New Castle News

Life

August 29, 2011

Celebrity Series under new management

NEW CASTLE — Think of Connie McGinnis as your go-to woman for world-class celebrity entertainment in Lawrence County.

McGinnis has been promoted to director of Westminster College’s Celebrity Series. Joining her at the helm will be Ellwood City native Georgene Gib as box office manager.

 McGinnis arrived at Westminster in 1993 and was a receptionist in admissions for four years before moving to the Celebrity Series office.

“I’m excited and grateful to move forward in my new role,” McGinnis said.

“Lifting the human spirit through the presentation of music, theater, dance and comedy is a pretty amazing job in my opinion.”

McGinnis succeeds Eugene “Gene” DeCaprio, who retired this spring after 22 years as Celebrity Series director.

She relishes her role.

“Our goal is to bring the finest of a variety of genres of entertainment to our community.”

At the Celebrity Series, McGinnis said,  “We look for entertainers and artists who will touch the hearts of our audience and enrich their lives. I believe these experiences lift us up and give joy and meaning to our lives.”

McGinnis traces her own joy of live performance back to girlhood and the summer theater of Kenley Players in Warren, Ohio.

“Growing up in Neshannock, my mother and I used to climb the steps to one of the top floors of the old Troutman building  where she would buy tickets to what was playing at Packard Music Hall.

“My mother took me to see Ann Miller in ‘Anything Goes’ and Sandi Duncan in ‘Peter Pan.’ ”

McGinnis still has her “Peter Pan” program.

“Thanks to these experiences with my mother, who shared her love and appreciation for music and the performing arts, my own future interest in the arts was being established.”

Today’s audiences have an even wider spectrum of entertainments to soar from.

As a seasoned “audience observer,” McGinnis sees an increase in people buying their entertainment “cafeteria style” — a little of this and a little of that, instead of an entire season at a time.

This trend is not unique to Westminster.  McGinnis said practically every institution faces the same problem with the dip in  season ticket packages.

That’s why single ticket sales for all shows are available and why McGinnis touts a box office manager who will give each customer the star treatment.

“I am thrilled to have Georgene Gib managing our box office. She is dedicated to our subscribers and patrons, and I am proud of the top-notch customer service she provides.”

Gib began two years ago as a fill-in when the Celebrity Series needed extra help.  When McGinnis was promoted to director, Gib assumed the position as box office manager.

Gib worked as a teller at the former First National Bank of Lawrence County and advanced to supervisor in consumer loan servicing, leaving after nearly four decades.

“This is a new direction for me,” she said, “but I enjoy meeting new people and delivering good customer service.”

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