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Stars from ‘Hamilton,’ ‘SNL’ and more to take part in ETSU’s Spring Virtual Tour

JOHNSON CITY — East Tennessee State University’s Student Government Association is bringing its Spring 2021 Virtual Music and Comedy Tour to campus for five consecutive Wednesday evenings of entertainment for students, faculty and staff.
This series of virtual performances and discussions with musicians and stars from television and Broadway is co-sponsored by Buctainment, Campus Recreation, the D.P. Culp Student Center, the Martin Center for the Arts, and Student Life and Enrollment. Each session will take place at 9 p.m. on Looped Live and includes a Q&A with the artist.
Kicking the series off on Feb. 3 will be Bryan Terrell Clark, an accomplished actor and singer/songwriter who has performed in hugely successful Broadway shows and a wide range of television programming. In 2019, Clark reprised his role as George Washington on the record-breaking Broadway hit “Hamilton.” He made his Broadway debut in the iconic role of Marvin Gaye in “Motown: The Musical,” and he starred opposite Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett in the acclaimed drama “Fences” at the Pasadena Playhouse. He has appeared in numerous major network, cable and Netflix shows, including “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Blue Bloods,” “Person of Interest,” “Unforgettable,” “CSI: NY,” “Empire,” “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” “When They See Us” and many others.
Comedian, actor and writer Ron Funches will perform on Feb. 10. Funches has lent his voice to such projects as “Trolls,” “Bob’s Burgers” and “Adventure Time,” and has held acting roles on “The Goldbergs,” “black-ish,” “New Girl,” “Transparent,” “Powerless” and “Undateable.” His writing credits include “The Eric Andre Show,” “Kroll Show” and several television pilots. Funches hosts his own podcast, “Getting Better with Ron Funches,” where he interviews celebrities and friends about their goals and what getting better means to them.
Rapper Young M.A will be the featured performer on Feb. 17. Raised in Brooklyn, M.A learned a lot in her formative years. Losing her brother to violence forced her into a hard pivot that would change her life forever. She “checked the temperature” for her music through a handful of loosie cuts, and finally, her single “Ooouuu” brought her success, landing coverage everywhere from Vogue to the New York Times and endorsements in global ad campaigns. In addition to her music, Young M.A and her mother formed the Kweens Foundation, which assists single mothers and low-income families and reaches out to parents who have lost their children to street violence.
Melissa Villaseñor of “Saturday Night Live” will visit on Feb. 24. The comedic impressions expert got her start as a semifinalist on “America’s Got Talent” and went on to break barriers as the first-ever Latina cast member of SNL. She has voiced characters for “Toy Story 4” and “Wreck It Ralph 2,” and has appeared on such scripted television shows as “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens,” “Barry” and “Crashing.” Villaseñor tours nationally, headlining clubs and theaters, and will release her second music EP later this year, as well as a book of her art.
Wrapping up the series on March 3 will be country music duo Maddie & Tae. Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye arrived on the country music scene at the height of the “bro-country” era in 2014. “Girl in a Country Song,” their sharp satire of all the sexist clichés littering the airwaves at that time, reached number one on Billboard’s Country Airplay charts by the end of that year. They followed that up in 2015 with their debut album “Start Here,” which featured the ballad “Fly, as well as a couple of EPs that were compiled into the album “The Way It Feels” in 2020.
Participants must register in advance using their ETSU email addresses to see these free events. For registration and more information on the artists, and to submit advance questions for the Q&As with the artists, visit etsu.edu/concerts.
For more information, contact the Office of Student Activities and Organizations at sao@etsu.edu.