There’s always reason to celebrate a new arts season. The 20th anniversary season for the Clark State Performing Arts Center adds an extra special touch.
PAC Executive Director Stu Secttor and staff have put together the fresh, the familiar and the unexpected to mark the landmark 2013-2014 season.
It kicks off Friday with the Springfield debut of country music legend Vince Gill and his tribute to the Bakersfield sound. The show is sold out.
Canadian musician Jim Witter makes a return appearance Sept. 19, following up his popular Piano Men show, which showcased the music of Elton John and Billy Joel, with his interpretation of another classic duo, Feelin’ Groovy, a musical journey through the 1960s with Simon and Garfunkel.
Another country music star, Rodney Atkins, has had five No. 1 hits in recent years and will perform on Oct. 3 at his first PAC appearance.
The PAC has previously presented “American Idol” stars David Cook and Crystal Bowersox, and continues the tradition Nov. 12. Idol season 11 champion Phillip Phillips, whose song “Home” was one of the biggest pop hits of recent years, plays a show rescheduled from earlier this year. This show is sold out.
As the Springfield Symphony Orchestra celebrates a landmark 70th anniversary this year, it will collaborate with the PAC for the first time. The Dec. 6 holiday concert will pair the symphony with acclaimed pianist Jim Brickman.
The Club Kuss series returns for audiences to experience improvisational comedy, jazz, folk music, Celtic music, electric violin and singer-songwriters, Secttor said.
“I always think our Club Kuss Series is a special opportunity,” he said. “Many people only go to what they know. I encourage people to go to shows they don’t. Club Kuss is the best entertainment people have probably not heard of.”
Club Kuss begins with singer-songwriters Mieka Pauley and Jonathan Kingham, who bring an eclectic blend of music styles with acoustic style to their Oct. 4 appearance.
Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group will present a bluegrass, gospel and American Roots music mix to their Nov. 23 show. Later in the season, the Club Kuss Series will offer various music styles and comedy.
Club Kuss Series tickets cost $30 for adults, $24 for seniors and $15 for students. Each show is appropriate for all audiences and preceded by a lobby party offering free appetizers and a cash bar.
A new program Secttor is excited to introduce is “Try It. You’ll Like it.” This will premiere during the Rhythmic Circus/Feet Don’t Fail Me Now performance on Oct. 17.
“The unusual thing about it is that if you want to come see the show, you can buy tickets in the orchestra section and come just as usual. However, if you want to try it first, you can. We will give you tickets to the mezzanine and/or balcony and then you come to the show.
“If you like it, you can pay us that night or send payment in within two weeks of the show. If you don’t like it, thanks for attending.”
All tickets to that show are $20 for the 20th anniversary.
Clark State’s Theatre Arts Program will present the musical “Next to Normal” in the Turner Theatre Nov. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10. This show is for mature audiences.
Secttor said he is also working on booking other acts for later in the season, so look out for what may be coming.
“I hope people will join us and help celebrate 20 years of great performances in your home for the arts — the Clark State Performing Arts Center.”
For ticket prices and other information, call (937) 328-3874 or go to http://pac.clarkstate.edu/.