Heart Board keeps party going with encore concert
CDs, mp3s and vinyls keep the sounds of The Beatles, Elvis and Chuck Berry alive today. Now, the Aiken Women’s Heart Board and members of the community are doing their part.
When the board’s “Remember Then” 1950s and ’60s music-based show ended in February, board members were frequently approached with positive feedback, according to board president Kristina Giffin.
The board decided to do something it hadn’t done for a Heart Board benefit show – plan an encore concert.
The “Remember Then” Encore will be held at the Etherredge Center on July 23-24 at 7:30 p.m.
“While the show is always very well-received, many of us on the Aiken Women’s Heart Board continue to hear regularly how much people enjoyed this year’s show,” Giffin said. “People of all ages love music from the era the show depicted. ... Those songs are such classics. Everyone has heard them.”
More than 24 local actors and singers performed at the “Remember Then” benefit in February. Those performers plan to appear in the encore, according to Linda Calhoun, board publicity chairman.
The Lo Down Brown band will be back for the show, according to “Remember Then” writer and director Jim Moore.
“They are fabulous musicians and can play any music selected for the show,” he said.
Vince Cloud will emcee the show. The forces behind this year’s show are Moore and his assistant director Agnes Hobson.
Moore accredits the “encore” idea to Hobson.
“She said she was still hearing good comments on the show and that she knew her family from Atlanta would come back to hear the music again that they enjoyed it so much,” Moore said.
Since it was the music everyone loved, reviving only the songs “made sense,” he said.
The Aiken Women’s Heart Board has put on an annual benefit for more than 40 years, according to an article the Aiken Standard published in February on the show.
Moore has written the shows for the last 35 years. The script takes around three months and a team of six people – Ken Fallaw, Jack Benjamin, Agnes Hobson, Sallye Rich, Julie Whitesell and Jimmy Moore – to pull together.
Once the show is set, he pitches it. Rehearsals then begin in January, he said.
Tom Brown, Dave Buchanan, Jim Shaw and John Kosko helped build the “Remember Then” set, though no set will be used for the concert.
Moore calls the Heart Board “90 percent of the iceberg that you can’t see” based on the help they provide.
“Many of the Heart Benefit attendees have come to Aiken from major cities across the country, and they’re surprised and delighted to find the kind of talent a town the size of Aiken has,” Giffin said.
She noted that doing this “encore” performance might not happen again for a while.
“Many of the people who have already purchased tickets for the encore performances saw the original show in February and enjoyed it so much they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear the music again,” she said.
The show this month will not be a replacement for the annual February benefit, a release stated.
Tickets are $15, with proceeds benefitting the Heart Board and USC Aiken theater department.
For more information, call Calhoun at 803-643-3899 or the box office at 803-641-3305.
The Etherredge Center is located on the USCA campus, 471 University Parkway.
Stephanie Turner has a hand on all areas of production for the Aiken Standard, where she reports, edits and designs pages. She graduated in July 2012 with a journalism degree from Valdosta State University and lives with her family in Evans, Ga.