Reading Eagle: Christian pop duo for KING & COUNTRY performs tonight at Santander Arena [Spotlight]

·4 min read

Apr. 24—The quadruple Grammy-winning Christian pop band for KING & COUNTRY brings its "What Are We Waiting For Tour" to Reading's Santander Arena today at 6 p.m.

A brother duo of Joel and Luke Smallbone is nominated for Top Christian Artist for the upcoming 2022 Billboard Music Awards, and their album "What Are We Waiting For?," which contains the hit singles "Relate" and "Together," recently debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, and No. 2 on Billboard's Top Album Sales Chart, marking the second Top 10 album of their career.

The album contains 13 original tracks that confront relevant issues and confirm the duo's commitment to community, unity and family.

The band has won 10 GMA Dove Awards, a Billboard Music Award, 13 K-LOVE Fan Awards and their nine No. 1 songs have accumulated over 1 billion on-demand streams. Concert tickets start at $29.99 at

Several new shows have been announced for Santander Arena's sister venue, the Santander Performing Arts Center: Ancient Aliens LIVE : Project Earth on May 11, Joe Gatto's Night of Comedy on July 10, blues great Buddy Guy with Christone "Kingfish" Ingram on Aug. 12 and mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán on Aug. 14. Tickets for all four events are on sale at

Ancient Aliens LIVE : Project Earth will explore questions as old as the planet itself: Have extraterrestrials visited Earth? Are they here now, and when will they reveal themselves? The 90-minute experience celebrates the long-running program "Ancient Aliens" on The History Channel and features ancient astronaut theorist Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, author David Childress, investigative mythologist William Henry and UFO investigator Nick Pope.

Cultural arts

"Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges," an evening of multicultural performances of dance, music, spoken word and art, will be held on Friday at 5 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium at Penn State Berks. The program is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and registration is required at

This collaborative project brings together the Penn State Berks Center for Academic and Community Engagement (CACE), Reading Senior High School, community organizations and select artists from the Reading community. The program's community liaison and program production partner is Jobany Bedoya of Red Tie Affairs.

The goal of the program is to bring all members of the local community together through the arts.

"This event hopes to break barriers of stereotypes so that we can build bridges between groups to strengthen our community," explained Donna Chambers, director of CACE at Penn State Berks.

The event will include dance performances by community organizations including Gray Cloud — American Indian Song and Dance Group; Rize, a creative arts organization for youth; Barrio Alegria, a community engagement organization that utilizes the arts to create transformations; and WH Dance Academy, as well as the Reading High School Dance Team and the Penn State Berks Step Team and Dance Team.

Spoken word performances will be presented by David Nazariom, artist-in-residence at South Central PaARTners, and Berks County poet laureates Jayne Brown, retired professor of English at Penn State Berks, and Anthony Orozco, multimedia journalist at WITF.

Live music will be provided by local talent Los Monstros and Juan Londoño. In addition, Penn State Berks will highlight stories and air video on Reading's Star City Boxing programs.

Reading High School held a student contest to design the program cover artwork, and the winning submission was created by Meyshalee Bonilla.


Albright College graduate and award-winning YA novelist Frank Morelli is releasing the contemporary middle-grade epistolary novel "Breaking News" on Thursday via Fitzroy Books.

"Breaking News" is told in the often conflicting journal entries, field notes, audio files and school newspaper articles of three eighth-grade students dedicated to searching for the truth ... or maybe shielding us from it.

"Breaking News" is set at Ridgewood Arts & Technical School, a prestigious progressive institution, where Headmistress Hardaway announces that a scandal has rocked the fundraising committee. Everyone's a suspect and Hunter Jackson, student council special investigator, vows to root out the student who was heartless enough to steal donation money or die the death of a thousand forensic notes trying.

Joining him in the search for the truth — or at least their version of it — are Ridgewood Roar news editor Anthony Ravello and the rogue, indie-press pioneer Liberty Lennon.

With reality getting murkier by the day, all students at the RAT can do is gobble up news bytes and wash them down with lockerside gossip as they try to unmask the classmate responsible for the missing funds.

"Breaking News" compares to epistolary works by Avi ("Nothing But the Truth") and Julie Halpern ("Get Well Soon") because of the interactive format and the use of shifting perspectives that force readers to use reading strategy to decipher between fact and fiction.

Morelli, a Philadelphia native and North Carolina resident, is the author of the young adult novels "On the Way to Birdland" (2021) and "No Sad Songs" (2018), a YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominee and winner of an American Fiction Award for best coming-of-age story. Morelli's fiction and essays have appeared in various publications including The Saturday Evening Post, Cobalt Review, Philadelphia Stories and Boog City Press.