Performing Arts Center Grand Opening Set For Saturday

OCEAN CITY – The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, along with the OC Stars children’s chorus, will perform on Saturday at the grand opening of Ocean City’s new Performing Arts Center.

On Jan. 17, the Ocean City Mayor and Council will be joined by members of the Maryland Stadium Authority and state officials to celebrate the official opening of the new Performing Arts Center (PAC) at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center.

The grand opening will celebrate the completion of the PAC that will host concerts, musicals and theatrical productions as well as seminars with its state-of-the-art equipment and two-tiered seating with a total of 1,200 seats, dressing rooms, concession areas and a box office.

The construction of the PAC is Phase II of the convention center’s expansion that began in October of 2013. The project cost $14 million and was funded in part by the state through the Maryland Stadium Authority at $5.7 million. The Town of Ocean City funded the remaining $8.3 million, which is covered by a 2013 bond issue.

The celebration will include a ribbon cutting ceremony and performances by the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO), conducted by Julien Benichou and featuring Israel Lozano. The OC Stars will also take the stage for a special appearance.

“This event marks a monumental moment in our community’s history,” Mayor Rick Meehan said.  “The Performing Arts Center is a focal point for entertainment in Ocean City.  It represents a lot of hard work, a strong partnership between Ocean City and the State of Maryland, big dreams and a very bright future for our community.  It is a beautiful venue and I am confident that citizens will walk away with a very different experience, a more personal experience, than they will at many other venues in our surrounding area.”

According to MSO Executive Director Nicoleen Willson, the orchestra will be performing a gala-inspired classical pops program, featuring Spanish Tenor Israel Lozano. The program highlights several fanfares celebrating the opening of the PAC, including a fanfare written by Maestro Benichou, along with well-known fanfares by Copland, Stravinsky, and Dukas.  Other works by Puccini, Rossini, and Dvorak are on the program.

The MSO is also collaborating with the OC Stars, which is comprised of students from Ocean City Elementary School, performing Lift Every Voice and Sing.

“The Mid-Atlantic Symphony is honored to be a part of the inaugural season for the Performing Arts Center at the Convention Center, and especially for this ribbon-cutting event,” Willson said. “The MSO has increasingly become an important part of the Delmarva region. This new facility will provide an opportunity for the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, and other outstanding performers, to serve the community and bring excellent art to the region. We look forward to continued performances at this venue, augmenting our regular performing schedule in areas such as Ocean Pines and Easton in Maryland, and Ocean View and at the Freeman Stage in Delaware.”

Ticket prices for the grand opening celebration of the PAC with the MSO range from $25-$45 and are currently on sale through TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com or the convention center box office.

In addition to the performance, tickets include complimentary hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will be available and black tie is optional. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., with the ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled at 7:15 p.m. and the concert to follow.

 

 

Foreign Workers Eyed To Help With Bus Driver Shortage

OCEAN CITY – The town will be looking to the foreign workforce to ease its need for additional bus drivers during the summer season. Last month the Transportation Commission discussed recruitment opportunities to hire much needed bus drivers for the summer season. In broadening the hiring pool, the commission voted to make bus driver requirements less stringent. The town’s former … Continue reading

Ocean City’s Revamped Website A Major Improvement

OCEAN CITY – The Town of Ocean City’s new website went live on Monday. For those who had not already noticed, Council Secretary Mary Knight announced the news at the conclusion of Monday evening’s Mayor and City Council meeting. “Today we launched the Town of Ocean City’s new webpage in a new format,” Knight said. “The beauty of this new … Continue reading

Touch Screen Votes No More For Md.

SNOW HILL — With the 2014 mid-term election in the books and preparations for the 2016 General Election already underway, voters in the state will have to adjust to another change in the voting system the next time around. Late last month, the State of Maryland inked a $28 million-plus contract with a Nebraska company to replace the existing touch-screen … Continue reading

New Monthly Event Eyed For Downtown Salisbury; Performing Arts To Be Highlighted

SALISBURY – Plans for a new monthly music event in Salisbury’s downtown were rolled out before the City Council last week. Aiming to bring more visitors to the downtown, First Saturday will provide a free, family-friendly experience for locals while also promoting local business, tourism growth and community involvement through music and celebration. The event is an all-volunteer effort, a … Continue reading

Berlin Fire Siren To Continue With No Restrictions

BERLIN – The Berlin Fire Company has opted not to move forward with a plan to limit the hours the town fire siren would sound. Although Berlin Fire Company (BFC) officials approached the town in July and said they wanted to stop sounding the fire siren located atop town hall during the overnight hours, BFC President David Fitzgerald said this … Continue reading

Officials Report OC Tourism Group Improving Synergy

OCEAN CITY – The Town of Ocean City’s new Tourism Group is looking forward to working together in turning ideas into reality this year. Prior to last summer, the division of Special Events moved from the Recreation and Parks Department and joined the town’s new “Tourism Group.” City Manager David Recor formed the Tourism Group, which is combined of Special … Continue reading

Major Utility Work Planned For Ocean Pines Over Winter

BERLIN – Water line replacement is expected to cause some headaches for motorists in Ocean Pines this winter. The installation of a new sewage force main along Ocean Parkway and the replacement of several deficient water service lines in the same area are expected to cause some delays for drivers beginning in December. John Ross, deputy director of Worcester County … Continue reading

Berlin Rolls Out New Emergency Notification System

BERLIN – A new mass notification system is expected to keep Berlin’s citizens informed. Accompanying residents’ utility bills this month was a notice about CodeRed, the emergency notification system the town is now using to share important information. The mass notification system delivers emergency messages via telephone, text or email. “I’m delighted the town has this program,” Mayor Gee Williams … Continue reading

OC’s Downtown Scores Major Grants

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Development Corporation has received a total of $350,000 from the state to fund several projects in downtown Ocean City from decorative lighting along St. Louis Avenue to demolition of the Model Block to make way for a fresh start. Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) Executive Director Glenn Irwin announced on Thursday the OCDC is … Continue reading