Kenny Rogers was not the only one in the spotlight Monday at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, as area residents, along with Santa Claus, played a role both on stage and in the audience.
"It's nice to rub elbows with a real superstar," said Norman Lydell, director of the Jamestown High School Madrigal Singers, about 35 of whom sang a Christmas medley Rogers put together for the second half of his show.
"It's a great opportunity for Jamestown and the kids," he said about the 35 youth who got to perform with Rogers. Lydell said the concert was a "truly professional show." Lydell said he was glad the youth got to see "the logistics" of putting such a show together, not to mention "the artistry of Kenny Rogers."
Kenny Rogers performs Monday at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena.
P-J photo by Sharon Turano
Many in the audience love that artistry.
"My grandma always listened," said Jamestown's Heather Buffone, who said she wanted to come to see Rogers "for sentimental reasons."
Chautauqua Lake Idol winner Shawn Wilder switched places with Rogers, as Rogers listened to Wilder perform.
"He has fans everywhere."
speaking about Kenny Rogers
Wilder said he performed a preshow for Rogers and his crew.
"I want to show them a really good time," said Wilder. This year's Chautauqua Lake Idol winner said Rogers is the real idol. He said one doesn't even have to like country music, but they still would know who Kenny Rogers is.
"It's amazing," Wilder said about performing for Rogers. "It's one of my biggest accomplishments so far," said Wilder, adding "God's granted me a pretty good hand so far." Another of Wilder's accomplishments will be achieved when he goes to Nashville Jan. 9. He said it is a trip that will involve performing and networking.
"It's been my dream to go to Nashville someday," said Wilder. He said he would rather say he tried and didn't make it than not know if he could've made it in Nashville: the reason for going.
First, however, he went to the Rogers concert to perform and thanks Mike Ferguson, Jamestown Savings Bank Arena general manager, for setting up his performance at a venue to which he thought Rogers would never come.
Wilder, a native of Westfield, sings, performs and composes his own music. Wilder won the regional round of the Colgate Country Showdow, beating 11 other singers at the Allegany County Fair in July. He works for his own business, Wilder Construction.
Wilder's first CD, "The Beginning," will be available for purchase at Wilder's release party at 8 and 10 p.m. Jan. 2. at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. Tickets to the show are available for purchase by calling Nancy Rose at 753-6641. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for students.
"He has fans everywhere," Wilder said about Rogers, adding a performer has to go where his fans are.
On Monday, Rogers fans, including Wilder, were in Jamestown.
Rogers, a country music singer and songwriter, has had more than 70 hit songs., reports Wikipedia. He has won numerous awards including Grammys, those from the Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association and more states the Web site.
The show was originally scheduled for Friday, but was postponed due to inclement weather.