IBLA World Tour to make stop in Batesville Tonight May 2nd!
Batesville will once again be a host city for the annual IBLA World Tour, a prestigious group of classical musicians, singers and composers who each secured their place on their tour by means of an international competition head annually in Italy.
The group will perform a free concert to the public at 6:30 p.m. May 2 at Brown Chapel, Lyon College.
For the third year, the City of Batesville has partnered with Citizens Bank and First Community Bank to bring the rare concert opportunity to the community. The stop in Batesville comes courtesy of Sherman Banks, an Arkansas native and vice president of the IBLA Foundation, who has worked with Mayor Rick Elumbaugh to add the Arkansas concert location.
“IBLA offers Arkansas audiences the unique opportunity to hear remarkable and recognized world-class international jazz and classic pianists, singers, accordionists, trombone, and percussionists from Georgia, Italy, Poland, Japan, and the USA,” said Banks, IBLA Foundation VP and Jurist.
IBLA World Tour group changes each year, per the results of a qualifying competition called the IBLA Grand Prize. Musicians from around the globe compete in the internationally recognized festival held in Ragusa-Ibla, Italy – a United Nations Heritage Site for which the competition and touring group is named.
This year’s winning performers hale from Japan, Georgia, Italy, Maldova, China, Finland.
The group will go on to perform on a world tour in such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, The Tokyo Opera City Hall, and Tchaikovsky Bolshoi Hall in Moscow and in other prestigious venues in Canada, Europe, Russia and the United States.
(Per Tommy Bryant) FYI the International Musical Group we have hosted the last two years will perform tonight in Brown Chapel on the Lyon College Campus at 6:30 PM. The concert is FREE again this year. The 9 musicians are from all over the world and have won International Competition in their respective disciplines. Our community needs a good turnout tonight to keep them coming back!
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
Jeff Drew is her husband of almost 29 years. They have a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird (a stray dog welcomed into their home in June 2012) and of course, Howard – – a puppy compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arriving at the Drew home. They also have Kasha whom Drew inherited when her mother passed in 2016, and they adopted Bullet, a stray in November of 2016.
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She has attended several AARP Shows across the U.S., representing Arkansas. She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Ozark Foothills Film Fest Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.