Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Set for the Stage in World Premiere Musical Drama

/PRNewswire/ -- "I Dream" is a musical celebration and journey through the life and work of a man whose prophetic and historical significance has become legend. The story of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is now a major musical drama opening in Atlanta on July 9, 2010.

Presented by Musical-Dramatic Arts and directed by acclaimed actress Jasmine Guy, best known for her role as Whitley Gilbert in the 1990s hit series 'A Different World,' the through-composed work is an inspirational portrayal of the civil rights leader from his early years through to the end of his life.*

"I feel honored to be directing such a landmark production. With a glorious score set to such a moving American story, this is an exciting and emotional experience," says Guy. "And the fact that we are premiering in my hometown, where so much of the story originated, is so fitting."

Author and composer Douglas Tappin first began work on "I Dream" four years ago when he arrived from Britain to start a new life in Atlanta with his family. Once here, he immersed himself in the local history and, ultimately, found inspiration in the story of a local preacher.

"I've tried to combine historic and personal elements of Dr. King's extraordinary life and legacy with individual stories gleaned from interviews with people whose lives he touched during the tempestuous years of the Civil Rights Movement between 1955 and 1968," says Tappin. "I was particularly captivated by Dr. King's statement that man is neither villain nor hero - he is, rather villain and hero."

Having considered London, New York and Washington D.C., producers Cedric Perrier, Dej Mahoney, Tim Bowen, and Douglas Tappin were in no doubt as to the most appropriate city in which to debut 'I Dream.'

"We have often felt the hand of history on our shoulders as we have developed 'I Dream' here," says Perrier. "We have been most privileged to have enjoyed the support of Atlanta's former Mayor Shirley Franklin and current Mayor Kasim Reed, together with Ebenezer Baptist Church, as we have worked to bring this great story to life for its World Premiere on the Alliance Stage at the Woodruff Arts Center."

Originating the role of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is Quentin Darrington, fresh from recent Broadway success in the Tony-nominated revival of 'Ragtime.' "I consider it a tremendous privilege to not only create and present this intimate expression of this great man," says Darrington. "But also to do it in the city that centralized his life and work. It just feels right."

Acclaimed actress and singer Demetria McKinney, best known for her stellar performances in 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne,' won the role of Coretta after an extensive search. "I am proud to originate the character of Coretta Scott King, a woman who was not only an exceptional wife and mother but, equally, a leader in her own right in the Civil Rights Movement," says McKinney.

#1 Billboard recording artist, Bob Carlisle ('Butterfly Kisses' 'We Fall Down'), will premiere the role of King's mentor and professor. "I am thrilled to be asked to participate in this exciting production," states Carlisle. "I can think of no other genre that so fully unites drama and song than theater. This is where great songs about a great man can come alive before our eyes."

As with the cast, MDAI's music team boasts an enviable line-up including Grammy®-nominated arranger Carl Marsh (Cirque Du Soleil, The Temptations); Legendary arranger and veteran Quincy Jones collaborator, Greg Phillinganes (Michael Jackson: 'Thriller,' 'Off The Wall,' 'Bad'; Stevie Wonder: 'Songs In the Key Of Life'); And Keith Williams, music producer and Director of Music at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

"I Dream" will run July 9 through July 31 on the Alliance Stage at the Woodruff Arts Center, as an independent production.

For ticket information visit: or call (404) 733 5000. Also visit the official website:

ABOUT MUSICAL DRAMATIC ARTS: Musical-Dramatic Arts Inc. (MDAI) is a theatrical production company, based in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England. Its mission is to stage productions of original works of musical-drama, with "I Dream" - based on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - being its first production in the U.S.A. Although Atlanta was selected as the most appropriate birthplace for this new piece, the company's intention is to tour this and future productions internationally through major markets, including Broadway and London.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Southern Music at Its Best: Gospel, Bluegrass, Newgrass, and Dixieland Jazz

All Featured On the 2010–2011 Series Lineup

The Morris Museum of Art’s Budweiser True Music Southern Soul & Song concert series announces it’s 2010–2011 lineup, which includes five concerts September 2010 though January 2011.

“The 2010–2011 Southern Soul & Song lineup is one of our best ever,” said Kevin Grogan, director of the Morris Museum of Art and producer of Southern Soul & Song. “From bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley to the New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and from Sam Bush, one of the inventors of ‘Newgrass’ to Mike Farris, who has reinvented Southern Gospel, this year’s series covers a lot of musical territory—but all of it is inimitably, identifiably Southern. It’s going to be a great season!”

The 2010–2011 lineup includes the following bands:

Thursday, September 16
Southern Music Icons the Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band open the 2010 Westobou Festival

Friday, October 15
Nashville, Tennessee’s brightest bluegrass/country stars The SteelDrivers

Friday, November 19
Newgrass King Sam Bush and his band

Friday, December 17
Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys

Friday, January 21, 2011
Gospel and soul giant Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue, featuring the McCrary Sisters

Series tickets provide all five shows for the price of four. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Imperial Theatre. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 1 for both series tickets and individual tickets at the Imperial Theatre box office (706-722-8341) or online,

Southern Soul & Song

One of the top-selling bluegrass and Americana concert series in the country, Southern Soul & Song has featured such legendary artists as Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, and Marty Stuart. Southern Soul & Song continues this year with an all-star line-up of spectacular, distinctly Southern music. Proceeds from the series help to support the Morris Museum of Art’s public program initiatives. Series sponsors include Budweiser True Music; The Augusta Chronicle; Augusta Magazine; WJBF Channel 6; Comcast; Seigler HD; Augusta Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Inc.; Wierhouse; KICKS 99, SRP Federal Credit Union; Mullins Law; and Wife Saver.

Westobou Festival

The Westobou Festival was conceived in 2005 by the Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County, as part of their work on behalf of the Porter Fleming Foundation. Designed to showcase Augusta’s wealth of artistic talent, festival takes place between September 16 and 25, 2010, in downtown Augusta and on the campuses of Augusta State University, and Paine College. It features performances in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts.

The Morris Museum of Art was founded in 1985 and opened to the public in 1992. It is the oldest museum in the country that is devoted to the art and artists of the American South. The museum’s permanent collection of nearly five thousand works of art spans more than two hundred years, from the late-eighteenth century to the present. The Morris is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and on Sunday, noon–5:00 p.m.
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The Newnan Cultural Arts Commission Proudly Presents Hangzhou Wenlan High School Chinese Youth Orchestra

The Newnan Cultural Arts Commission in partnership with the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts presents the Hangzhou Wenlan High School Chinese Youth Orchestra to perform in Newnan. The performance will be Sunday, July 25th at 3 p.m. at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. For more information call 770-254-2787 or visit

This group is a traditional Chinese orchestra and was founded over ten years ago. The youth orchestra has currently over sixty members. The members include children of all ages. Every year a number of new members join the orchestra, they practice new programs every semester.

“This will not only serve as a wonderful musical concert for the city but also a superb opportunity for the local youth to bond and exchange culture from different sides of the world," says Bette Hickman, Newnan Cultural Arts Commission, co-chair of the event.

The orchestra has performed throughout China and internationally. To introduce the graceful Chinese traditional music to people around the world, the orchestra visited France in October of 2005. They performed six shows in six different venues all over France. The youth orchestra has also won several outstanding awards for their music.

Master conductor Yan Jianhua is from HangZhou, Zhejiang, China. Jianhua is a famous commander and percussionist. He is also the director of the Chinese Society of Folk Orchestral Music and Percussion. Some of Jianhua’s other accomplishments academician of Chinese Society of Folk Orchestral Music and concert performer of Zhejiang Province Dance and Song Ensemble.

The youth orchestra will also be performing in Atlanta at the Rialto Center for Arts during their stay in Georgia.

About the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts
Coweta County’s Centre for Performing and Visual Arts is a modern 48,000-square-foot multi-disciplinary arts facility offering state-of-the-art performance facilities, rehearsal and lecture halls, and the Francoise Gilot art gallery - all anchored by a 1,000-seat performance hall. Located at 1523 Lower Fayetteville Road in Newnan and operated by artistic director Don Nixon, the Centre is available for use by all of the citizens of the surrounding communities with priority given to school system events and performances. Since its opening by the Coweta County School System in 2004, the Centre has become a significant destination for artistic events in metropolitan Atlanta’s Southside region, and a true center of community events and arts education for the residents of Coweta County and surrounding areas. The philosophy of The Centre is to strive to be a house of excellence — an extension of the classroom no matter the age of the student.

The Centre’s wide range of artistic activities is supported in part by private citizens through the Centre Patrons. The Patrons organization recognizes the importance of the Arts in a community, and gives supporters of the arts an opportunity to share their time, talents and resources to ensure that Coweta County’s commitment to the arts continues to grow and prosper. The Patrons help staff and organize Centre events, and coordinate private donations that fund professional performances for the benefit of students and the community, Master classes and other educational opportunities, student scholarships, and other support for the Centre’s mission. Its purpose is to provide opportunities that will expose its patrons to the arts, increase their knowledge and appreciation for multiple forms of artistic expression, and enhance the total living experience for all the people the Centre is able to touch.

For additional information concerning the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts and the Patrons of the Centre, please contact The Centre at 770-254-ARTS (2787). Or visit the Centre website at, or the Patrons website at

The youth orchestra performance in Newnan will be Sunday, July 25th at 3 p.m. at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. Tickets for adults are $8 and $5 for students and seniors (65+). Tickets are on sale at the following locations the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, Morgans (Ashley Park), Bank of Coweta (Thomas Crossroads location) and Scott’s Bookstore in downtown Newnan. A percentage of all ticket sales will go back to the Centre Strings program. Please email or call 770-253-2682 ext 203 for concert information.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

The Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra will perform its annual Spring Concert on Sunday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will celebrate Jere Flint’s 30th anniversary as Conductor and Music Director of the famed music ensemble. For this concert, the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra will partner with Share Your Soles, an organization that provides shoes to those in need around the world, in a “Music For Your Soles” shoe drive. Concertgoers are invited to bring gently worn shoes to donate. Come enjoy the work of these talented young musicians ranging in age from 13 to 18.

Where: Atlanta Symphony Hall; Woodruff Arts Center; 1280 Peachtree Street, N.E.
When: May 16 at 7:30 PM
Who: Ages 4+
How: Purchase Tickets Cost of event: $12

Ian McFeron live at Java Monkey May 21st

 Ian McFeron & Alisa Milner (from Seattle, WA)
Friday, May 21st, 2010 – 8:00 pm (Free!)
Java Monkey, 205 East Ponce De Leon Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030 - (404) 378-1852

Seattle-based, singer/songwriter Ian McFeron has big plans for 2010. This Spring, McFeron sets out on an ambitious, 16,000 mile tour of the continental United States where he will perform more than 70 shows in less than 90 days, all while functioning as his own, independent record label, booking agency, and management company. “The music industry and the economy at large are facing a lot of challenges right now and there is a lot of speculation about when things are going to turn around, and what that will look like. It’s left a lot of people in limbo, wondering which way to go. I figure that’s a good time for musicians to get back to basics and do what they’ve always done: travel the nation, inspire listeners, and build community.”

The age of digital sharing and declining music sales has been coupled with a receding global economy, hitting independents particularly hard as the middle class budget crunch leaves less disposable income for entertainment. “You see a lot more people coming up in groups to buy cds, pitching in a couple bucks each to buy one album and then pass it around digitally. You hear a lot of the clubs say their attendance is down 30% or more.”

But when times get tough, musicians have always relied on their creativity to find opportunities in the midst of adversity. “I know some folks that are excited about building an online presence through social networking; others talk about publishing revenue from the growing number of web stream music sites and how to get a buzz on YouTube. For me, music has always been about community and there’s no substitute for in the flesh live performance. I’ve always found that if I take the risk and get out there, if I play with sincerity and sing from the heart, the money works itself out somehow. If you can create those spiritual moments of intimacy with the audience they’ll encourage you to come back.”

With a nearly full schedule of summer concerts and festivals and another run of the nation planned in the fall, McFeron estimates he will perform over 160 shows in 2010. “There is something very blue-collar about being an independent touring musician, and that has always been comforting to me for some reason. I have a friend whose parents have a family farm outside Boise, Idaho, and talking with them I’m always surprised by how many parallels there are between what we do and what they do. When we break new ground in new parts of the country, I always feel like we’re out there sowing seeds, getting our roots going and nurturing strong, healthy stalks. And if we’re successful in doing that, we can come back through and reap the harvest. But you don’t get to escape the first part- you have to put your time in and take the risks and pour your heart into it first. Real success always follows some passionate gamble, I think.”

Ian McFeron takes the stage at Java Monkey on Friday, May 21st at 8:00pm, joined by long time musical partner Alisa Milner, a Texas-style fiddler, cellist, and harmony vocalist.

"Ian McFeron plays an earthy yet sophisticated blend of folk, rock, alternative-country and blues that belies the band's youthfulness. And it's danceable, too.” - Gene Stout, Seattle Music Critic

Monday, May 03, 2010

Jere Flint to Lead the Atlanta Sympohny Youth Orchestra in Annual Spring Concert

Sunday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Concert To Celebrate Mr. Flint’s 30th Anniversary As Staff Conductor and Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra

ASYO To Partner With Share Your Soles In “Music For Your Soles” Shoe Drive

Conductor Jere Flint will lead the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra in works by Geoff Knorr, Walton,
Bottesini, and Bernstein for its Spring Concert, Sunday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m., in Atlanta Symphony Hall
at the Woodruff Arts Center. The concert will celebrate Mr. Flint’s 30th anniversary as Staff Conductor
and Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.

In honor of Mr. Flint’s contributions to the community, the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra will
partner with Share Your Soles, an organization that provides shoes to those in need around the world,
in a “Music For Your Soles” shoe drive. Arrangements have been made for concertgoers and members
of the public to bring gently worn shoes to bins located throughout the Woodruff Arts Center campus.
This event will provide aid for the people of Haiti.

About the Repertoire
GEOFF KNORR (b. 1985) Shadows of the Infinite
Geoff Knorr was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, on June 13, 1985. The first performance of
Shadows of the Infinite took place at Friedberg Hall of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore,
Maryland, on September 27, 2008, with Ruben Capriles conducting the Peabody Symphony
Orchestra… (more)
WALTON (1902- 1983) Viola Concerto
William Walton was born in Oldham, England, on March 29, 1902, and died in Ischia, Italy, on March 8,
1983. The first performance of the Viola Concerto took place at Queen’s Hall in London, England, on
October 3, 1929, with Paul Hindemith as soloist and the composer conducting the Henry Wood
Symphony Orchestra…

BOTTESINI (1821- 1889) Concerto No. 1
Giovanni Bottesini was born in Crema, Italy, on December 22, 1821, and died in Parma, Italy, on July 7,
1889. In addition to the solo double bass, the Concerto is scored for flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two
bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, trombone timpani and strings…

BERNSTEIN (1918- 1990) Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on August 25, 1918, and died in New York
on October 14, 1990. The first performance of the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story took place
at Carnegie Hall in New York on February 13, 1961, with Lukas Foss conducting the New York

About the Artists
A frequent conductor of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concerts, Jere Flint leads the ASO's popular
Family Concerts and its Symphony Street concerts for youngsters. He also regularly conducts on the
Classic Chastain pops series at Chastain Park…

About the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra
The Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra is an integral member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
family and a vigorous part of the cultural fabric of its community. The ASYO strives for national
preeminence among youth orchestras, while cultivating the artistic growth and excellence of our
members through enriching orchestral experiences and the mentoring of ASO musicians…

* * *

Single tickets for these performances are $12. All single tickets for the 2009–2010 are available online
at or by calling (404) 733-5000. Tickets may also be purchased at the Woodruff
Arts Center Box Office located in the Woodruff Arts Center at 15th and Peachtree Streets. Box office
hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and
Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

* * *

Atlanta Symphony Hall, Memorial Arts Building, Woodruff Arts Center
Sunday, May 16, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
Jere Flint, conductor
Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra
GEOFF KNORR Shadows of the Infinite
WALTON Viola Concerto
BOTTESINI Concerto No. 1
BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

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