First Presbyterian Church to launch performing arts series

Holly Viers • Feb 10, 2019 at 10:37 AM

KINGSPORT — A full slate of world-class performers will be coming to the Model City this year as part of a new performing arts series at First Presbyterian Church.

Designed to be a gift to the surrounding community, the series will feature musical ensembles, a solo artist and a theater group. The first performance will take place later this month, and tickets are available now.

Starting the series

Mark Davis, director of music ministries at First Presbyterian, said the church offers sponsored concerts occasionally, but church leaders were seeking other ways to connect with more people in the community.

“How better than through music and the arts that speak to us all so powerfully?” Davis said. “So that’s been my driving force, and our worship committee over the last year or year and a half has absolutely embraced that kind of a vision and has gotten excited about it and worked very hard together to make it happen.”

The first performance

The American Spiritual Ensemble will kick off the series. Featuring singers from Broadway and the Metropolitan Opera, the group has given more than 500 performances around the world.

The ensemble is “committed to touching the world with the faith of the American Negro Spiritual, as well as show tunes, opera and jazz,” according to a press release. The performance will take place Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the church, located at 100 W. Church Circle.

“When I thought of establishing this concert series, I thought this would be the most electrifying, exciting way to initiate it and make a huge impact on our community, because they are dynamic,” Davis said. “Everybody who hears this ensemble wherever they perform comes away saying, ‘I have never been so moved or heard a choir that sings with such power or such passion.’ So it’s really thrilling.”

How to attend

Tickets for the first performance are available now. Adult tickets are $25 each, while senior tickets are $20 and student tickets are $10. Children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge.

To reserve tickets, call (423) 245-0104 or visit www.firstpreskingsport.org and click “Reservations.” Tickets can also be purchased at the church on Sunday mornings or during the week in the church office.

On the day of the performance, doors will open one hour early, and any remaining tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Other performances

Next up in the series is the Paramount Chamber Players, who will perform March 14 and May 2 at 7:30 p.m. On May 17, award-winning recording artist John McCutcheon will take the stage at 7:30 p.m., and on Sept. 6-8, the Friends of the Groom Theater Company will offer workshops and performances.

“We promise that every event will be an experience that they’ll walk away feeling moved and uplifted and hopefully connected to their community and to their fellow human beings,” Davis said.