It’s all about eyes.
“VIS is excited and grateful to bring Through the Eyes of Love to the Palace Theatre on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.,” said Visually Impaired Support Group of Cumberland County President Linda Simmons.
Music will be performed by an all-star cast of Annetta Deck, Dennis Donald, Regina Stephens and Terri Utsey. The concert will benefit the VIS Group’s mission.
“We are the blind and vision impaired who advocate, encourage, educate and improve the lives of the visually challenged in and around our community,” said Simmons. “This concert will be enjoyable for all.”
Selections will include numbers that have been performed by blind performers like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Ronnie Milsap, with other selections about eyes, including “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” “Green Spanish Eyes,” “Eyes of a Woman,” “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” and “I Only Have Eyes for You.”
Deck, an outstanding Crossville pianist whose talent is unparalleled, will be the VIS featured guest.
Beginning her musical education at the age of 5, Deck studied classical works of Mozart, Bach and Schumann and was considered a piano prodigy who received high honors and awards.
She graduated in 2002 from the University of New Mexico and received her master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy.
Deck is an active member of both the Knoxville Music Teachers Association of Tennessee and the Music Teachers National Association. She thoroughly enjoys teaching private piano lessons to students from ages 5 to senior adult in her private piano studio.
She is pianist for Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church, serves as accompanist for the Cumberland County Community Chorus and performs piano in numerous community events.
Dennis Donald is a co-founder of DSquared Productions and the Curtain Call Dinner Theatre. He is an actor, singer, musician and recording artist known as “Mr. Entertainment” due to his musical career spanning 50 years.
Donald’s diversity in musical talent is unrivaled in the area. He spent 15 years as director of music at churches in Anderson, SC, and Fairfield Glade. He has been singing his entire life and has toured with many professional acting troupes, appeared at the Cumberland County Playhouse and produced numerous shows in the area. He presently is a member of the highly popular classic oldies group Memory Road.
Regina Stephens is well known for her superb vocal styling, harmonies and keyboard accompaniments. She has appeared with the Big South Fork Opry, Tommy Dee Shows, produced her own shows at the Palace and the Carriage House and has appeared in many DSquared Productions as well as the Curtain Call Dinner Theatre.
She has assisted DSquared by mentoring young, less experienced performers. Stephens has a reputation for professionalism throughout the region. She currently runs karaoke at Dublin’s Crossing and Beef and Barrel.
Since her first appearance in this area nine years ago, Terri Utsey has been in great demand, a frequent entertainer at the Palace Theatre as well as other venues including the Cumberland Jamboree, Dillon Street Band and the Curtain Call Dinner Theatre.
She was lead female singer for the Swing Street Orchestra and currently is lead singer for the Cumberland Swing Experience. With her stage presence and wit, Utsey is noted for her singing versatility, singing all genres of music from Patsy Cline to Liza Minnelli.
The VIS Group meets from 10-11:30 a.m. the second Thursday of each month at Sonshine Soup Kitchen, 69 Neecham St., Crossville.
The VIS Group is a partner of the United Fund of Cumberland County, affiliated with the Tennessee Council of the Blind and American Council of the Blind. It is a member of the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce.
VIS advises government agencies about public accessibility concerning the safety of the visually challenged. It is the only visually impaired support group in a 14 county radius.
The VIS Group and its member organizers, Diane Donald and Joyce Lignar, express their appreciation to the sponsors who helped bring Through the Eyes of Love to the Palace Theatre: A1 Auto Repair, Beef & Barrel, Boyd Family Eyecare, Business Equipment Clinic, Cumberland Plateau Antique Tractor & Engine Association, Dr. John Pino, Eye Centers of Tennessee, Fortes, Glade Café, Hair Connections, Highland Federal Savings, Jean Southard, Kali’s Kitchen, Lyle Dobey, Miller Heating & Cooling, Shadden Tire, Southeastern Retina Associates, and Stonehaus Winery.
The VIS motto is “Keep Your Eyes on Us, We’re Going Places!”
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling the Palace Theatre at 931-484-6133 or visiting www.palacetheatre-crossville.com
Photo Script: Through the Eyes of Love Performers: Annetta Deck, Dennis Donald, Regina Stephens & Terri Utsey