Top lighting designer lending skills to Rector concert

Thursday, April 12, 2012
Allen Branton's lighting designs have been featured by top venues and performers around the globe

Presentation is a major part of any special occasion. With the amazing skills of world-renowned lighting expert Allen Branton once again coming to the stage for the May 3 Rector High School Helping Hands Foundation benefit concert, concert-goers are sure to be in for a beautiful presentation to go along with talented performers Dailey & Vincent, Jason Crabb and Jimmy Fortune, of The Statler Brothers fame.

Branton, a native of Little Rock, is giving his time for the Rector concert for the third year. Branton receives rave reviews throughout the entertainment industry for his award-winning lighting arrangements for everything from comedy tours and rock concerts to television award shows.

"I think the first two shows had an added dimension because of Branton's work," said concert chairman and Helping Hands Foundation president Gregg Sain. "We are very excited to have him back this year. He is possibly the best lighting designer in the world."

Allen Branton

Branton began honing his skills in 1973 as part of the Dallas-based Showco Inc. lighting studio. He soon rose to the rank of lighting director, organizing arrangements for several top artists, including the Beach Boys, Three Dog Night, Leon Russell and The Guess Who. He also worked as the advance man for The Who's United States tour and Paul McCartney's "Wings Over America" tour during his time with Showco.

Branton moved into televised events with the 1979 Diana Ross HBO special. In 1981, his work for Ross's "Diana" special on CBS earned him an Emmy nomination. He has received six CableACE nominations for his work, winning for HBO's "Madonna Live!" in 1990.

His work in television includes dozens of episodes of MTV's "Unplugged" music series, the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Movie Awards, the 2011 Miss America Pageant, the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Disney's "Gloria Estefan -- Going Home" productions, as well as the 2003 Super Bowl halftime celebration.

The list of artists with whom Branton has worked reads like a Who's Who of entertainment, featuring The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, the Oak Ridge Boys, The Bee Gees, Robin Williams, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Vince Gill, Paul Simon, Chris Rock and many others.

He was named Performance Magazine's Lighting Designer of the Year in 1981, 1982, 1987 and 1991.

In his earlier efforts at Rector, Branton has helped create an atmosphere befitting a much larger venue within the comfortable confines of the RHS gymnasium. Organizers expect another outstanding arrangement by Branton, as his familiarity with the locale has improved through his past work at the gymnasium.

Reserved VIP floor tickets at $100 each include padded seats and a meet-and-greet with the artists. General admission tickets include stadium seating at $25 and bleacher seating at $10 each. Those who purchase 10 tickets get two free (all 10 must be purchased in the same section and the two free tickets will be given in the purchased section).

Tickets are available for purchase by calling (870) 595-3501 or (870) 595-3563 or by visiting www.RHSHelpingHands.org. Tickets also are available at all Glen Sain Motors locations (Rector, Paragould and Kennett, Mo.) or at Liberty Bank in Rector.

The event will begin with the meet-and-greet at 5 p.m. Helping Hands ambassadors and scholarship recipients will be introduced at 6 p.m., and the concert will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The RHS Helping Hands Foundation provides assistance in many ways to temporarily disadvantaged students, including athletic uniforms and shoes, band instruments and uniforms, dental work, money for field trips, clothing for special events such as prom, and much more.

Helping Hands is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.

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