23rd Annual ‘Friends of Wadsworth Concert’ around the corner


The 23rd annual “Friends of Wadsworth Concert – The Legacy Continues” is Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Charles Wadsworth Auditorium in Newnan.

Newnan’s famous son Charles Wadsworth began the annual tradition in 1993 as a way of raising funds to renovate the auditorium in the circa 1939 Newnan Municipal Building. From 1993-2013, the event was hosted by Wadsworth and was known as the “Wadsworth & Friends Concert.”

Wadsworth also performed at the concerts with up and coming musical artists from the international chamber music scene that he invited to perform. The auditorium was named in honor of Wadsworth in 1998.

The annual chamber music concert continues for a second year under the guidance of soprano Courtenay “Becky” Budd — Wadsworth’s hand-picked successor.

A Newnan native, Budd is excited about returning to her hometown. “I am thrilled and humbled to be asked to continue the annual Newnan concert that Charles Wadsworth began. Charles and his wife Susan have been wonderful role models and mentors to me in my career.”

A First Prize Winner of Young Concert Artists Auditions, Budd has been heard with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the National Symphony, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and repeatedly at Carnegie Hall, Spoleto USA, and the Grand Teton and Bard Music Festivals.

She also was a Metropolitan Opera National Finalist. Her operatic performances include Ilia in Idomeneo at Alice Tully Hall, Baby Doe, Zerbinetta, Zerlina, Pamina, Amy in Little Women, Laurie in The Tender Land, and Marie in La fille du régiment, with such companies as Central City Opera, Opera Omaha, Atlanta Opera, Sugar Creek Festival, and the Colorado and Charleston Symphonies.

Budd is an avid recitalist and chamber musician. Metropolitan Museum of Art audiences enjoyed her performances of Rachmaninoff songs on Ruth Laredo’s Concerts with Commentary series. She has appeared seven seasons in the Spoleto Festival USA’s Dock Street Chamber Music Series, alongside pianist Wadsworth, her mentor and frequent collaborator.

Her recital performances with Del Tredici at Bargemusic, were praised by New Music Connoisseur as “not only beautifully expressive but impeccable in her delivery of every word and note.”

Joining Budd on the Wadsworth Auditorium stage are some familiar faces to Newnan audiences: vocalist Indra Thomas, violinist Chee-Yun, pianist Andrew Armstrong, cellist Wendy Sutter, and flutist Tara Helen O’Connor.

Tickets are available in Newnan at Let Them Eat Toffee and The Coweta County Visitors Center in the Historic Courthouse. Tickets are also available at Morgan Jewelers at Ashley Park and the Bank of North Georgia at Thomas Crossroads.

Tickets can also be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets.com.

For more information about the concert, contact Newnan Public Information Officer Gina Snider at GSnider@CityofNewnan.org.