Make the Season Bright

Thursday, December 8, 2016 9:31:00 AM Categories: arts downtown sumter music sumter opera house

Country superstar John Berry brings 20th Anniversary Christmas tour to Sumter

SUMTER, S.C. – On December 9 at 7:30 pm, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter John Berry will make his only tour stop in South Carolina when he takes the stage at the historic Sumter Opera House in Downtown Sumter for his “O Holy Night Tour: Celebrating 20 Years of Christmas”.  His electrifying rendition of ‘O Holy Night’ brightens the holiday season for thousands across the country and is sure to get even the biggest scrooge in the Christmas spirit.

 

“It’s a family-oriented show.  It’s very family-appropriate.  It’s a very Christ-centered Christmas.  I think folks will really enjoy the night,” said Berry, whose wife, Robin, sings in the band and whose son, Caelan, is the drummer in the band.  Berry will start the night with familiar hits, along with some songs from his new album What I Love the Most.  After intermission, Berry will play traditional Christmas music along with some songs from his new holiday album Christmas which hit the stores Nov 18.

 

John Berry rose to stardom as a singer-songwriter during the 1990s with such mega hits as ‘Your Love Amazes Me’, ‘Standing on the Edge of Goodbye’ and ‘She’s Taken a Shine’.  During his star-making decade, John placed 20 singles on the county charts, six of which went Top 5, with ‘Your Love Amazes Me’ scoring a #1 on the Billboard and Radio & Records Country Chart as well as ‘Standing on the Edge of Goodbye’ and ‘She’s Taken a Shine’ earning the #1 slot in Radio & Records .

 

He has earned multiple Gold and Platinum records over the years. John was nominated for the ACM Top New Male Vocalist in 1994, won a Grammy Award in 1996 for his participation in Amazing Grace: A Country Salute to Gospel Vol. 1, was nominated for another Grammy in 1995 for his smash hit ‘Your Love Amazes Me’ and was nominated for the CMA Horizon Award and Top Male Vocalist Award in 1995. In 1997, he was nominated for Vocal Event of the Year (for Long Haired Country Boy with Charlie Daniels and Hal Ketchum). And thanks to the miracles of modern technology, he even sang a duet with the late, great Patsy Cline.

For all his success in country music, John Berry can credit a Christmas song for what may be his most enduring legacy.  Queuing up his stunning rendition of ‘O Holy Night,’ the title track to his first holiday album in 1995, has become an annual tradition for many listeners.  John began doing special Christmas tours after that release and this year marks the 20th anniversary celebration.

 

“If ‘O Holy Night’ is all that anyone remembers of me, that’s fine with me,” he comments about his perennial Christmas popularity. “It is a truly inspired piece of music.”

 

As part of his special 20th anniversary Christmas tour, those interested can enjoy a special VIP Experience Package.  The cost is $20 (this is an additional ticket and not combined with the show ticket) and includes: early access for VIP holders at 5:30 pm for a 45 minute casual meet and greet with John Berry and his band, a VIP Experience souvenir laminate, a signed photo, and a photo opportunity with John.  There are only 50 VIP tickets available in order to keep this an intimate experience with the artist and band.

 

John’s enduringly powerful performances draw on a lifetime of making music and living life. Born in South Carolina and raised in Georgia, he began playing guitar at 13, performing shows at age 14 and making records at age 19. “By the time I was 17, I knew that music was what I wanted to do with my life”; and he has done it well ever since.

“I love what I do, with a passion not seen in quite some time. I’m hopeful and excited about the future. I love singing and always will. I have a bus, an incredible stage presentation, a great band, hands-on management team and I’m always all dressed up and ready to go.”

In 2015, John launched a crowd funded Kickstarter project that proved very successful. Overwhelmed by the fan response, John assembled an all-star studio team and cut both a country album entitled What I Love the Most. Blessed with the ability to make the music he wanted to make (and not what a label dictated), the project allowed John the time to write and create what many music critics are saying could be his best, most complete project yet.

 

“I'm excited to release this new music and bring it to the fans in 2016. It’s a new time in the music business and technology allows me to be closer to my fans and interact in new ways. You know, God just keeps blessing me. There are new opportunities coming at every turn.”

Tickets for the John Berry 20th Anniversary O Holy Night tour concert, the VIP Experience Package tickets, as well as tickets for any show during the remaining performance season, are already on sale and can be purchased online at the website www.SumterOperaHouse.com or by visiting the Box Office located inside the Sumter Opera House.  New for this year is the addition of a package discount option, which gives patrons a discount based on how many shows they wish to attend. 

 

The Sumter Opera House is located in downtown Sumter, just 40 miles east of Columbia. The current Cumberland Buff stone structure was built in 1895 after a fire destroyed the original wooden building. In 1936, a major renovation turned the auditorium into a motion picture theater and also created 300 jobs for local workers during the Great Depression.  In 1973 it was officially listed on the National Register of Historical Places, but closed a decade later as progress increasingly pulled people away from Main Street and towards malls or multiplex movie theaters.  Capitalizing on the national growing movement toward downtown revitalization and historic preservation, the city reopened the Sumter Opera House in 1987 in its present form.  Used primarily for rentals and graduations, in 2014 the City began the effort that has turned the Sumter Opera House into its present day concert and entertainment venue.

 

IF YOU GO:

What:  Sumter Opera House presents John Berry

When:  December 9 at 7:30 pm

Where:  Sumter Opera House, 21 North main Street, Sumter, SC  29150

Cost:  $40 / $37 / $35  --  VIP experience $20 additional

Info:  803-436-2616 or www.SumterOperaHouse.com