UNA Pressroom

Shoals Symphony At Una Presents New Season

Sep. 22, 2016

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Carole Maynard, Department of Music

FLORENCE, Ala. - The Shoals Symphony at UNA will present the first concert of the 2016-2017 season at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, in the Muscle Shoals High School Auditorium.

The concert is being billed as a "newgrass crossover event" and will feature the Birmingham based, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter group Act of Congress.

"Newgrass is a term used to describe a progressive bluegrass/pop crossover," said Dr. Daniel Stevens, musical director and conductor of the Shoals Symphony at UNA. "The band will setup in front of the orchestra, performing together in concert."

Stevens is excited to bring this type of crossover event to the Shoals, and he's particularly excited to bring Act of Congress.

"The Shoals Symphony at UNA is excited to begin collaborating with Grammy-nominated artists and bands. Act of Congress has opened for Toby Keith and John Mayer, and they perform regularly with major orchestras, bringing a unique blend of acoustic bluegrass and pop to our stage," said Stevens. "Music from the band can be enjoyed by all ages, and has an energizing, driving beat that is sure to entertain."

The excitement for the new season doesn't end with the first concert. On Oct. 13, the symphony will add another new event to their repertoire-a modern ballet.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Dance Department will perform with the symphony on the Norton Auditorium stage. The concert will feature masterworks by Copland, as well as stand-alone works by Bach and Vaughan Williams.

The season continues with the annual holiday concert on Dec. 11 and the UNA Honor Orchestra concert on Jan. 14. The symphony will join with UNA Choruses on Feb. 26 to present a Choral Masterworks.

After the sold-out concert Disney LIVE! "Pirates of the Caribbean" in Feb. 2016, the symphony decided to bring back Disney LIVE! to the Shoals for another exciting movie-concert experience.

"Based on our monumental success of last season's 'Pirates of the Caribbean' sell-out, the Shoals Symphony at UNA is excited to continue a partnership with Disney with a newly released orchestral feature: the original 'The Jungle Book,'" said Stevens.

The concert on May 5 will feature the original full-length animated version of "The Jungle Book" on a giant screen on the Norton stage, with the Shoals Symphony at UNA providing the musical underscore.

UNA alum Royd Haston, who is the music manager for the Disney Music Group, the music production arm of the Walt Disney Company, was instrumental in bringing "Pirates of the Caribbean" to the Shoals, and he is continuing to help with "The Jungle Book."

"UNA alum Royd Haston continues to advocate for the well-being of the orchestral program at UNA, and we are appreciative that he has opened doors for us to perform this concert in the Shoals," said Stevens.

"We are extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to perform these Disney classics," he continued. "Traditionally, the Shoals region is too small of a market to bring in these large traveling shows. An aggressive vision from the Shoals Symphony Board, the generosity of the individual and corporate community, the civic investment of UNA, Shoals cities and tourism boards and generous reduced royalty rates from Disney all come together to make this a reality."

To learn more about the Shoals Symphony at UNA 2016-2017 season and to purchase season tickets, as well as individual tickets, visit shoalssymphony.una.edu.