Gospel music kicks off Evening Shade: Concerts begin Friday night in Johnston Park
Apr 27, 2014 | 4919 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 20th season of Evening Shade is upon us with favorites from years past comprising a great lineup for the five Fridays in May.

The concerts are free at 6:30 p.m. each Friday in May in Johnston Park, located between Inman and Ocoee streets in downtown Cleveland.

The Allied Arts Council of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce has offered Evening Shade concerts in Johnston Park for the past 20 years.

Hundreds of residents gather each week and enjoy a wide variety of enriching, family-friendly musical talent, all provided to the public for free.

Audiences bring their own chairs, sometimes a picnic dinner and, most important, an appreciation for quality performing arts.

“To celebrate our 20th anniversary, the whole concept for this season was to present favorite artists that concertgoers have requested us to bring back,” Kyle Elrod, event organizer, explained. “We are excited that we can do just that for our 20th season.”

The Tennessee Arts Commission has been a partner in offering the concert series for almost 17 years by granting the Allied Arts Council matching funds for artist fees. The Arts Council then raises local sponsorships to match the grant and provide funds needed for advertising, sound equipment and other needs for producing an event.

First Baptist Church is sponsoring the evening of gospel music.

This year’s schedule includes the following:

May 2 — Gospel Variety Night, Gaither Homecoming Style

May 9 — The Collins Brothers Band

May 16 — Spencer’s Own

May 23 —Jericho Brass

May 30 — Dennis Tufano, original voice of The Buckinghams.

Elrod, said, “We’re kicking off the season with gospel music, always an Evening Shade favorite. This genre has a rich heritage in this area, so we’re bringing some local and regional gospel musicians to the Johnston Park stage.”

Dwight Richardson, chairman of the Allied Arts Council, coordinated this season’s gospel night.

“Gospel music lovers of all ages enjoy the Gaither Homecoming Videos, so for the 20th anniversary of Evening Shade, the Allied Arts Council is presenting a little Gaither Homecoming-style concert of our own,” Richardson said.

“We are bringing back some of the gospel groups that have either headlined or shared the stage during gospel night over the years.”

The gospel musicians performing this Friday night include 2x2 Quartet, Trinity Trio, Heartstrings, Mercy’s Bridge, Mallory Ledford, Briar Lowe, First Baptist Ladies Ensemble and Danny Murray.

“Danny Murray, who was once promotions director for Bill Gaither and Springhouse and directs the popular Voices of Lee, will be our host for the evening,” Richardson noted. “We may even have a little Red Back Hymnal singing.”