Three days after the resignation of SKyPAC’s executive director and CEO, the Bowling Green-based performing arts center has confirmed that it is laying off five employees.
The vice chairwoman of the SKyPAC Foundation board tells the Daily News that SKyPAC may have been “overstaffed in some areas”. Names of those who lost their jobs have not been made public. No other layoffs are expected.
CEO and Executive Director Tom Tomlinson departed last week for a job with another performing arts center outside of Kentucky.
Larnelle Harris chats with WKU Public Radio about his career and upcoming performance with Orchestra Kentucky
It will be a homecoming of sorts Monday night at SKyPAC in Bowling Green as WKU alumnus Larnelle Harris performs at a Christmas concert with Orchestra Kentucky.
“It’s going to be fun to get back and do this Christmas concert. It will kind of jump start our Christmas this year so we’re looking forward to it,” said Harris. “And SKyPAC, this is a new auditorium and I think it’s going to be quite a living room and I think it’s a testament to how Bowling Green keeps moving ahead”
Throughout his four-decade career, Harris has performed at Carnegie Hall, The White House and even the Kremlin after the fall of the Soviet Union.
“All of those places have been great and to do the first concert at the Palace of Congresses at the Kremlin was indeed an exciting thing. But I’ve gotta tell you, I enjoy being right here in Louisville and having the opportunity to go to my own church and sharing there has been a joy.”
Harris is a member of three Halls of Fame, and has won five Grammy awards. Tonight’s Christmas concert is the first of two scheduled for Orchestra Kentucky this month. The group will also present A Rockin’ Christmas on December 14.
The future became a little murkier for a historic church building in downtown Bowling Green on Friday.
In August, the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center posted a $250,000 dollar winning bid for the vacant Taylor’s Chapel A.M.E. Church. But SKyPAC says a 90-day window to find a donor to finance the restoration of the church building has come and gone without anyone stepping forward. SKyPAC says it will let the purchase agreement expire and has no plans for the building.
SKyPAC’s Executive Director and CEO Tom Tomlinson says the organization won’t use operating funds to restore the church building.
Neil Sedaka talks his songs, his career and his upcoming trip to Bowling Green
To say Neil Sedaka’s musical career got off to a fast start would be an understatement.
“I started writing at 13 years old and had hit records by LaVern Baker, Clyde McPhatter and Connie Francis,” said Sedaka. “And then when I was 19, I decided, rather than give away the songs to other singers, I auditioned for RCA Victor as a singer-songwriter and they signed me to a contract.”
But as quickly as his star rose, it fizzled in the 1960s, a decade of upheaval and cultural shifts.
“I was out of work for 12 years. You know, the music business is very trendy and fickle. I had the opportunity to meet Elton John when I was living in England and he was starting a record company and signed me. The first single, after 12 years, was ‘Laughter in the Rain’ and it went to No. 1 on the charts here in America,” he said.
An iconic musician is coming to Bowling Green for a night of firsts with Orchestra Kentucky.
In the 1970s, Keith Emerson was part of the band Emerson Lake and Palmer, a group that often combined classical music and progressive rock , catching the ear of a young Jeff Reed.
“I was a teenager and because I loved classical music and rock music, I thought it was great to hear the combination of the two styles. I think they did a lot for classical music,” said Reed. “They took it out of the concert hall and put it through vinyl and onto young people’s turntables. They made it a little cooler and a little bit more accessible and I’m all for that.”
Flash forward to 2013 and Reed is now musical director of Orchestra Kentucky. On Monday at SKyPAC in Bowling Green, Reed's orchestra will take the stage with Emerson.
A Bowling Green church building that first opened in the late 1800s has a new owner. But the future of the structure remains unclear.
The red-brick building that once housed Taylor’s Chapel AME church is surrounded on three sides by property owned by the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center. In an auction Thursday afternoon, SKyPAC submitted a winning, $250,000 bid for the 141-year-old building on E. Seventh Avenue.
The development director with SKyPAC tells the Daily News, they have no plans to tear down the building. In fact, the organization wants to restore it, but is awaiting an architect’s report on how much that will cost, before looking for someone to fund the restoration.
The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center is bringing musician Darius Rucker to Bowling Green this summer. The pop-turned-country artist will headline The Sounds of Independence Music Festival on July 27th. SKyPAC Executive Director Tom Tomlinson believes Rucker will be a big regional draw.
"I think without a doubt he's one of the biggest names to appear here in a number of years," says Tomlinson. "He's at least one of the biggest names we've brought here since the opening night with Vince Gill."
The downtown music festival will be a fundraiser for SKYyPAC. Tickets go on sale Friday to the general public. The festival will be held outside the SKYyPAC facility and will feature a number of artists, including Justin Rivers from this season of "The Voice."
After 36 years, the curtain is closing on the Kentucky Repertory Theatre in Horse Cave. According to its board of directors, the theatre is no longer able to compete for funding and patrons. Liz Fentress is among those saddened by the announcement. She currently teaches at Actors Theatre of Louisville, but says some of her best times were spent at the theatre in Horse Cave.
"I have memories of being in the audience watching professional performances by other people. I have memories of directing fine actors, Warren Hammack and Pamela White being at the top of the list. "And I have wonderful memories of performing there myself," said Fentress.
In addition to professional acting, the Kentucky Repertory Theatre also served as a training ground for young talent. Since it opened in 1977, the theater staged 230 productions.
Board of Directors Chairwoman Lyn Taylor Long says economic challenges were just too great to overcome, including a loss of major donors.
Lee Stott's piece on the upcoming performance of Carmina Burana in Bowling Green
Several regional arts groups are combining efforts to bring Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" to Bowling Green.
Monday's performance will feature Orchestra Kentucky, the University of Louisville Collegiate Choir, the Murray State Concert Choir, and students from Briarwood and Richardsville Elementary Schools in Bowling Green.
Lee Stott spoke to members of the groups about the origins of the text used by Orff in his famous cantata, and the difficulty of singing some of the demanding vocal parts.
The show takes place Monday, Feb. 11, at SKyPAC in Bowling Green.