Legendary singer and actor Randy Travis will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at Tussey Mountain in Boalsburg, Pa.
The event is presented by Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy and The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., and is considered one of the largest acts that The State Theatre has booked to perform locally.
“The State Theatre has thought for a long time about bringing in an act that was a larger act to Tussey and working with them on that,” Cathy Brown, director of marketing and sales at The State Theatre, said. “The State Theatre is a venue that has a really wide variety of entertainment acts that we can bring in, but we have 571 seats so we could have never brought in Randy Travis to The State Theatre because it is not a large enough venue for him.”
According to Travis’ official website, Travis remains one of country’s most popular artists of all time with 18 No. 1 singles, 29 top ten hits and over 50 honors from various award shows including the Grammy Awards, People’s Choice Awards, American Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards.
This year marks Travis’ 25th year as a legendary country artist. To commemorate the milestone, Travis has released an Anniversary Celebration CD featuring duets with country music’s finest ranging from classic performers like Willie Nelson to modern pop-crossover artist Carrie Underwood.
“I think having Travis come during his 25th Anniversary makes it exciting because he is a legend,” Brown said. “Anytime you have a chance to see in person a legend, someone who has accomplished what he has accomplished in his life in country music, the number one albums he has recorded and the number one hits he has, I think that’s exciting.”
The State Theatre, along with Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy, was able to book Travis through a connection who was able to get in touch with various contacts who planned on touring this summer, Brown said.
“There were a bunch of different acts that were out touring, but what it came down to is that Randy Travis has a tremendous draw, he is still a very popular artist,” Brown said. “He has a highly recognizable name and we could make the dates work with him.”
After weeks of going back and forth on dates with Travis’ manager, The State Theatre was able to arrange a date that would be convenient for both Travis and the venue.
“You can have a great artist and you can have a tremendous draw but financially everything has to make sense,” Brown said. “Because it’s a Friday night date, the ticket prices are extremely affordable and reasonable for people, things just start to fall into place and it makes it work.”
The State Theatre, Saint Joseph’s Academy and Tussey Mountain hope 2,000 to 3,000 people attend the show.
“Although Randy Travis is very popular and very recognizable, still gracing major award shows and has had a crossover with Carrie Underwood recently, I can’t say that there has been a huge excitement among students,” Brown said. “But this is one of those things that if you like country music, this is an artist you want to see.”
Many students who are big Travis fans are eager for his performance because of the inspiration he gives through his music.
“I haven’t been to any of his concerts before, but I like his music because I think his lyrics are really good and have a lot of meaning,” Bethany Buel (freshman-education) said. “A lot of his songs are about real situations and I think a lot of people can relate to his music.”
The State Theatre’s hope for the audience of the show is that they be inspired or moved in some way by Travis’ Christian meets country style of music.
“Our hope for any audience would be that they be moved in some way, whether it’s to just have a relaxing evening or get inspired by something transformational and makes them think of something in a different way,” Brown said.
Prior to the main act at 8 p.m., local blues band J Mac and Junior will take the stage at 6 p.m. followed by The Henningsens, a country family band, at 7.p.m.
“Although I don’t know the opening acts very well, I am excited because with country music, no matter who is singing, the lyrics always have a deeper message,” Aryanna Hanson (freshman-liberal arts) said.
Ticket prices for Travis’ show are $40 for general admission and $100 for a VIP reception that includes free parking, complimentary food and adult beverages, preferred VIP seating and a complimentary lift pass. Gates will open at 5 p.m.