Concert series adds to area culture

Published 10:41 am Monday, October 14, 2013

The Franklin-Southampton Concert Association debuts its 2013-2014 season at 3 p.m. this Sunday with a visit from an acclaimed pianist, Umi Garrett, who’s all of 13. She began making a name for herself about five years ago when her prodigious talent began gaining national and international attention. Heck, even Ellen DeGeneres predicts Umi will go far.

Aside from Garrett’s anticipated performance, the next best part of her concert will be that people won’t have to travel an hour or so. Instead, there’s only a short drive of minutes, maybe 30 depending on where you live in Western Tidewater, to the Southampton High School auditorium, which is the regular concert venue. Nonetheless, traffic shouldn’t really be an issue.

Further, the cost of tickets won’t require a bank loan. Whereas if you traveled to Hampton, Norfolk or Virginia Beach to see a show and maybe eat dinner, then your wallet or pocketbook might cry.

As previously noted in this newspaper, the concert association regularly provides quality entertainment. For example, The Lettermen played to a well-attended and appreciative audience last season. A country singer and tap dancer were also featured guests. Thanks to the generosity of the Camp Foundation, the Virginia Symphony annually travels to the venue for a performance.

In addition to Garrett and the orchestra, the association this season will host stage and television actor Hal Linden, often best remembered for the ‘70s television show, “Barney Miller.”

The Diamonds, which began in the 1950s, will shine in November. The Walter Noona Trio and The Glenn Miller Orchestra are also slated for upcoming visits.

In other words, sophisticated entertainment is not out of reach for Western Tidewater. It’s just a matter of you taking advantage of what’s offered.

See you at the shows.