Area’s top acts will share stage for The State Theatre’s anniversary bash

Zeropoint Big Band will accompany local artists on Dec. 3 during the 10th Anniversary Celebration for The State Theatre.
Zeropoint Big Band will accompany local artists on Dec. 3 during the 10th Anniversary Celebration for The State Theatre. Photo provided

To mark a decade of downtown State College entertainment, The State Theatre will celebrate its history on Saturday night with help from some of the area’s top musicians.

Musicial performers will include Ted McCloskey, The Nittany Knights, Jackie Brown, Elizabeth Webb, Tommy Wareham, Eric Ian Farmer, The Unbanned, Ramalama, J.R. and Olivia, Jerry Zolten and Richard Sleigh and more. The celebration will also feature local dancers Sarah Mason and the Avid Dancers from Centre Dance and musical theater from the Delta program and State College Community Theatre.

Zeropoint Big Band will serve as the house orchestra for the evening.

“Many of the acts will be featured soloists ... so we’ll be backing them up,” said Rick Hirsch, who is the band’s musical director.

Because The State Theatre first opened its doors in the late 1930s, the celebration show will feature music from that decade through today.

Running in chronological order, the program will begin with Centre Dance dancing to “Sing, Sing, Sing” from Benny Goodman’s orchestra. The music progresses through the 1940s with some classic big band, followed by 1950s doo-wop by Ramalama and early soul music performed by Eric Ian Farmer. Ted and Molly cover the 1960s with The Carpenters and Jimi Hendrix, while Jackie Brown highlights the 1970s with some Van Morrison and Donna Summer.

“The grand finale will be ‘All You Need Is Love,’ and everybody will be coming back on stage for a big sing-a-long,” Hirsch said. “We as performers love our local audiences, we love The State Theatre and we know that the audiences love our vibrant arts community.”

Since moving back to State College in 2009, Farmer said he has witnessed The State Theatre being a major supporter of local music — including his own.

“I’m honored to collaborate with local musicians to celebrate The State Theatre, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to celebrate The State’s anniversary with local artists,” he said. “Without either, my music career simply would not be what it has become.”

Hirsch has been involved with The State Theatre’s Jazz in the Attic series, which for nearly a year has been putting on regularly sold-out concerts every month. He is proud to see The Attic develop as an active venue for more performances.

“It’s also great to see more and more big, locally based productions in the main stage with Fuse and their theatrical productions there, and big musical events like this one and last year’s Sinatra centennial,” he said. “It’s gratifying to see so much local support, because we know that we have great artists who make their home here in central Pennsylvania. It’s gratifying to see our neighbors and friends recognizing that and valuing the arts they have right in their backyard.”


  • What: 10th Anniversary: Decades
  • When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3
  • Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
  • Info: www.thestatetheatre .org