The Fourth Wall inspires and delights audiences all over the country with their hybrid arts performances in venues ranging from elementary school cafegymnatoriums to performing arts centers to (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York. A favorite at Fringe theatre festivals, the trio has sold out shows in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Orlando where they received Patrons’ Pick and Critics’ Choice awards for their vaudeville-inspired show, “Fruit Flies Like a Banana.” The Fourth Wall won the 2014 Savvy Musician in Action chamber music competition and was presented at the innovative music entrepreneurship retreat as performers and workshop leaders. The Fourth Wall has been featured on five National Flute Association annual conventions with gala performances, recitals, and their audience interactive project, “Mixer.” Collaborating with conductor Victoria Gau, The Fourth Wall created an orchestral hybrid arts performance that was premiered with the Capital City Symphony in 2013.
Collaboration has been a key element of The Fourth Wall’s work from the very beginning. The Boston Composers’ Coalition chose the ensemble for their inaugural concert in 2010, bringing together six composers plus a student composer to create new works for the unconventional trio.
Since then, The Fourth Wall has reached out to composers from around the world for new music; developed new choreography as members of Windfall Dancers in Bloomington, IN; and created a body of winter holiday repertoire working with the Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis. In January 2016, The Fourth Wall was invited to participate in the second New Music Gathering, earning a picture in the Wall Street Journal and credit for their “deft choreography.”
The Fourth Wall offers workshops, masterclasses, and performances that teach students how to incorporate interdisciplinary performance techniques into their creative work. The trio has been in residence at the Universities of Alaska, South Carolina, and Virginia; presented masterclasses and lectures at the Oberlin Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, and Rice University among others; and performed for various Percussive Arts and Flute Societies. The Fourth Wall is Ensemble-in-Residence for the International Flute Symposium and are teaching artists for Indiana’s Arts for Learning program.
Members of The Fourth Wall have attended The Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, Ohio University, Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, and the Boston Conservatory.
Hilary Abigana is at home in the orchestra as well as in front of it. She has performed as a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras with the "music-telling" ensemble, Tales & Scales; with the Evansville Philharmonic in a performance of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 4; and was the winner of the 2003 Eastman Nielsen Flute Concerto Competition, performing with the Eastman Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra. Before moving to Boston with The Fourth Wall, she held positions as the second flutist of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and solo piccolo player of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. Hilary 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 Céílí Band Competition, and a silver medalist at the 2008 Fischoff Competition (with Trio Destino). Passionate about teaching, Hilary is on faculty at Floot Fire in Texas, the International Flute Symposium (with The Fourth Wall), co-founded the Irish Arts Academy of Indianapolis, and continues to inspire young flutists with her hybrid arts performances.
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.
C. Neil Parsons
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 as taken him to 40 states, with performance 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 production: from solo to chamber to orchestral music (including symphony, pit, and disco orchestras); from Shakespeare to musical theatre to outdoor drama; and from modern to tap to site-specific dance pieces. Neil also has experience with aerial silks and clowning.
Neil graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy and received his Bachelor’s 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 by designing an individual major: Interdisciplinary Performance and Education. He then continued his studies with trombonist Tony Baker and at the Ohio University School of Dance.
Greg Jukes is a percussionist and narrator whose work focuses on blending music, acting, and dance in hybrid arts performances. He has created and performed concerts for young people with the Delaware Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, and Columbia Orchestras and is the narrator for the National Philharmonic's second grade concerts, which reach over 10,000 second grade students every year. Greg performed at the 2013 Percussive Arts Society International Convention on a concert featuring theatrical works in which the percussionists are required to both act and play. He has been a member of the percussion sections for several orchestras in Indiana and Kentucky; plays in pit orchestras and recording sessions; and teaches percussion privately, at schools, and with the Indianapolis Symphony's outreach programs.
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, Diane Brewer, and Bryan Fonseca; and choreographers Mariel Greenlee, C. Neil Parsons and the Windfall Dancers.