An Evening With Sarah Bird


The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University and Grand Stafford Theater invite you to an evening with Sarah Bird, American novelist, screenwriter, essayist and photographer. Sarah will be reading from her most recent novel, “Above the East China Sea.”

Sarah Bird is the author of nine novels. The ninth hard cover, Above the East China Sea, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2014. The soft cover is being released by Penguin on April 28, 2015. Sarah has been selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers series; a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship; New York Public Library’s 25 Books to Remember list; Elle Magazine Reader’s Prize; People Magazine’s Page Turners; Library Journal’s Best Novels; and a National Magazine Silver Award for her columns in Texas Monthly. In 2012 Sarah was voted Best Austin Author for the fourth time by the readers of the Austin Chronicle; was inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame; and received the Illumine Award for Excellence in Fiction from the Austin Library Foundation. In 2013 she was selected to be The University of Texas’ Libraries Distinguished Author speaker, and was featured on NPR’s The Moth Radio Hour.

She has written screenplays for Paramount, CBS, Warner Bros, National Geographic, ABC, TNT, Hemdale Studio, and several independent producers. Sarah’s original screenplay, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, is currently in development with Pantheon of Women. She has contributed articles to The New York Times, Salon, O Magazine, and is a columnist for Texas Monthly. Sarah, who moved all over the world growing up with her air force family, lives in Austin, Texas.

7:00  Doors open for public event

7:30  Book Reading

You can find details about Sarah and the public presentation at the link below – see you soon!

Texas Music Pickers Finals Re-Cap

The Texas Music Pickers Top Pick finished up this past Friday with the Final Round! Four final contestants competed last Friday for the title of Top Pick and the grand prize of $500 cash, a recorded single from Hilltrax Studios, a songwriting session with award winning singer/songwriters Tony Ramey and Drew Womack!

The competition began when 16 top singer-songwriters battled it out in the preliminary rounds for a chance to be number one. These musicians were Mando Salas, Pedro Ramirez, AJ Guel, Jarrett Everett, Nathan Bonnes, Chancy Bernson, Jed Crisp, Steve Idlett, Josh Vincent, Landon McGee, Raul Tinajero, Julie Reese, Brian Chance, Hannah Elizabeth Smith, Sarah Olivia Buss, and Amber Adams.

After the preliminary rounds, the 16 were narrowed down to 10, which were Nathan Bonnes,  Sarah Olivia Buss, Brian Chance, Jed Crisp, Steve Idlett, Josh Lovett, Landon McGee, Pedro Ramirez, Mando Salas, and Hannah Elizabeth Smith.

After last week’s First Round, the ten were then narrowed down to four. The four that competed this week were:

1. Hannah Elizabeth Smith


2. Mando Salas11058277_869085039843747_4720034439161283677_n

3. Sarah Olivia Buss


4. Landon McGee12063366_869085156510402_5308753401098603744_n

The competition was incredibly close and each performer was talented beyond belief. They were judged on songwriting, vocal ability, and showmanship/performance; and audience votes.

After the night was over, the winner of the Top Picks Competition was….

*drumroll please*



We are so proud of our summer musician-in-residence! The kind of talent Landon possesses is rare and we cannot wait to see where he goes with his music career. We are honored to have hosted such a brilliant man!


Texas Music Pickers Singer-Songwriter Round 1 Recap

This past Saturday, we hosted the Texas Music Pickers Singer-Songwriter contest as 16 musicians battled it out to win $500 cash, a recorded single from Hilltrax Studios, a songwriting session with award winning singer/songwriter Tony Ramey and award winning singer/songwriter, Drew Womack!

The Final Round of Texas Music Picker’s Top Pick Singer/Songwriter contest will feature performances by the top 10 finalists. Each contestant will preform an original song. The top 3 scoring contestants, and the contestant who has the highest audience score of the remaining contestants, will advance. Each contestant will perform an original song and a cover song of their choosing.

Following the show, Tony Ramey will perform an acoustic set.

To learn more about the singer/songwriter contest, visit

Tony Ramey
Tony’s live performances have taken him from the Texas and Midwest Honky Tonks where people are two-stepping and raising their bottles, to where he says he is starting to feel even more at home–in the two-hundred-and-fifty to one-thousand seat theaters, where people come to listen to a storyteller at work. Audiences in the theaters at Tony’s performances are compelled to listen–to go down the same road together, on the same journey, wherever his song takes them. That journey ends up above the production and sonic value of a pounding track: “I want people to dance and have a good time, but there’s a romantic part of me that wants to believe it’s all derived from an honesty and passion in music that has substance and meaning, not just a loop or hip-hop beat and words that rhyme.”

With gold and platinum records on artists like Trisha Yearwood, John Michael Montgomery, George Strait, and a host of others who have covered Tony’s material, and with BMI awards and more than fifteen years of professional writing behind him, Tony has proven himself as a songwriter, but the best is yet to come for those watching and listening to Tony as he is proving himself as an artist…It will be a journey worth taking–wherever the journey takes us.

Be sure to join us for this event on Friday, September 25 at 7:30 pm!

Jordan York on the Texas Bucket List


On Friday, August 28th we had the pleasure of hosting the Texas Music Pickers at the Grand Stafford Theater. We are now excited to announce that Jordan York, the opening artist for Haley Cole and Josh Grider, is being featured on the Texas Bucket List!

Be sure to tune in by finding the air time in your area at

Congratulations Jordan York and thank you to the Texas Bucket List for the feature!

Texas Music Pickers Top Picks Competition ft Landon McGee


Texas Music Pickers is back at Grand Stafford Theater this Saturday, September 19 at 5:00 pm for their Top Picks Competition!

16 singer-songwriters will compete for number 1 and to earn $1000 in cash and prizes ($500 cash, a recorded single, & songwriting sessions with 2 award winning songwriters.)

Even more exciting, Grand Stafford Theater’s own musician-in-residence artist Landon McGee is one of the 16 finalists.

Contestants will perform original songs and covers in a bid to earn the Top Pick title.

Be sure to come out and support the local musicians from Texas and especially our own Landon McGee. Audience members will be able to vote each round to help determine the winner.

Tickets are on sale now on the Grand Stafford website.

To learn more about the contest, visit Texas Music Pickers online at


Second Sunday Foreign Film – Wadjda


This Second Sunday, Grand Stafford Theater presents Wadjda, Saudi Arabian-German film that won numerous awards and nominations, including nominations for both Best Foreign Language Film at the 8th Academy Awards and Best Foreign Film at the 2014 BAFTA Awards.

The film also has an impressive 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a hard feat for any film to achieve.

Interested in knowing more? Here’s the plot summary from Rotten Tomatoes:

“WADJDA is a movie of firsts. This first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia is the story of a young girl living in a suburb of Riyadh determined to raise enough money to buy a bike in a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl’s virtue. Even more impressive, WADJDA is the first feature film made by a female Saudi filmmaker. In a country where cinemas are banned and women cannot drive or vote, writer- director Haifaa Al Mansour has broken many barriers with her new film.”

Second Sunday Foreign Film is this Sunday, September 13 at 3:30 pm with doors opening at 3:00 pm. As always, we will be serving up drinks and providing free popcorn!

Grand Stafford Presents: 2nd Tuesday Real Jazz Series



Ready to get your 1920’s on?

Grand Stafford Theater is proud to announce our new fall series – 2nd Tuesday Real Jazz. Every 2nd Tuesday during the fall, we will have a night of live jazz music and craft cocktails.

Take a step back in time with us every week starting at 7:00 pm for the perfect way to shake off the previous day’s Monday blues. Even better? It falls on our regular Craft Cocktail Tuesday so you can enjoy both cocktails AND live jazz!

This Tuesday, we will feature the music of Bill Clark. The Vintage Jazz Organ Trio features Bill Clark, Chris Hollar and Greg Tivis. Bill Clark has been playing jazz guitar for over three decades and has performed frequently in the New York and Detroit metro areas, Berlin, Germany, and, most recently, Bryan/College Station. He studied with renowned guitarists Bob Fugel, Bucky Pizzareli, Bob Devos, Harry Leahey, and Josh Breakstone and jazz performance at William Paterson College. His influences on the guitar include Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall, but his approach to improvisation is more closely tied to saxophonists such as Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, and Dexter Gordon, and trumpeters such as Clifford Brown, Chet Baker, and Art Farmer. In his spare time, Clark is the Head of the Political Science department at Texas A&M, where he is the Charles Puryear Professor in Liberal Arts.

Parker McCollum

Despite only having 22 years under his belt, the young Parker McCollum is already making huge waves in the regional music scene. McCollum, who’s earned comparisons to critically acclaimed artists like Ryan Bingham and John Mayer, has worked relentlessly to get himself to where he is today.


With rock roots and singer-songwriter style, McCollum’s music is wise beyond his years. The artistsmanages to bring a sound that’s both mature and fresh.


McCollum’s hard work is evident in The Limestone Kid, his first full-length album, which was released on Feb. 24, 2015.

Parker McCollum will be playing at the Grand Stafford Theater on August 29 at 8:00 pm. Doors open at 7:00 pm and tickets are available now.

For more information on Parker McCollum, check out his website here.

Texas Music Pickers Singer/Songwriter Series Presents: Haley Cole & Josh Grider



Texas Music Pickers is known for their exceptional ability to scope out the latest up-and-coming Texas artists, and their next showcase is no exception. As part of their singer/songwriter series, Haley Cole & Josh Grider will be performing at the Grand Stafford on Friday, August 28 at 8:00 pm.

Haley Cole, a soulful singer whose lyrics hold more truth and power than nearly anything on the market today, began dabbling in music at a very young age and found solace in it when she went through a hard time in her life as a teen. Her magnetism on stage and her ability to hold an audience spellbound is the natural harvest of years spent singing spirituals with her family at church gatherings and small revivals surrounding her tiny hometown of Birch Creek, Texas. There she witnessed the magic that moves in music and felt its healing power for the first time. Her latest album, Illusions, was released in January 2015 and is available on iTunes now.

Josh Grider, a major player in not only the Texas music scene but the country music scene nationwide, spent nearly a decade in the music business before getting his much-deserved big break. The Gettin’ There” would yield 3 number one songs on the Texas Regional Radio Report, and 2 number one songs on the Texas Music Chart for Josh.  In November 2013 he carried that momentum into the studio with producer Trent Willmon to record 2014’s full length album “Luck & Desire”. Josh’s album is available on iTunes now.

Haley Cole & Josh Grider will be performing at The Grand Stafford on Friday, August 28. Doors open at 7:00 and the show begins at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $8 on the Grand Stafford website. Tables for 4 and 10 are also available.

For more information on Haley Cole, check out her website here.

For more information on Josh Grider, check out his website here.

The Grand Stafford Welcomes Odd Folks on August 16

One would be hard pressed to find a name fit that fits a band more perfectly than Odd Folks does. Playing off of their name, the band purposefully stays away from fitting into a single genre and uses this fluidity to explore any and every genre they find interesting.


The end result of this sort of freedom results in a band who’s fascinatingly eclectic without any effort. It’s an energy that one can’t help but be drawn to and want to hear more from, and that sentiment is reflected with the following the band has gained over the years.

Odd Folks is a local 5-piece band from College Station, TX that consists of musicians that met at A&M. Self-described as a mix of punk, indie and post-hardcore rock, they pride themselves on being different not only with their unique sound, but with the intimacy with which they conduct their shows.

If you’re looking for a good time out, this is not a band to miss. Their unique sound ensures there is something for everyone, and the personalities of the musicians are such that you are certain to have a good time watching them.

Odd Folks will be playing at the Stafford on August 16, 2015 8:00 pm. Doors open at 7:00 pm. To stay-up-to-date with the band, check them out on Facebook here or preview their music on their bandcamp here.