Glenn Miller Orchestra swinging into PAC in March

The Glenn Miller orchestra performs on stage. A band leader stands before brass, woodwinds, and a piano player.BAYTOWN, TX — The world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra – known for the legendary dance bandleader who founded the beloved group and dominated the Swing Era of the 1930s and 1940s with a matchless string of hit records – will bring the classic sounds of big-band music to the Lee College Performing Arts Center (PAC) next month.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform on the PAC main stage at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, March 5. Tickets are $20-40 and available for purchase online at http://www.lee.edu/pac, or by calling the Box Office at 281.425.6255.

First launched by Miller in March 1938, the orchestra is now an 18-member ensemble that continues to play many of his original arrangements. The group’s repertoire also includes modern selections arranged and performed in the iconic Miller style and sound, and music from the famed Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band that entertained servicemen in live concerts and radio shows during World War II. Fan favorites like “In the Mood,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” are all part of the regular program, along with lesser-known tunes like “The White Cliffs of Dover,” “Rainbow Rhapsody” and “Everybody Loves My Baby.”

In true big-band fashion, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is on the road longer and more continuously than any other in the world – covering more than 100,000 miles per year and working nearly every night for 48 weeks out of the year. The orchestra performs for more than 500,000 people annually, entertaining crowds throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, Asia and South and Central America. “Moonlight Serenade,” the beautiful theme of the orchestra in the 1940s that was composed by Miller himself, remains their signature tune today.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

‘Nutcracker’ and ‘Sugar Plum Fairy’ return to Lee College

The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker at Lee College in 2012

BAYTOWN, TX — After performing holiday favorite “The Nutcracker” for three years in front of sold-out crowds – and with live accompaniment from the Baytown Symphony Orchestra since 2013 — the Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre (BAHBT) will return to Lee College this month to delight audiences with the beloved story of young Clara and her magical Christmas toy.

Three performances of “The Nutcracker” are scheduled for the Main Performance Hall at the Lee College Performing Arts Center (PAC): 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, and Saturday, Dec. 17, and a matinee set for 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18. Tickets are priced at $20-45 and available for purchase online at www.lee.edu/pac or by calling the Box Office at 281.425.6255.

Tea Time with the Sugar Plum Fairy, 2013
Tea Time with the Sugar Plum Fairy, 2013

The only professional ballet company in the Bay Area with residence at the University of Houston Clear Lake, BAHBT has performed “The Nutcracker” for audiences in the Houston area for more than 40 years. The group produces a season each year in their performing residence at the University of Houston-Clear Lake that includes an eclectic array of ballets and musicals.

Families can create a special Christmas memory or start a new holiday tradition at “Tea Time with the Sugar Plum Fairy,” where children will meet and have their photo taken with one of the most iconic characters in “The Nutcracker,” known for her beautiful dance in the second act.

The ruler of the Kingdom of Sweets will greet, dance and spend time with children at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. in the PAC lobby, before the Saturday evening performance of “The Nutcracker.” Tickets for the tea are $25 and can also be purchased at www.lee.edu/pac or by contacting the Box Office.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Kosins to be special guest at free ‘Jazz Night @ Lee College’

Kathy Kosins
Kathy Kosins

BAYTOWN, TX — Award-winning jazz singer and songwriter Kathy Kosins will bring her internationally acclaimed vocals and eclectic musical palette to Lee College as the special guest star at the free “Jazz Night @ Lee College” concert set for Friday, Nov. 11, at the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Jazz Night @ Lee College will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC Main Performance Hall. The show is open the public, and tickets are not required.

Born and bred during the Motown era of Detroit, Kosins was a sought-after session singer throughout the 1980s, known for singing and arranging background vocals for producer Don Was. After finding and falling in love with the freedom and artistry of jazz music, she completed stints with the JC Heard and Nelson Riddle orchestras and released “All In A Dream’s Work” in 1996. The debut album featured original songs and a cover of “Four” by Miles Davis, earning Kosins play on 250 jazz stations across the country.

Kosins recorded multiple albums throughout the 2000s, including “Mood Swings” in 2002 and “To The Ladies Of Cool” in 2012. For “The Space Between,” released in 2013, she worked in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles to bring new life to little-known records by Shirley Horn and Nat King Cole, among others. Her newest album — the sultry and intimate “Uncovered Soul” — will also feature rarely heard records by legendary and contemporary soul performers like Curtis Mayfield, Eugene McDaniels, Aaron Neville, and Amos Lee.

Described by critics as “one of the most alluring voices in jazz” and “a joy to listen to,” Kosins has toured and performed at events and venues throughout the U.S. and Europe — from jazz festivals in France and Switzerland to clubs and concert halls in New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Chicago.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Wanted: Singers, songwriters & musicians for Lee College Coffeehouse

BAYTOWN, TX — Singers, songwriters and musicians who have been looking for a way to showcase their original work are invited to audition for the Lee College Coffeehouse, an annual concert that shines a light on talented artists in the local community.

The Coffeehouse, hosted by the Lee College Music Club, is set for 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23, at the Black Box Theater inside the Lee College Performing Arts Center. The concert gives artists and musicians the opportunity to share their craft with a broad audience, within the warm and creative atmosphere that has long been part of the traditional coffeehouse scene where many performers have gotten their start.

The special guest for this year’s Coffeehouse will be the Baytown-based Hound, an experimental western rock and metal fusion band. The college will provide all performers with clear, high-quality, professional sound that highlights their best qualities — and the Audio Department will offer a free recording session in the state-of-the-art studio on campus.

Singers, songwriters and musicians who want to participate in this year’s Coffeehouse should contact Dr. Ken Booker, director of Instrumental Music, at kbooker@lee.edu to schedule an audition time. All auditions will be held by appointment only.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Texas Tenors to return with special sound & cowboy charm

Concert on Sept. 30 will be trio’s third appearance at the Performing Arts Center

The Texas TenorsBAYTOWN, TX — After lighting up the stage on the nationally televised competition show “America’s Got Talent,” winning three Emmy Awards for their PBS concert special and selling out the Lee College Performing Arts Center (PAC) for two different performances, The Texas Tenors are returning to the PAC this month to delight audiences with their incredible vocals and signature cowboy charm.

“The Texas Tenors: Let Freedom Sing!” is set for 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30, in the PAC Main Hall. Tickets are $45-65 and available for purchase online now at www.lee.edu/pac, or by calling the Box Office at 281.425.6255.

Since their whirlwind television debut and fourth-place finish on “America’s Got Talent” in 2009, The Texas Tenors have performed their unique blend of country, classical, Broadway and pop music in more than 1,000 concerts around the world and on their PBS special, “You Should Dream.” PBS plans to air a second concert special with The Texas Tenors in 2017.

The trio — made up of singers and classically trained musicians Marcus Collins, John Hagen and JC Fisher — cover a diverse repertoire that showcases their individual vocal talents and lush harmonies, while exploring everything from Alabama to Puccini and Bruno Mars. Their 2013 country-themed album, “You Should Dream,” reached the Top 10 and features traditional favorites like “God Bless the USA” and “Unchained Melody,” as well as two original songs and the backing of a 65-piece orchestra.

In 2014, Billboard magazine named The Texas Tenors the No. 10 classical artists in the world, and the group is routinely the premiere attraction in the tourist hub of Branson, Mo., where they perform 60 concerts at the Starlite Theatre each year. Beyond the concert halls and packed arenas, the “three friends with a dream” have made several televised performances and contributed to numerous charitable causes, including The Child Fund International, Homes for Our Troops and The Mission Project. The Texas Tenors pride themselves on remaining self-produced, self-managed and committed to providing quality entertainment for families and fans of all ages.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Tickets still available for Celtic Nights

Celtic Nights

BAYTOWN, TX — A cast of the best singers, dancers and musicians from the British Isles will bring a rhythmic and rousing celebration of 100 years of Irish independence to the Lee College Performing Arts Center (PAC) this weekend, and tickets are still available.

“Celtic Nights – Spirit of Freedom” is set for 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 16, in the PAC main hall. Tickets for the show start at $25 and can be purchased online at www.lee.edu/pac or by calling the Box Office at 281.425.6255.

After first performing at Lee College in 2014, Celtic Nights will now lead the audience on a musical journey of patriotism, revenge, love and courage taken straight from the pages of Ireland’s history. The production is inspired by the Easter Rising of 1916, when Irish nationalists took up arms to rebel against the presence of the British government in their country. Though it was ultimately suppressed, the Irish people considered the uprising a triumph because it revived their hopes and dreams for liberty.

With songs, laughter, music, dance and stirring visuals, the cast of Celtic Nights weaves individual story lines into the narrative — sharing the courage and sacrifice of Irish heroes and heroines fighting for independence, and encapsulating the passion and spirit of freedom that remain in the country even today.

“We’re confident that this story will resonate strongly with American audiences; indeed, with all people who cherish freedom, independence and democracy,” said Michael Durkan, show producer. “The show brings together story lines from Ireland’s history book, but in a way that engages the audience’s mind, heart and spirit. They might be laughing one minute, pondering the next, maybe wiping away a tear.”

Lee College is one of 54 stops that Celtic Nights will make as part of its latest North American tour. Rebekah Shearer, co-producer of “Spirit of Freedom” and a singer who performs in the show, attributes the cast’s growing following to the way they are able to make audience members a part of the magic.

“One of my favorite parts of the show is the ‘unplugged’ section, where the cast comes to the lip of the stage in an informal way to talk, to sing songs, to lead the audience in singing along,” Shearer said. “It becomes a real Irish party, like one would find in a pub. It’s not just a show, it’s a friendship. It’s brilliant.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby Liberty, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 13 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Free jazz concerts at the PAC

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College’s own Thursday Night Band and Bayou Big Band will take the stage at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) for a free, jazz-filled weekend that will also feature an improv clinic and concert from Michael Davis, the acclaimed trombonist and composer widely known for his work with The Rolling Stones and the legendary Frank Sinatra.

Michael Davis
Michael Davis

The first of two free events bound for the PAC Main Hall is “Jazz @ Lee College,” set for 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 8. Both the Thursday Night Band and Bayou Big Band will perform at the annual concert, which will include a mix of old and new big band-style instrumentals.

The GCIC Jazz Fest will begin at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 9, in the PAC Main Hall. Various ensembles from the Texas Gulf Coast community colleges will perform on stage throughout the morning and afternoon, with the Thursday Night Band and Bayou Big Band from Lee College set for 4 and 4:30 p.m., respectively. Davis will offer an improv clinic at 1 p.m., and return to the stage at 7:30 p.m. for a performance with the GCIC Directors Band. The Campus Activities Board is sponsoring his appearance.

Born in San Francisco, Davis quickly found his stride with the trombone in high school and attended college at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. His big break came in 1983 with a call to sign on with the Buddy Rich Band. Three years later, Davis’ career as a freelance recording artist began in earnest and he quickly developed a reputation as one of the best trombonists in the business. In addition to touring and recording with The Rolling Stones since 1994 and Sinatra from 1988-1994, he has also worked with Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Jay-Z, Sarah Vaughan, Sting, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Paul Simon, and dozens of others in a career that has spanned three decades.

As a music educator, Davis has taught workshops and clinics for students around the world and written instructional books and arrangements for musicians at every skill level. He is the founder, creator and president of Hip-Bone Music, Inc. — through which he maintains his own jazz groups and projects — and the recipient of multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. Davis has released nine solo CDs and composed more than 150 works during his career, and appeared on more than 500 CDs and motion picture soundtracks. In 2011, the S.E. Shires Company introduced the special edition Michael Davis Trombone in his honor.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby Liberty, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 13 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.