Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Meridian Community College’s Arts & Letters Series is once again offering Meridian and the surrounding communities an exciting year of entertainment.
“Our season offers an assortment of varied styles and genres," said Leia Hill, Arts & Letters Series program coordinator. "No matter what you enjoy, classical, bluegrass or choral music, children’s entertainment, drama ... we have it all.”
If quality, budget-friendly entertainment is what your family is looking for, then MCC’s Arts & Letters Series is the ticket. Most shows are $10 for adult tickets and $5 for children’s tickets.
“We also have performances that are free,” Hill said.
“The purpose of the series is to offer the community affordable options for arts and entertainment. A family of five can attend a show for just $35. You just can’t beat that.”
All performances will be held in the McCain Theater, located on the MCC campus in Ivy Hall. The theater opens approximately 30 minutes prior to show time and there will be no admission after the show has started.
Take a look at the 2013-2014 season lineup:
Three Billy Goats Gruff performed by Bits ‘N Pieces Puppet Theatre
Sept. 19, 7 p.m.
Giant glow-in-the-dark puppets dominate the stage in the classic Three Billy Goats Gruff. Children will delight in the lively musical action with these larger-than-life puppets performed by the internationally acclaimed Bits ‘N Pieces Puppet Theatre. This toe-tapping musical production features towering 9-foot-tall dancing puppets, live actress Holli Rubin and a host of other singing and dancing characters. It is up to Bluff, Fluff and Tuff Gruff, the three goats, to cross a narrow bridge. “Trip, trap, trip, trap,” the goat’s feet go as they try to sneak across the bridge. “Who dares to cross my Bridge?,” asks Upchuk the Bully Troll. He wants no one to cross the bridge. Bluff, Fluff and Tuff must cooperate, communicate and negotiate to eat a dinner of fresh tasty green grass on the other side of the bridge.
Mississippi Chris Sharp and Friends
Oct. 1, 7 p.m.
Join Meridian's own singer/songwriter/recording artist Mississippi Chris Sharp as he and his friends bring an evening of musical magic. From the stage of nationally-syndicated radio and television program, The Sucarnochee Revue, to the McCain Theater, Mississippi Chris and friends will entertain you with a high-energy acoustic roots musical performance. This performer has been a crowd-favorite, regular cast member and producer on the Sucarnochee Revue since its inception. His music has been called, "Spicy Americana at its best."
Jekyll & Hyde
MCC Fine Arts Department
Oct. 24-26, 7 p.m.; Oct. 27, 2 p.m.
A true musical theatre phenomenon, JEKYLL & HYDE attracted legions of loyal fans even before the show began its smash-hit Broadway run. An evocative tale of the epic battle between good and evil, JEKYLL & HYDE is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story about a brilliant doctor whose experiments with human personality create a murderous counterpart. Convinced the cure for his father's mental illness lies in the separation of man's evil nature from his good, Jekyll unwittingly unleashes his own dark side, wreaking havoc in the streets of London as the savage, maniacal Edward Hyde. This gothic musical is the perfect opportunity to kick-start your Halloween weekend.
The Meridian Community College Jazz Band
Nov. 7, 7 p.m.
The Meridian Community College Jazz Band is an instrumental ensemble with a long history. The group rehearses in the fall as the Monday Night Jazz Band. In 1984 the band played at the World’s Fair in New Orleans and was featured on the 100th Anniversary Concert Series at Carnegie Hall in New York, March of 1991. Auditions are necessary for this ensemble and are open to MCC students on first priority basis. The band has been invited five times to play at the nationally-recognized “Jazz in the Grove” festival. Auditions are held each fall and rehearsals are from 7-9 p.m. most Mondays. This year the group will focus on new music for the ensemble, some by area composers. Five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones and a rhythm section comprise the unit.
MCC Dimensions Fall Semester Concert
Nov. 14, 7 p.m.
Dimensions is MCC’s high-energy show group. Performing some 30 shows per year, this vocal band is featured at campus and community events, civic events, festivals, pageants and high schools on local and state levels. They present an exciting performance of song-and-dance routines with a live band. Their style includes everything from pop, classic rock, rhythm and blues, Motown and rap. Comprised of talented singers, dancers, instrumentalist and technicians from many different majors throughout the college, members of the group all receive music scholarships. Auditions for the group are held each year in late April for the following academic semesters. They are under the direction of Tammy Miles and Twyla Hurst along with Mitch Brantley, instrumental director, and Daniel Boles, technical director.
Christmas Gala presented by the MCC Chorus and MCC Guitar Ensemble
Dec. 5, 7 p.m.
The Meridian Community College Chorus and MCC Guitar Ensemble will present a joint concert venture, the MCC Christmas Gala. The performance will be filled with seasonal sounds of joy and celebration as these ensembles share their skill and musical excellence. The MCC Chorus is under the direction of Twyla Hurst and Tammy Miles. The MCC Guitar Ensemble is under the direction of Mitch Brantley. Guitar students of Brantley have won awards in the Pine Belt Guitar Symposium, the Aguado Club Guitar Competition and the Mississippi Guitar Festival. Both musical organizations actively perform for events on campus, in the community and at statewide festivals. Afterwards, enjoy with us delicious desserts prepared by Mark Chandler and the MCC Hotel and Restaurant Management Technology group.
Jan. 16, 2014, 7 p.m.
Back to the MCC stage are Meridian siblings Jenna, Benjamin and K.K. Johnson. These young adults have learned to appreciate a variety of musical styles – and they can play and sing them all. Known for their versatility, they love to entertain. They arrange their own music offering “something for everyone” in their musical variety. 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.
Wizard of Oz performed by American Family Theater
Feb. 4, 2014, 7 p.m.
Follow the yellow brick road on a magical musical journey and share Dorothy’s fantastic adventures with the Tinman, Scarecrow, Lion and the Wizard. In this bright and engaging musical from American Family Theater, award-winning lighting and special effects will amaze the audience as you watch this group of friends learn the timeless message that everyone’s strengths lie within.
All Shook Up performed by Lauderdale County High Schools
Feb. 27-28 and March 1, 2014, 7 p.m.; March 2, 2014, 2 p.m.
All Shook Up, inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley, will be performed by the Lauderdale County High Schools. It's 1955, and into a square little town in a square little state rides a guitar-playing roustabout who changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling, lip-curling musical fantasy that'll have you jumpin' out of your blue suede shoes with such classics as "Heartbreak Hotel," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Don't Be Cruel." All Shook Up is an ideal night of entertainment for audiences of all ages.
Meridian Community College Band
March 23, 2014, 2 p.m.
The Meridian Community College Band was organized in 1981, under the direction of Carey Smith. Today, the ensemble is comprised of 50-60 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 April. The band’s repertoire consists of famous marches, new music written for the ensemble, highlights from Broadway shows, novelty pieces and serious orchestral transcriptions of overtures. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy one of Meridian’s own instrumental gems.
MCC Fine Arts
April 10-12, 2014, 7 p.m.; April 13, 2014, 2 p.m.
Based on Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes and the smash-hit 1999 Disney animated film, TARZAN tells the story of an infant boy orphaned on the shores of West Africa. Taken in and raised by a tribe of gorillas, the young boy strives for acceptance by his ape father while grappling with his uniqueness. When a human expedition enters their territory, Tarzan - now a man - encounters strangers like himself for the first time. TARZAN features music and lyrics by music icon Phill Collins, including the Grammy and Oscar winning song, "You'll Be in My Heart," and book by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang.
MCC Chorus Spring Semester Concert
May 6, 2014, 7 p.m.
The MCC Choral Music Department will present a compilation of the year’s repertoire. The MCC Chorus will perform traditional choral literature and a variety of other musical styles. After a brief intermission, Dimensions will take the stage for an electrifying 45 minutes of vocal, instrumental and dance skills complete with lights, staging and non-stop energy that will have you dancing in the aisles. The MCC choirs and ensembles are directed by Tammy Miles and Twyla Hurst. Mitch Brantley and Daniel Boles are instrumental technical directors.