SAAC is pleased to host the “Reaching Higher Concert” on Friday, August 26th at 7pm in the Callaway Theatre presented by lyric coloratura soprano Elizabeth Hunter Ashley and pianist Melinda Morse playing the SAAC’s Steinway Grand piano. At the invitation of Michelle and Steve Smart, Hunter Ashley and Morse will be performing to help fundraise for the capital campaign building project. Prior to the concert at 6:30pm will be a cocktail reception sponsored by Suzy and Drew Sheppard.

Reservation Required • Complete the Form Below or Call 870-862-5474

Morse and Hunter Ashley, both accomplished professionals in their own rite, are joining forces in this concert tour traveling to their hometown states, sharing their collaboration and excellent musicianship. Having known each other for over 24 years working together in orchestra performances, concert settings, philanthropy, they share their gift to others through Melinda’s original compositions, classical and cabaret music. Bookending the concert with Puccini arias, Elizabeth will be performing classics by Gershwin and Barber before pivoting to lighter cabaret numbers. These include 1940’s classics such as “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and of course, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Melinda accompanies Elizabeth throughout as well taking center stage for solo piano classics including Chopin’s romantic “Fantasy Impromptu.” Unique to the duo’s concert are three compositions by Melinda, arranged for the brilliant vocal range and expressive talents of Elizabeth: “Her Eyes” and “After the Song of Spring.”

With a Master’s Degree in Music, Elizabeth Hunter Ashley is a Lyric Coloratura Soprano who is classically trained and has worked extensively as a professional soloist throughout the United States as well as internationally. Additionally, she owns and teaches vocals at her private voice instruction business “The Performance Studio.” Miss Austin 1984, Miss Minnesota 1985, and Austin Music Hall of Fame Recipient, Elizabeth continues to be blessed with honors: 2022 “Woman of the Year” in the field of Music from Top 100 Registry; 2021 Winner of the Prestige Awards, “Vocal Coach of the Year” by CorporateLiveWire California; 2018-2019-2020 “Best of Danville – Vocal Instructor” Business Hall of Fame, California.

Raised in Crossett in a family of six children, Melinda Morse experienced a childhood full of music making. As a result, she pursued her love of music both scholastically and professionally. Melinda acquired a Masters Degree in Music while also teaching in the Memphis, Tennessee public schools. Upon completion of 37 years as a public school instructor, Melinda retired and has continued her piano studies from her home. Recently, Melinda advanced to the finals in the 2021 Washington D.C. International Piano Amateur Competition and in the Silver Stream 2022 Boston International Piano Amateur Competition.

Donations for this fundraiser will be taken at the door. To reserve a seat for the “Reaching Higher Concert,” please call SAAC at 870-862-5474. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

South Arkansas Arts Center