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Milligan presents original musical production

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (October 17, 2006) — Tickets are on sale now for Milligan College’s original musical production titled, “The Gospel According to Jazz.” The production will run Oct. 27-28 in Seeger Memorial Chapel on the Milligan campus at 7:30 p.m.

Written and directed by Milligan theater professor Richard Major, the production is loosely based on the gospel of John. Set in what appears to be the washed out remains of a post-Katrina French market section of New Orleans, the show’s ultimate message is one of hope.

Fueled by the vibrant, joyous tones of jazz music, the production showcases the talents of a cast of 18 members and a musical ensemble of 26.

Local world-class jazz trombonist and Milligan professor of music Rick Simerly serves as musical director for the production. Various genres of jazz , ranging from Dixieland to contemporary, swing and progressive will be featured.

Joining Simerly and his musical ensemble will be former Broadway vocalist and local gospel and jazz talent Loretta Bowers.

“This is one of the most ambitious productions we have ever undertaken and for those who know me, that is saying a lot,” said Major.

Members of the artistic staff include Matthew Wilson, commedia dell arte expert for the piece; Karen Brewster as costume designer and mask creator; Melissa Shafer as scenic and lighting designer; Mark Matson as story consultant; Hannah Beth Potter as choral director; and Suzanne Richardson as the stage manager.

The production is a participating entry in the 39th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, a year round national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide which has served as a catalyst in improving the quality of college theater in the United States.

All seats are $10 and will be available at the door each night of the performance or in advance by contacting the Milligan College Bookstore at 423.461.8733.

Funding for the production has been provided by an Arts Build Communities ( ABC) Grant from The Tennessee Arts Commission, administered locally by The Johnson City Area Arts Council.

For more information contact Richard Major at 423.461.8771 or RMajor@milligan.edu.


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MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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