MSU Riley Center announces fall/winter series


The MSU Riley Center’s 2014/2015 Fall/Winter Performing Arts Series offers an amazing lineup of talent for music lovers of every age and taste. The series will showcase a wide array of performances in a beautiful historic setting, providing audiences with musical and theatrical experiences unlike any other in the area.

The incomparable Martina McBride kicks off the series on Aug. 28 with her soaring voice and amazing catalog of hits. Fans of country music will also be pleased to know that the vivacious Kellie Pickler will take the MSU Riley Center stage on Sept. 18. Rounding out a trio of strong female performers is Debby Boone on Dec. 13, who brings a legacy of pop, contemporary Christian hits and all of your Christmas favorites to the stage.

For those who wish to be transported to another place and time, Julie Fowlis will provide audiences just that opportunity at the MSU Riley Center on Oct. 10. Fowlis has garnered fans worldwide with her adaptations of songs from her native Scottish Gaelic tradition. Her amazing voice is also featured in the Disney Pixar movie Brave. Fowlis continues to wow audiences all over the world with her haunting melodies and amazing vocal range.

For fans of Americana/country music mixed with a little Texas swing, the remarkable Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group roll into town Oct. 22. These amazing musicians perfectly complement Lovett’s wry, heartfelt lyrics for a show that has audiences tapping their feet throughout. Fellow Texan Robert Earl Keen keeps the good times rolling on Oct. 30. The legendary Keen, cited as an influence by so many country and folk music stars, is a must-see at the amazing MSU Riley Center.

A rockin’, foot-stompin’ good time will be had by all when legendary Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy hits the MSU Riley Center stage on Thursday, November 6. Cited as a major influence by Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, and many more, guitarist Guy’s music was one of the first to marry the blues tradition with the flash of rock and roll. As a six-time Grammy winner, 23 time W.C. Handy Blues Award winner, Kennedy Center honoree, and so much more, an evening with this living legend in such an intimate setting is an event no one will want to miss.

With six Grammys, two Academy Awards, and three Emmys to his credit so far, the renowned Randy Newman takes over the MSU Riley Center stage Nov. 16. A prolific songwriter whose music has been a part of the American landscape for over fifty years, Newman is a one-man force of nature at the piano, treating audiences to hit after hit from radio and movies. His well-known voice and humorous yet intelligent lyrics create a performance atmosphere that is equal parts raucous and uplifting.

Friday night is family night when The Adventures of Flat Stanley and The Berenstain Bears Live! stage productions come to the MSU Riley Center. This musical stage adaptation of the beloved children’s book Flat Stanley has received national acclaim. Join the Dallas Children’s Theater on Tour as they bring Flat Stanley to life for MSU Riley Center audiences of all ages on Oct. 3. And don’t forget to bring the kids to Stan and Jan Berenstain’s Bear Country where Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear and Sister Bear sing and dance in The Berenstain Bears Live!, a fun-filled performance for the entire family on Feb. 13.

This season the MSU Riley Center allows audiences to explore new experiences in music and theater by presenting Béla Fleck and The Knights as well as a staging of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The Knights is a contemporary classical music ensemble that has rewritten the parameters of classical music; Grammy-winning banjo virtuoso Fleck joins them performing his concerto for banjo and orchestra as well as many other interesting pieces, for an evening of powerful musical performance at the MSU Riley Center on Feb. 6. In addition, the Montana Repertory company provides audiences with a unique opportunity to experience live theater with the staging of The Great Gatsby on March 3, bringing this masterpiece to the stage for a new generation of theatergoers.

“This Fall/Winter season again offers a terrific list of artists and cultural events, several of whom are returning to our stage with new musical groups or material while others are musical icons coming to Meridian for the first time,” said Dennis Sankovich, executive director of the MSU Riley Center. “Through the sponsorship support of The Riley Foundation, we have the ability to offer a wide variety of major headline musical artists -- especially Martina McBride -- who are helping to establish the MSU Riley Center stage as a musical mecca of the South.”

“I urge everyone to come experience the MSU Riley Center and become a subscriber,” added Sankovich. “We have season packages that make it easy to buy several shows and see major talent in a glorious, intimate setting at extremely reasonable prices.”

Current season-ticket holders must renew by July 30 to hold the same seats. New season-ticket buyers can purchase their packages starting Aug. 4. A “build your own package” option, which includes a discount and early seating, is available for those who wish to purchase tickets to three or more shows. Tickets for these packages can be purchased starting Aug. 11. Tickets for individual shows go on sale Aug. 18.

Performances start at 7:30 p.m. except Friday night family shows which start at 7 p.m. Select shows will feature pre-show parties in the Grand Lobby, allowing patrons to socialize and enjoy refreshments as a prelude to the evening’s entertainment.

Tickets and information are available by phone or in person at the MSU Riley Center box office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and one hour before show time on the day of a show. The telephone number is 601-696-2200, address is 2200 Fifth Street in downtown Meridian and website is

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