Ready to WOW

This post is written by Kerry Ferguson, founder of HUB-BUB, theatre super-star at Wofford College, creator of Sincerely, Spartanburg, and co-director (with Catherine Baehr) of Saturday’s Next Big Thing.

Well, things are rolling right along both in The Showroom and behind the scenes there, as a handful of HUB-BUB staffers and friends are working to put together The Next Big Thing, the inaugural fundraising shin-dig for HUB-BUB. You’ve been reading here about all the reasons to come on out to this event this weekend, and now we’ve saved the best for last: our incredible performers. What a show we have planned! From jazz to pop to rock and hip-hop – we truly do have something for everyone.

Who will be The Next Big Thing (the title that comes with $1000)? Who will win the  $500 Popular Vote? We shall soon see. Join us for an evening supporting HUB-BUB and featuring the talent of these eight talented acts:

The Upstate Group” is our largest band and they have huge amounts of talent to match. Their upbeat, super-tight mix of pop and R&B blew the preliminary judges out of their seats, which these guys (and a gal!) will be hoping to do again for our panel of local celebrity final judges as they take the stage first on Saturday night. Be sure to be in The Showroom right at 8:00 for this !big bang! start to our evening.

Rachel Chalmers is a high school senior who recently left Spartan High after she was accepted at the Governor’s School of Arts and Humanities right up the road in Greenville — and you’ll see why they wanted her when you hear her sing.  Bluesy, jazzy and confident, this young performer has got serious chops and is clearly on her way up, up, up.

The hip-hop duo of J Howell and CHIEFJENXZ keep it clean but rock it mean when they take the stage. They are super-focused, super-talented, super-energized guys who are here to win, I can promise you that, and they love working the crowd so don’t be shy and throw those hands up when they take the stage.

joie. is a group of three friends who recently came together to make a band and who ever since then have been gaining more and more attention as they perform around the area. And rightfully so! Inspired by a wide range of performers, they are as dynamic and talented as they are fun and charming, so come on out and catch them performing on The Showroom stage for the first time.

Next up is St. Maurice. Wow. These guys can rock it right out the door. This eclectic band’s mix of musical/pop-culture inspirations will have your eyes and ears glued to the stage for sure. What will they play for us Saturday? Whatever it is – jazz, reggae, blues or rock— it will be something seriously funky.

Keep that Saturday night vibe going with the smooth song-stylings of Mr. Reddy, a  singer/song writer whose love of live performance matches his musical talents. This guy will win your heart, and hopefully lots of your popular votes, as well!  Whether he’s sharing his beach, soul or gospel music with the crowd, Mr. Reddy will have you smiling.

Who’s next? Bam: Liz Hutchens, a Wofford grad who has recently returned to Spartanburg after being away for too long. Infectious personality? Check. Great big voice? Check.  Liz will knock your socks off so be sure to bring an extra pair. This guitar-playing songstress will be putting her own quirky twist on some well-known songs and will be a real treat to tune into.

Rounding out this whole evening extraordinaire, we have the fabulous foursome that makes up The Wheresville Project.  They are all juniors at the Spartanburg Day School, but don’t let their age fool you — these guys play and perform way beyond their years.  If rock and roll is your dish – and even if it isn’t – you won’t want to miss it when Whereseville wraps up our evening on a high-energy high note.

So…YES!! All this extreme and diverse talent is included in your (FUNDRAISING!) ticket price of just $30. (NEW: Student Price of $20 –you asked, we provided…) I know…that’s insane!  That’s remarkable! Better yet, that’s the truth! Plus The Showroom will be all dressed up thanks to the combined super-heroic efforts of Jeff Goshorn, Stephen Long, and our talented AiRs and volunteers — and to top it ALL off, we can’t forget our dazzling panel of judges (Gordy! Lindsay! Valerie! Paul!) and our incomparable host for the whole affair, Ms. Dorothy Josey.  All this, plus videos, give-aways, plenty of cold beer and wine (and water and sodas!) available for purchase AND a couple of tasty food trucks hanging around, to boot?

Wow.

So. Don’t miss The Next Big Thing this Saturday night at The Showroom. Doors open at 7:30 unless you buy a swanky VIP ticket which, among other perks, gets you in an hour early to beat the crowd.

See you there!

(Can’t make it? You can still donate as many $1 popular votes as you want for your favorite band at http://www.nextbigthing2011.com/finalists.)

-Kerry Ferguson

next bi thing

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