HAMLET― Richmond Community College and Fidelity Bank are teaming up to bring a new concert series to Cole Auditorium.
College President Dr. Dale McInnis announced the three-concert Classic Rock ‘N Country series at a press conference Monday.
With demand growing for the Dewitt Performing Arts Series, McInnis said there were shows the college wasn’t able to fit in.
“We have strived to make that series very eclectic, including a lot of different genres and types of art,” he said, adding, “We recognized there was an opportunity to do even more.”
The new focus, he said, was to bring family entertainment to Richmond County and the surrounding area.
McInnis said representatives from Fidelity reached out and said, “We’d like to do something to support the college. What do you need?”
“They offered a contribution for a scholarship … we always need scholarships,” he said. “We saw it would be a perfect fit to match their generosity and community spirit with a new opportunity to provide rock and country music that we can’t always fit into the Dewitt series and draw in a brand new market of folks from across the region.”
Joey Bennett, director of the Cole, said country concerts in the past have been well-attended, despite not being the favorite genre of some of the season-ticket holders.
“But we knew there was an audience base there, so we wanted to pull that out separately from the series,” he said. “Classic rock had been something that we toyed with, but doing a six-show series, we were worried … that may be even a little more foreign for some of our regular ticket holders.”
Bennett said there was a lot of interest when a Journey tribute band played earlier this year for the President’s Club kick-off.
The new series starts Feb. 23 with country singer Craig Morgan, followed by Hotel California — an Eagles tribute band ― on March 5 and North Carolina native and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery on March 29.
“Fidelity Bank is so excited to be a part of this concert series and, to a greater measure, working with Richmond Community College, which is such a vital part of our community,” said Phil Woodard, executive vice president.
Patrick Chappell, marketing executive for Fidelity, is a former RCC Foundation officer and said he and his staff are frequent patrons of the Cole.
“We know firsthand the excitement that performances of the Cole Auditorium bring to not only Richmond County but to the surrounding areas, as well,” Chappell said. “We know that this series is going to bring even more shows for the community to enjoy and that this partnership will be a great benefit for both of our customer bases.”
McInnis said classic rock and country fans from the college gave suggestions as to who would be a good draw.
The college started with a list of about eight acts and Bennett said it was a challenge to line up dates but they able to secure those three.
He added that there will probably be more shows announced over the summer for the fall of 2019 and spring of 2020.
“We didn’t want it to be competition, necessarily, for the Dewitt series,” Bennett said. “We wanted to let the Dewitt series get on its feet this year … and then do the second series separately.”
Ticket prices vary based on seating and season tickets are available. For more information, call 910-410-1691 or visit www.richmondcc.edu/rockNcountry.