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John Oates’ Concert at Lee Street Theatre Solidifies New Partnership with Catawba College

September 30, 2016

Category: Academics, Events, Music, Students, Theatre Arts

 Oates playing with Guthrie Trapp and his group, 18 South

John Oates' acoustic concert on October 7th at Lee Street Theatre in Salisbury not only launches the organization's '16-'17 concert series, but it will solidify the new relationship Lee Street Theatre has with Catawba College's Music and Theatre Arts Departments.

According to Lee Street Board Chair Shari Graham, "John Oates' visit on October 7th is evidence of Lee Street raising the level of the live music experience in the Salisbury and surrounding area. Bill Armour [special assistant to the president at Catawba] and I started this conversation many months ago about how we could continue to bring amazing artists to our venue. In doing so, the benefit is two-fold – our community sees Grammy-winning artists and it also allows the music students at Catawba to interact and learn from musicians of the highest caliber. What a great feeling to see how our progress continues on this ambitious course we've set."

Oates, with his musical partner, Daryl Hall, launched Hall & Oates in 1970. More than 40 years later, in 2014, the duo was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, re-energizing their career. Today, they continue to tour steadily and according to Billboard magazine, are the most successful duo of the rock era. They also pursue individual artistic interests; Oates does some solo performances in smaller venues, while Hall broadcasts a monthly webcast called, "Daryl's House."

Before Oates performs at Lee Street the night of October 7th, he'll spend time at Catawba College, speaking to students of Dr. David Lee Fish, the department chair and founder of the college's popular music and music business programs, and listening to their original songs.

While Oates' performance at Lee Street is billed as intimate, so is the experience that Catawba College students will have interacting with him.

"What a wonderful opportunity for our Catawba students to be able to interact with an artist like John Oates," Fish said. "It's one thing to hear a musician's work, but yet another to be able to engage in one-on-one dialog with them. This will be an experience I'm sure they will benefit from and cherish."

A new partnership between Lee Street Theatre and Catawba College was announced in late June. It was designed to provide a continuum of great theatre and music for the Salisbury community and more real world, hands-on opportunities for Catawba students. As a component of the partnership, Craig Kolkebeck, who has served as Catawba's scenic shop manager, assumed the position of both interim artistic director for Lee Street and assistant professor of theatre arts at Catawba. While serving as scene shop manager and teaching two classes at Catawba each semester, he will work with Lee Street to direct shows, oversee the artistic output of guest directors, and assist in developing and promoting the upcoming productions.

"No matter who the artist or musicians we bring to Lee Street for a concert, my goal is for them to always share their knowledge and experiences with the Music students at Catawba," Graham said.

Catawba's Bill Armour, who with Dr. David Lee Fish was instrumental in launching Catawba's Nashville-based Segue 61 certificate music program, noted, "For most of his solo shows like the Lee Street Theatre date, Oates is supported by a cahone player and by first-call guitarist Guthrie Trapp, who also now serves as Creative Coordinator for Segue 61."

A sold out performance to the John Oates Concert at Lee Street Theatre is expected. At press time for this article, there were only 50 tickets remaining and available at

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