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The Hett announces its 2021-2022 season at McKendree University

Performing arts, speakers and films to take place at McKendree University

The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts (the Hett) at McKendree University in Lebanon has  announced its 2021-2022 season, featuring acclaimed performers and returning favorites.

Reserved seats for all programs may be purchased by the general public starting on Monday, August 23 at noon. Buy tickets online at, the box office, or by calling (618) 537-6863 (1-800-BEARCAT, ext. 6863). All events are open to the public and held at the 488-seat performing arts center on campus. Ticket prices range from $5 for children to $40 for adults, with discounts for seniors and students. Many programs are free.

“Keeping the arts accessible and viable is imperative to the health of our region. Whether you are a long-time patron or a first-time visitor, I think you’ll find the time you spend with us to be rejuvenating to both the mind and the spirit,” said Elizabeth Crabtree, director of the Hett.

Preview the new season online at The 2021-2022 season features the following:

Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Janet Evra, a local vocalist, bassist, composer and songwriter who hails from Gloucester, England and captivates audiences by blending traditional bossa nova, samba and Latin jazz with a modern twist.

Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.: Dominic Cheli, a classical pianist from St. Louis, has been described as “spontaneous yet perfect, the best of how a young person can play” in Symphony Magazine.

Sept. 30, 10 a.m. (Arts Ed., grades K-12); 7:30 p.m.: The ReMINDers, a husband and wife duo, blends soulful vocals and reggae-tinged hip-hop beats to form the backdrop for their relevant and inspiring themes.

Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.: Bach to the Future takes classical music into the modern age by the nimble fingers of chart-topping pianist Michael Silverman, the most downloaded solo pianist in the world.

Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Leonid & Friends showcases the talents of an 11-piece tribute band from Moscow that captures the spirit, musicality and fire of jazz-rock super-group Chicago.

Oct. 22, 10 a.m. (Arts Ed., grades K-12); 7:30 p.m.: Reza takes the art of illusion to the next level with a blend of hilarious audience interaction and mind-blowing illusion for the homecoming show this year.

Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Old Salt Union is a progressive Americana string band that brings a fresh approach to bluegrass in a high-energy show.

Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.: The Traveling Salvation Show recreates the energy and magic of Neil Diamond’s live arena performances with a Christmas twist.

Dec. 7, 10 a.m. (Arts Ed., grades K-12), 7 p.m.; Dec. 8, 10 a.m and 7 p.m.: U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America presents a stunning holiday concert that will bring holiday cheer to concertgoers.

Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m.; Dec. 11 6:30 p.m.; and Dec. 12, 2 p.m.: The Hett and State Street Dance Company co-present The Nutcracker, a cherished and timely holiday classic featuring local dance talent and principals from leading professional companies.

Jan. 20, 2022, 7:30 p.m.: Brian Owens, Complete Gamer is a celebration of Cardinals legend and baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, Bob Gibson.

Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.: ETHEL + Robert Mirabal: The River comprises of an adventurous New York string quartet and Native American guest artist collaborating in a dazzling flow of music, narrative and ritual, inspired by Water as the embodiment of Spirit.

Feb. 17, 10 a.m. (Arts Ed., grades K-12); 7 p.m.: Mad River Theater Works – Freedom Riders, a new play with original songs and music, explores the valiant and courageous personalities behind one of the most critical chapters in the history of the Civil Rights movement.

Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m.: Women of Jazz is a celebration of three of the most influential and popular singers of their times, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.

March 10, 7:30 p.m.: Goiste is an energetic, award-winning Irish quintet that plays traditional tunes of their homeland and original songs.

March 19, 7:30 p.m.: The Wee Heavies are back by popular demand and ready to bring a mix of Scottish, Irish and American folk music to the Hett.

April 4, 7:30 p.m.: Pilobolus breaks down barriers between disciplines and challenges the way we think about dance by using extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength.

Admission is $15 per performance or $40 to see all four, and reservations are recommended for The McCammon Distinguished Speaker Series, which includes guests from National Geographic Live!

Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m.: Dr. Lauren Thompson, history professor, “Friendly Enemies: Soldier Fraternization throughout the American Civil War.”

Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.: Lance Geiger, The History Guy, creates stories of forgotten history with topics ranging from aviation history to forgotten battles, historical figures, and more.

March 3, 2022, 7:30 p.m.: Nizar Ibrahim, paleontologist, “Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous.”

April 20, 7:30 p.m.: Rae Wynn-Grant, carnivore ecologist: “The Secret Life of Bears.”

The Hett’s free Film Art Series will present “Ophelia,” Oct. 7; “Kinky Boots,” Nov. 2; “My Octopus Teacher,” Nov. 18; “Our Planet,” Feb. 2; “Judas & the Black Messiah,” Feb. 23; and “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch,” March 22.

Admission for Discovery Series performances are $10 for everyone. The following emerging superstars will be at the Hett for one night only.

Aug. 28, 7:30 p.m.: Miles of Wire, rock band.

Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m.: Joe Metzka, blues/jazz musician.

Jan. 27, 2022, 7:30 p.m.: Brian Woods, classical pianist.

The McKendree University Series highlights student talent from the Division of Visual and Performing Arts. Visit for more information throughout the year.

The Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, — “The Hett” — is Southern Illinois’ premier performing arts venue, presenting world-class dance, drama, classical music and jazz. The 488-seat auditorium is located on the McKendree University campus in Lebanon, Ill., 25 miles from downtown St. Louis.

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