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OHIO draws award-winning performances
Josh Turner to kick off Performing Arts Series, Sept. 24  

Sep 11, 2009  
By Amy Wells  

Two Tony Award winners, a public radio star and a Grammy Award winner are among the many prestigious performers coming to Ohio University's Athens campus this year as part of the 2009-10 Performing Arts Series.

Coordinated by the Campus Involvement Center under the Division of Student Affairs, the series annually draws a wide range of prominent guests and artists to Southeast Ohio. Country music star Josh Turner kicks off this year's lineup on Sept. 24.

"While each performance in the series will be exciting and entertaining, I'm particularly excited about Béla Fleck's performance in February. This performance will give our audience an opportunity to see Mr. Fleck back on the stage but in a completely different format," said Andrew Hozaepfel, associate director of the Campus Involvement Center.

The center is collaborating with Athena Cinema, managed by the College of Fine Arts, to screen the award-winning "Throw Down Your Heart," a documentary of Fleck's travels through Africa and explorations of music.

"I'm also excited about 'Avenue Q' because of the response we've received from students who are very eager to see the performance," Holzaepfel said. "The themes presented in this show provide an opportunity to address important diversity issues to a full audience of students and community members."

For the first time, the 2009-10 Performing Arts Series plans to add concerts to its line-up throughout the year, in lieu of the traditional Horizons Concert series.

Since the series was announced in the summer, Turner's performance and a return visit from Mountain Stage have been added. Additional performances will likely be added as they become available, Holzaepfel said.

"We aren't able to schedule many of the larger performers a year in advance," he explained. "By adding events throughout the year, we can maximize our resources and provide additional high-caliber performances."

Series subscriptions and tickets for Josh Turner and Mountain Stage are currently on sale. Tickets for all other shows go on sale Monday and may be purchased online at www.ohio.edu/performingarts/ or at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium box office Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and one hour prior to the show. For more information call 740-593-1780.

Here's a look at the lineup of guests planned by the series to date:

  • Sept. 24: Opening the 2009 Performing Arts Series is Grammy-nominated country singer Josh Turner. Known for his distinctive voice, Turner has celebrated back-to-back multi-week No. 1 radio singles and back-to-back Platinum albums, "Long Black Train" and "Your Man," now certified Double Platinum. His current album, "Everything Is Fine," was certified Gold in just four weeks. "Another Try," a duet with Trisha Yearwood, was recently nominated for the Academy of Country Music's Vocal Event of the Year. Turner's hit singles include "Would You Go with Me," "Firecracker" and "Me and God."

  • Oct. 11: For 25 years, Mountain Stage has established a long tradition of featuring national and international acts in almost every style of music. A production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Mountain Stage is a two-hour public radio show recorded before a live audience. This performance will be recorded for future broadcast on National Public Radio stations across the U.S. and abroad. The program can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio and on the "Voice of America." Each artist will perform a 30-minute set as part of this evening of music. Featured artists include Squirrel Nut Zippers, Southern Culture on the Skids, These United States and The Coal Men.

  • Oct. 28: YAMATO: The Drummers of Japan brings a new and youthful vigor to traditional Taiko drumming. Founded by Masa Ogawa in 1993 in Nara, "the land of Yamato" and birthplace of Japanese culture, YAMATO travels throughout the world, putting its very souls into the unusual instruments, whose sound stirs the hearts of people everywhere. Its performances are infused with the idea that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life. It is a never-to-be-forgotten experience, inspiring and intensely physical, with a beat resonating from the delicate tapping of falling rain to explosions of rhythmic exhilaration.

  • Nov. 4: "Avenue Q" is Broadway's smash-hit 2004 Tony Award winner for "Best Musical," "Best Score" and "Best Book." A hilarious show full of heart and hummable tunes, "Avenue Q" is about trying to make it in New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. It features a cast of people and puppets who tell the story in a smart, risqué and downright entertaining way. This performance is for mature audiences only.

  • Jan. 20: "The Drowsy Chaperone" is the new musical comedy that is swooping into town with tons of laughs and the most 2006 Tony Awards of any musical on Broadway! The journey begins when a die-hard musical fan plays his favorite cast album, a 1928 smash hit called "The Drowsy Chaperone," and the show magically bursts to life. The audience is instantly immersed in the glamorous, hilarious tale of a celebrity bride and her uproarious wedding day, complete with thrills and surprises that take both the cast (literally) and the audience (metaphorically) soaring into the rafters.

  • Feb. 18: Arguably the premiere banjo player in the world, Grammy Award-winner Béla Fleck returns to Ohio University with his most ambitious project to date, "The Africa Project." In exploring the origins of the banjo, Fleck discovered that, while the banjo is traditionally considered an American instrument, its origins lie far from her shores. With "The Africa Project," Fleck brings to the stage his collaborations with some of Africa's most talented musicians.

  • April 13: Heard by millions of listeners on his ever-popular public radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion," Garrison Keillor walks and talks the best of Americana. Blending poetry, song and his famous down-to-earth musings about life in the American Midwest, the masterful storyteller captivates audiences across the country with his unique gift of observation in intimate, solo performances. With his soothing voice, Keillor paints pictures that range from grade-school crushes to growing up in a low-thermostat household to camping in the snow with Boy Scouts. True to his radio form, he shares hilarious anecdotes about growing up in the American Midwest, the people of Lake Wobegon and late-life fatherhood.

  • May 7: The Ohio Valley Symphony is the only professional orchestra in the Ohio River Valley. Under the direction of Maestro Ray Fowler, the ensemble performs a wide variety of music selected to satisfy every musical appetite. Its musicians hail from six states and play with a number of other prestigious orchestras including the Columbus, Cincinnati and Pro Musica symphonies. The Ohio Valley Symphony members will be joined by Ohio University's choirs, under the direction of Peter Jarjisian, for this very special evening of music.



Related Links
Performing Arts Series:  http://www.ohio.edu/performingarts/ 
Division of Student Affairs:  http://www.ohio.edu/studentaffairs/  

Published: Sep 11, 2009 8:34 AM  

Yamato performs Oct. 28  
YAMATO: The Drummers of Japan takes the Memorial Auditorium stage on Oct. 28.

The Drowsy Chaperone comes Jan. 20  
The musical "The Drowsy Chaperone" will be performed Jan. 20.

Bela Fleck   

Bela Fleck brings "The Africa Project" on Feb. 18.




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