Blount County Public Library’s thirteenth annual Hot Summer Nights concert series begins on Thursday, August 7 at 7 p.m. The series will include varied musical genres: country, Americana/bluegrass, Scottish tunes, aires and waltzes and opera.
All concerts will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday evenings in August. They are free and indoors in air conditioned comfort in the library’s main gallery!
All performances in this annual series are sponsored by the Blount County Friends of the Library.
August 7 – Erin Ott
Erin Ott is a 10-year-old country singer who claimed two awards—Female Vocalist of the Year and Female Entertainer of the Year in her age category—at the North American Country Music International’s (NACMAI) Country Music Week 2014 in Pigeon Forge. This was her second year at NACMAI. She has won other awards such as regional competitions with the Smoky Mountain Country Music Association, where she won recording time with Simms Records.
She just recorded her first single in Nashville this past fall, If the Heart is Right, written by award-winning songwriter John Condrone. It should be released in the upcoming months.
Other competitions and awards include: first place Mountain Soul Competition 2013 and second in 2014 at the Bluegrass Festival in Sevierville and first place at TVA&I Fair. She loves to write music and is a member of the Knoxville Songwriter’s Association. She also takes piano and performance lessons and participates in other activities—cheer-leading, softball, basketball, and karate.
August 14 – Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers
This all-female Bluegrass/Americana/Mountain-Music band from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a 3-time nominee for the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. Ma Crow is a legendary acoustic artist in the Cincinnati area and a CAMMY (a Cincinnati Grammy) award winner. The Lady Slippers released their second album, ―Memory of a Mountain,” in February, 2014, (mixed and mastered by Ron Stewart of the Boxcars). They released their debut album, ―Wayward Daughter,‖ in January, 2013. The band has been featured in articles in various Cincinnati publications including the arts and entertainment magazine, City Beat.
It was one of only six bands selected to perform at the prestigious Cincinnati Entertainment Awards at the Madison Theater in November, 2011. Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers include Ma Crow (vocals and guitar), Trina Emig (banjo and mandolin), Margie Drees (vocals and fiddle) and Vicki Abbott (vocals and bass). Each member brings decades of professional experience, creating a unique blend of superb instrumentation and vocals. From ballads to bluegrass and old-time to contemporary, this beautiful acoustic music is filled with artful instrumentals and sweet mountain harmonies. The band members say that they value every show and strive to make each one special, knowing that music is a treasure and a gift to be shared. Their website is www.macrowmusic.com
August 21 – The Good Thymes Ceilidh Band
In 2008, The Good Thymes Ceilidh (kay-lee) Band formed from members of the Knoxville Scottish Music Club. They play fiery Scottish tunes along with lovely aires and waltzes. The group is comprised of three fiddles, guitar, penny whistle, bodhran, mandolin, and hammered dulcimer. This group shares their love of music by educating the public on the differences in celtic music and its ties to Appalachia. Band members include Alicia Peery Luttrell, David Pickens, Jenny Boyd, Michael Dodge, and Brenda Hamilton. They have performed at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, TN; East Tennessee History Day at Krutch Park; Robert Burns Night at Boyd’s Jig and Reel; Farmers Market on Market Square; Smoky Mountain Highland Games; Flaherty’s Irish Pub; International Day at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge; Lavender Festival; and the Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival. The band members have produced their first CD with Lakeside Studios.
August 28 – Knoxville Opera Company
Two opera singers, Kevin Doherty, baritone, and Sarah Fitch, mezzosoprano, will preview the coming season’s Knoxville Opera Company operas. Maestro Brian Salesky, Executive Director and Conductor of Knoxville Opera, will be the guest speaker and accompanist. Fitch and Doherty will sing excerpts from the 2014-15 season’s operas: H.M.S. Pinafore, Carmen and Il Trovatore. Information about the Knoxville Opera and this year’s Blount County Public Library performances in Knoxville is available at www.knoxvilleopera.com.
Mezzosoprano Sarah Fitch earned her Master’s degree in opera performance from the University of Tennessee School of Music. The Houston native has performed principal opera roles with Knoxville Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, the University of Tennessee, and the University of North Texas. She has also appeared in concert with the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra. Sarah will be performing the role of Hebe in Knoxville Opera’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore in November, 2014.
Baritone Kevin Doherty earned his Master’s degree in opera performance from the University of Tennessee School of Music. The Massapequa, New York, native has performed principal opera roles with International Opera Theatre (Italy), Knoxville Opera, Shreveport Opera, Asheville Opera, Ithaca Opera, Summer Garden Opera (VA), Midwest Institute of Opera (IL), Marble City Opera (Knoxville), the University of Houston, and the University of Tennessee Kevin has appeared in concert with the Hendersonville (NC) Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Rapides (LA) Symphony, and at the Brevard and Ashlawn Music Festivals.
Free and open to the public, the programs are hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville, and sponsored by the Friends of the Blount County Public Library. For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blounttn.org/197.