The weather is not the only thing heating up in Dyer County this month.
A subscription drive is under way that will offer nine concerts for the entire family for the low price of $85. A family membership provides two adults and their children an evening of world-class entertainment for less than $10 - a hard value to beat in this economic climate.
"In the heat of the summer, this subscription campaign is heating up, as well," said Dyersburg Live On Stage president Meleia Lewis. "You just can't beat these prices. We want people to know we have world-class entertainment available right here at a very affordable price."
The Dyersburg Area Community Concert Association made some changes prior to its 2011-2012 season. A new name, a new logo and a presence on the Internet has the group stepping into the 21st century and reaching out to a broader audience, but the newly named Dyersburg Live On Stage remains committed to the mission it began five decades ago - to bring quality entertainment to the West Tennessee area.
Local residents may take advantage of this mission by becoming a member of the organization - a prospect that brings four tickets to Dyersburg events and a card to enjoy an additional five concerts presented by the Community Concert Association of Union City. Residents and businesses may also participate in Dyersburg Live On Stage's patron program.
"We would like local businesses and industry to take a vested interest in the sponsorship and take ownership in helping us continue to bring in this world-class entertainment as it gets more and more expensive to do so," said Lewis.
The Dyersburg Live On Stage lineup includes a legendary gospel singer, an orchestra performing original arrangements from the Swing Era, The American Tenors, and a rising local talent.
"(With our 2011-2012 season,) we brought on some new board members and brought some fresh faces to our board," said Lewis. "We are trying to appeal to a wider range of musical interests and to encourage more families to take advantage of these concerts."
The Dyersburg season kicks off with a beloved legend in the gospel music industry. Guy Penrod, the legendary centerpiece of Bill Gaither's Vocal Band, will celebrate the launch of his country music release, "Breathe Deep", with residents of Dyersburg at a concert to be held at First Christian Church on Saturday, Oct. 8.
Known as a major voice behind some of the great legends of country music, Penrod sang backup as a studio singer for Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain and Kenny Chesney before branching off on his own with "Breathe Deep."
He believes "country is one of the best genres from which to tell the American story."
Other artists featured in the Dyersburg season include:
* The Todd Hill Orchestra, playing original Swing Era musical arrangements from Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman in the Yates Auditorium at the Professional Development Center on Saturday, Nov. 5.
* "A Taste of the South" - A night of blues, jazz and bluegrass featuring the Steve Patterson Quartet and Dyersburg's own Kurt Stephenson, the 2010 National Bluegrass Banjo Champion. The concert will take place in the Yates Auditorium at the Professional Development Center on Saturday, Feb. 18.
* The American Tenors, delighting audiences across the U.S. and Europe with their combination of "splendid voices, humor and choice of material." Performances feature selections from "Nessum Dorma," "West Side Story," the Great American Songbook and Neopolitan favorites. The concert will take place in the Yates Auditorium at the Professional Development Center on Saturday, April 21.
Dyersburg Live On Stage subscribers earn an extra five concerts with reciprocal tickets to concerts presented by the Community Concert Association of Union City.
The Union City season kicks off the first concert on Saturday, Aug. 27, with The Fair Show.
Lewis said residents enrolling in membership between now and Aug. 15 will have ample time to receive their Union City cards in time for the first show of the season.
Other artists featured in the Union City season include:
* Chanticleer on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Union City.
* Restless Heart on Saturday, Nov. 19, in Union City.
* Carpe Diem String Quartet on Saturday, March 31, in Union City
* Billy Dean on Saturday, April 28, in Union City.
Dyersburg Live On Stage hopes to raise its membership significantly between now and the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. With a new name, website and e-mail address, the organization has set a lofty goal of reaching 500 members in the near future.
"We would like as many subscriptions in by Aug. 15 as possible," said Lewis, who said residents interested in more information may now visit www.dyersburgliveonstage.com, email email@example.com, or call (731) 460-0117 or 285-9117 after 3 p.m.