Arts council announces next season

Published 12:44 am Sunday, August 23, 2015

Seasons Change is the theme of the Ironton Council for the Arts upcoming 2015-2016 subscription concert season.

“Change” is a very appropriate term for this year’s series because, in contrast to previous years, all performers either hail from or have strong connections with the Tri-State. In addition, performance venues will include not just Ohio University Southern but also Ironton High School and possibly the Ro-Na Theater.

All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of Christmas Music Magic which begins at 3 p.m.

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Tickets are $10 for individual shows. Season ticket prices are $70 (family), $35 (adult), and $30 (senior citizen and non-Ohio University students). Ohio University students are admitted free with a valid ID.

Tickets may be purchased at the door. Additional information regarding tickets or upcoming performances may be found by visiting the Ironton Council for the Arts web site at Those interested may also email the council at

This year’s season features performances which include popular American standards, instrumentals, bluegrass, traditional Appalachian music and a holiday season concert. The series opens with a Saturday, Sept. 12 performance by high-profile folk and country artists Steve Free and Rob McNurlin in the Ohio University Southern Collins Center Bowman Auditorium.

Free is an internationally acclaimed, award winning singer/songwriter whose music is drawn from his Native American (Shawnee/Cherokee) and Appalachian roots. He has won numerous awards including nine ASCAP awards, a Platinum record, a Grammy nomination and three Americana Music Award nominations, among others.

McNurlin was raised in eastern Kentucky and began studying traditional music and learning hundreds of folk, hillbilly, blues, and gospel tunes at an early age. McNurlin has released six CDs including Lonesome Valley Again which reached No. 26 on the Freeform American charts and No. 55 on the Americana charts.

The River Magic Chorus of Sweet Adelines International will perform in the Ohio University Southern Riffe Center Mains Rotunda on Saturday, Oct. 17. This organization of women singing close barbershop-style harmony will offer all types of music including show tunes and old standards.

The group, directed by Beverly Miller, has travelled to Ireland and has won numerous regional awards.

Sunday, Nov. 29 features Christmas Music Magic with a performance by musicians from the community at the Ironton High School auditorium. Performers include the Ohio University Southern Community band, directed by Dr. Pat McCoy, and the Ironton High School Chorus and St. Joseph Catholic Men’s Choir, both directed by Kathy Price.

On Saturday, March 12, a brass and woodwind ensemble from Marshall University will perform in the Ohio University Southern Riffe Center Mains Rotunda. Marshall’s School of Music and Theater features several high-caliber, nationally recognized faculty artist performers as well as well as numerous faculty and student chamber music ensembles which consistently perform at a high level.

The 2015-2016 Ironton Council for the Arts subscription series will close with the String Therapy Band on Saturday, April 23. The performance venue for this concert will be announced at a later date. This bluegrass band originated in central Ohio in 2001 and is one of today’s premier acoustic acts.

The heart and soul of the band was certainly set for bluegrass, but the band has reached outside the box and covers a broad spectrum of music from the Stanley Brothers to performing original material.