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GAAC announces season 37 line up

From October through January, the Greenville Area Arts Council will be bringing a musical treat to the Camellia City each and every month.

“The lineup for the 2018-19 season offers everything from the best of our homegrown talent to the return of a group that brought us an amazing light show coupled with great music,” GAAC artistic director Nancy Idland said. “It’s still all offered at an amazing price – only $40 for all four shows when you purchase season tickets.”

The GAAC’s 37th season kicks off on Oct. 11 with the legendary country group Shenandoah featuring Greenville native Marty Raybon.

Raybon was one of the original members of the group when it was founded in the mid-80s in Muscle Shoals. Shenandoah went on to chart an impressive 26 singles, including several No. 1 hits and multiple Country Music Association (CMA) and Grammy Awards and nominations. The group disbanded in 1997 with Raybon going on to perform with his brother, Tim.

Shenandoah reunited in 2000, with Raybon returning as the group’s lead vocalist in 2014. The band has been lauded for its rebellion against the “Urban Cowboy” wave of the ’80s, as they led the way to the “New Traditionalism” of the ’90s.

As for native son Raybon, his voice has been described as “blending the soulfulness of rhythm and blues with the lonely intensity of great country music.”

“We are so excited to have a band of the caliber of Shenandoah kicking off our season this fall featuring one of our very own,” Idland said. “I know plenty of folks will want to turn out to support Marty and enjoy their wonderful songs celebrating the south.”

On Nov. 8, a country legend will be remembered with the tribute show, “Stand By Your Man,” featuring songs made famous by the late Mississippi-born singer-songwriter, Tammy Wynette.

“Tammy was known as the ‘First Lady of Country Music’ and so many of her songs, like ‘Stand By Your Man’ and her duets with George Jones, are country classics,” Idland said. “I know it’s going to be another great show.”

In addition, there will be holiday tunes and homegrown talent a-plenty to usher in the most wonderful time of the year as “Christmas at the Ritz” returns on Dec. 4.

“It’s been several years since the Ritz Players have done a Christmas show,” Idland said. “We are excited to be bringing this beloved production back to the Ritz stage. It will certainly put everyone in the holiday spirit.”

The GAAC artistic season will wrap things up in a big way in January 2019 with the return of the acclaimed Black Jacket Symphony with the Eagles: Hotel California on Jan. 17.

“BJS was with us a few years ago with their Fleetwood Mac show and it was an unforgettable experience,” Idland recalled. “Our own Greenville High School Band had the opportunity to join the group on stage for a special performance of ‘Tusk’ – and what an amazing night it was. The group features not only fine professional musicians and vocalists; they also put on a phenomenal light show, the likes of which had not been seen before their first production in Greenville. The music of the Eagles is loved by so many people; what a way to close out our season.”

Individual tickets will be $20 for adults and $15 for students, or you can purchase a season ticket in advance for $40.

“Our season tickets are definitely the best bang for your buck,” Idland said. “If you didn’t get your ticket order form in the mail, you can call us at (334) 354-2802, message us on our FB page or send your checks made out to the GAAC to us at P.O. Box 825, Greenville, AL 36037.”

Season tickets sales alone cannot cover the costs of bringing four shows to the hometown stage, so sponsorships are also important.

“We welcome donations of all sizes – call me soon if you are interested in helping support the arts in our county and we will get you in our season’s programs,” Idland said. “Plan to come out and enjoy another amazing artistic season at our own Ritz Theatre.”

For more information, visit www.gaac-ritz.com or go to the Greenville Area Arts Council Facebook page.