Beaufort's beloved Hallelujah Singers kick off ACCC concerts

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The 5th Dimension

Get ready for an exciting musical journey when the world-renowned Marlena Smalls brings her Hallelujah Singers to perform two shows, at 8 p.m. Aug. 10 and 11, at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina.

The performance kicks off the Summer Concert Series.

Smalls is a Lowcountry legend. A trained sacred music vocalist, she also ventures into gospel, contemporary, jazz and blues. As an actress, she claims a feature film credit, as Bubba's mama in the 1994 hit "Forest Gump" starring Tom Hanks.

Her family's South Carolina background struck a chord with Smalls, and in 1985, she founded the Gullah Festival in Beaufort to celebrate the culture and preserve its many traditions.

Taking her passion for her home and her native heritage a step further, in 1990 she founded The Hallelujah Singers to preserve the melodies and storytelling unique to their beloved sea islands.

Performing nationally and internationally, The Hallelujah Singers serve as Gullah ambassadors and celebrate the preservation of the Gullah culture with its language and traditions indelibly linked to West Africa.

This performance is titled "The Journey," a high-energy show weaving together music and storytelling while drawing on plantation melodies, Negro spirituals, gospel and blues.

Tickets are $39 for adults and $26 for children ages 5 to 15.

The following week, audiences will be transported back in time when Get The Led Out, known as "the American Led Zeppelin," takes the stage. This tribute band of six veteran musicians will recreate a high-energy Zeppelin concert at 8 p.m. Aug. 17 and 18.

GTLO concerts celebrate Led Zeppelin's early years and even play some of the deeper cuts that were seldom, if ever, heard in concert. GTLO also includes a special acoustic set with favorites like "Tangerine," and the "Battle of Evermore" performed in its original instrumentation.

Band members will play theremin, mandolin, harmonica, multiple guitars - 12 string, acoustic, electric - and dozens of other instruments to replicate the precise tones that can be heard on original Led Zeppelin albums.

Tickets are $48 for adults and $31 for children ages 5-15.

Rounding out the Concert Series is yet another special treat.

In 1967, The 5th Dimension recorded "Up, Up and Away," a song that turned out to be one of the biggest smash hits in musical history. The single won several Grammy Awards, catapulting the group to stardom, and their success story has continued to soar.

Florence LaRue, an original 5th Dimension vocalist, will be featured in two performances by the group at the Arts Center, at 4:30 and 8 p.m. Sept. 3.

In addition to their signature song, other classics include "One Less Bell to Answer," "Wedding Bell Blues," and "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In."

LaRue attributes the group's success to the strength of those songs, which she said are "good, clean, positive music, and music that people can reflect back on."

Tickets are $51 for adults and $34 for children ages 5-15.

Tickets for all shows may be purchased at the box office by calling 843-842-2787 or online at www.tickets.artshhi.com. The Arts Center is located at 14 Shelter Cove Lane on Hilton Head Island.

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