The spring Small Hall concert series will continue when this week’s performer, Rupert Wates, takes the stage tonight. The doors open at 7 p.m. at the Small Hall on Van Buren Avenue off the Square.
The series takes place the first Wednesday of every month from February to April. Each month, Small Hall showcases a different artist.
The series’ motto is “Small Hall. Big Music,” and it prides itself on being Oxford’s “newest intimate live music series that will present one-hour performances, both song and story based.” The Small Hall series puts specific emphasis on the importance of a personal musical experience. The focus is intentionally on the music instead of a huge venue and crowd.
“Attendees of Small Hall concerts can expect an intimate atmosphere where they can directly interact with the performer in a comfortable environment,” said Wayne Andrews, executive director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.
This month’s performer, Rupert Wates, is from London and has produced eight full-length CDs. He has been a full-time musician and songwriter since an early age and moved to the United States in 2006. He travels all over the U.S., Canada and Europe, averaging more than 120 live shows per year. His music has a unique acoustic-folk sound with hints of jazz that draws audiences in from every corner of the earth.
His music is said to be played straight to the audience’s heart. He prefers performances in small spaces where he can truly connect with the audience, making Small Hall the perfect venue to hear Wates’ renowned acoustics.
“This experience is unique because, instead of focusing on a huge show, our performers get to play their music in its most minimal form,” Andrews said.
He said the idea behind the Small Hall series has developed over the years.
“The Small Hall series grew from a previous series called ‘Music in the Hall’ that started about nine years ago,” Andrews said.
The old series was different in that the performances were recorded and then made available on DVDs. However, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council decided to reconstruct the program into something even more convenient.
“The program was revamped in March in 2016 and now offers live streaming of the performances,” Andrews said.
The arts council hopes to continue to grow the concert series even more, and it is already working on the fall Small Hall schedule. It is also excited for the series’ April performance featuring Adron on April 4.
The cost of admission is $8 for members of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and $10 for non-members. The arts council also offers a special for couples, with couples admission costing only $12 for members and $15 for non-members.
“Proceeds from the event go to the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council as well as supporting local musicians,” Andrews said.
The proceeds will help make a lasting impact on supporting art in the Oxford Area. More information about the Small Hall concert series and tickets can be found on the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council’s website.