New concert series set to begin Saturday at Memorial Park Community Center

Tony Casey • Apr 23, 2014 at 10:17 AM

What better way to get the most out of a new performance venue than to host a new music series?

On Saturday, from 3-6 p.m., a free concert series will start at the amphitheater at the 2-year-old Memorial Park Community Center and feature the talents of the winners of JC’s Got Talent and Kingsport Idol, as well as other local talent. Kingsport Idol winners included Leann Mazzei, Tristan Craft, Meghan Sizemore-Brown and Kandis Barnett, while the JC’s Got Talent winners include TBC Mimes, Maya Lowery, Cassie Brooks and Logan Kolarick.

James Smith, owner of DOTHERT Recording Studios, is helping put together the event with the Johnson City Recreation and Senior Services divisions of Parks and Recreation. He said the venue could hold upward of 450 people, not counting the green space around it. Because it’s a new event, Smith said a few hundred people at the outset would be a success.

Because of the proximity and walkability from both the downtown area and the senior center, they could have the basis of a regular event with the potential to grow.

“I’ve always got big ambitions and big dreams,” Smith said. What he’d like to see if each of four or five events that will carry out through the summer be day or weekend-long affairs, with a music festival atmosphere. Food and fun would go a long way in making Music at Memorial Park a bigger event, Smith said.

The genre of music played in the series will not always be the same, because they want to both expose local music fans to genres outside of their norm as well as give a chance to highlight some of the different of varieties around Johnson City.

Robin Dimona, the city’s recreation services manager, said having the music series will accomplish several things, in that it will get people used to the new venue where future events will be held as well as give a chance for recent music competition winners to gain confidence by performing for groups of people.

The space itself, Dimona said, is a beautiful outdoor setting that will provide a free, family friendly picnic-like atmosphere where people can play frisbee and enjoy some music.

There are no set dates for the series, as they might change or couple with other events in the area, but they will feature jazz, gospel, swing and bluegrass music.

Smith and the other organizers thought with the new space, they should set off some kind of annual event, and with the venue put together so well, there wouldn’t be a better place to have area talent perform.

For more information about the event, call 282-5820.Follow Tony Casey on Twitter @TonyCaseyJCP. Like him on Facebook here.

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