News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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January 17, 2013

Award-winning bluegrass, kid-friendly rocket science at Rose-Hulman

TERRE HAUTE — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Hatfield Hall continues its performing arts series this week, following a Jan. 9 sell-out performance of The Russian National Ballet with two family-friendly acts.

On Saturday, progressive bluegrass band Mountain Heart will combine bluegrass roots with jazz, rock and funk influences in its cutting-edge acoustic show. Simply put, Mountain Heart is not your grandpa’s bluegrass band.

The group has become synonymous with ground-breaking excellence since forming in 1999. With lead vocals by singer/keyboardist Josh Shilling since 2007, Mountain Heart has revolutionized the way acoustic music is presented and performed and is widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music. The band has gained legions of loyal fans as a result of its musicianship and exciting live performances.

“I saw Mountain Heart live last year and they just blew me away,” said Hatfield Hall manager, Bunny Nash. “I love bluegrass, but I also love the added elements of jazz and blues that they present.”

As one of the most highly awarded ensembles assembled, Mountain Heart and its members have either won or been nominated for Grammy awards, Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association and multiple International Bluegrass Music Association awards. They have appeared on stage at the Grand Ole Opry more than 125 times, and have played with acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Avett Brothers, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley to Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, Yonder Mountain Stringband, Levon Helm, John Fogerty and Patty Loveless.

Mountain Heart’s musical virtuosity, energy and keen sense of entertainment dynamics have helped the band forge a unique sound and stage show, appealing to a wide variety of musical tastes. The band has transitioned effortlessly from large outdoor folk music and bluegrass festivals, to sold-out arena shows opening for Southern Rock icons  Lynyrd Skynyrd, to co-headlining concerts with the acoustic guitar legend Tony Rice.

Then on Tuesday, Hatfield Hall welcomes perennial favorite Doktor Kaboom with an all-new show, “Doktor Kaboom: It’s Just Rocket Science!”  

The creation of actor/comedian David Epley, Doktor Kaboom blends theater arts with the wonders of scientific exploration, engaging young minds with a show that’s brainy fun for the entire family. Audience volunteers join the good doctor on stage for this interactive and hilariously entertaining journey of increasingly spectacular experiments and demonstrations.   

For 20 years, Epley has made his living writing, performing and directing original interactive comedy across the U.S. and Canada. Having studied at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, he combined his love of science with his love of performing arts to create Doktor Kaboom, an interactive one-man science variety show.

Doktor Kaboom has played in venues across the country, including at The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. From catapults to air cannons, Doktor Kaboom makes science cool for kids of all ages.

“I love David Epley. I was one of the first Midwest presenters to pick him up when he started doing his science show,” said Nash, “so it’s really cool to see how popular he’s gotten.”

In addition to the Family Series evening shows, Doktor Kaboom will also be giving two special school day matinee performances for Wabash Valley teachers and students. Hatfield Hall’s school day matinee program provides these shows at low cost to schools to help promote science, technology, engineering and math education.

“We really dig what he does as far as getting kids juiced up for science,” Nash said. “We get such great feedback from teachers, as well.”

Tickets for Mountain Heart and Doktor Kaboom are available by calling the Hatfield Hall ticket desk at 812-877-8544.

Ticket desk hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, as well as two hours prior to events. More information is available at hatfieldhall.com or at facebook.com/hatfieldhall.

The shows

What: Mountain Heart

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19

Tickets: $18-$22 adult, $10 student

What: Doktor Kaboom

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 22

Tickets: $10 adult, $5 student

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