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Celebrate 'Homecomings' At The Weidner Center's 25th Anniversary Concert

The Weidner Center for the Performing Arts celebrates its 25th Anniversary Season with a homecoming of talented performers on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. The 25th Anniversary Concert will feature Wayne Lin, Brad Little, Jessica Tyler Wright, the Youth Symphony Orchestra at St. Norbert and the Weidner Anniversary Orchestra. Tickets for this event can be purchased at, by phone at 800-895-0071 or in person at the Ticket Star Box Office at the Resch Center (1901 S. Oneida St., Green Bay, Wis.).

When discussing the Silver Celebration, Executive and Artistic Director, Kelli Strickland says, "Anniversaries are a time to reflect and celebrate. With over 4 million event attendees and 9,000 events to our credit, there is much to both reflect upon and celebrate. That is why we are so pleased to have these accomplished artists who are a part of the Weidner's history join us in this night of performances. It is especially important to have the young artists of our region play a role in our celebration to remind us that our arts and culture centers cultivate generations of artists and arts lovers. Two of our very accomplished soloists are alumni of the Youth Symphony. Anniversaries are also a time to renew one's energy and commitment to the future. Cultural centers are not just buildings, they are the people that fill them. And their impact is woven throughout the fabric of a community. We look forward to continuing that tradition for the next 25 years."

As we look back, we reflect on the opening of the Weidner Center. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay's first Chancellor Dr. Edward Weidner was quoted, "We thought a performing arts center would present valuable opportunities for the students and faculty of the University. More broadly, we thought that the Weidner Center would enrich the quality of life in Green Bay and the surrounding communities."

The Weidner Center welcomes home Green Bay native, Wayne Lin. In 1993, 11-year-old violinist Wayne Lin performed at the inaugural event hosted by Beverly Sills. Lin has studied at Julliard and Yale, and he frequently served as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and Yale Philharmonia. He has appeared as a soloist with the orchestras of Milwaukee, Green Bay and the Fox Valley as well as the Chengdu Symphony in China, the Sudecka Philharmonic in Poland, and the Mirtinu and Hradac Králové Philharmonics in the Czech Republic. Lin is currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

Performer Brad Little, who made the Green Bay area home while he enchanted patrons at the Weidner Center in 1997 and 1999 as the titular character in The Phantom of the Opera, returns to the Weidner Center in this concert event. Other Broadway and tour credits include: Les Misérables, Anything Goes, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and many more. After theatre success, Little began a solo career with many symphony orchestras around the world where he produced and starred in many concerts. His first solo concert was with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Donald Pippin and a return visit the very next year. Having performed in the United States, Asia, and Europe, Little has a very wide global reach and will make an appearance in Green Bay once again for one night only.

Jessica Tyler Wright made her Broadway debut in the revival of Sweeney Todd, has performed in War Horse and many other Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. She was also nominated for a Lucille Lortel award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Marjorie Taylor in Classic Stage Company's production of Allegro. Wright is a proud native of Green Bay and began her theatre career at age 11 when she played Annie at the Theatre on the Bay. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance, both from Millikin University. The Weidner Anniversary Orchestra will be conducted by Beverly Taylor, Associate Conductor from Madison Symphony, with Concertmaster Audrey Novak. The Youth Symphony at St. Norbert College will be directed by Mike Ross. The night will be filled with lush orchestral repertoire and Broadway favorites played by old and new friends.

A pre-concert dinner event is also announced. This dinner event will start at 6:00 p.m., doors open at 5:30 p.m. The dinner menu is as follows: a classic Caesar salad with shaved asiago & basil croutons with an entree choice of brown sugar salmon fillet, choice tenderloin steak or roasted vegetable strudel. All selections come with whipped savory sweet potatoes with roasted parsnips and carrots. Dessert will follow and feature an individual chocolate soufflé cake with fresh vanilla bean cream and fresh berries. The Weidner Center is proud to partner with The Runaway Spoon on this celebration dinner.

Tickets for this pre-concert event can be purchased at, by phone at 800-895-0071 or in person at the Ticket Star Box Office at the Resch Center (1901 S. Oneida St., Green Bay, Wis.). The Weidner Center is fortunate to have assembled a supportive group of enthusiastic community members to serve as the host committee for the concert event and celebratory pre-concert dinner. The host committee members are as follows: Susie Beverstein, Kevin Collins, Paula and Ken Fleurant, Rita Kilmer, Susan Lin, Susan McAllister, Randy Meder, Mary Meyer and Gordon Haugan, Georgia Miller, Kent Paulsen, Sharon Resch, Tina Sauerhammer Dean and Frederick L. and Teresa Schmidt.

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