|Students say, the College's Norton Center rocks!
(Senior Stacey Hohl has worked at the College's Norton Centre for the Arts as an usher for three years. She writes about that experience and the recent Homecoming concert that rocked the Norton Center.)
RELEASED: Nov. 4, 2004
DANVILLE, KYEver since I first walked into Newlin Hall four years ago as a freshman, I've loved attending performances at the College's Norton Center for the Arts.
I've seen many of the phenomenal musicals such as Rent, Saturday Night Fever, Kiss Me Kate and Sound of Music and sat in on lectures by numerous notable guests including Arianna Huffington, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, James Earl Jones and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his wife, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.
These have been incredible events, but I think the ones I'll most remember are musical acts such as Rockapella, the Boston Pops, and one of my top favorites, the King's Singers.
I first heard about these six Englishmen my senior year of high school when our concert choir learned some of their most famous songs and later performed them as we toured throughout England and Scotland that summer. While that was an amazing trip, I had no idea at the time I would be meeting them less than six months later while attending their show at the Norton Center.
That night after the show as I laughed and joked with the singers in the lobby while they were autographing the CDs I bought, I knew I'd remember the evening and their down-to-earth and friendly attitudes for a long time. Listening to the King's Singers live and getting to meet them afterwards was a special experience.
A more recent example of a great Norton Center show was Homecoming weekend when Centre students and alumni were treated to a blast from the past.
Combining elements of classic rock 'n' roll as well as pop and R&B, Grammy award-winning singer/guitarist Johnny Rivers energized the performance and had the audience singing and dancing in the aisles.
Often citing great singers and notable songs such as Jimi Hendrix's "English Summer Rain" and Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes," Rivers, and his band, including Rick Jackson on keyboards, Darrel Cook playing bass guitar and Phil Johnes on drums, performed some of his greatest hits such as "Memphis," and "Maybelline." During his encore, Rivers wore a Centre sweatshirt while performing "Secret Agent Man." The majority of his songs first became famous from 1964 through 1977 and many remain popular todayas was evident by the positive student reaction to the show.
Lynetta Mier, a junior from Fredericktown, Mo., called the show a "broadening of my horizons." She went on to say watching Rivers perform was "a chance to hear the live music that I'd heard everybody else talk about."
Elisha Sircy, a sophomore from Paducah, Ky., described the performance as "a mix of new and exciting as well as nostalgic."
Cindy Arnold, executive secretary to the president, agreed and added, "He sounds the same 40 years later. It was great!"
But perhaps one of the most enthusiastic students at the concert was J.J. McConaha, a freshman from Parksville, Ky., who said, "Johnny Rivers rocks! It was the greatest concert ever!"
Shows like the King's Singers and Johnny Rivers are just two of the many reasons that every year I always see more shows than are required to earn Centre's yearly fine arts convocation credit. I'd go see all these shows even if none of them were required for credit and I think many of my peers would agree with me too.
The College's Norton Center for the Arts, in its 31st season, is an internationally acclaimed performing arts center that annually brings to Centre a series of acclaimed musical groups, Broadway shows, individual performances and other works from the performing arts. A complete series schedule and subscription information are available upon request by calling toll-free at (877) 448-7469. You can also learn more by visiting http://www.centre.edu/nc/.
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