Campus News

Performing Arts Center, Classic Center partner for ’10-’11 season

The Performing Arts Center and the Classic Center are entering into a partnership for the 2010-2011 season.

The collaborative venture will showcase some of the biggest names in popular entertainment in the new Celebrity Evenings series, which will feature singer Tony Bennett and trumpet player Doc Severinsen. In addition, negotiations are currently under way to add a performance by Lyle Lovett and His Large Band to the Celebrity Evenings schedule.

“One of the great strengths of the University of Georgia is the multifaceted partnership with the city of Athens,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “The Celebrity Evenings partnership brings together the two best performance venues in this area, and I look forward to enjoying many of these events in the company of UGA colleagues and Athens friends.”

“I am truly excited about this new endeavor,” George C. Foreman, director of the Performing Arts Center. “I believe, by joining forces with the Classic Center, we are creating an innovative model for town and gown relationships.”

“We are so fortunate to have these two wonderful performing arts venues in Athens, and this partnership is going to allow UGA and the Classic Center to jointly expand the cultural and entertainment options for our community,” said Paul Cramer, executive director of the Classic Center. “It is a pleasure to work with UGA, and we are very excited about the concerts in this new series.”

Bennett will kick off the series with a concert at the Classic Center Theatre Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. With worldwide record sales in the millions, and dozens of platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received 15 Grammy awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

His initial fame came via a string of Columbia singles in the early 1950s, including his signature hit, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums chart in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and into the new millennium.

Severinsen and El Ritmo de la Vida will perform at Hodgson Concert Hall in the Performing Arts Center on May 12 at 8 p.m. Severinsen arrived in New York City in 1949 to become a staff musician for NBC. After years of playing with the network’s studio bands, he was invited to play a show with the Tonight Show band. An impressed conductor, Skitch Henderson, asked him to join the band in 1962 as first trumpet. Five years later, Severinsen took over as music director, a position he held until 1992. After the Tonight Show, Severinsen continued to perform and conduct major orchestras throughout the U.S. and Canada. After moving to Mexico in 2006, he discovered two very talented Mexican musicians, Gil Gutierrez and Pedro Cartas. Together with these men, Severinsen has crafted an original program called El Ritmo de la Vida (The Rhythm of Life).

Single tickets for Celebrity Evenings will go on sale July 24 at 9 a.m. Currently, tickets are on sale only with season subscription packages. Tickets may be purchased through either the Classic Center, at (706) 357-4444 or, or the UGA Performing Arts Center. at (706) 542-4400 or