Country music legend McBride opens sesquicentennial season


Singer-songwriter Martina McBride is scheduled to take the Amphitheater stage at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, marking the first evening entertainment performance of the 2024 Summer Assembly Season and Chautauqua Institution’s sesquicentennial summer.

McBride, who broke onto the scene with her 1992 debut The Time Has Come, quickly established herself as one of the leading female country musicians of the time. Her sophomore album, The Way That I Am, was released the following year and marked a turning point, crossing over into the popular mainstream. Now, she’s known for her career-spanning country hits including “Independence Day,” “Valentine” and “This One’s for the Girls.”

Deborah Sunya Moore, senior vice president and chief program officer at Chautauqua Institution, is looking forward to opening the 2024 season with a performance from the award-winning musician.

“Martina McBride is just such an awesome singer. I think she really is going to have that celebratory vibe and atmosphere that we want on opening night,” Moore said.

McBride has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards throughout her career in the music industry and has sold over 23 million albums. She is the recipient of numerous major music accolades and is celebrated for her contribution to her genre, having been recognized by the Country Music Association as Female Vocalist of the Year four times. Saturday’s performance follows the 2023 release of Eleven, a deluxe re-release of her 2011 album by the same name.

A leading figure in contemporary country music, McBride brings her breadth of experience as an Americana singer-songwriter to the Amp. Moore is particularly excited for McBride’s performance as it relates to the diverse, genre-spanning reach of this week’s evening entertainment — reach not dissimilar to McBride’s.

“This just kicks it off. I love that it goes from Martina McBride on Saturday evening to the Army Field Band on Sunday to Pride Anthems on Monday, Leyla McCalla right after that, and then of course we have the (Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra) opening night,” she said. “So, Martina McBride just kicks off this whole week of pretty amazing entertainment.”

For Moore, it’s exciting to have an artist who has maintained such an extensive career and is still a relevant figure within her genre.

“Someone that is that type of legacy artist and still as relevant as Martina McBride is, is really the type of performer that we wanted to have for opening night — someone that is both legacy and is still relevant,” she said.

She hopes that McBride’s hit songs and broad crossover appeal will bring something for all Chautauquans to enjoy and appreciate, particularly as Chautauqua celebrates 150 years.

“She’s done it all,” Moore said.

Tags : Independence DayMartina McBridePopular EntertainmentThe Time Has ComeThe Way That I AmThis One’s for the Girls.Valentine

The author Julia Weber

Julia Weber is a rising junior in Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College where she is majoring in journalism and minoring in art history. Originally from Athens, Ohio, this is her first summer in Chautauqua and she is thrilled to cover the theater and dance performances. She serves as the features editor for Ohio University’s All-Campus Radio Network, a student-run radio station and media hub, and she is a former intern for Pittsburgh Magazine. Outside of her professional life, Julia has a newly adopted cat, Griffin, and she is an avid fan of live music and a dedicated ceramicist.