Season kicks off Sept. 27

Meridian Community College’s Arts & Letters: Something for everyone

Wishing for enchanted evenings? Have your heart set on top-notch entertainment? Then look to Meridian Community College’s 2018-19 Arts & Letters Series.

A community favorite, the Arts & Letters Series has been offering a wide variety of entertainment for decades and once again, the College’s Fine Arts Division is responsible for producing 100 percent of the series’ content, said Dr. Todd Brand, chairman of the fine arts division and director of the series.

And, when it comes to quality, budget-friendly entertainment, MCC’s Arts & Letters Series fits the bill. Many shows are $10 a ticket and there are even performances that are free of charge. The purpose of the series is to offer the community affordable options for arts and entertainment. “We have held the held the line on ticket prices, so we are still the most affordable show in town,” Brand said.

Economical and yet entertaining, this year’s series offers a wide variety of programming from Disney’s Aladdin Jr.to The Color Purple and from jazz to choral ensemble performances. Even Peter Pan will take flight from MCC’s McCain Theater stage.

Individual tickets for all performances may be purchased by calling the MCC Foundation office or call 601-484-8696.

Take a look at this year’s Arts & Letters Series season lineup:

Disney’s Aladdin Jr.
Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m. • Saturday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m. • Sunday, Sept. 30, 2 p.m.
McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

MCC brings Disney magic to the stage as the favorite songs from the 1992 Academy Award-winning film are joined by a new book. The charming beggar Aladdin, along with his three friends Babkak, Omar and Kassim, stay one jump ahead of the palace guards as they make their living on the streets. Their luck changes for the better when Aladdin discovers a real magic lamp - and a real genie to go with it. Aladdin wishes to become a prince to win the heart of the beautiful princess, Jasmine, but struggles with the responsibility of someday becoming Sultan. Through the help of his friends (and his all-powerful genie), Aladdin discovers that true worth lies within. With a heart-warming story and electric songs, your entire family is just one magic carpet ride away from a whole new world. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

MCC Jazz Band
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.
McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

The Meridian Community College Jazz Band is an instrumental ensemble with a long history.  Since 1981 the group has rehearsed in the fall as the Monday Night Jazz Band under the direction of Carey Smith.  In 1984, the band played at the World’s Fair in New Orleans, and in 1991 the band was featured on the 100th Anniversary Concert Series at Carnegie Hall.  Auditions are necessary for this ensemble and are open to MCC students.  The band, under the direction of Jon Romero, is composed of saxophone, trumpet, trombone and rhythm sections.  This performance is suitable for audiences of all ages. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Christmas Gala featuring MCC Concert Choir and Instrumental Ensembles
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m.
McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

The MCC Concert Choir and Instrumental Ensembles are pleased to present a joint concert venture, the MCC Christmas Gala.  This night of holiday music will fill you with joy as both groups take you on a musical adventure that celebrates the season.  The Concert Choir is under the direction of Tammy Miles, while the Instrumental Ensembles are under the direction of Mitch Brantley and Jon Romero.  These outstanding musical organizations regularly perform for events on campus, in the community and at statewide festivals.  This performance is suitable for audiences of all ages. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol
Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

“Marley was dead, to begin with.” Everyone knows Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, but you’ve never heard it from the point of view of the ghost of Jacob Marley. In Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, we see that the salvation of two men hangs on the redemption of Scrooge’s soul. The story begins where Dickens began: with the Christmas Eve death of money-lender Jacob Marley, a surly, greedy, terrifying old villain. He is admitted to the Beyond, where he sees the woeful fate of all who disdained their fellow man. He experiences his own weighty chains: burdens formed by his own deeds of hatred, scorn and greed. Despairing, he demands to be removed from this Purgatory, but the only way out is to unchain the twisted soul of Ebenezer Scrooge. With guidance from Bogle, his guardian demon, he sets off on the desperate mission that will save Scrooge from a fate worse than death and will redeem his own soul. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Peter Pan
Saturday, March 2, 7 p.m. • Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m.
McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

MCC and the Lauderdale County School District are celebrating 11 years together producing a county-wide musical.  Past shows have included The Wiz, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, Carnival and others. Each year students have been exposed to various technical aspects of producing a show, and this year, the experience of flight will be added to their education with this J.M. Barrie classic. As the action begins, the Darling children are readying for bed while the Darling parents are preparing to go to a party. Darling questions his wife why they must keep a dog as a nursery maid, and Mrs. Darling tells him of a strange flying boy the dog had frightened off. The children get tucked into bed, and the parents leave for their party. In the stillness of the night, suddenly the nursery window is blown open, and Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, flies in. He awakens Wendy and her brothers, Michael and John, and enchants them with tales of his home. They fly off with Peter to the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning on the biggest adventure of their lives. This show will be performed by students from the schools that comprise the Lauderdale County School District. This performance is suitable for audiences of all ages. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Meridian Community College High School Choral Fest
Thursday, March 7, 2 p.m.
McCain Theater, Ivy Hall

As a prelude to their annual spring concert, the Meridian Community College Concert Choir will present a night of choral literature.  The MCC Concert Choir will be joined on stage by several area high school choirs, who will all perform a medley of songs from various choral styles.  This event will be a musical showcase that you do not want to miss.  The choir is under the direction of Tammy Miles.  This performance is suitable for audiences of all ages. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Meridian Community College Dimensions
Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m.
The Tommy E. Dulaney Center

While many colleges have a show group, there is nothing like the MCC Dimensions.  This group performs at campus and community events, civic events, festivals, pageants and high schools.  Dimensions features a live band and their style includes pop, classic rock, rhythm and blues, Motown and hip hop.  The group is comprised of talented students, as well as MCC faculty and staff members.  Auditions are held annually in April for the next school year.  Dimensions is under the direction of Tammy Miles, Mitch Brantley and Daniel Boles.  Carol Merrill serves as the group’s choreographer. This high-energy performance is suitable for audiences of all ages. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Meridian Community College Concert Choir Spring Concert
Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m.
First Baptist Church, Meridian

The MCC Concert Choir will present a compilation of the year’s repertoire during their annual spring semester concert featuring a medley of traditional choral literature as well as other musical styles.  The choir is under the direction of Tammy Miles.  This performance is suitable for audiences of all ages. Admission is free of charge.

The Color Purple
Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27, 7 p.m. • Sunday, April 28, 2 p.m.
McCain Theater

This Tony Award-winning Broadway show is a musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Since its premier in 2005, it has remained either on Broadway or on national tour, always garnering large crowds and great public and critical review. The gripping score features blues, jazz, gospel, ragtime and African music. The story follows the life of Celie, a poor girl from Georgia, as she faces a seriously abusive father, an exploitative husband, separation from her sister and friends, and endures through it all to discover her own self-worth and dignity. This show is a testament to the unbreakable power of the spirit, and the deep love that connects us all, regardless of time and space. This show may not be appropriate for children under the age of 13. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students.

MCC Community Band
Sunday, May 5, 2 p.m.
McCain Theater

The Community Band was organized in January of 1981, under the direction of Carey Smith.  This ensemble is comprised of college and high school players, and members of the community at large.  The season for the band runs from January to April and is now under the direction of band director Jon Romero.  The band’s repertoire consists of marches, Broadway songs, novelty pieces and orchestral transcriptions of overtures.  Do not miss this opportunity to see a Meridian treasure.  This performance is suitable for audiences of all ages. Admission is free of charge.