RPAC welcomes The Clarks and Cello Fury
BY KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
For the third year in a row, Pittsburgh-based rock band The Clarks will perform an acoustic concert inside Richland Performing Arts Center (RPAC). In a new twist this year, they’ll be sharing the stage with Cello Fury, a group of classically trained cellists.
The concert, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. March 30, is being presented and sponsored by the Richland Music and Theatre Boosters.
“The Clarks have done an awesome job helping to bring a special event to our school,” said Ben Easler, RPAC director and orchestra teacher. “This has become an event that (The Clarks) really enjoy, and they have made a point to keep coming back to work with our students. Our students love the concert, so it is a joy to continue to host this event.”
Prior to the concert, students will have the opportunity to work with both The Clarks and Cello Fury in what Easler described as a string orchestra master class. And when both bands take the stage, Richland string orchestra students will accompany them for a majority of songs on their respective setlists.
Greg Joseph, Rob Hertwick and Scott Blasey of The Clarks will perform some of the band’s biggest hits (including “Penny on the Floor”), plus some songs from their most recent album, “Madly in Love at the End of the World.”
Cello Fury, also based in Pittsburgh, will also perform their own separate set. Cello Fury is made up of three cellists and a drummer.
“Cello Fury’s music is very high energy,” Easler said. “It is inspired by classical and heavy metal music. When they perform their own music, it is something that I think most people will enjoy and it is very impressive.”
Easler’s student musicians have been practicing the string arrangements that have been composed to accompany the bands’ songs, he said.
“Our audience will hear string takes on classic Clarks songs such as ‘Born Too Late’ and newer ones such as ‘Madly in Love at the End of the World,’ which is the title track (of the latest album by The Clarks). On that track, Simon Cummings of Cello Fury performs the cello solo. We have ramped that up with a full string arrangement.”
Cello Fury and The Clarks have worked together before, but not in this capacity.
“As I mentioned earlier, Simon performed on their latest album,” Easler said. “They have never done a big combined concert like this together, and certainly not with a full string orchestra being added to the mix, so this is a truly unique performance for all involved.
“I am most excited just to see two talented and vastly different groups coming together to play with our students. The concert will allow audience members to hear both groups in a way that is new, and I think there will be something for everyone to enjoy. I hope it will be a very memorable day and evening for our students and audiences alike.”
Tickets for “The Clarks Acoustic Trio and Cello Fury” are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the RPAC box office at 814-269-0300. Tickets can also be ordered in advance online by visiting www.richlandpac.com.
RPAC is located at One Academic Avenue in Richland. For news and updates, follow RPAC on their social media channels.
Proceeds from this concert are to benefit Richland Music and Theatre Boosters.
“Most of the funds go right back to bringing guests artists in or funding special concerts,” Easler said. “For example, we are performing a second high school musical, ‘We Will Rock You,’ this year, which is being funded by the Theatre Boosters program.”