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Talent taking center stage

Performers putting 'great room' to use on Sunday

Performers putting 'great room' to use on Sunday

November 14, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

HANCOCK - The Hancock Arts Council thinks Hancock's got talent.

So on Sunday at 4 p.m., the inauguration of the new Performing Arts Center will be held in the auditorium of the Hancock Town Hall and Community Center, 126 W. High St., and all with talent are so notified.

"We've been getting requests from people in the community for plays and concerts, and even a group from Berkeley Springs, W.Va.," said Sinclair Hamilton, a councilman and member of the arts council.

Members of the arts council have worked hard to restore the old stage, which dates from a time when the building served as the town's elementary school before it relocated to its newer facility in 1977.

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The stage has been repainted and a new curtain has been erected, Hamilton said.

The Hancock mural was carefully removed and remounted elsewhere in the building, he said, and there are new chairs for future audiences.

The arts council is inviting local citizens to "strut their stuff" on Sunday, showcasing their talent, whether it be in music, dance or oral interpretation. The Hancock High School Panther Band already has been secured to play a patriotic opening, Hamilton said.

Also scheduled to perform are students from Southern Fulton High School presenting "Oklahoma," the United Methodist Church handbell choir, Hancock Dance Academy, Potomac Cross Consort and the arts council's own band.

Other entertainers will include Tori Anderson of Possum Holler, Dr. Matthew Hahn, Bill Sterner, Lowell Younker and Karen Randley.

Mike Kligerman, another arts council member, said he first spotted the gem in the rough when he and his wife went to a quilt show there.

"It's a great room, but it wasn't being used enough," Kligerman said, noting the basketball hoops were still on the wall. "Still, it is a treasure."

Kligerman, his wife, Carolyn, and Hamilton are all musically involved in several of the groups performing Sunday. The Rev. Anne Weatherholt will sing and Mayor Dan Murphy will play the tuba in the arts council band.

"Dan is so excited, he is jumping out of his skin," Kligerman said about the rebirth of the arts center.

Since the arts council is a committee of the town, it hasn't been difficult getting the first event planned and carried out, Hamilton said.

"It is a service to the town from us, the arts council," he said.

Kligerman said he and the others are hoping townspeople will have suggestions for future uses for the room.

Previously, the auditorium at the middle/senior high school was used for activities, but it costs money and groups putting on plays wouldn't be able to use the stage for rehearsals.

The Sunday event is free.

"This is a tremendous resource that could benefit the community as a whole," Hamilton said.

As an example, Gary Truax has inquired about putting on a harmony workshop at the location.

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