A Tribute Concert for Betty Carlyon

at The State Theatre

Tue Jun 27, 7:00p GENERAL ADMISSION $15 Buy Tickets
All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.

Betty Carlyon was born in Falls City, Nebraska on October 20, 1926, the daughter of Virgene (Clifford) and Bill Hunley, and died on June 26, 2018. Betty married Don Carlyon on June 13, 1946 in an elopement that became a family joke when, twenty years later, they gathered all five children and, for no apparent reason, happened to mention they’d eloped. Then they casually said, “Oh. Hadn’t we told you?” No they had not! Don and Betty eloped because family members felt they were too young (21 and 19). Don’s sisters, who were close friends of Betty, opposed the marriage, thinking her quiet nature made her too shy for him (a sailor!). But, happily, they were wrong. After spending years as a wife of minister, Nebraska State Patrol Officer among other jobs, she moved away from her family and friends to follow her husband to Michigan. Five children in tow, making dresses for her and her two girls, seamlessly raising three boys with distinctively different personalities (the girls too!) and fighting a third bout of rheumatic fever, she proved tougher than she seemed. Then, later in life, battling Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, Betty remained sweet, loving and still tougher than she seemed. Friends and family remember her quiet dignity as well as a dry sense of humor. That humor continued to the end: asked to stand and wait for “a second”, she paused, then said “One”. Betty was known for her calming influence, her warmth and her generosity. Her cooking and baking at the Farmhouse on the Delta campus, where she and Don lived for many years, welcomed members of the Delta family and community members to meetings and parties. She was Delta’s First Lady, hosting 1500 or more people in the course of a year. For her contributions as an unofficial, unpaid and hardworking representative of Delta College, she was honored by the American Association of University Professors. She was the only non-member of Delta to receive such an honor. Though not as public as her husband and partner of 72 years, her sensitivity and graciousness continues in the Don and Betty Carlyon Scholarship for Delta students. Betty’s sweet spirit still whispers through her husband Don, their five children and spouses. Jan (Carlyon) Braeutigam and Ron Braeutigam of Evanston, Illinois, Dave Carlyon of New York, Suzie Carlyon of Bay City, Scott and Michelle (Courtney) Carlyon of South Carolina and Rick Carlyon of Bay City, six grandchildren and spouses and four great grandchildren.

“America’s Pianist,” Kevin Cole, has received accolades from some of the foremost critics in America: “A piano genius...he reveals an understanding of harmony, rhythmic complexity and pure show-biz virtuosity that would have had Vladimir Horowitz smiling with envy," wrote arts critic Andrew Patner. When Cole sits down at the piano, you would swear Gershwin himself was at work… Cole stands as the best Gershwin pianist in America today,” Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune.

Cole has performed with over 100 orchestras worldwide including: sold-out performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall; National Symphony at the Kennedy Center; Hong Kong Philharmonic; San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and at the Ravinia Festival, Wolf Trap, Castleton Festival, Chautauqua Institute, Interlochen and many others. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Albany Symphony in May 2013.

Kevin Cole is an award-winning musical director, arranger, composer, vocalist, archivist and producer who garnered the praises of Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg, Hugh Martin, BurtonLane, Marvin Hamlisch, Stephen Sondheim and members of the Jerome Kern and Gershwin families.

Kevin’s mentors were premier Gershwin and American Composers writer, Edward Jablonski andsongwriting legends Marvin Hamlisch and Hugh Martin. Kevin was the only pianist Hamlisch used for his Gershwin concerts from 2004 to his untimely death in 2012.

Kevin was featured soloist for the PBS special, Gershwin at One Symphony Place with the Nashville Symphony. His discography includes Gramophone Musical Album of the Year(1995), Gershwin's Oh, Kay!with soprano Dawn Upshaw (Elektra/Nonesuch), Cole Plays Gershwin, In The Words Of Ira-The Songs of Ira Gershwin and his most recent critically acclaimed recording Gershwin: Concerto in F (Naxos) which is the first recording using the critical edition from the U of M Gershwin Initiative.

Will Carlyon couldn't be more excited to be performing in this concert honoring his amazing Grandma Betty. To be performing in Bay City at The State Theater is an extra special treat, having been to the reopening as a kid years ago! And of course with the countless Christmases with the Carlyons and so many other visits, Bay City will always be a home for him.

Broadway credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Cedric Diggory, James Potter) and Cabaret starring Alan Cumming (Cellist and understudy). TV credits include Law and Order: Organized Crime (NBC) and Instinct (CBS). Other credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Hero), All Shook Up (Chad), and Henry V (Henry). Much love to his family.

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