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 life long resident of the region that she loves to promote! As a matter of fact, she was born in Downtown Batesville in the late ’60s in one of the eight counties she now loves to encourage people to visit.
Drew is married to her husband of 27 years, Jeff Drew. Jeff and Cathy have a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew and his wife Devyn Stewart and can’t leave out her grandson Jase Drew. Of course Drew can’t skip the other part of her family, the pets! Lady Bird (a stray that was welcomed into their home June 2012) and of course Howard – the puppy was compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arrival at the Drew home. They also have Kasha which Cathy inherited when your mother passed in 2016 and they adopted Bullet a stray in November of 2016 and the newest arrival Bullet a stray adopted into the family.

Drew, part of Ozark Gateway Region since 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.) for the association where she helped produce their annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region June, 2000.