Group gears up for its 57th season

Tickle the ivories
What: Tupelo Concert Association presents pianist Alpin Hong
When: 2:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Tupelo Civic Auditorium
Tickets: Sold out, but some may be available by calling (662) 842-8945
Extra: Tickets for the association's 2005-06 season go on sale Monday by calling 842-8945. On Thursday, the $40 tickets may be purchased by calling 840-0011

BY M. SCOTT MORRIS

Daily Journal

TUPELO – In the middle of Tupelo Concert Association's 56th sell-out year, it's time to focus on No. 57.

At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, pianist Alpin Hong, who won the 2001 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, will perform at the Tupelo Civic Auditorium.

On Monday, the association and its volunteers will begin selling subscriptions for the four shows in the 2005-06 season.

“We're the oldest continually operating arts organization in Tupelo,” said Jane Riley, the association's publicity chairwoman, “and we're going to keep going.”

Tickets for next year's season are $40, and people may start buying them on Monday by calling (662) 842-8945.

On Thursday, the association's volunteers will open up shop in Room 134 at the Ramada Inn in Tupelo. That office will be open until Jan. 28, and people may also call (662) 840-0011 to purchase tickets.

“People just need to know they can start buying tickets on Monday,” Riley said. “It's open to everyone.”

Big shows

The 2005-06 season will begin Oct. 23 with “American Big Band,” which will be a musical journey through the land of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller.

The show includes hit songs from the Depression Era through the end of World War II.

“It's from Matt Davenport Productions, who's done a lot of our shows in the past,” Riley said. “He does a wonderful job.”

Nov. 9 will bring the Coats to Tupelo. The four-man team is now a full-time group that has performed a cappella music with the Beach Boys and Toby Keith.

“They started out at Pike Place Market in Seattle singing for college tuition and they became a big hit,” Riley said.

Susan Egan will bring her “Belle of Broadway” show to town Jan. 22, 2006. She received a Tony nomination for “Beauty and the Beast,” and she was the voice of Meg in Disney's “Hercules.”

Her show features music by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerry Herman, Alan Menken and more.

The season finale will be April 7, 2006, with the combined talents of tenor Nathan Granner and soprano Lisa Williamson.

“They have gorgeous voices,” Riley said. “They do everything from opera to Broadway.”

Contact M. Scott Morris at 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com