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Ayla Brown, Opera for Kids & More Coming to FPAC in April

THE BLACK BOX, downtown Franklin's new theater, music, and event venue, presents a wide-ranging lineup of live music entertainment this April. Events are slated to feature singer-songwriter Ayla Brown, Opera for Kids, and jazz vocalist April Hall. THE BLACK BOX, the home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC), is located at 15 West Central Street.

Wrentham native Ayla Brown headlines a BLACK BOX New England Artists Series concert, featuring opening act Brendan Kelley, on Friday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. Singer-songwriter, musician, athlete, and TV personality, Ayla Brown has performed on the legendary stages of the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium and opened for numerous country music stars, including Jason Aldean, Charlie Daniels, Sara Evans, Tracy Lawrence, Loretta Lynn, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner and Chris Young. A finalist on Season 5 of Fox-TV's American Idol, Ayla was also a national news correspondent for The Early Show on CBS. She has performed for American troops in Afghanistan, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt. Ayla released a self-titled country music album, Ayla Brown, and a patriotic-inspired album, Heroes and Hometowns, in 2012. A portion of every CD sale of her sophomore release benefits Hugs for Heroes, Inc., a Massachusetts-based, military nonprofit. Ayla co-wrote or wrote five out of the seven songs on Heroes and Hometowns, which peaked at #1 on Amazon MP3 and reached #51 on iTunes. A former All-American Division I basketball player at Boston College, Ayla was also a student at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) and is the recipient of the 2011 FSPA Alumni Award.

FPAC's annual free Family Concert Series presents Opera for Kids, Alice in Wonderland, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 12. The operatic adaptation of Lewis Carroll's cherished children's book is composed by Robert Chauls and features Julia Clifford as Alice, Mariko Matsumura as the White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat and Shauna Martin as the Queen of Hearts. Journey down the rabbit hole with Alice and meet the colorful characters of Carroll's surreal, madcap world. A treasured FPAC tradition for more than two decades, FPAC Family Concert Series events are especially geared to children in length and format and provide young audiences with a fun introduction to the world of live music. The performances introduce audiences of all ages to music of many genres and feature talented, professional musicians in an engaging, entertaining and interactive way. FPAC's 2015 Family Concert Series is sponsored by Berry Insurance.

On Friday, April 24, at 8 p.m., renowned vocalist April Hall takes audiences on a special journey through The Great American Songbook, showcasing the most enduring and influential Golden Age standards of the Broadway stage and Hollywood screen. With her swinging all-star band, Hall interprets our most treasured classics by legendary masters of song to deliver a deeply moving evening of sentiment, humor, heartbreak and romance. Her voice described as "glorious" by The Boston Globe, Hall combines her deep roots in southern gospel and blues with an urban soulfulness and jazz sophistication. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, where she received the prestigious Louis Armstrong Performance Award, Hall has done projects for Atlantic Records, under the direction of Arif Mardin, for the legendary Chaka Kahn, Melissa Manchester and Bette Midler. She has performed with artists such as Rosemary Clooney, Al Jarreau, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius and Dinah Shore. Hall's Room for Two was named one of Jazz Times top 50 Jazz Records of 2012. Hall will be joined for the BLACK BOX Jazz series event by pianist Tim Ray, bassist Mark Poniatowski and drummer Kenny Hadley.

For tickets and more information, visit or call (508) 528-3370.

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