First Church has long been a center of music and the arts in Summit County. The beauty and architectrual grandeur of the Meetinghouse space is one of the gems of Akron. The acoustics compliment music like no other venue in the area. Experience the beauty, grandeur and acoustics all in one place – First Church.
2018-2019 Artists and Dates
Thursday, October 18, 2018, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Hey Mavis’s latest project, “Silver Ribbon Dream – People and Stories of the Ohio & Erie Canal”, is a book/CD of original songs and illustrations funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in collaboration with nationally acclaimed artist Leandra Drumm. Preliminary reviews have ranged from “unconventionally beautiful” to “startlingly original”. A traveling gallery exhibit accompanies the “Hey Mavis” performance.
Eddie Caner (violin, viola profunda) spent years performing as a sideman in national touring bands and orchestras, including Page & Plant, Luciano Pavarotti, Smokey Robinson, and Natalie Cole. Laurie Michelle Caner’s (vocals, banjo, songwriting) banjo playing and songwriting tells the story of life with all of its beauty, heartache, disappointment, and joy. Bryan Thomas (bass) is a versatile and nationally well-respected musician and Bass Professor at KSU. Anthony Taddeo is a drummer, composer, and “Out of the Drawer Percussion” performing artist.
Jennifer Mekel and Friends Gospel Choir
Thursday, November 15, 2018, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Under the direction of Jennifer Mekel (Choirmaster – “Gospel Meets Symphony”), the Gospel Choir and Band celebrates family with a selection of gospel and spiritual songs.
Thursday, January 17, 2019, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Traditional Bluegrass band with Paul Kovac (banjo, vocals), David Mayfield (mandolin, vocals), Bill Lestock (fiddle), Ron Bonkowski (guitar, vocals), and Andrew Bonnis (bass).
“Over the years, Paul performed with Bill Monroe, Roy Clark, Chubby Wise, Byron Berline, Mac Wiseman, Vassar Clements, Chet Atkins, Garrison Keillor, and countless others.”
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
“The Akron Big Band” has been entertaining audiences for over 50 years. Their musical repertoire includes Big Band music, swing, Lindy hop, foxtrot, waltz, tango, samba, cha-cha, etc. including the music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, and many more great Big Bands.
Thursday, March 7, 2019, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Celtic Rush (formerly “Akron Ceili Band”) is a traditional Irish band with a non-traditional twist. The group performs with a variety of instruments including fiddles, guitars, tin whistle, upright bass, mandolin, and Irish drum (bodhran). Their musical repertoire includes Irish and Scottish jigs, reels, hornpipes, waltzes and polkas, sometimes even adding some unexpected non-traditional favorites.
Thursday, May 16, 2019, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Under the direction of Kristan Crane, this fifty-five member full orchestra plays popular music including songs from the “Sound of Music”, “South Pacific”, “Wicked”, “ Gettysburg” and popular light orchestra standards composed by Leroy Anderson.
Under the direction of Dr. Guy V. Bordo
Thursday, September 27, 2018, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Thursday, October 25, 2018, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Thursday, December 6, 2018, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Thursday, February 7, 2019, 7:30pm – 9:00p
Thursday, March 14, 2019, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Thursday, May 2, 2019, 7:30pm – 9:00pm