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‘Country in the County’ Will Benefit UMPI’s Wieden Auditorium

| October 10, 2013

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Play me some mountain music! The Presque Isle Community Players are hitting the stage again — and this time, they’ve gone country.

Melbourne Smith, Musical Director says, “It’s everything from Hank Williams to Lady Antebellum..from Shania Twain to Garth Brooks!”

The county’s popular performing group is putting the final touches on their “Country in the County” show that opens this weekend. A show full of country songs old and new that they’ve been preparing since August.

Tamia Glidden, the Production Director says, “hours and hours and you know its all great, these people, they all have a day time job and its all just for love of theater and performing.”

But these performances are more than just an opportunity to hear a local rendition of your favorite song by the Zac Brown Band — they’re also the kickoff of the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s fundraising efforts to refurbish the 50 year old Wieden Auditorium.

Keith Madore, UMPI’s Director of Development says, “for many years the auditorium on our campus has served as a cultural hub…anywhere from symphony orchestras to ballets to the community players performing here..but we also are an academic training ground.”

Smith says, “Really, the place is falling apart. And we need a state of the art facility here at the University, and there needs to be a certain amount of money raised.”

That amount Madore estimates to be 500-thousand dollars. He’s talking about replacing the lights, the sound equipment, the stage, the seats, and so on. He says he’s thrilled that the University is working with the community players in order to get folks on board with this important project.

Madore says, “awareness is obviously very important but we’re also very connected with the community and this is just another way that UMPI shows that by partnering with the community players. We also hope that people say ‘I wanna help’ ‘we wanna help.’

Madore hopes to get the ball rolling on the project and hopefully have the renovations done within the next two years. Smith says the community players will be performing a musical this winter that will also benefit the project. For now, he invites everyone to come out and enjoy some good country tunes.

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Ticket sales from all the performances will benefit the Auditorium Renovation Project. The performances will be in UMPI’s Campus Center on October 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th. Tickets are 25 dollars each, except for Friday evening’s show which is a special opening night Gala and will cost 50 dollars.┬áDuring the Opening Night Gala on Oct. 11, theater-goers will be treated to a reception and social at the President’s House at 5:30 p.m., dinner and the performance starting at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center, and, immediately following the show, an “Afterglow Reception” featuring decadent desserts and a champagne toast with the cast in the Alumni Room. Proper ID required.

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