ARTISTS

ARTISTS

The Fourth Wall

Type: Performance
Art Form: Dance, Music, Theater
Grade Level: K-8

Few musical ensembles earn top marks for their "deft choreography," but this is no ordinary ensemble. Part chamber music group, part devised theatre company, part modern dance troupe, part circus act, The Fourth Wall blends music, theatre, dance, and acrobatics into a new hybrid art form. In their award-winning variety show, Fruit Flies Like a Banana, this trio of conservatory-trained musicians creates new interdisciplinary works and reinterprets classic repertoire - all performed in an order chosen by the audience - to make music that leaps off the stage.

Innovative and flexible, The Fourth Wall quickly adapted to COVID life, creating Fruit Flies Like a Banana: Virtual Style for schools and festivals. In May 2020, The Orlando Sentinel named the show "Best of the Fest" at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. Until their international touring schedule can resume, The Fourth Wall's interactive online performances will continue to put everyone in a front-row seat, and all are invited to help create a show that leaps off the screen.

Note: How Music Works: The Science of Sound and Fruit Flies Like a Banana are both available online for remote learning.

HILARY ABIGANA is a hybrid arts flutist dedicated to finding new, innovative ways of moving and interacting with the instrument. Before moving to Massachusetts with The Fourth Wall, she held positions as the second flutist for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and piccolo player of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. She was the first prize winner of the 2008 Houston Flute Club’s Byron Hester Young Artist Competition, was a silver medalist at the 2014 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil Céilí Band Competition (with the Indianapolis Céilí Band), and a silver medalist at the 2008 Fischoff Competition (with Trio Destino). Passionate about teaching, Hilary was on faculty at Floot Fire in Texas
and the International Flute Symposium, co-founded the Irish Arts Academy of Indianapolis, and continues to inspire young flutists in masterclasses at universities across the country.

Hilary received her Bachelor of Music degree with Distinction from The Eastman School of Music, where she also was awarded the Performer’s Certificate in Flute. She received her Masters Degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music where she studied with Leone Buyse. Together with previous teachers Bonita Boyd and Timothy Day, these three musicians have been the greatest influence on her playing. Hilary is a proud Verne Q Powell Flutes Artist

C. NEIL PARSONS has been performing for as long as he can remember, appearing in his first professional theatre production at age three. Extensive touring has taken him to 40 states, with performances at major performing arts centers such as the Kennedy Center, residencies at numerous universities, and solo engagements with symphony orchestras, including the Boston Symphony. His creative output runs the gamut of music, theatre, and dance productions: from solo to chamber to orchestral music; from Shakespeare to musical theatre to outdoor drama; and from modern to tap to site specific dance pieces.

Neil is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied bass trombone with Ray Premru. While at Oberlin, he combined his interests in music, dance, and teaching into an individual major: Interdisciplinary Performance and Education. Neil received a Master’s degree in Contemporary Classical Music Performance from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he currently serves on the faculty for the Contemporary Theater program.

GREG JUKES creates musical experiences that expand the boundaries of traditional performance. In addition to his work with The Fourth Wall, Greg collaborates with various organizations in Boston and the Mid-Atlantic. With Kadence Arts, Greg developed the Beat Bus, an electronic bucket drumming workshop that gets kids around New England excited about music through a mix of technology, movement, and grooves. In the Marimba Cabaret, Greg accompanies and directs singing marimbist, Brian Calhoon in evenings of songs and stories.

As a narrator, Greg has introduced thousands of children and families to the wonders of orchestral music with established pieces like “Peter and the Wolf” and shows he has written around works such as Wagner’s “Ring Cycle,” Holst’s “The Planets,” and Copland’s music inspired by the American west.

Greg graduated from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Robert van Sice, Svet Stoyanov, Tom Freer, and So Percussion. He has collaborated with conductors David Amado, Ken Lam, Jason Love, and Piotr Gajewski; directors Gary Race and Diane Brewer; and choreographers Mariel Greenlee, Neil Parsons, and the Windfall Dancers.

Programs Offered

The Fourth Wall combines music, dance and theater for school audiences