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MSU Riley Center Announces 4th Season


msu riley centerThe season’s September 3rd premiere features Mississippi’s own B.B. King, nationally recognized as the “King of the Blues” and as a musician whose talents are renowned across nations and over decades. His collaborations with artists such as Eric Clapton and hits such as “The Thrill Is Gone” led him to win multiple Grammy awards and also reserved him a spot in both the Blues and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The MSU Riley Center’s historic theater will provide an incredibly intimate environment for patrons to enjoy the famous cries and wails of King’s guitar “Lucille,” courtesy of the theater’s superior acoustics, ideal for instrumental and vocal performances.


“It is a great honor to have B.B. King perform here,” said Dennis Sankovich, Executive Director for the MSU Riley Center. “We take great pride in having a living legend open our fourth season and look forward to significant attention for what is sure to be an incredibly memorable performance in our historic, fully restored Grand Opera House in his home state of Mississippi.”


Continuing the momentous season of performers are many other true-blue singer/songwriters such as Lyle Lovett, Keb’ Mo’ and Nanci Griffith, as well as Mississippi’s own jazz vocalist and 2009 Grammy award-winner Cassandra Wilson. Lovett makes his second appearance in the Grand Opera House, but this time brings along his large band, producing a sound the rounded walls of the opera house will only enhance and beautify. Making a first-time stop at the MSU Riley Center, Rhonda Vincent and her band The Rage are sure to satisfy bluegrass fans. Dubbed “The New Queen of Bluegrass” by Wall Street Journal, Vincent and the Rage represent one of many diverse performing artists with solid connections to American roots music.


“In a lot of ways, this season celebrates the best of American music born out of Mississippi- from blues to rock to country and bluegrass. We strive to showcase the very best of a large variety of genres that Mississippians can relate to while at the same time celebrating our rich musical heritage,” said Penny Kemp, Marketing Director for the MSU Riley Center.


The list of unforgettable performances keeps growing with artists such as popular rhythm and blues artist India Arie, mutli-decade spanning groups like The Spinners, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Los Lobos, and a highly-unique Christmas show by Bela Fleck and The Flecktones.  


As Robert Earl Keen noted following his performance at the MSU Riley Center in 2007, “The Riley Center is the crown jewel of Mississippi. In the future, music fans worldwide will make pilgrimages to Meridian and renew their faith.”


Along with the wide range of musicians and vocalists come attractions that have traveled the world with their one-of-a-kind performances. A few include live performances from nationally-acclaimed companies such as Montana Repertory Theatre, presenting Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Charlotte’s Web presented by Theatreworks USA and emerging Celtic sensation The StepCrew.  Log onto MSU Riley Center’s website at to see a complete listing of the 2009/2010 season.


Season ticket sales will begin immediately. The center is offering first-time season ticket buyers $100 off their first season ticket order. This is a one-time special promotion encouraging those who have contemplated a full subscription to give it a chance this year. 


The center continues to offer its popular “Pick 5” package, allowing patrons to select five or more shows receiving a slightly-lowered price and securing seating ahead of individual ticket buyers when they purchase at one time.  “Pick 5” packages go on sale Monday, July 27th.


Tickets for individual shows go on sale Monday, August 3rd and will be available for purchase in the MSU Riley Center box office or online at  Call or stop by the MSU Riley Center box office with questions or to purchase tickets Monday-Friday, 10 am to 6 pm.



MSU Riley Center

2200 Fifth Street

Meridian, MS 39301


Box office hours: Monday-Friday, 10 am – 6 pm



Key dates:

·         Season tickets – on sale now!

·         Last day for prior season ticket holders to secure their same seats – Monday, July 20

·         “Pick 5” packages on sale – Monday, July 27

·         Tickets for individual shows on sale – Monday, August 3



Special offer:

First time season ticket buyers receive $100 off their first season ticket order.

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