Series opens with Masters of Motown

The 2011-12 Galaxy of Stars series opens Sunday, Sept. 11, with the Masters of Motown, playing hits from Motown artists such as the Temptations, the Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight and the Pips and many more.

The 2011-12 Galaxy of Stars series opens Sunday, Sept. 11, with the Masters of Motown, playing hits from Motown artists such as the Temptations, the Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight and the Pips and many more.

The Galaxy of Stars Series at Western Carolina University opens its seventh season with the Masters of Motown’s “A Tribute to Hitsville U.S.A.,” featuring many of the greatest hits from the legendary Motown era. The inaugural show of the 2011-12 series will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at WCU.

Based in Virginia Beach, Va., Masters of Motown features a 10-member cast that has toured extensively together for decades. Audiences can expect to hear plenty of hits from Motown artists such as the Temptations, the Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight and the Pips and many others. Masters of Motown’s dynamic vocalists are backed by a band of seasoned musicians.

John Hodgens, vocalist-bandleader, formed the group in 1973 after graduating from high school in Virginia. “We eventually put the Motown show together as a tribute to this special music that doesn’t grow old. There’s a lot of choreography and flashy outfits reminiscent of the good old days,” Hodgens said.

“It’s pretty much like ‘Hitsville U.S.A.,’ when Berry Gordy got all his groups together, piled them into a tour bus, and drove around to different venues to perform a Motown revue that would show off all his different acts. The Temptations would come on stage and do their thing, then the Supremes would come out, followed one by one by the other acts,” said Hodgens, who said his Masters of Motown show, sponsored locally by Jackson County radio station WRGC-AM, evokes some of the same feelings of those early tours.

This is the seventh season of Galaxy of Stars performances. The series began in 2005 and features world-class theater, music and dance staged in the Bardo Arts Center and presented by the College of Fine and Performing Arts. The Grascals, named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainers of the in 2006 and 2007, will continue the 2011-12 Galaxy of Stars Series with a performance Sunday, Oct. 9.

Ticket prices for the Masters of Motown’s “A Tribute to Hitsville U.S.A.” are $20 for adults and seniors; $15 for faculty and staff; $10 for groups of 20 or more; and $5 for children and students. Subscriptions for the entire Galaxy of Stars Series are $100 for adults; $90 for seniors; $80 for faculty/staff; and $25 for students/children.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact the Bardo Arts Center box office by phone at 828-227-2479 or online at fapac.wcu.edu.