The Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville—a $40-plus million project in the works for more than a decade—is getting closer to its grand opening. Nashville superstar Jo Dee Messina headlines the first big public event there on Friday, March 26, at 8 p.m., followed the next night by the center's Grand Opening Gala, featuring performances by the Maryville College Orchestra and Band and the Appalachian Ballet Company, topped off by singers Delores Ziegler, an accomplished mezzo-soprano who graduated from the University of Tennessee in the 1970s, and the tenor John Wesley Wright, who graduated from Maryville College. That's followed on Sunday afternoon by a piano recital featuring Richard and John Contiguglia, septuagenarian identical twins who have performed together professionally since the 1960s. Ziegler and Wright close out the celebration with another concert on Monday.
The Clayton Center's program for the rest of its season, which runs through September, includes the Appalachian Ballet Company's production of Peter Pan and concerts by Ralph Stanley and the Boston vocal quintet Ball in the House in April, and nationally renowned Maryville guitarist Steve Kaufman's annual Acoustic Series in June. That series will include dozens of local, regional, and national musicians.