LEWISBURG — Music can touch our hearts, but only if we listen. and at a Valley concert, listening is the main focus.
George Winston will perform solo acoustic piano songs on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Campus Theatre, on Market Street.
Winston released his 16th solo piano album, NIGHT, on RCA Records, in May.
“There is a natural wonder that only occurs in the evening, and NIGHT basically scales the clock from midnight to 7 a.m.,” Winston said on his website, georgewinston.com. “With every dark hour that passes, daytime will sooner occur. The sun shines down on the earth all day, it warms the oceans and the forests, and awakens the majority of earth’s inhabitants, and at sundown the nocturnal animals wake up for nighttime activities, and there are feelings of solitude and uncertainty.”
Performing for more than 40 years, Winston has sold 15 million albums and plays nearly 100 concerts annually.
“His music takes you places,” said Scotta Magnelli, executive director at the Campus Theatre. “It’s very soothing, calming and tranquil. It really is a lovely experience.”
Amid the tinkling notes of NIGHT are moments of silence, almost like someone holding their breath.
“I love the sustained sound that the piano has, and I use it often as part of the music,” Winston said.
Winston’s appearance at the Campus Theatre had originally been scheduled for 2020, said Michael Conard, rental director at the theater. COVID restrictions caused it to get pushed back, and the Campus Theatre is happy to finally have him perform.
A unique feature of Winston’s concerts is his request for audiences to bring canned goods. The items will be donated to the Union County Supplemental Food Program. Additionally, 100 percent of George Winston merchandise proceeds the night of the show will also be given to the food program.
“George Winston does this at all of his concerts,” Conard said. “It’s really generous and such a neat idea for an artist to do that.”
When asked why he does it, Winston replied, “I want to contribute to the communities that have invited me to play.”
In an effort to give the audience an opportunity to listen to the music with no distractions, the theater’s concessions will be closed, although complimentary waters will be available prior to the start of the show.
“George’s show is 100 percent acoustic and has nuanced segments of low and high volume levels,” said Dave Whitnack, senior vice president of operations of NIGHT song concerts. “The rustling of candy wrappers and drink ice can be very distracting at times during the show. The concession stand can be open, we only ask as a courtesy that noisy items are not allowed in the venue during the show.”
“He just really wants the experience to be all about the music,” Magnelli said.
In 2001, Winston released REMEMBRANCE — A MEMORIAL BENEFIT, for people affected by 9/11. He also recorded the solo piano soundtrack for the Rabbit Ears video of “The Velveteen Rabbit,” the soundtrack for “This is America Charlie Brown: The Birth of the Constitution,” and a solo guitar soundtrack for “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.”
Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to her at CindyOHerman@gmail.com