The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts celebrates the great American music of the late 20th century this weekend with “American Soundtrack: A Musical Celebration.”
Based on past musical programs, the arts center expects a large enough audience that it is holding this concert at the James H. Rainwater Conference Center, says Cheryl Oliver, arts center executive director and the concert’s director.
Backed by the popular local Ed Barr Orchestra, with Barr as the musical director, the show will feature everything from big band to rock & roll.Barr’s orchestra will also back several Valdosta celebrities such as Lowndes County Manager Joe Pritchard, Valdosta Police Chief Frank Simons, Assistant to the Valdosta City Manager Mara Register; Valdosta State University icons Dr. David Johnson and Dr. Karl Paoletti; Valdosta crooners Robert Plummer, Rob Evans and Keith Blevins; Dominion of Power Gospel Choir, directed by Brandon McCrae; soloist Marti Schert; dancers Jeani Synyard, Dr. Ron Zaccari and The Valdosta Tappers, etc., Oliver says.
As part of a salute to the military, the Moody Air Force Base Color Guard will present the colors, veterans will be honored, and retired Air Force Master Sgt. Louis Edwards will perform the National Anthem.
This show comes in response to last year’s Veterans Day musical program, a similar event featuring various area singers and musicians in a salute to the region’s veterans. Directed by Oliver, the show proved so successful that several people requested an additional concert.
“This show, too, began as a salute to our veterans and our military but it gradually expanded to include more than music from the big band era and World War II,” Barr says. “There is a significant amount of big band and patriotic music on this program. There will be a musical tribute to all branches of the military; members of the various branches will be asked to stand as their song is played … but there will be an equal amount of popular music. This program will cover about a 75-year span of American music. It will include big band, rock and roll, beach music, Motown, gospel, country, Broadway and standard songs from what is commonly referred to as the American Songbook.”
Barr said the concert showcases the number of talented people living in Valdosta; folks who may not make their livings as musicians but who nonetheless offer professional performances. Between these performances, Oliver and Bob Harrison serve as emcees, providing ongoing commentary and introductions.
In addition to the featured performers, Barr’s 20-piece orchestra will perform various arrangements and provide backing instrumentation to the singers. The band will also play an hour after the show so the audience may enjoy an evening of dancing in addition to an evening of fine performances.
The evening’s program includes “Moonlight Serenade,” “In the Mood”; “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”/ “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” Robert Plummer with Tania Myers, Mara Register, Craig Ward; “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” Robert Plummer and Amber Griner with Philip Barr, Bobby Godwin, David Hutcherson; “Jump, Jive & Wail,” featuring Jeani Synyard and Ron Zaccari, dance; “Someone to Watch Over Me,” Marti Schert; “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” vocal trio Mara Register, Laura Rudisail, Carolyn Upson; “White Cliffs of Dover,” Dr. David L. Johnson; “Big Band Trumpet Medley,” Dr. Larry McWilliams, trumpet; “Sing Sing Sing,” featuring drummers Al Turner and Paul Campiglia and trumpet section; “As Time Goes By,” Joe Pritchard; Louis Armstrong Medley (“Wonderful World,” “Hello Dolly”), Dr. Kenneth Trimmins; “American Patrol,” Jeani Synyard dance group; “Salute to the Armed Forces,” MAFB color guard, presentation of colors, recognition of veterans; “Star Spangled Banner,” Louis Edwards.
Following an intermission, the show rocks into another era. “Rock Around the Clock,” Buddy Holly Medley (“That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “It’s So Easy”), Keith Blevins; Rock Medley (Fats Domino/ Little Richard/ Chubby Checker/ James Brown/ Ray Charles), Brandon McCrae; Jerry Lee Lewis Medley (“Great Balls of Fire,” “Whole Lot of Shakin’”), Chief Frank Simons; Elvis Medley (“Love Me Tender,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Jailhouse Rock”), Craig Ward; Country Medley (“Hey, Good Looking,” “Folsom Prison,” “On the Road Again”), Jerry Newman; “Joyful, Joyful,” Dominion of Power Gospel Choir with Brandon McCrae, director; “My Girl,” Dr. Kenneth Trimmins; Beach Music Medley (“I Love Beach Music,” “Be Young, Be Foolish,” “Under the Broadwalk”), Craig Ward; “Night & Day,” Dr. Karl Paoletti; Beatles Medley (“Something,” “Gotta Get You Into My Life”), Rob Evans; “After the Lovin’: band feature; finale – “Bring Me Sunshine,” featuring band and full cast.
The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts presents ‘American Soundtrack: A Musical Celebration.’
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14.
Where: James H. Rainwater Conference Center, off Norman Drive.
Tickets: $40, individual; $75, couples. Tickets available online (see below), at the Turner Center, Steel’s Jewelry or the Conference Center.
Reservations, more information: Call the arts center, 527 N. Patterson St., (229) 247-2787; or visit www.turnercenter.org