Get ready for a hip-swingin,’ body-shakin,’ lip-curlin’ good time at the Reif Center this Saturday, with a tribute concert starring entertainer Travis LeDoyt as the legendary Elvis Presley. This dynamic show promises those who never saw The King, the next best thing.
With a specialization in Elvis’ prime chart-topping years (1954-1959), LeDoyt is fast becoming one of America’s most convincing, jaw-dropping tribute acts to ever grace the stage. In addition to his remarkable resemblance to “The King of Rock ‘n Roll,” LeDoyt captures the legendary showman’s voice, style, look and essence in a 1-2 hour performance, featuring such hits as “Hound Dog,” “All Shook Up,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Teddy Bear,” and many more.
Born in Greenfield, Massachusetts in 1977, it was evident from an early age that LeDoyt was destined to entertain. According to his Web site, www.travisledoyt.com, his impish behavior and clever wit were responsible for a good deal of levity and laughter in the LeDoyt household.
Growing up, LeDoyt was exposed to a wide variety of music styles, from country to swing, from classical to rock ‘n roll. His fascination with music and instruments led him to piano lessons at the age of 9, and before long he was writing his own songs. Today, he is an accomplished singer, songwriter, pianist and guitar player. It is with the utmost respect for Elvis that LeDoyt offers his tribute to the man who shaped a generation.
Audiences at LeDoyt’s performance will not only get to watch a great show, they will get the added bonus of supporting local higher education, simply by purchasing a ticket. The concert is being offered through a partnership between the Reif Center and Itasca Community College (ICC). A portion of all ticket proceeds go toward the Reif Center endowment and student scholarships through the ICC Foundation.
“We are grateful to the Reif Center for offering this interesting collaboration - supporting a unique live performance at a great venue while building student scholarship funding,” said Mary Ritchie, executive director of the ICC Foundation.
Ritchie said there will be a number of items raffled off at the performance, including fine wines, lodging and restaurant certificates, and even a portable fish house. Raffle tickets will be held at the door and the prize drawings will be held immediately following the performance. All raffle proceeds go to ICC student scholarships.
The ICC Foundation was established in 1972. Through financial contributions from alumni and friends, it funds ICC student scholarships and the college’s annual mini-grant program. This year, the Foundation awarded 137 scholarships to 122 students, totaling more than $109,000. Individual scholarships range from $100 to $3,000.
Without scholarships, many students would find it impossible — or at least more difficult — to attend college. First year engineering student Dan Huju, for example, said that although financial aid covered his tuition costs, the $1,750 he received in scholarships through the school ensured that he would be able to make an easier transition from high school into college.
“I got enough to be able to afford to make payments on a car,” he said, “I was driving around an old wreck of a truck, and I’m living at home [in Talmoon], so this makes the commute much more comfortable and reliable. Not to mention that I had to get a new calculator and other supplies. [The scholarship money] makes the college experience more comfortable. I don’t have to get a job to pay for extra things.”
Huju attended Deer River High School and graduated in 2007 as co-valedictorian. He’s now enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at ICC, and says he chose the school for its close location to home and for the reputation of its engineering program.
“They’ve been really generous,” said Huju of the people behind the Foundation. “They’ve done a nice job of recruiting and promoting the success of the school. Part of that is through scholarships, and that helps with the success of the students, and I thank them for making that available.”
Don’t miss Travis LeDoyt at the Reif Center on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at Reed Drug or the Reif Center Box Office, by calling 218-327-5780 or visiting www.reifcenter.org.
This performance is made possible by Reed Drug, ICC and the ICC Foundation.
For more information about the ICC Foundation, contact Mary Ritchie at 327-4205.