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Arts council announces 25th season

As they reached 25 years of service to the community, the Ironton Council for the Arts wanted to do something big to celebrate.

They figured the best way to do that was to put together the best season they could for their silver anniversary.

"The big thing is it's our 25th anniversary, and we've been trying to pick outstanding performers for this particular season in recognition of that," ICA President Bruce Brown said.

The season kicks off Oct. 14 with Jesse and Leslie Davis, husband and wife pianists hailing from North Carolina.

Jesse is the winner of the 2001 Vienna International Pianists Competition, and and Leslie won First Prizes in the Durham Symphony Young Artist Competition and the Greensboro Music Teachers Association Piano Competition.

They'll be followed Nov. 18 by some authentic folk music courtesy of Jennifer Rose, a classically trained musician who first got her feet wet musically in Berea, Ky. She now blends her training and folk music roots to create a style all her own.

The council will mark the holidays with a performance by the River Magic Chorus of Sweet Adelines International from Huntington, W.Va., on Dec. 2. In their 28th year, the ladies of the chorus will show audiences why they were the first American chorus in history to compete at the Irish Association of Barbershop Singers Convention in Dublin.

The new year start off with a twang on Jan. 14 by Bottomline Bluegrass, just returning from their European tour, a five-piece band offering contemporary and traditional bluegrass .

Ticket holders will take a break from the music on Feb. 4 with a visit from Theodore Roosevelt, as portrayed by Chicago historian and actor Derek Evans. This marks Evans' 11th year of playing the nation's 26th president.

"We hadn't done that in a couple of years, put in an impersonation," Brown said. "We like that because it's the historical thing, and a lot of it has to do with our own area."

The series returns to musical performance on March 3 to close the season out Tina Bergmann and Bryan Thomas as they weave a tapestry of traditional American fiddle tunes and Celtic jigs on their hammered dulcimer and bass.

All shows will take place at Ohio University Southern.

Tickets for any of the shows are $7 at the door for adults and $6 for seniors and full-time students. Season tickets are also available, at a cost of $50 for a family and $25 for an individual.

All those shows, and Ironton Council for the Arts may still not be done. Although he can't say much about it, Brown hinted that audiences could expect the announcement of one other "big show."