Join us for our first Live Taping for Season Six!

Sat., May 18, noon-4 pm

(Seating begins at 11:15 am)

(PLUS, Tapings on Sat., June 22, and Sun., June 23… Details soon.)

The Woodward Opera House

Built in 1851, America’s Oldest Operating Theatrical Venue

107 S. Main St., Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050

(740) 263-6737

(Scroll down for more details!)



At noon:

Matraca Berg, Marshall Chapman & Tommy Womack

At 2 pm:

Jon Elliott & Nick D’Andrea of Doc Robinson

Alex Bevan

The Carpenter Ants

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Songs at the Center is proud to welcome top-level songwriters to our National TV Stage. 

Our tapings are free and open to the public, with no ticket required. YOUR participation is a key part of the success of our series, having been broadcast to more than 300 public TV stations from coast-to-coast in our first four seasons.

Bring friends, and feel free to come and go as you please. (Please dress for TV, tastefully, with no logos or message apparel. Gentlemen, please…long pants only…)

Due to some audience members being taped as part of the show, all of our guests will be required to sign a publicity waiver. (If under 18, a parent/guardian signature is required.)

Join us for an extraordinary taping at America’s oldest operating theatrical venue, Woodward Opera House, built in 1851. Saturday, May 18, from noon to 4 p.m., 107 S. Main St., Mount Vernon, OH, 43050. Admission is free and limited to 250. Seating for the first part of the taping will be from 11:15-11:45 a.m. Seating for the second part will begin at 1:30 p.m.

The taping will consist of at least two rounds of performers, combining national touring acts with regional artists.

NOON ROUND: The first round features Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee Matraca Berg, whose song, “Strawberry Wine,” shot to No. 1 for Deana Carter in 1997, when it also earned Berg one of her three Grammy nominations.

She will be joined by songwriter and author Marshall Chapman, whose songs have been recorded by such diverse artists as Conway Twitty, Joe Cocker, Wynonna, and Jimmy Buffett. Her song, “Betty’s Bein’ Bad,” was a No. 1 hit for Sawyer Brown. She is also the author of two books.

Tommy Womack‘s songs have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett, David Olney, and others. He is also an author — having written  an account of his time with the band, Government Cheese, titled Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock Band You’ve Never Heard Of, and also authorizing the Lavender Boys and Elsie.

2 P.M. ROUND: The second round features Jonathan Elliott and Nick D’Andrea of Columbus’ nationally touring band, Doc Robinson; Cleveland songwriting legend Alex Bevan; and West Virginia’s premiere Gospel-soul band, The Carpenter Ants.

Songs at the Center is hosted by award-winning singer-songwriter Eric Gnezda, who created the show in 2014 to showcase regional singer-songwriters who he believed deserved wider recognition. Since then, the show has exploded in national popularity, and he has also welcomed such music luminaries as Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee John Oates, Multiple Grammy winner Delbert McClinton, Ohio native Marc Cohn, who wrote the iconic song, “Walking in Memphis,” and others.

Executive Producer, Jack FitzGerald, says, “We’re proud Ohioans with a keen sense of our state’s history. We’ve taped shows in the historic Lincoln Theater in Columbus, and in the venerable Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta, which date to 1928 and 1919, respectively; but the Woodward Opera House, being the very oldest operating theatrical venue in the United States is another special treat altogether.”

“The episodes of Songs at the Center that we shoot here in Mt. Vernon will be seen on over 300 Public Television stations from Coast to Coast,” he continues. “It is our pleasure to show off this beautifully restored, unique facility to a national audience, and to tell its story.  We consider it an honor.”

Danny Gum, Managing Director of The Woodward Opera House, says he’s pleased to showcase Mount Vernon’s re-opened civic gem. “Showcasing the Woodward on national television is an opportunity we’re delighted to have. It shines a spotlight on our beautiful facility, and speaks to the vibrancy of Knox County.”

On-street parking is free, with free city parking lot behind the building.