PBS to showcase Burns’ ‘Country Music’

Betsy PickleArts 865

Opportunities are knocking around the Knoxville arts scene.


Locals can see a special preview of the new Ken Burns documentary series, “Country Music,” from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St.

Ken Burns

Hosted by East Tennessee PBS and the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies department, Saturday’s program is free.

Publicity for “Country Music” says the documentary “chronicles the history of a uniquely American art form. From southern Appalachia’s songs of struggle, heartbreak and faith to the rollicking western swing of Texas, from California honky-tonks to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, we follow the evolution of Country Music over the course of the 20th century, as it eventually emerged to become ‘America’s music.’”

Burns has already put his focus on “Jazz” – can’t wait to see what he does with “Rap”! But seriously, the acclaimed filmmaker has amassed a huge following with such spellbinding works as “The Civil War,” “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” “The War” (about World War II) and “The Vietnam War.” “Country Music” is sure to be another good one.

“Country Music” will debut on PBS on Sept. 15 as an eight-episode, 16.5-hour series.

Prior to the sneak peek, ETSU’s Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program will present a special performance.

Mural man Karl to speak

Addison Karl at work (From the artist’s website)

Artist Addison Karl will talk about his career and his current project – a commissioned mural in the west alley behind Market Square, between Union and Wall avenues – at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at the Regal Auditorium at the Knoxville Museum of Art, 1050 World’s Fair Park Drive.

Of Chickasaw and Choctaw lineage, Addison Karl is a nationally recognized public artist who has created works that range from small to giant scale, including ones like the Knoxville mural that integrate public spaces.

An announcement of the event says: “With a signature style that employs hatch drawing, Addison’s work uses fine lines and details that create diminutive creations that unfold into large-scale expressive murals. Each stroke of color breathes life and vibrancy to his work. With his work, his aim is to expand the viewer’s understanding of the context, structures and surfaces they occupy, thus adding life.” More info at his website.

Karl’s 45-minute lecture and presentation will include Q&A time. Light refreshments will follow. RSVP to LZ@knoxalliance.com.

The KMA’s galleries will be open extended hours until the start of the presentation.

Step back into 1999 with ‘Matrix,’ more

This weekend, Friday through Sunday, Central Cinema is going to “Movie Like It’s 1999,” and you’re invited to come on the journey. The lineup includes “The Matrix,” “Magnolia,” “The Blair Witch Project” and “Deep Blue Sea.” I’m not sure it was very polite for them to remind us that all of those films came out 20 years ago, but it’s probably not as rude as FaceApp.

Choral society sets auditions

Warm up your pipes: The Knoxville Choral Society is holding auditions for the 2019-2020 season on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 12-13, beginning at 5 p.m. Auditions will be held at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 1001 Ebenezer Road. Openings are available in all voice parts of the 120-voice volunteer choir.

The Knoxville Choral Society will be holding auditions soon.

Founded in 1951, the Knoxville Choral Society is dedicated to choral performance excellence.  During the 2018-2019 season, the Choral Society presented a Handel Masterworks concert under the direction of new artistic director John R. Orr. The KCS also performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in collaboration with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and presented the first “Sing! Knoxville” concert at the Bijou Theatre. The 2019-2020 concert lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The Knoxville Choral Society creates an opportunity for singers to participate in the highest caliber of choral concerts in our area,” Orr said in a press release. “We are looking for artistic, creative singers who love choral music of all kinds, and who want to connect with each other in the creative expression of the choral arts.”

Rehearsals take place 7:30-9:30 p.m. most Mondays, August-May. Auditions will include an assessment of vocal quality, sight-reading and tonal memory drills. No prepared piece is required for the audition. For more information and to reserve an audition time, visit the website, call 865-312-2440 or email membership@knoxvillechoralsociety.org.

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