ASU-Beebe Lecture/Concert Series

ASU-Beebe's Lecture/Concert Series brings both entertaining and educational events for students and community members to enjoy. 


Lecture/Concert Series

Most Lecture/Concert Series events are held in the Owen Center Auditorium on the Beebe campus, located at 1102 West College Street. 

Tickets are available to purchase online, at the Institutional Advancement office in the Ruth Couch Center on the Beebe campus, or at the door one hour prior to the event.

Arkansas State University-Beebe welcomes AnnaMaria Cardinalli on Thursday, April 4, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in the Owen Center Theatre.

AnnaMaria Cardinalli’s path as a young musical prodigy to the war in Afghanistan and Iraq to opera singer and guitarist is nothing short of amazing. A world class opera singer, guitarist and recording artist, AnnaMaria offers stunning virtuosity on the Spanish guitar, while bringing the sensuality of her mezzo-soprano voice.

As a child, AnnaMaria loved music and sang Winnie the Pooh to opera stories at 2.5 years old. At 13, AnnaMaria completed high school to begin her professional career with the guitar. At 15, she recorded her first album, and while touring St. Paul’s Basilica with her parents, AnnaMaria stepped forward and began to sing, “Ave Maria.” The cardinals then blessed her voice. AnnaMaria completed her B.A. summa cum laude at St. Mary’s College of CA, all the while maintaining her performance schedule.

AnnaMaria went on to pursue a master’s degree, and became the youngest person to receive a Ph.D. at Notre Dame, where she studied theology with an emphasis in Latino studies. Her dissertation and research yielded surprising revelations about medieval Spanish spirituality and the songs of worship dating back 1,000 years. “You hear Arab and Jewish melodic influence and you also hear harmonies of the church. You get this music that celebrates this cross-cultural convergence,” AnnaMaria said of the centuries old music and culture she studied.

As post 9/11 America emerged, it wasn't long before AnnaMaria’s fascination with Islamic influences on the music came to the attention of the FBI, who, she said, were "looking for people who had advanced degrees and interest in the cultures and religions of the Middle East."

After finishing her dissertation and graduating from FBI training at Quantico, AnnaMaria worked as an intelligence analyst on classified work. She was then deployed to Afghanistan, working for the Department of Defense with experiences that convinced her to serve. She joined the U.S. Navy and accepted her commission in 2010. Unfortunately, a combat incident cut her naval career short. She then returned to her musical roots, and along with veteran friends founded Jams for Vets. “War changed me in a way that I believe it changes many people. In the intensity of the experience, and especially in the darker secrets I came to uncover, I saw our humanity to be more fragile and damaged. Oddly, it was this that made me realize the profound necessity of art and music – to those things that restore and heal,” she said.

“It all comes from love. Everything that drives you, comes from love. The only two definite plans I’ve had in my life are - I have to play guitar and I have to sing opera,” AnnaMaria said.

As a singer, her voice reveals all the warmth of her Mediterranean ancestry. AnnaMaria has performed as a soloist in venues from the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers to the Spanish Royal Palace to European Opera Festivals. From her service in Iraq and Afghanistan and world travels, she remains an outspoken advocate for human rights.

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Doors open at 6:30 p.m.


General admission - $10

Students 18 and under, seniors age 60 and over, and educators - $5

Military $1 (limit 4, must show ID at door)

The Owen Center Theater is located on the ASU-Beebe campus at 1102 West College Street in Beebe, Arkansas. 

Tickets are available to purchase:

  1. At (minimal fees apply)
  2. At the Institutional Advancement office, located in the Ruth Couch Building on the ASU-Beebe campus (no additional fees)
  3. At the door one hour before showtime (no additional fees)
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Contact Us

For more information, please contact

Andrea Cole
Development Officer/Major Gifts
Phone: 501.882.8903

Dr. Brent Bristow
Professor of Music
Phone: 501.882.4474

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