PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble Coming Feb.2nd!

A "free*" concert by the Air Force "Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble" is coming Monday evening, at 7:30 PM, February 2nd to the Princess Theatre.  This is an evening's entertainment, sponsored by the Princess Theatre Foundation, and Roane State Community College Arts and Lecture Departments, that is sure to please the whole family!

The Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble is a group of 18 professional enlisted musicians whose repertoire ranges from traditional big band jazz, to bebop and swing, to modern jazz. At one of their concerts, you are just as likely to hear the music of contemporary composers as you would the classic sounds of Count Basie or Glenn Miller.  Several of the band's members are also gifted composers and arrangers, and their compositions are often featured in concert.
The band has backed many jazz greats such as Tex Benecke, Denis DiBlasio, Jamey Aebersold, Mike Smith, Bobby Shew, Allen Vizzutti, Jeff Jarvis, Mike Vax, Vaughn Nark, Bill Porter, Carmen Bradford, Shelley Berg, Joe Morello, Steve Houghton, and Walt Levinsky.  Furthermore, the ensemble is often requested for featured performances at jazz clinics and festivals throughout the country.

Occasionally, the Shades of Blue marches onto home plate to perform national anthems for Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball games, or onto center court to perform for Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks National Basketball Association games.  They also pay frequent tribute to the Air Force's musical heritage, and have collaborated with actor Wilford Brimley on a highly acclaimed salute to Major Glenn Miller.

Whether performing for a head of state, before a capacity crowd in northern Wisconsin, or for our troops at home and abroad, the Shades of Blue reflects the heritage and pride of our great nation and the United States Air Force.

A special "thank you" goes out to Zack Williamson, Kingston High School Band Director, for his assistance in putting this event together.  Without his creative thinking and endeavor, would not have been possible.

Mr. Williamson has served as director/conductor of the Roane County School Band since 1988. Prior to assuming duties at RCHS, he served as band director at Greenback High School for two years and Lewis County High School for one year. 

For over 20 years he has served his country as an active member of the 572nd Air Force Band (Tennessee Air National Guard).

*Even though this is a "free" event, tickets must be obtained in order to assure seating.  Tickets will be made available at the usual locations: Rocky Top General Store and Harriman Jewelry Exchange.  They should have tickets sometime next week, so call ahead to ensure availability.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Between Now And May - UPCOMING EVENTS!

Below are the events scheduled for the Princess Theatre.  I understand that there are a couple more in the works, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Kingdom Heirs This Friday Night!

Back for the third time, The Kingdom Heirs will perform on the Princess stage this Friday evening.  Doors open at 6PM, but, if it's cold, the doors will be opened earlier.

Tickets are $15 and $20, depending on where you want to sit, and the proceeds go to the Midtown 1st District Volunteer Fire Department.  

Tickets are available at 4 stores around town (see below), and you can purchase at the door the night of the concert.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Kentucky Headhunters Are Coming Back May 30th!

Wow, they just couldn't wait to come back and see us again!  They told us they'd be back!

If you go online right now you will see that tickets are already on sale...they will go fast, so HURRY! 

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!  Only $26.50 (taxes and all)!

If you don't remember their last March visit, GO HERE and see all the photos of the great time we had then!

Opening for them this trip is JESCO!

The door's will Open at 7:00pm and the show will start at 8:00pm with East Tennessee's own "JESCO".  Then at 9:00pm hold on to your seat's because The Headhunters will give you a evening of music and hard hitting entertainment you won't ever forget.

"JESCO'S" root's run deep in the mountains around East Tennessee; most of the members are from the area.  They have headlined for several top name acts across the country. Their new CD will be released later this year, and it will have you wanting to kick your boot's off and make yourself at home.

So Get Ready To Hear Thunder On the Mountain when these awesome band's hit the stage!  It will be the one concert event of the year!   

You Will Not Want To Miss This!

I can hardly wait! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"A Christmas Snow" Played At The Princess Saturday Evening

A modest crowd got to watch "A Christmas Snow" Saturday evening with the star, Muse Watson.  It's not often that happens in your life!
I suppose I was the luckiest one of all, since I sat with him in the balcony (don't tell Megan...we weren't supposed to be up there).  He listened to the audience reactions to specific scenes; even peering over the rail a few times.  
Fortunately for me, it was dark in the theater, and he couldn't tell when I got verklempt during a couple of my favorite scenes.  When Katie finds her father's pocket watch is one, but the kicker is when she sees Sam outside the window near the end.  Gets me every time!

It was wonderful sitting up there remembering yesteryear; hearing the rattle of popcorn bags and the smell was awesome.  Yes, I had a bag too!
Muse has many devoted followers in Harriman and they always flock around him given the opportunity.  We are fortunate to have him in this area, and he maintains a small farm locally in order to have a place to stay during special events.  His celebrity has been a plus for the Princess, and he never passes up and opportunity to promote it.  
He also loves reminding us of "the dream", and he brought three reasons for that dream out on stage with him.
During the brief intermission, Chris Mason pulled ticket numbers and the Simply Sweet Bakery gave away cookie tins.  Do your remember the give-aways during movies long ago?

This was the second movie of the holiday season and I think most people really appreciated the nostalgic throwback.  There are no more movies scheduled for now, but you can rest assured there will be more.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Packed House Enjoys The Dr. Eric Littleton Christmas Concert

This was the third concert Dr. Eric Littleton has played at the Princess Theatre in Harriman.  It has become a tradition, and he has already made plans to return next Christmas.  
Also, I think I overheard that he's coming back in March; I'm sure the community will again respond by filling the house!

Never are we so thankful to Janet Gasperetii for donating the beautiful Yamaha piano, than when Dr. Littleton expertly tickles the keys!  Thank you Janet!

Harriman's own Dr. Littleton is happiest when he is playing the piano.  His beautiful mother told me that they once had to send him a keyboard to college so he could get over homesickness and boredom.  

Not only does he have several pianos in his home, he also has one in his doctor's office in Sevierville.  He'll be quick to tell you that he only practices as a doctor in order to play the piano!

Those in attendance was treated to all the Christmas favorites, plus he worked in some Floyd Cramer, so show tunes, and some Righteous Brothers.  However, as usual, his music reflects his strong faith.
Between songs Dr. Littleton likes to give the history of the song he is going to play.  He also interjects some Harriman history; mostly from his school days back in the early 70's.  The crowd loves it all and cheered at the mention of old names and events he mentioned.
In the photo above he is holding an algebra test from when he had Mr. Thompson in high school.  "I made a 63 on this test, the lowest grade I ever made," he explained, "and everyone else in the class made a 63," which would have been good news because of the "curve", "except Scott Mason made 93!"  The crowd laughed hardily, because Scott was in the audience!

After that, he played the Harriman High Alma Mater!
Muse Watson was his special guest, and he never fails to please, whether it be reading a poem or singing.  Singing was out of the question this visit, since he has been very sick with bronchitis.  However, his poem "The Christmas Guest", by Helen Steiner Rice, was very touching and right in line with the season.
And, of course, Dr. Littleton brought out his son Caleb to accompany him on "Little Drummer Boy".  He says it's really so his grandmother can see and hear him on stage.  Regardless, the two work well with each other; both are huge talents.
One of the most poignant moments during the concert, for me anyway, was while he was showing old home movies of his family and playing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".  One slide that came up was an old Sunbeam Bread ad, and I remember seeing his dad "Jim" driving around in that old Sunbeam truck many times.  

I could not help but get a little choked up seeing that and Dr. Eric silhouetted on stage.  He said he almost didn't make it through rehearsal himself!  

I understand why too, because that job paid for all those piano lessons, and college for him and his brother Mark.  We owe so much to our parents...thank them before it's too late!
There was also a cheer from the audience when the new screen started down.  It will be quite emotional for most of us when that happens, for a long time to come.  We have waited so long.

Here are some of the other photos from before and after the show.  Both signed autographs and greeted each person attending the event.
It was a great show...wish you had been able to make it!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Kingdom Heirs - January 9th!

This benefits the 
Midtown 1st District Volunteer Fire Department.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Babahatchie Community Band Performs For Christmas

For the fourth time, the Babahatchie Community Band played the Princess Theatre.  It was the second time they have performed their Christmas Concert, and a modest crowd seemed pleased with what was presented.
  Mr. McCall Bohanan has been the conductor for at least the six years I've been following them.  Last night McCall was presented with an early Christmas gift from Dr. Joe and the band.  His efforts are great appreciated.
Bohanan does a great job at arranging their music and working with "student" players from the area high schools, and the elder musicians like founder Dr. Joe Williams and his long time friend Dr. Julian Ahler.  Mixing new and seasoned musicians isn't as easy as it sounds, but Bohanan encourages each group to perform at their very best on performance nights!
Bill Farnham and Luther True
Mr. Bill Farnham, narrated the evenings music pieces, bringing his own brand of humor to the presentations.  It's always interesting and entertaining to be in his company.  Bill is also a very talented actor who performs frequently with the Roane State Players.
Special guest vocalist, Sandy Wells, of Oliver Springs, impressed the audience with her command of the stage and the music she presented.  There is so much talent in our area, and we have yet to tap into it.  There are many more than need to be seen and heard on our Princess stage.
For more than 20 years, the band has performed for Harriman residents several times each year, with popular classics, marches, brass band music, and show tunes.  They perform in the gazebo at Riverfront Park on scheduled Sundays during the summer.  The tuba and euphonium players also get together the 2nd Saturday in December for the annual Merry Tuba Christmas, held at the Harriman High School gym. 

The full group, usually about 30 members strong, was formed by Dr. Joseph (Joe) Williams in 1989.  The band holds weekly rehearsals, which are open to the public and held in the Harriman High School band room most any Monday evening around 8 PM.  
You are invited to join the band anytime, just show up; they would enjoy your company!

Also remember to support this group with your donations at their performances.  It's only through your help that the group is able to bring us this wonderful music.  Thanks!
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