Historic Academy of Music Theatre brings Wynton Marsalis, other big names to Lynchburg

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis takes the stage at the Historic Academy of Music Theatre in Lynchburg on December 13, 2018.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Several big acts have already hit the stage since Lynchburg's Historic Academy of Music Theatre re-opened.

Jazz trumpet great Wynton Marsalis and his orchestra once again drew a sold out audience, with Marsalis wowing the crowd with his humor and his renowned skills on trumpet.

For the Academy, it's an effort to bring some of the biggest names to the stage and put the Hill City on the entertainment map in a big way.

They have had back to back sold out shows already, weeks after renovations were completed, and patrons can't wait to see what's next.

"We toured the Academy back when it was just dust and dirt, and it's so exciting to see it all beautiful like this," said Ula Kauppi, a Lynchburg resident. "We're really looking forward to having Broadway-style acts coming to town."

City officials said bringing in popular performers will bring more attention to the city, and it's a way to showcase all it has to offer.

"To have Mavis Staples here last week and Wynton Marsalis here this week, I think it's only a sign of great things to come for the Academy and for Lynchburg," said Lynchburg City Manager Bonnie Svrcek.

"Lynchburg's a great town, we're on the up, and having Wynton Marsalis and people of his stature is exactly what this community deserves," said Councilman Beau Wright.

As for any surprises coming in 2019, Geoffrey Kershner, the executive director of Academy Center of the Arts joked, "Well, if it's a surprise, I can't tell you."

"We recognize that this is a really fantastic opportunity to make Lynchburg an even better place to live than it already is," he said, adding they're planning many things the whole region can embrace.

The theatre already has a track record of selling out all 835 seats since it re-opened, so you may want to plan ahead and get your tickets well in advance.

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