School chums kick off series

October 20, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

Tenor Nathan Granner says he and his old school pal Beau Bledsoe were influenced by Metallica and Mozart, not that they'll be performing any heavy metal tonight at The Maryland Theatre.

"We're actually more alternative than alternative bands these days," says Granner in a recent phone interview from his home in Kansas City, Mo.

Tonight's performance in downtown Hagerstown is a classical recital but not the "same old, same old," Granner says. The concert will feature a variety of music, including strict classical, spiritual, flamenco (Spanish, gypsy-style music) and music theater such as "All the Things You Are" from "Very Warm For May."


Granner and Bledsoe, a guitarist, will perform songs from their album "Departure," which is expected to be released later this month. It is the second album by the duo, who studied music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

"It's really fun and dramatic, powerful, intimate," Granner says.

Granner also is a member of The American Tenors, a classically trained group that formed following the popularity of The Three Tenors. The American Tenors sing music accessible to everyone, including fun songs like "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair," Granner says.

Tonight's performance is the first of four in the Hagerstown Community Concert Association's 47th season.

The other concerts will be:

  • Artie Shaw Orchestra, a big band from the swing era; 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14.

  • The Pied Pipers, a vocal ensemble; previous members joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1940; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23.

  • Festival of Four, a collaboration of instrumental styles and musical cultures; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 26.

  • Margaret Wagner, president of the concert association, says the association tries to bring a blend of music people enjoy to the community.

The association has almost 700 members. A membership drive is conducted in the spring to help association officials determine how much money is available to book acts.

The association does not sell tickets for individual concerts, but subscriptions for the entire season of four concerts, Wagner says. With reciprocal agreements with community concert associations in Waynesboro, Pa.; Chambersburg, Pa.; Gettysburg, Pa.; and Westminster, Md.; a subscription gives a member access to 20 concerts for $40, Wagner says.

"It's a bargain no matter how you look at it," Wagner says.

If you go ...

WHAT: Hagerstown Community Concert Association 2005-06 season kicks off with Nathan Granner and guitarist Beau Bledsoe.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown

COST: Season membership subscriptions for all four concerts are $40 for adults; $15 for students; and $50 for a family (one adult and children or grandchildren younger than 18). Subscriptions can be bought at The Maryland Theatre box office, open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one hour before the performance tonight, online at or by calling 301-790-2000.

MORE: Other concerts in the series are:

  • Artie Shaw Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14.

  • The Pied Pipers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23.

  • Festival of Four at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 26.
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