Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

August 4, 2010

Clawson to perform in concert

THOMASVILLE — A Thomasville native who is living his dream in Nashville, Tennessee, is giving back to the organization that helped make it possible with a pair of benefit concerts.

Singer-songwriter Steven Clawson will perform with a group of fellow country music artists in Thomasville on August 13 and 14, with proceeds benefiting the Thomasville Music and Drama Troupe, the group of teenaged entertainers that played a key role in his development as a performer.

Clawson, who spent his four high school years as a standout performer with the group, explained, “Being in Troupe is probably the biggest reason I ended up having enough self-confidence and courage to pack up and move to a town where I didn’t know anyone — a town that was ten times bigger than Thomasville — to chase a dream that even my parents weren’t sure I would achieve.”

In a telephone interview from his Tennessee home on Tuesday, Clawson added, “Without Troupe, I would not be the person I am today.”

So, next week, he and four good friends – all seasoned country music entertainers – will pack up and head south to Thomasville and spend the weekend singing and playing “a little bit of everything” to raise funds to support the Troupe’s mission to expose the young people of this area to the performing arts.

“This is my chance to give back to an organization that gave so much to me, and, frankly, it’s a good opportunity for the community to come out and be entertained while supporting an organization that has done so much for the young people of the entire area for almost 40 years,” he said.

On Friday, August 13, Clawson and friends will perform in a special discounted show for students only at the Troupe’s Fred Allen Building, beginning at 8 p.m.  On Saturday, August 14, Clawson and the Nashville players will perform at Pebble Hill Plantation’s tennis court complex, where gates open at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. The Saturday performance will also feature Troupe aluma Dana Hayes King as an opening warm-up act.

Special commemorative t-shirts will be available at both shows, along with CDs of Clawson’s newest songs that are not yet available elsewhere.

Both concert performances will feature a diverse repertoire, from familiar pop and country hits that everyone will recognize to a number of Clawson’s original compositions, including pieces that were featured on his first two CDs, “Southern Soul” and “Restless.”  Patrons will also hear songs Clawson has written since then, material that he’s never performed, even in Nashville, that are in the works for his next project.

“We’re gonna try to mix it up a little and have a little something for everybody, and Pebble Hill is going to be a gorgeous venue,” the performer added. “We’ll do some acoustic numbers, some songs with just piano, and lots of numbers with a full band.”

“I’m incredibly excited to be able to come back in my first full concert in Thomasville in almost four years.  And I’m excited to be able to bring these guys down to Thomasville, show them my hometown, maybe eat lunch downtown at the pool room!”

Tickets for both shows are available at Grassroots Coffee in downtown Thomasville, Cox Pharmacy in Cairo or online at www.thomasvillemusicanddramatroupe.com.

Troupe director Lisa Davis said the shows will also provide a fun, unofficial “kickoff” for the group’s 2010-11 performance year, as auditions for new members begin August 15.  Davis and director emeritus Fred Allen will audition potential Troupe members by appointment only.

Troupe membership is open to students at all area schools, and even the home-schooled community, in grades seven through 12. For more information on auditions, contact Beth Benton at 403-0797 or 227-1135.

Clawson is a member of the Troupe class of 2000. After earning a music business degree from Belmont University in Nashville, he spent the next few years touring and promoting two independently released albums, Southern Soul and Restless.   In 2009, he signed a publishing and development deal with RSP Entertainment and is currently working on a new project with renowned producer Garth Fundis, who also produces country superstars Trisha Yearwood and Sugarland.

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