Severinsen Returns to Headline Ovations! Season

Posted on 5/21/2014 12:36:15 PM

Doc SeverinsenFor its next season, the Lively Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will celebrate 25 years as the region’s premier presenter of performing and visual arts events, activities, and outreach. As part of the celebration, the Ovations! series will offer events that bring back several popular past acts.

Headlining and opening the season on September 16, 2014, will be the return of trumpet master and entertainment icon Doc Severinsen. Severinsen first performed at IUP in 1985 as that year’s Helwig Distinguished Artist following his 30-year stint as music director with Johnny Carson and NBC’s The Tonight Show.

For his return, he will perform with Kansas City-based singer Vanessa Thomas and a band that will include some of IUP’s most heralded alumni and faculty musicians. This event will also help celebrate the long list of great artists who have come to Indiana through the Helwig Distinguished Artist Endowment program since 1988.

Deborah Henson-Conant Also returning, this time for a holiday-infused concert, will be the rousing sound of jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant. First performing to an overwhelmingly enthusiastic audience in 2002, Henson-Conant combines expert musicianship, genuine comedy, and untamed showmanship. For this December 4 concert, joined by the IUP Jazz Ensemble, she will perform a variety of tunes for the holiday.

During the Spring semester months, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will return on February 21, 2015.  One of the world’s greatest orchestras, plans are underway for what will be a stellar program to be announced soon.

Rounding out the season with returning artists will be the Jones-Maruri Duo. This classical guitar and cello duo, based in Madrid, Spain, first performed at IUP in 2009. They will present a recital on April 9 in Gorell Recital Hall with special guest Henry Wong Doe, IUP piano professor.

As part of the 25th anniversary season, the 2014–2015 Ovations! series will also present events that have never visited the Indiana area previously and others that will highlight new works for the future. A total of 12 events will be on this series, including two touring Broadway musicals, with more details to follow over the coming weeks.

Other programs under the umbrella of the Lively Arts, such as Theater-by-the-Grove, Sound Choices, Dance Theater, Music Theater, University Museum, and Kipp Gallery, will also join in the celebration. Those schedules will also be announced over the next few weeks.

People wishing to subscribe to the series should contact the Lively Arts to be placed on the mailing list. You can call 724-357-2787 (ARTS), or e-mail

The Ovations! series is funded, in part, by the IUP Student Cooperative Association. Additional support is provided by private donations given through the Premiere Club, sponsorships from area businesses, and a variety of grants, including from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Dance Project, and others.

The appearance of Doc Severisen is funded by the Helwig Distinguished Artist Endowment and additional funding provided by the Helwig family.