August 1, 2008

Music, Magic and More on Tap for 2008-2009 Arts & Letters Series

By Ida Brown, The Meridian Star, Miss.

Aug. 1--A RING MASTER, Clowns, Music -- plus lots and lots of tiny bubbles -- set the stage for Thursday's announcement of Meridian Community College's 2008-2009 Arts & Letters Series season.

"I know we say this every year, but this is our best season yet," said Leia Hill, MCC Foundation Program coordinator.

Music, magic and more are on tap for the series, which is known for spectacular line-ups, programs suitable for the entire family and affordable pricing.

The success of last year's season has changed how tickets will be sold. According to Hill, attendance at Arts & Letters performances has grown so much that the number of season ticketholders far exceeded the capacity of the college's theater.

"Because of this, we will no longer offer season tickets, but will sell tickets for individual performances instead," she said.

Tickets may be purchased in the MCC Foundation office prior to the event or at the door the night of the performance.

Out of 10 performances, three are free of charge. For all other performances, adult tickets are $15, and children, $5.

Tickets for all performances can be purchased by calling the MCC Foundation office, beginning Sept. 2 and will be available throughout the year. For more information, contact Hill at (601) 484-8696 or visit the Web site

Following is an overview of the season's offerings:

Bits 'N Pieces Giant Puppet Theatre --Puss in Boots

Sept. 18, 7 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

In this original adaptation of "The Master Cat," one of the fairy tales collected by French storyteller Charles Perrault, Puss in Boots plots to change young Nat, the Miller's son, from a paw-purr to an aristo-cat. This larger-than-life musical boasts a mix of giant nine-foot tall body puppets, costumed characters, traditional puppetry and children from the audience.


Oct. 23-25, 7 p.m.

Sunday Matinee: Oct. 26, 2 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

"Carnival!," an award-winning Broadway musical, has all of the elements of a fairytale. Based on the 1953 film "Lili," with memorable music and lots of circus eye candy. Join us before the show Thursday, Friday and Saturday for popcorn, cotton candy and Coca-Cola products. Suitable for audiences of all ages.

Paul McKee & the MCC Jazz Band

Nov. 13, 7 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

Trombonist Paul McKee received his bachelor of music in music education from the University of Northern Iowa and his master of music degree in composition from the University of Texas at Austin. Since 1984 he has been a member of Woody Herman's Thundering Herd and continues to tour and record with the band.

MCC Chorus Fall Semester Concert

Dec. 2, 7 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

The Meridian Community College Chorus, under the direction of Tammy Miles and Twyla Hurst, will present an evening of choral literature from various composers, time periods, and cultures. Traditional Christmas repertoire will be included. In addition to the concert choir, MCC's vocal ensemble, Dimensions will entertain the audience with pop, rock and R&B selections. A third ensemble, the MCC High School Chorus, will share music. Afterwards, desserts prepared by Mark Chandler and the MCC Hotel and Restaurant Management Technology group will be served.

Celtic Crossroads

Jan. 29, 7 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

Just when you think you've seen the best Irish music has to offer, an emerging group of traditional Irish musicians take the art form to an entirely new level. Celtic Crossroads -- incorporating seven world-class musicians, playing more than 20 instruments on stage -- is a fantastic spectacle.

The Spencers -- Theatre of Illusion

Feb. 10, 2009, 7 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

The Spencers have redefined the art of illusion and are shattering the stereotype of the traditional magician and assistant. The only artists in history to be named "Performing Arts Entertainers of the Year" for six consecutive years, they have also twice been named "America's Best Entertainers." They have baffled and entertained millions of people in theatres across America, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

A Couple of Blaguards

March 12, 2009, 7 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

Join in right before St. Patrick's Day with "A Couple of Blaguards," a two-character comedy devised by Frank and Malachy McCourt, Irish siblings and scribes. These master raconteurs have collaborated on this program of song and storytelling about their combined experiences growing up in Ireland and their escape to America and turned it into a vaudeville of comedy, Irish songs and a gallery of relatives, rogues, fools and petty tyrants -- priestly and otherwise. The brothers themselves no longer perform the show; Frank has moved on to Pulitzer Prize literary heights for his best-selling memoir "Angela's Ashes," and Malachy remains a gadabout of multiple talents. In the roles of Malachy and Frank, Howard Platt and Jarlath Conroy offer a ribald evening of dour delight, wizard timing and expert blarney.

MCC Community Band

April 5, 2009, 3 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

The Meridian Community College Band was organized in January 1981, under the direction of Carey Smith. The ensemble is comprised of 65 to 80 members, college and auditioned high school players, as well as members of the community at large. The season for the concert band runs from January to July with only two concerts, one each April and then another in late June.

Track 45

April 21, 2009, 7 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

Homegrown Meridian siblings Jenna, Benjamin and K.K. Johnson, with their family, return to the McCain stage for another highly anticipated performance. A crowd favorite, this group offers "something for everyone" in their musical variety show. These multitalented artists play an assortment of instruments and styles, specializing in three-part harmonies. You'll hear everything from bluegrass and oldies to beautiful a cappella and instrumental renditions of classical favorites.

MCC Chorus Spring Semester Concert

May 5, 2009, 7 p.m.

McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

The Meridian Community College Choral Music Department will present a compilation of the year's repertoire. The MCC Chorus, Dimensions and the MCC High School Chorus will perform traditional choral literature and a variety of other musical styles. The MCC choirs and ensembles are directed by Tammy Miles and Twyla Hurst. Mitch Brantley and Daniel Boles are instrumental / technical directors.


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