Sept. 3, 2004 — This year, Reichhold Center for the Arts is boasting one of its most diverse lineups, offering everything from a Puerto Rican dance band to a Chinese dance company. The 2004-2005 season was unveiled Thursday evening during a special St. Thomas – St. John Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event at the Reichhold Center.
"I would say there's more variety this season," says Pamela Sanes, interim co-director of Reichhold Center for the Arts. "We're reaching a larger audience, and are getting more international acts."
Attendants at Thursday's event were treated to a visual sampling of the featured acts that will be performing at the Reichhold Center this season, which opens on Oct. 9 with El Gran Combo, an ensemble of 13 musicians who are considered an institution in Puerto Rico's music history. The internationally known band was formed more than 40 years ago, and is still going strong. This year, El Gran Combo will also perform Oct. 10 at the Island Center for the Performing Arts on St. Croix.
Returning for its sixth season under Maestro Roselin Pabon on Oct. 23 is the ever-popular Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. And once again the performance is sponsored by the Forum. The Symphony's classical, contemporary and powerful performance will be enhanced by guest vocalist, Lorna Freeman of St. Thomas's Starlites Band.
Soul music legend, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Grammy and Oscar winner Isaac Hayes comes to Reichhold this season. An icon of the 70s soul era, Hayes is best known for songs such as "Walk On By," and the theme song from the movie "Shaft." Hayes will be performing on Nov. 13.
After the New Year rolls in, guests of Reichhold will be treated to some comic relief on Jan. 15 with the Jamaican comedic duo, Bello and Blakka.
The international flavor of the season continues in February with Strings, a group of acoustic guitarists playing Haitian Folk, Flamenco, and Latino-American inspired music. The group will host a symposium on Feb. 4, and perform on Feb. 5.
The next performer, Freddie McGregor has been called a classic reggae entertainer. McGregor, who will sing with the Inner Visions Band on March 5 , has been in the music business for 40 years, and is still going strong. His best known songs include "Guantanamera," and "Big Ship."
Finally, on May 14, a performance that will delight the eye and captivate the senses. The Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company will present a unique variety of classical, folk, and modern dances, complimented by dazzling costumes.
Sponsors for this season are American Airlines, Marriott's Frenchman's Reef, and the Virgin Islands Council of the Arts. Reichhold is still looking for people to sponsor events. Another way to show support for the Reichhold Center for the Arts is with the Best Seat Campaign. For a $250 donation, you can have a plaque engraved on one of the uncovered seats, which were remodeled last year.
The box office is open Monday through Saturday, and season tickets are still available. For more information log onto www.reichholdcenter.com or call the box office at (340) 693-1559.
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