The Annie Moses Band, described as from cotton patch to concert hall will bring their music to the Paris Center of Fine Arts Sunday, Nov. 11. The band is named in honor of the group’s great-grandmother, who sacrificed and pinched pennies to provide music lessons to her daughter. (Special to The Prairie Press)

Performance lineup

Performances on the Prairie to host diverse and spectacular lineup

Tickets for the 2018-2019 season for the Paris Center of Fine Arts — Performances on the Prairie — are now available for purchase, according to PCOFA fine arts manager Kristin Chittick.

The third season kicks off Sept. 8-9 when magician Reza returns with his “Edge of Illusion” production. Chittick said Reza appeared here two years ago and has been specifically requested by community patrons for the return engagement. 

Chittick emphasized many of the season’s productions to be presented at the 500-seat theater were requested by local residents.

The second show of the season, the Indiana State University percussion ensemble was recommended by Paris 95 music teacher Jonathon Boren, Chittick noted. The ensemble will present, “a drum filled night of entertainment,” she emphasized, adding the group has been entertaining for more than 40 years.

The Annie Moses Band, with support of headliner sponsor Doug Hasler, performed last season at Rose-Hulman and several local residents recommended the band. The show is planned from 7-9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.

The group describes itself as from the cotton patch to the concert hall. The name of the band is in honor of Annie Moses, the great-grandmother of the group members. The Annie Moses Band is leading an artistic renaissance through strength of family and a message of faith, inspiring all generations to join in the beauty and excitement of highly skilled musicianship.

On Sunday, Dec. 9, the Scott Wattles Band the Fabulous Blue Suede Crew, will present a Christmas show featuring the Paris High School and Mattoon High School choirs.

The season resumes  March 9 with the popular Fabulous Forties Big Band. “This is a show that has been very popular and it’s back by popular demand,” Chittick noted. Music from the 1930s through 2000s will be featured, followed by the Rose-Hulman Jazz Band, on March 30.

Chittick said a show that is creating excitement is Carpenters Once More, featuring vocalist Diana Lynn, who played to sold out shows in Branson, Mo. The show is scheduled April 27 and will feature hits from the brother sister musical group including “Yesterday Once More,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “For All We Know,” and many others.

The final show of the year is “Mutts Gone Nuts,” to be presented in two shows May 4, Chittick said. Scott and Joan Houghton and nine rescue dogs, adopted from animal shelters and rescues, present a comedy dog thrill show that includes flying Frisbee dogs, tightwire dogs, dancing dogs as well as Sammie the talking dog.

The Houghtons use positive, reward-based training methods reinforcing behaviors with treats, toys and praise, looking for what dogs do naturally.

The PCOFA has a new web site and logo, designed by Paris native Larken Ogle Lech, who now works in Nashville, Tenn. “We’re looking to have a professional presence to match the outstanding facility we have in Paris,” Chittick said.

The PCOFA advisory committee is charged with bringing to the theater entertainment for the community. Paris 95 Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Larson, who serves as the facilities manager for Paris High School, schedules school and community uses of the theater, such as the recent Paris Community Theater’s successful first production.

“It was exciting being a part of the community theater and to see how the show was embraced by the community,” Chittick observed. “The support for the arts continues to be strong in our county.”

Chittick and the advisory committee are in the process of mailing 300 informational letters to potential supporters in the PCOFA’s first major fund drive to support the

not-for-profit group. 

“We have been given a promise of a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $75,000, from the generous vision of the Hasler Foundation,” Chittick said, noting no gift is too large or too small. The gifts would be tax deductible if given by the end of 2018.

“Whether it is a gift of $25 or $5,000, a donation will help build a strong foundation for the future of the Paris Center of Fine Arts,” Chittick emphasized. 

She said a donor may also meet with her or any member of the committee to structure gift in the preferred manner.

The PCOFA is also seeking sponsors for the shows, she said. The cost of the shows this season ranges from $1,000 to $7,000.

The new piano to be used by the facility in memory of the late Moke Owens, will arrive once the climate-controlled storage area is completed. The piano storage will be located near the theater. 

Members of the advisory committee are Harry Hughes, president; Steve Benefiel, vice-president; Erica Nail, treasurer; Jeremy Larson, secretary and members Lorraine Bailey, Sue Anne Casey, Steve Eitel, Angela Griffin, Ned Jenison, Warren Sperry, Michael Step, Lisa Tucker and Danette Young.

Tickets for the upcoming shows may be purchased at Prospect Bank and online at www.pcofa.net.

The Prairie Press

101 Central Avenue Paris, IL 61944