchestra performs music from the big band era's favorite composers, including Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller. As usual, this group's programs pack a few special twists and surprises as well!

The Space Coast Jazz Orchestra has been receiving rave reviews and is quickly becoming one of the Southeast's premiere jazz ensembles. Don't miss this performance.

Advance sale, general admission tickets are available for $20 ($25 at the door). Students with a valid student ID are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online (a $1.50 service charge applies to this show only) or from our Box Office at 772.778.5249.



The Emerson Center at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach is conveniently located at 1590 27th Avenue, on the SE corner of 16th Street and 27th Avenue and has more than 300 parking spaces, an auditorium that seats over 800 people in comfortable padded seating, a raised stage that offers everyone unrestricted views, and professional state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. Call 772-778-5249 for tickets, purchase tickets online, or visit The Emerson Center itself. For many performances, group tickets are also available.

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...

Bill Schulz, Former Director, Amnesty International


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