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*SOLD OUT* Academy Presents: “In Unison”: A Concert Event Featuring Mavis Staples and Devon Gilfillian

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Historic Academy Theatre
December 6, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
$25 – $182
End Date:


The Academy Presents:

In Unison: A Concert Evening

Mavis Staples

with Devon Gilfillian

Celebrating the Integration of the Historic Academy of Music Theatre


Tickets for this event will be released to members September 5 – 12, 2018. Remaining tickets will be released to the public on September 13, 2018.



The restoration and re-opening of the Historic Academy of Music Theatre offer a profound opportunity for the Greater Lynchburg community. The Historic Theatre’s history invokes memories of a thriving arts community in the early 1900s, which we plan to bring into the present day. However, we must also remember the theatre’s past as a segregated space during Jim Crow, which relegated black citizens to the second balcony and forced entry into the facility from a side door.


The Historic Academy of Music Theatre’s Opening Week will begin on December 6th, 2018, with In Unison: A Concert Evening, a night celebrating the first integration of the theatre since its closing in 1958 and those that worked to make the Historic Theatre a place for all.


One such community member was Lottie Payne Stratton, who served as the African-American ticket taker during segregation. Lottie helped her community as best she could for black patrons looking for entertainment in a world that viewed them as inferior.


With the theater’s reopening, integration, and in the spirit of Lottie, the Academy will begin In Unison: A Concert Evening by recognizing the contributions of community members who have made invaluable contributions to arts and culture in Lynchburg by presenting three community awards, the Lottie Payne Stratton Award, and two Academy Cultural Impact Awards.


The concert portion of the evening will follow with a performance from musician Devon Gilfillian. Mavis Staples, Grammy award winning R&B-gospel singer and civil rights activist, will take the stage to end the night.


The evening will be emceed by Leland Melvin, former NASA astronaut, and community member.



Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples began singing with her family, The Staple Singers, in Chicago in the 1940s, later performing in Montgomery, Alabama for none other than Martin Luther King, Jr. Lauded as one of the greatest gospel singers of all time, her powerful voice has underscored some of the United States most pivotal and dramatic periods of social change, weaving herself into the very fabric of gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock, and hip hop over the last 60 years.


Mavis Staples is both a Rock and Roll and a Blues Hall of Famer, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient, and a Kennedy Center Honoree. Rolling Stone listed her as one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.” Her album, You Are Not Alone, won the Grammy for Best Americana Album in 2011; in 2016 she won Best American Roots Performance for her song “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.” In 2015, Mavis was awarded the Woody Guthrie Prize, given to the artist who best exemplifies the spirit and life work of Woody Guthrie by speaking for the less fortunate and pushing for social change in America. She continues this legacy in her latest album, ‘If All I Was Was Black’, her creative response to recent events.


Academy Center of the ArtsDevon Gilfillian

Raised by a musical family, Devon Gilfillian grew up singing. He took up the electric guitar at 14 years old, kickstarting a fascination with classing rock and other sounds form an older generation. After moving to Nashville, he released his self-titled EP in May 2016. Equal parts swampy, funky, and enthralling, the record finds Giflillian planting one foot in the classic sound of his influences, with the other foot pointing somewhere new and uncharted. After all, he’s no revivalist. No nostalgia act. No retro wannabe. Instead, Gilfillian is a classic artists for the modern age, discovering new life in soulful sounds that have been making people dance for decades.






Tier 3 Seats: $25.00

Tier 2 Seats: $56.00

Tier 1 Seats: $72.00

Loge Seats: $91.00

Box Seats: $182.00


To view our seating map for the Historic Academy of Music Theatre, click here.


Tickets for this event will be released to members September 5 – 12, 2018. Remaining tickets will be released to the public on September 13, 2018.


Become a Member of the Academy Center of the Arts today and get exclusive access and advanced notice for upcoming Academy Presents performances and events! Learn more about Academy Membership here.


For more information or to purchase tickets to this performance, contact our Box Office at (434) 846-8499.



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Parking is available on-site and throughout downtown Lynchburg. The parking map above shows all of the free public and paid parking available. In addition, street parking is also available on most streets.


View Parking Map


Please note: If attending an event or performance after 5pm or on weekends, Lot 2 (Pacific Life Lot) and Lot 12 (Regional Business Alliance) are free and open to for public use. We suggest utilizing these lots, which are closest to the Academy Center of the Arts and within walking distance.




All ticket sales are final. There will be NO REFUNDS or exchanges for purchased tickets.

Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door. Our delivery methods are as follows:

Print at home: This option allows you print your tickets at home or access them on a mobile device via email.

Regular Mail: For an additional fee, your tickets will be mailed to you ahead of the event.

Box Office: You may stop by our Box Office, Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm, and have us print your tickets for you.

All tickets for this show will be sold through academycenter.org and our ticketing system. Please do not use third-party resellers, as we do not contract with them. Should you use a reseller, the Academy Center of the Arts will not be liable for any issues with your purchase.

All ticket sales are subject to a Historic Theatre Restoration Fee and credit/debit card processing fees.

Historic Academy Theatre
December 6, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
$25 – $182