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Banner Elk Firehouse Fundraiser Features Fun Musical Premiering August 25-27

Fire Chief Tyler Burr (left) and Firefighter Tony Terenzio with Nina Allbert.

The first annual Banner Elk Firehouse Fundraiser will feature a very entertaining musical, Always Nina: A Tennessee Story and Songbook. The show will be performed at Banner Elk Presbyterian Church on Thursday, August 25 at 7 PM, August 26 at 2 PM and August 27 at 2 PM. Admission is free. Members of the church are underwriting all costs, so 100% of donations collected at each show go directly to Banner Elk Volunteer Fire Rescue.

While Always Nina has been performed in several states, this will be the North Carolina premier. In 2018, the Connecticut Critic’s Circle named it “Best Musical” for the state. The engaging show features Nina Allbert telling and singing stories from her life in middle Tennessee. Hear tales about bikers, beauty queens, teenage moms, evangelists, country people and millionaires, as well as her own family.

“If you are like me, you grew up hearing family and community stories, learning history, laughing until your sides hurt at the dinner table, and family and friend gatherings,” says Allbert. “While I lived in the northeast, my friends loved and were fascinated by my stories of growing up in the South… and they would beg for more.”

Allbert is an authentic Southern storyteller, award-winning actress and powerhouse singer. Acting since she was six years old, Allbert also taught music and drama for 26 years in Tennessee, Connecticut and New York. While teaching full time, she continued to perform in community and professional theatres across the country. She was an actor for six years at Lees-McRae Summer Theatre, followed by three years of music directing. She is also currently the choir director at Banner Elk Presbyterian Church.

Her band joins her for nine original songs with a mix of pop, country, blues and jazz. Music and lyrics are by Joan Burr, who lives in Connecticut. Burr will travel to Banner Elk to serve as pianist and music director. Other musicians include Alan Allbert, mandolin; David Baggett, guitar; Randy Grindstaff, banjo and stand-up bass; and Jericka Pack, percussion.

During intermission at each performance, firefighter boots will be passed for donations. The goal is to raise $5,000 for new rescue equipment and supplies used to save injured people and animals, especially in remote areas.

“We are upgrading our mountain search and rescue equipment due to the significant increase in outdoor activity in our area,” according to Banner Elk Fire Chief Tyler Burr. “We are also upgrading our patient management equipment, such as carriers to move large or disabled patients out of their home. This equipment will also drastically improve patient extraction time for the technical car accidents involving vehicles off the mountain side.”

Banner Elk Presbyterian Church is located at 420 College Drive SW, Banner Elk. Advance reservations are not required. For more info, go to http://www.bannerelkpresbyterian.org/firehouse.

Courtesy of Banner Elk Presbyterian Church.

Tony Terenzio during cliffside rescue training.