418 South Illinois Avenue, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, United States

(618) 457-5353

A historic visual and performing arts venue in downtown Carbondale, IL.

LIVE MUSIC

Ivas John's Blue Christmas

Ivas John performs at the annual Blue Christmas Show at the Varsity in December 2018.

7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14
$18
Doors and Varsity Bar at 6

   

A roster of top-notch musicians is returning to The Varsity for Ivas John’s 9th Annual Blue Christmas show. The Dec. 14 show is a holiday concert celebrating the music of Southern Illinois.


Proceeds will benefit the Carbondale Park District. First Southern Bank is the presenting the show; Team Payne CPA is a supporting sponsor.


Musicians taking the stage in the Big Room at the downtown venue include the Ivas John Band with Robbie Stokes, the Gordons, Miss Jenny and the Howdy Boys, Robert Bowlin & Wil Maring, Hugh DeNeal, The Jewels, and the Free Range Chicks. Other musicians will likely be taking the stage at some point.


Tickets are $18 and are available in advance in three places: Eventbrite (see link); Plaza Records at 816 E. Main St. in Carbondale; and the Life Community Center, 2500 W. Sunset in Carbondale. They are not available in advance at the venue but will be available at the door on the night of the event.


For more information, call (618) 549-4222. 

Classical Guitar: Hector Torres

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7 p.m. Saturday, March 7
$14 adv / $16 at the door
$8 for students with ID
Children 10 and younger admitted free


The 2019-20 Southern Illinois Classical Guitar Series continues at the Varsity. This is the second year for the series at the downtown performance venue. The series is presented by First Southern Bank and co-produced by the Varsity and SI Classical Guitar.

  

Third in the series is Hector Alonso Torres, guitarist, lutenist and Theorbo player who will perform on March 7. 


Hailing from Puerto Rica and now completing his doctoral studies in performance guitar at the University of North Texas, Denton, Hector’s musical presentation is a complex mix of island rhythms, Spanish sounds and the contrapuntal music of the Baroque, of which he is a master interpreter. Multi-talented when it comes to the variety of guitar and guitar like instruments, Hector plays classical guitar, medieval lute and the Theorbo (a lute like instrument with a 5-foot-long fingerboard and five octaves). 


Hector has performed around the world, including a recent tour of China playing both as a soloist and with his trio, the Trio Resonance. He also teaches, and performs at festivals around the world. He has received many top prizes in guitar competitions both in the U.S. and abroad. He is president of the North Texas Guitar Consortium. 


The performance begins at 7 p.m., and doors and the Varsity Bar open at 6:30. 


Tickets are $14 in advance or $16 at the door for adults, $8 for students with ID, and children 10 and younger are admitted at no charge. 


Tickets are available in advance at www.thevarsitycenter.eventbrite.com. Tickets are not available in advance at the venue but will be available when doors open on the night of each performance.

Classical Guitar: Kirk Hanser

Kirk Hanser performs at The Varsity April 4.

7 p.m. Saturday, April 4
$14 adv / $16 at the door
$8 for students with ID
Children 10 and younger admitted free


The 2019-20 Southern Illinois Classical Guitar Series offers its last performance of the season. This is the second year for the series at the downtown performance venue. The series is presented by First Southern Bank and co-produced by the Varsity and SI Classical Guitar.

  

Kirk Hanser will take the stage on April 4. Hanser is one of the world’s most versatile guitar players, excelling in virtually every type and style of guitar. He is most known for his classical solo concerts, his duet pieces as a part of the Hanser-McCellan Duo, and for his fingerstyle interpretations in the style and technique of Chet Atkins. 


Hanser will present a multi-media music and visual program that will transport the listener around the world. And the award-winning youth classical guitar ensemble, Bella Corda, instructed by Kirk, will perform the pre-show for the event.


Hanser is the on-call guitarist for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the MUNY and the St. Louis Opera. He also is on the faculty at several colleges and universities, including the Paris Conservatory in Paris, France. He is director of the St. Louis Guitar Academy and the Childbloom Guitar Program for St. Louis, in addition to his very active concert and gig calendar in the Midwest and internationally.


The performance begins at 7 p.m., and doors and the Varsity Bar open at 6:30. 


Tickets are $14 in advance or $16 at the door for adults, $8 for students with ID, and children 10 and younger are admitted at no charge.


Tickets are available in advance at www.thevarsitycenter.eventbrite.com. Tickets are not available in advance at the venue but will be available when doors open on the night of each performance.