WCMA announces 74th season

Several hitmakers from the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s will be coming to Packard Music Hall as part of the 2014-15 season of the Warren Civic Music Association.

The lineup for the 74th season was announced Sunday at a luncheon at Trumbull Country Club.

“What we try to do is find six different acts,” said Ellie Monchak, artist selection chairperson for the WCMA. “We wouldn’t bring in six country acts. Obviously we try to appeal to our audience and get them the best talent possible Last season, the bar was set high, but I think we have another exciting lineup.”

The season will open Sept. 18 with Paul Byrom. A former soloist with Celtic Thunder, Byrom was known as “The Swanky Tenor” for his suave, romantic style. In 2012, he was named Irish Tenor of the Year by the Irish Music Association.

“His voice is mesmerizing,” Monchak said. “He has a unique way of delivering songs.”

The vocal quartet Vivace will perform Oct. 14. Melody Courage, Tiffany Desrosiers, Marc Devigne and DJ Calhoun first performed together at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Since then the foursome has toured throughout the United States and Canada with a repertoire that ranges from pop hits to arias.

Another vocal group will be featured on Nov. 13. The Company Men are billed as “America’s First Mashup Group,” and on its debut album the group merges contemporary hits with pop and rock standards from decades past, like Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” mashed up with the ’60 Barrett Strong song, “Money (That’s What I Want).”

“They are a different group,” Monchak said. “They are a dynamic group of guys that combine singing with snappy choreography.”

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. topped the charts in 1976 with “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (to Be in My Show)” and had other pop and R&B hits as a duo. Before that they were part of the 5th Dimension, which released 20 top-40 hits between 1967 and 1973, including “One Less Bell to Answer,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “Stoned Soul Picnic” and “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All.” They will perform Dec. 16.

“They are singing legends,” Monchak said. “They’ll be doing a combination Christmas show for us, one half Christmas and one half a tribute to their many hits.”

Joining forces on March 26, 2015, will be Exile and Juice Newton. All five original members of Exile, best known for its 1978 No. 1 hit “Kiss You All Over,” will share the stage with Newton, whose top 10 hits include “Angel of the Morning,” “Queen of Hearts” and “Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard on Me.”

“Both are pop acts that turned country,” she said. “They’re touring together and we thought that was a good opportunity.”

The season concludes April 23, 2015, with Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway. Five singers, all Broadway veterans, backed by a New York band will perform songs from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “Les Miserables,” “Jekyll & Hyde” and other Broadway favorites.

All concerts start at 7:30 p.m. and take place at Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren.

Season tickets are $80 for adults and $27 for students if purchased by May 31. Tickets sold after that date are $90 adults and $30 students.

For more information, call 330-399-4885 or go to www.warrencivicmusic.com