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July 27, 2013

Opening act supplies Celebrity Series with rarest of Air

NEW CASTLE — Air Supply launches the 2013-14 Westminster College Celebrity Series Sept. 19.

The Australian soft rock band, founded by guitarist Graham Russell and singer-songwriter-vocalist Russell Hitchcock, had a string of hits from 1980 to 1986. They have sold more than 100 million albums with songs such as All Out of Love, Making Love Out of Nothing At All and Here I Am.

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., original members of the 5th Dimension vocal group, will be on the Orr Auditorium stage for a Christmas celebration Dec. 16.

They made their mark with the 5th Dimension from 1969 through 1975 with songs such as Up, Up and Away, Aquarius/Let the Sunshine in, Stoned Soul Picnic, Sweet Blindness, Wedding Bell Blues, One Less Bell to Answer, Bill and Save the Country.

They couple, who married in 1969, left the group in 1975 to do collective and individual projects. They went on to have success as a duo with “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show).”

Those may be the biggest names for the 2013-14 season, but the talent doesn’t stop there.

The Tenors will perform their contemporary, pop and classical music Oct. 9. They have appeared on the Oprah Show, singing with fellow Canadian Celine Dion.

Under the Streetlamp will step into the spotlight Oct. 30. The band, which incorporates sounds of Motown doo-wop, Beach Boys and Four Seasons, was featured on a PBS special.

Broadway by Jeri comes to Westminster April 26. Jeri Sager portrayed Grizabella in the production of “Cats” and was Fantine in the Broadway production of “Les Miserables.”

“Her voice is amazing,” said Connie McGinnis, director of the series.

Jim Brickman will provide a special Valentine’s Day show Feb. 8. It marks a return for Brickman, who performed the 2012 Christmas show at Orr Auditorium.

“I became a big Brickman fan because is so talented and so nice to work with,” McGinnis said.

Special shows for children have become a big part of the series during McGinnis’ tenure.

Junie B. Jones, adapted from the book series by Barbara Park, will be the children’s presentation May 26.

There will be a special morning show for school children in the area as well as an evening performance.

It has become very popular with teachers, parents and children from kindergarten through fifth grade, McGinnis said.

Children will benefit from more than the show, McGinnis believes.

“For many of them it will be the first time on a college campus, planting an idea for the future.”

Those wanting season passes or tickets to individual shows may contact the box office at (724) 946-7354.


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