Summer Sounds concert captures audience

Randy McGinnis entertains the crowd gathered for Summer Sounds, a concert he donated to benefit the Maryville Arts Coalition.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

Randy McGinnis entertains the crowd gathered for Summer Sounds, a concert he donated to benefit the Maryville Arts Coalition.

The music was captivating and haunting, leaving concert goers speaking in hushed tones even after the songs ended, not wanting to break the mood.

The Summer Sounds concert in the Lambert Recital Hall at the Clayton Center for the Arts was a great success musically and as a fundraiser for the Maryville Arts Coalition, say concert organizers.

On Thursday, July 21, more than 150 came to hear Randy McGinnis, an award-winning traditional Cherokee flutist, perform both in solo performances and with an ensemble in a concert he donated to help raise funds for the Maryville Arts Coalition. MAC is the organization that hosts the monthly Last Friday Art Walk and promotes the arts in Maryville.

McGinnis, who is a MAC board member, is a Cherokee Indian born into the Deer Clan. He played music based on the old songs he grew up listening to as a small boy. He taught himself to play these songs on the native flute.

The concert was a wonderful way to raise funds for an organization dedicated to promoting the arts, said concert chair, Sherri Gardner Howell, who is publisher of Blount Today. “It is a non-traditional type of music, something you don’t hear every day. The Maryville Arts Coalition was so happy to be able to offer this concert so more people in our community could hear Randy.”

The funds raised, approximately $2,200, will be used to help with Last Friday Art Walk and will go toward the organizations scholarships presented annually to a graduating high school art student. In addition to the proceeds from the ticket sales, McGinnis donated 100 percent of the money from CDs sold that evening, and Silver Spoon Café Express at the Clayton Center donated 15 percent of sales from the evening to MAC.

Katie Gamble is president and founder of the Maryville Arts Coalition.

Next up for Maryville Arts Coalition is their largest fundraiser, a masquerade ball. “A Night with the Mad Hatter” will have an Alice in Wonderland theme, building on the tradition started last year with creating an enchanted evening set to a piece of classical literature.

The ball, which will be Friday, Oct. 14, at the Capitol Theatre, will feature each discipline of the arts throughout the evening, including theatrical performances by members of the Foothills Community Players, live music by Shortwave Society, dance performances by members of Momentum Dance Lab and the visual arts represented in a silent auction of one-of-a-kind works by area artists.

The celebrity host is David Dwyer as the “Mad Hatter.”

Reserved tables are available now for $500 for a table of 8, and sponsorship opportunities for $1,000 are also still available. Individual tickets will be $50 each and will be on sale soon.

For more information, go to or call Sherri Gardner Howell at 865-981-9102.

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