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Five by Design set to grace Civic stage

Five by Design set to grace Civic stage

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 8:01 pm
By: Donna Ryder, Special to The Press

By Donna Ryder

Special to The Press


Five By Design’s signature harmonies have withstood the test of time in a career that stands out on America’s musical landscape, spanning more than 15 years. This nationally-acclaimed vocal quintet has been the choice of symphony orchestras and performing art centers delighting hundreds of thousands.

Now, they’re coming to Union City as part of the 2010-11 series for Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County. They will perform their production of Stay Tuned Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Union City Civic Auditorium. Tickets are available for this performance by calling Mike Cox at (731) 536-4569 or Chuck Doss at (731) 886-1155. They may also be purchase at Cox Oil in Union City.

Five By Design’s creative talents go far beyond their vocal prowess. As the creative talent behind Radio Days, Club Swing and Stay Tuned, their productions showcase the group’s penchant for storytelling and the comedic. Whether backed by symphony orchestra or studio big band, Five By Design embraces the unforgettable melodies, lush harmonies and swinging rhythms that evoke the names of Miller, Mancini and Mercer.

The Minnesota-based Five By Design includes Lorie Carpenter-Niska, Sheridan Zuther, Kurt Niska, Michael Swedberg and Terrence Niska. Four of the five members have been singing together since 1986. The group’s familial ties include brothers Terrence Niska and Kurt Niska.

Terrence Niska and the husband-wife duo of Kurt and Lorie Niska and childhood collaborator, Swedberg. The creative team is supported by in-house artist representatives Alton Accola, Lynn Callahan and Midge Swedberg. Their technical team includes sound engineer Phil Henrickson who has been with the quintet since 1987.

Radio Days, Five By Design’s flagship production, debuted as a patriotic tribute to the “golden age of radio,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of World War II. Nearly two decades later, Radio Days still receives great reviews. The Washington Post heralded its Kennedy Center debut with the National Symphony Orchestra as “one of the best pops performances of the season.”

With the success of Radio Days, the Baltimore Symphony requested another production from Five By Design, leading to the premiere of Club Swing in 2001. The show follows the rise and fall of the big band era from 1937-55 at the fictional Hotel Crosby, “where the music’s hot, the drinks are cool, and the legend lives forever.” Club Swing’s soundtrack was recorded with a big band headed by Willis Delony, Five By Design’s principal pianist/conductor.

Combining warm, well-rounded signature vocals with vintage fashions and a bit of theatrical panache, Five By Design unveiled their third production, Stay Tuned, a nod to the “television variety show” and American culture from 1950-66.

Memberships for Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County are $95 per family, $45 for a single adult, $40 for a single senior citizen and $25 for a single student. Patron memberships are Eighth Note $100-$249, Quarter Note $250-$499, Half Note $500-$999 and Full Note $1,000 and more.

Remaining shows this season include Southern Fried Jazz Band on March 5 and Barbra and Frank on April 7. Each show is at 7:30 p.m. at the Union City Civic Auditorium. Membership also includes reciprocal concerts in Dyersburg. Remaining performances there, which will be held in the Yates Auditorium at the Professional Development Center, include piano virtuoso TV’s John Davidson on Feb. 19 and The Andy Stein Duo on piano and violin March 26.

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