By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
The Cultural Foundation of Harrison County has been working diligently to continue to bring some exciting talents to the area for its 2017-2018 season of ‘Grand Performances’. Once again, there will be four presentations – two to be offered in the fall and two closer to spring.
Because holiday preparations typically move to the forefront in November and December, the first two shows will be held during September and October, prior to the holiday hoopla. Then, because winter weather in January and February often makes travel prohibitive, the final two presentations will be offered in March and April. ALL shows this year will be held at Robert C. Byrd High School in Clarksburg.
The Cultural Foundation is pleased to announce that country music star Marty Stuart will kick off the series on Saturday, September 23rd. Stuart is a Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and musician who has played alongside many of the masters in country music – from Johnny Cash to Lester Flatt, who discovered him.
Recently, Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform “Time Don’t Wait”, a song from his 18th studio album titled Way Out West. Country music fans should be delighted to welcome Stuart to the local area!
“Two on Tap” will be the second feature of the season on Friday, October 27th. This singing/dancing duo will take the audience back in time to an era when couples like Fred & Ginger and Mickey & Judy filled the silver screen with their chemistry and precision tap dancing. The audience can expect to hear unique musical arrangements and great vocals while watching exciting choreography!
Changing things up a bit, “Three Redneck Tenors” will put their new spin on the tenor genre as they perform in Harrison County on Friday, March 9th. Although they are classically trained veteran artists, their musical comedy has been compared to “Duck Dynasty doing to Carnegie Hall” with down home laughs and big city music! Wearing blue jeans, t-shirts and tuxedo jackets, they were finalists on America’s Got Talent and have been thrilling audiences ever since.
The second ‘Grand Performances’ season will conclude on Thursday, April 26th with the “Side Street Strutters Orchestra”, a group that formed while they were students at Arizona State University in 1983, focusing on early New Orleans jazz. They are still entertaining more than three decades later!
Cultural Foundation member Dolores Yoke commented, “We are so thrilled to be sharing the best of the world’s entertainment with our friends and neighbors here in north central West Virginia. I like knowing these shows have been screened and brought here for their star quality and excitement … plus, they’re appropriate for everyone!”
Grand Performances season tickets are $100 and are available online at www.theculturalfoundation.org/grand performances. This year, the Cultural Foundation is also offering an added convenience of local ticket outlets throughout Harrison County. Ticket outlets include: Bandland, located at 143 E. Pike Street in Clarksburg; Shinnston Shop N Save, located at 540 S. Pike Street in Shinnston; Showtime Music, located in the Meadowbrook Mall; and The Music Center, located at 795 W. Main Street in Bridgeport.
This concert series is made possible by the Barbara B. Highland Fund for the Arts, a generous endowment from longtime resident and patron of the arts, the late Barbara Brennan Highland.
Mrs. Yoke concluded, “Mrs. Highland loved community concerts. They brought the world’s best music and dance here to be enjoyed with her parents, her friends and later her daughter. Now, our ‘Grand Performances’ series is another of her generous gifts to us all.”