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Entertainer Gary Morris to Visit BethelĂ­s Renaissance Students

9/12/2011
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Country music and Broadway star Gary Morris

Country music and Broadway star Gary Morris will visit Bethel University’s Renaissance performing arts group on Friday, Sept. 23 when he will come to the school’s McKenzie campus and take part in a MasterClass with Renaissance students.
“I’m looking forward to coming to Bethel. What a cool opportunity it is for me to have the chance to work with such a great program and it will be my pleasure to share the stage with the Bethel Renaissance group in Jackson opening night. Dixie Carter was a friend and I’m going to encourage students to pursue their dreams, like I know she did many times,” said Gary Morris.
     Morris is probably best known for his original recording of “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which won both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music Song of the Year Awards. At the height of his Nashville recording career, Morris boldly opted to play opposite Linda Ronstadt in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Puccini’s opera “La Boheme.” Next, he accepted the heroic lead role of Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” on Broadway. Receiving resounding critical praise, including a Drama Desk Best Actor nomination, his performance set the standard for this challenging role. Morris’ famous rendition of “Bring Him Home” can be found on the platinum-selling Grammy Award-winning International cast album.
     Morris’ career in country music began in the early 1980's when he produced twelve albums that generated sixteen Top 10 singles and five No. 1 hits, including "Baby Bye Bye," "100% Chance Of Rain," and "Leave Me Lonely." Morris then broke new ground with his highly successful self-produced acoustic album "Plain Brown Wrapper," far preceding the unplugged genre that is so popular today.
     Morris has performed in venues all over the world including the historic Grand Ole Opry, and he has performed for U.S. Presidents at the White House and for the Queen of England. Additionally, Morris hosted TNN’s top-rated North American Sportsman and appeared in recurring roles on The Colby’s, Designing Women, and Mike Hammer.
     During the MasterClass, Morris will also rehearse with a group of Renaissance students who will join him onstage during the opening night of his Christmas concert at The Ned scheduled for Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Morris’ 2010 Christmas concert at The Ned was the most popular event ever held at the venue.
      Renaissance, the Bethel University Performing Arts Experience, is composed of a choral component, a theatrical component and a new and exciting instrumental component known as Renaissance Revolution. Renaissance students have performed across the U.S. and in countries like Japan and the Philippines. Its small group combos have also made their mark with the Renaissance Southern Gospel Quartet earning National Champion honors at the 2009 National Quartet Convention. Patterned the same as athletic scholarships, Renaissance scholarships offer significant money for school to students who have a desire to perform in the arts.
         Tickets are now available for My Country, My Christmas, Gary Morris’ Christmas show with his band, at The Ned in Jackson. All seats are reserved for both shows which begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available in Jackson at The Potter’s Garden (660-9990), Jenny Craig (668-4313), and The Ned (425-8397). www.garymorris.com Facebook Gary Morris Musician/Band