Since its opening in 2011, the Wiltsie Center at the Historic Castle has hosted top-quality shows by a variety of performers. Those performers include:
Rock the Castle
On May 18, 2014, well-known local acts Kira, RAIL and Kartune took the stage of the Wiltsie Center. The show began with a performance from 20-year-old singer-songwriter Kira, who learned to play piano at age 12 and currently performs all throughout the Northeast as well as doing showcases at the legendary Bitter End in New York City. She also works with producers in both New York and Los Angeles. Next up was RAIL, a band from Drums, PA. Formed in 2008, the band consists of college students Nick Michissin on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Nick Valentine on keys, bass, and backing vocals, Jason Spevak on lead guitar and backing vocals, and Mike Michissin on drums. RAIL produces a powerful, energetic sound playing classic as well as modern-day rock. Their performances at the Joe Maddon Family Christmas shows the past two years brought audiences to their feet, screaming for more.
And then veteran rockers KARTUNE brought the show to a climax. One of the best bands ever to come out of northeast Pennsylvania, the extremely popular group features the soaring vocals of lead singer Tommy Bruno along with Steve Witner on bass and vocals, Kyle Johnson on lead guitar and vocals, and Zack Baldessari on drums and vocals, doing the best of iconic classic rock as well as a wealth of radio-friendly original tunes. Formed in 1990, the band has toured throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and has three albums to their credit, including the 1996 release "Don't Know Any Better", which received a preliminary Grammy nomination for Rock Album of the Year.
"American Idol” contender and Hazleton native Keith London appeared at the Wiltsie Center at the Historic Castle on March 16, 2014. London was given a “golden ticket” to advance to the first round of Fox’s “American Idol.” While he did not make the finals, London is continuing his musical journey. He performed his only full concert during his stay in Hazleton. During intermission, Danny DeMelfi of DeMelfi School of Music facilitated questions from the audience about London’s musical career and trying out for “American Idol” and other singing reality shows. London’s parents and two sisters reside in the Hazleton area.
Up-and-coming pop star Liam Lis made a special concert appearance at the Wiltsie Center at the Historic Castle on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.
Lis’ appearance comes after a very successful tour as the support act for Fifth Harmony on their recent fall tour. Lis also recently opened for R5’s sold-out show at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River, N.J. The 12-year-old recording artist has been featured on Radio Disney and his videos on YouTube are also very popular.
Lis was first introduced to the Hazleton area when he was invited to perform at the annual Funfest celebration in September. In October, he performed for students attending Hazleton Elementary/Middle School and, since that time, he has had numerous requests to return to the area to perform a concert for the public.
The Laurie Berkner Band
Children’s music superstars and preschool television favorites The Laurie Berkner Band performed a series of Holiday Celebration concerts along the East Coast, stopping at The Wiltsie Center in November 2013. The concerts featured holiday songs and festive seasonal favorites, including music from the critically acclaimed 2012 album, A Laurie Berkner Christmas (Two Tomatoes Records/Razor & Tie).
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy hit pop music superstardom with their appearance in front of millions during the halftime show of the 1999 Super Bowl, while their 2003 New Orleans-inspired album “Save My Soul” shifted focus to playing theaters, performing arts centers and large outdoor venues to selling out shows at the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, Chastain Park and Constitution Hall, to name just a few. The band often plays more than 150 shows a year and has appeared as special guests with many of the great American symphony orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and U.S. Air Force Band.
Fiddler on the Roof
This Tony Award-winning musical has captured the hearts of people all over the world with its universal appeal. Filled with a heartwarming score that includes "Tradition," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "If I Were A Rich Man" and "Far From the Home I Love," this show is a timeless classic. No other musical has so magically woven music, dance, poignancy and laughter into such an electrifying and unforgettable experience. This is the Wiltsie Center's inaugural presentation of a major Broadway production. Experience a glorious tradition of musical theatre with Fiddler on the Roof.
and the Destroyers
Legendary blues rockers George Thorogood and the Destroyers appeared at the Wiltsie Center at the Historic Castle on Sunday, March 10, 2013, at 7 p.m.
2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the band. George Thorogood & the Destroyers are well known for their classic hit “Bad to the Bone,” as well as iconic rock covers of Hank Williams’ “Move It On Over,” Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” and John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.”
Also appearing were the Slide Brothers: Calvin Cooke, Chuck Campbell, Darick Campbell and Aubrey Ghent – the greatest living musicians who embody the Sacred Steel tradition. They had recently been on TV and released a new CD.
Bolton, who has sold more than 53 million albums and singles worldwide, continues to tour the world every year, all while writing, recording and taping for a wide array of projects spanning music, film, television and theater. He remains committed to humanitarian causes, especially through the Michael Bolton Charities as well as other social and political organizations.
Bolton is known for his soulful voice and poignant lyrics. In recognition of his artistic achievements, he won two Grammys for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance (nominated four times), six American Music Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a songwriter, he has earned more than 24 BMI & ASCAP Awards, including Songwriter of the Year, nine Million-Air awards and the Hitmakers Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The Righteous Brothers' Bill Medley
Bill Medley, perhaps best known as half of the unmistakable duo The Righteous Brothers, with hits like “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin',” “Just Once in My Life,” “Unchained Melody” and “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration.” In 1987, Medley scored a monumental hit with another duettist, Jennifer Warnes, on “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” for the film “Dirty Dancing.”
Internationally known Celtic music group The Celts, along with a cast of special guests, performing "Christmas with The Celts."
Jazz pianist Michael Feinstein performing "A Gershwin Holiday" with special guest Nick Ziobro.
Rock star Bret Michaels, who first rose to fame as frontman of the popular group Poison.
Comedian Steve Solomon with "My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm in Therapy!"
Rock band Chicago, one of Billboard magazine's Top 100 artists of all time, in the inaugural concert at the Wiltsie.
The United States Air Force Heritage of America Rhythm in Blue Jazz Ensemble will provide a free concert at the Wiltsie Center at the Historic Castle in Hazleton on June 13 at 7 p.m.
The concert is open to the public. Free tickets can be picked up at the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce on Broad Street in Hazleton, Berger Family Dealerships on Route 93 in West Hazleton, or Valley Pharmacy at its two locations, Route 93 in Conyngham or Rittenhouse Place in Drums.
Congressman Lou Barletta will host this event and will be on hand to introduce the band.
The Rhythm in Blue ensemble features the diverse talents of 17 professional musicians whose commitment to excellence has earned worldwide acclaim and military distinction. The band incorporates a wide repertoire of jazz and fusion, from big band swing to cutting-edge contemporary music.