Hattiesburg will come alive when the popular Festival South returns for its third season June 9 - 23 with the sounds of music all day, every day in Mississippi’s only multi-genre arts festival.
Opening night features Classical Mystery Tour, a spectacular Beatles tribute; the middle weekend includes performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni; and the FestivalFinale sees 5-time Grammy® Award-winner Sandi Patty return to the Hub city. Presented by the Hattiesburg Concert Association (HCA), FestivalSouth offers events for music lovers of every taste, many of which are free. Season tickets, known as the FestivalCircle, are on sale now.
“From the beginning, I wanted this festival to be representative of the entire world of the arts,” said Dr. Jay Dean, HCA artistic director and director orchestral activities at The University of Southern Mississippi. “This year we have really taken a big step forward featuring internationally-known performers as part of over 70 performances during the two weeks.”
Set amid the historic backdrop of downtown Hattiesburg, offerings include art, music, dance, food and fun for local residents, families and visitors. A combination of free and ticketed musical events, FestivalSouth brings morning musicales to local coffee shops, bookstores, and The Hattiesburg Public Library; musical luncheons to locally owned eateries; afternoon recitals to worship facilities; and evening concerts and late-night events to signature downtown venues.
Children are not forgotten in the Festival schedule. FestivalSouth 2012 will include hands-on experiences in all areas of the arts. Ivey Sawn created a character named Artie, a multi-talented paintbrush who paints, of course, but also plays instruments, dances and loves anything to do with the arts.
“We have really expanded and improved the events for children this year,” said Christina Hatch, Artie event coordinator. “I am not sure who is going to have more fun exploring the arts, me or the children.”
Headline events have become the spotlight of the three weekends of FestivalSouth.This year, guest artists bookend the festival with high-energy performances.
*FESTIVAL SOUTH OPENING NIGHT
Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles with the FestivalSouth Orchestra,
presented by BancorpSouth and Brownstones
Imagine The Beatles playing in concert with a symphony orchestra. The four musicians in Classical Mystery Tour look and sound just like The Beatles, presenting some 30 Beatles tunes sung, played, and performed exactly as they were written. Hear "Penny Lane" with a live trumpet section; experience the beauty of "Yesterday" with an acoustic guitar and string quartet; enjoy the rock/classical blend on the hard-edged "I Am the Walrus." From early Beatles music on through the solo years, Classical Mystery Tour is the best of The Beatles like you've never heard them: totally live.
The Los Angeles Times called the show "more than just an incredible simulation...a high goose-bump quotient...the crowd stood and bellowed for more."
Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Experience the thrilling music and drama of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The opera tells the tale of Don Giovanni, the seducer of 2,000 women, who murders the father of one of his conquests in a street fight. In time, he finds himself in a churchyard in front of the statue of his victim, which he jokingly invites to dinner. To his surprise, the statue accepts the invitation. Don’t miss this great opportunity to see a fully staged production of this masterpiece.
Sandi Patty with the FestivalSouth Orchestra, presented by Forrest General
As one of the most highly acclaimed performers of our time with five Grammy® awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three platinum records, five gold records and 11 million units sold, Sandi Patty is simply known as “The Voice.” The most awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music history, she returns to Hattiesburg to perform some of her greatest hits, patriotic tunes and Broadway classics.
“We are so excited to have Sandi Patty back to Hattiesburg,” said Mike Lopinto, event producer. “A FestivalCircle pass will allow patrons the best seats to all ticketed events including the finale with Sandi. I would encourage people to act quickly as on her last visit, tickets sold out quickly.”
FestivalCircle passes may be purchased by calling 1.800.844.8425, 601.266.5418 or by visiting www.festivalsouth.org. Individual tickets to all events go on sale April 15.
Coinciding with the release of season tickets, a ‘best of’ competition, “Best of the Pine Belt 2012” returns to determine the favorite people, places, and things that make the area great. Following an overwhelming response last year, its residents created a guide to the Pine Belt. The complete list of ‘best’ will be featured in the festival program that encompasses the June edition of Signature Magazine.
This year, the competition will take place in two phases. Nominations are currently being sought in categories including everything from “Best Day Trip” to “Best Mexican Food” and “Best Shoes” to “Best Volunteer.” On April 1, the top vote getters in each category will be put into the finalist competition and another round of online voting will determine the winners.
To vote, log on to www.festivalsouth.organd click on the Best of the Pine Belt 2012 logo. There, choose a category and write in as many categories as you like. Don’t forget to check back April 1 for the finals round to see how your favorites did. Materials are available online at www.festivalsouth.orgfor businesses and residents to solicit votes in this nomination process. Click on the Best of the Pine Belt 2012 logo and download logos, signs and more.
The Hattiesburg Concert Association is a non-profit organization promoting outstanding performing arts in Hattiesburg and South Mississippi. It provides support for artists, creating opportunities to perform and helping performers who make music their life’s work, including through FestivalSouth. For a complete list of free and ticketed events or for more information, visit www.festivalsouth.org. Season tickets are also available at the Southern Miss Ticket Office. Call 601.266.5418 or visit www.southernmisstickets.com.