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Tap, clap and sing at Chad Watkins' piano concert
Chad Watkins.jpg
Pianist Chad Watkins

A “fun, tap-your-toes, clap-your-hands, sing-along-on-the-choruses event” will kick off the First Presbyterian Church Fine Arts Series’ fifth season.

That’s how April Bell, publicity contact for the series, described the Sept. 9 performance by pianist Chad Watkins.

“There will literally be something there for young and old,” she said. “You’re going to leave feeling really good at the end of (the) performance.”

Watkins, a local musician who is also a public school music education teacher in Forsyth County, will entertain the audience with an hour-and-fifteen-minute show.

Pianist Chad Watkins
What: Part of the First Presbyterian Church Fine Arts Series
When: 4-5:30 p.m. Sept. 9
Where: First Presbyterian Church, 800 S. Enota Drive, Gainesville
How much: $15; students free

More info: 770-532-0136

“The first half of the program will be Chad doing gospel favorites and just talking about his development as a musician,” Bell said. “His career path has been multifold. He is just the full plate of musical artistry.”

Following intermission, Watkins will be joined on stage by 15-year-old Anna Corinne Galbreath.

“Anna is a student of Chad’s,” she said. “She just finished a fellowship opportunity at Julliard this summer.”

Local musician Michelle Martin also will make an appearance in the second-half of the program, performing pieces such as “Sweet Dreams” by Don Gibson and “Crazy” by Willie Nelson.

Bell said Watkins’ upcoming event is one of four concerts the church will offer as part of its Fine Arts Series.

“We try to combine both local artists and national artists,” she said, mentioning other artists for this season will include the theater company Friends of the Groom, Babbie Mason and John LaForge and Michelle Martin. “It’s a whole collection of musical tastes and interests. A little something for everyone.”

She said the Fine Arts Series initially began under Mike Henry, former music director at First Presbyterian Church.

“The choir was going to do a tour overseas with Mike, and so one of the ways they initially raised funds for that trip was to host a series of concerts during that year,” she said, explaining that the current program was later developed.   

Now, the church uses the series as a way to “keep arts in the community” and as an outreach to the local area.

“We sit down each year and try not to repeat performances or artists again to keep the best variety in mind,” she said. “It’s getting a perception of audience response to the performances throughout the year and then just increasing that variety to meet those needs and expand the audience.”

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