Imperial Arts concert on June 28

Imperial Arts to host benefit concert on Friday, June 28, 7:30 p.m.by Soprano Betsy Uschkrat and pianist Marvin Gaspard at Imperial Center for the Arts.

Renowned Soprano Betsy Uschkrat, originally of Sugar Land, will appear along with Imperial Artist Marvin Gaspard, at Imperial Arts’ Center for the Arts in Historic Downtown Rosenberg in a concert that will benefit the ongoing work of Imperial Arts, Fort Bend County’s resident professional not-for-profit fine arts organization.

Imperial Arts’ Executive Director Edward Crowell said, “We are extremely excited to bring Betsy Uschkrat to the Imperial stage!  Betsy has been a personal friend for years, and as her career has flourished we have been looking for the right opportunity to bring her unique talent and charm to Imperial audiences!”

The opportunity presented itself recently when the one-time Miss America Contestant Uschkrat planned a trip ‘home’ to Sugar Land to visit parents Karen and Jim Uschkrat.  Betsy Uschkrat said, “I love to sing for Fort Bend audiences, and am truly excited to finally perform for Imperial Arts!”

Soprano Betsy Uschkrat has sung professionally throughout the US, including Shreveport Opera, New Orleans Opera, the Kennedy Center, Des Moines Opera, and was twice a finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

A doctoral student at Louisiana State University, Ms. Uschkrat serves as professor of voice at Loyola University.

It was evident whom should accompany Uschkrat in her evening of ‘cabaret’-style songs: Imperial Artist since 2008 and expert jazz pianist Marvin Gaspard.

Marvin Gaspard is the longest-serving Imperial Artist (in performance or in visual art), as he and his well-known Trio were featured as part of Imperial Arts’ launch to the community in December 2008 – Imperial’s very first event!  Since that time, Gaspard has appeared, with and without the bass and percussion players that form the Marvin Gaspard Trio, for numerous concerts, events, and fundraisers for Imperial Arts.

Gaspard has worked with Uschkrat before: As the 2005 Miss Houston, Gaspard accompanied Uschkrat in her performing work in service to the community.

He is founder of the Marvin Gaspard Trio, Houston’s finest jazz trio, with whom he frequently appears in concert.  Mr. Gaspard is a graduate of University of Southwestern Louisiana, and serves as the Resident Pianist of downtown Houston’s Lyric Centre, and as Director of Music at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Houston.

Tickets for this one-night-only concert are $30 each for general seating, and patrons may call ahead for special seating accommodations.  A complimentary wine reception will follow in The Imperial Gallery, where patrons may enjoy one final look at the Gallery’s current exhibit of paintings by Artist Reg Stark, titled, “Other Rooms.”

Tickets are available now online at www.theimperial.org and will be available at the door beginning at 6:00 p.m. the evening of the performance.

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