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This item originally appeared in the April 1, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

By JORDAN MARSHALL

Staff Writer

Yes, it is true the Virgin College Mega Tour, hosted by the Union Board, is coming to Tech.

Michelle Branch, Joe Firstman, Chris Grace, Tyler Hilton, Rooney and Michael Tolcher will travel Ruston's way April 16.

Crystal Ruddell, president of Union Board and a senior animal biology major, said initially Union Board did not consider bringing the tour to the university because it was out of their budget.

"Fortunately, scheduling made Ruston an ideal stopping point, and the agents were willing to work with us," Ruddell said. "Once we were able to consider Michelle Branch, the board chose her over the options unanimously."

She said the Union Board members think Branch is a talented artist and a great performer.

"We chose Michelle Branch and the Virgin College Mega Tour because we felt like the entire tour, including all the artists, would appeal to the students of this university," Ruddell said.

Ruddell also said she is excited about the tour and thinks it has something for everyone.

"We haven't had a concert of this caliber in a couple of years, and I'm very optimistic that many students will attend and participate in the day activities, as well as the concert," Ruddell said.

Tony Desalvo, a junior sociology major, said he is looking forward to the event.

"I think it is a great thing to have [Michelle Branch] coming," Desalvo said. "It's a relief to have a woman performing at Tech."

Desalvo said he is also excited about having diverse artists coming.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., up-and-coming artists will perform for students for free in Interactive Villages, located on the grounds between Howard Auditorium, Center for the Performing Arts and Adams Residence Hall, Ruddell said.

The Villages will include a CD karaoke recording studio with a green screen photo cover and various backgrounds, listening stations to sample new music, free gifts provided by sponsors and a Gibson/Epiphone guitar learning center and museum.

Ruddell said students will get a chance to enter a contest to meet one or a few of the artists.

Hilton, one of the artists playing during the day, said he is "stoked" about the tour not only because of the artists, but also because he gets his own van.

"I have been touring in my dad's truck, so I am really looking forward to getting a van," Hilton said.

Hilton said he is eager to see Firstman perform.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center. Tickets are $10 for students with Tech ID and $15 for non-students.

Tickets are available while supplies last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Tolliver Information Desk until the day of the concert.

Ruddell said there are only 280 floor seats, and the other seats are general admission.


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