Vocalists and musicians with ties to the communities of Tina and Avalon have been rehearsing and preparing for the annual Tina-Avalon Country Music Show which will be Friday and Saturday, March 17-18, at the Tina-Avalon School. The Country Music Show is a long-standing tradition showcasing local talent during a two-night concert that raises funds for scholarships and school improvements.
Vocalists and musicians with ties to the communities of Tina and Avalon have been rehearsing and preparing for the annual Tina-Avalon Country Music Show which will be Friday and Saturday, March 17-18, at the Tina-Avalon School. The Country Music Show is a long-standing tradition showcasing local talent during a two-night concert that raises funds for scholarships and school improvements. This is the show’s 34th year, and in order to be eligible to perform, individuals must have some connection to the Tina and Avalon communities. Performers could be T-A graduates, employees or students of the school, a child of someone who graduated from T-A, someone who lives in the Tina or Avalon areas, etc. “We’ve been blessed with a lot of talent in the show,” said Suzanne Stark, who is a co-director of the show with Ben Savage. Year after year, the small school 20 miles south of Chillicothe draws a big crowd each night of the show. “People enjoy coming here,” Stark said. “It’s a family atmosphere. There’s a free-will donation so people can give what they feel they can give. They can come and enjoy music and enjoy laughter.” Most of the show’s music genre will be country; however, some older rock ’n’ roll songs also will be played. There is a broad range of country songs in the lineup. “There will be some old style and some of the newer style,” Stark said. “Hopefully, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.” Also, as in past years, the show will be interspersed with comedy. The band and performers have been practicing for this year’s show since January. Band members are: Jeff Sears, drums; Dennis Clemons, keyboard; Lee Jones, saxophone; Carl Walby, rhythm guitar; Billy Smith, bass guitar and harmonica; Jaime Hesler, lead guitar & mandolin; Dylan Rucker & Katie Daugherty, acoustic guitar; Brad Dietz, trumpet. Carolyn Mayberry, one of the show’s pioneers, returns to the stage with her accordion once again this year. Other performers are Ben Savage, Carl Walby, Penny Kennebeck, Brad Dietz, Lyndsey Todd, Makhenna & Ciera Murphy, Kris and Konner Gilson, Emma Suchsland, Cindia Costner, Suzanne Stark, Lexi Yung, Zachary Grossman, Audrey Smith, Lanie Forst, Jaime Hesler, Katie Daugherty, Lee Jones, Billy Smith, Terryn Dodson, Sue Bachman. In all, there will be 32 songs performed and there will be a mixture of solos and group numbers. Once again, the north part of the gymnasium will be designated for dancing. “We have had, surprisingly, younger people doing line dancing and couples doing the two-step.” Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the school’s junior class will be selling concessions beginning at that time. The show will begin at 7 p.m. both nights and last until approximately 9:15 p.m., with an intermission. A free-will donation will be collected at the door. Last year’s show brought in $4,299. That money was used for three alumni scholarships ($500 each to a graduating senior, a college junior or senior, and a graduate school student), and to help fund a $300 scholarship to a graduating senior who has been involved in the school’s music program. Proceeds from the show also help pay for school improvements each year. Funds last year were used to improve the school’s stage lighting system. In previous years, funds were used to help purchase a walk-in cooler and freezer, chairs, blinds, and items for the music department. The Country Music Show has been popular not only among residents of the Tina and Avalon communities, but among residents throughout the area who attend year after year. “It’s a fun evening that everyone enjoys,” Stark said. “I think they enjoy seeing people they know perform.”