University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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Tickets for Annual Lorie Line Concert
Going Fast at UW-Eau Claire

 MAILED:  Oct. 19, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — The cast members may be the same, but this year it's an all-new show — all-Christmas and all-classic in design — for pianist Lorie Line, who will return to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire concert stage Thursday, Dec. 9.

"Just think Old Hollywood glam," says Line, who will begin her holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

This year's show may be her most glamorous to date, replete with sequins, white dinner jackets, fur and lots of rhinestones. The music will showcase the most beloved holiday favorites, including "White Christmas," "Santa Baby" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

Most likely the hardest-working woman in show business, Line prepares all year to perform a brand new extravaganza for the 100,000 fans she plays to each holiday season. This year it's "'40s suits and fedora hats, beaded flapper dresses, smoking jackets and tuxedos," Line says. Other additions to this year's show are fun appearances by Fred Astaire and John Wayne, played by "Mr. Lorie Line."

Known for her elaborate, over-the-top, theatrically driven shows, Lorie Line will perform a total of 47 shows this holiday season. She and her Pops Chamber Orchestra will present a brand new show, but will retain some familiar traditions. The popular piano medley request will continue to be in the line-up this season.

"All the fans have to do is shout, yell, and/or scream the title of their favorite well-known song during the medley request, and I'll play it ... just for them," Line says. The traditional fan-letter reading is also scheduled to be on the show.

"Seeing my fans come back to my show year after year is what makes me proudest about my career," says Line. "I'm probably the only person in the world with a degree in piano performance that has taken it to its maximum potential," she laughs.

Line learned how to play the piano through traditional classical lessons, but it was her savvy business sense that created the road map for her career. She prides herself on never having taken one business course, yet she owns and runs one of the largest independent labels in the country. Using her instincts, she has built a career that has led her to become the executive producer of her own show, putting her personal stamp on everything, from color themes, graphic design and the one-of-a-kind breathtaking gowns and flashy costumes, to the design and personal decorating of the set and every note written on each score.

Growing up in Reno, Nev., Lorie Line found her first audience in her fellow kindergarten classmates. At age five she remembers playing familiar tunes for her family and friends, without knowing how to read music. Her parents realized she had perfect pitch and enrolled her in piano lessons.

Annual piano competitions became Line's passion. She started entering city-wide classical competitions at the age of nine and won her first first-place trophy in the 12-year old division that same year. By the time she was 15, she had won seven competitions and saved $1,000 in award money. She proudly bought her first car, a 1966 Mustang, from her winnings — and realized it was possible to make a living playing the instrument she loved.

In her senior year of high school, Line entered Nevada's Junior Miss competition, hoping to win the talent division to pay for her car insurance. To her surprise, she won the title and went on to compete at the national level for America's Junior Miss. Although she didn't win any national awards, she did go home with a college scholarship and continued to study music.

Line was the first person in her family to get a college degree, receiving a B.A. in music from the University of Nevada.

Her first full-time professional job in music was at Dayton's in Minneapolis in 1988, where she serenaded shoppers. On the shopping floor she would play her own arrangements off the cuff, drawing an immediate audience to her unique style. Fans would come to the store not only to shop, but to hear her play — and Line was encouraged to record her first album.

Two albums later, Line started writing more complex arrangements that included accompanying instruments that she loved. She knew what she wanted to hear and how these instruments could provide color and texture to her piano arrangements. She found local musicians to play her newly created music, and these musicians began to accompany her at her live concerts.

Line began to create an album a year and expanded her tours in the Midwest. Her husband Tim joined the show and became the Master of Ceremonies, introducing her to new audiences across the country. The Pop Chamber Orchestra began traveling each year and the holiday extravaganza soon became a family tradition.

Line has released 17 complete music books and her newest, "Young at Heart" (her first book of "standards") is expected to be the best-selling book of her career.

She has released 22 CDs, with sales exceeding five million copies. Lorie has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities benefiting children, including Children's Cancer Research Fund, The Jade Foundation (with Minnesota's former First Lady Terry Ventura) and Children's Hospital of Minneapolis.

Tickets for the general public are $47 (main floor/reserved), $40 (bleachers/reserved) or $24 (gallery/general admission). All main floor and bleacher seats are $29 for those age 15 and younger. Tickets are available at the University Service Center counter in the east lobby of Davies Center and also will be sold at the door. The Service Center is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Tickets may be charged to MasterCard or Visa when ordered by phone. Call (715) 836-3727 — or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free (800) 949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

The concert is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.

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JS/NW

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: October 19, 2004