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Email Announcements Received Today:

1) Touchstone Energy Sports Camp Scholarships Available for Middle School Students

Calling all basketball fans! Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation is offering middle school students the chance to win a full scholarship to summer basketball camp. Young men can apply to attend the June 20-24 Roy Williams Carolina Basketball Camp at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Young ladies can apply to attend the June 14-17 Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Camp at N.C. State University in Raleigh. North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives, including Blue Ridge Electric, are providing scholarships for deserving young men and young women to attend basketball camps on these college campuses. Scholarships will be awarded to 50 rising sixth through eighth graders from across the state. The deadline for applications is March 31. Applicants will be judged on their academics, extra-curricular activities and accompanying essay. Students can pick up an application from their school’s physical education teacher or download an application at www.ncemcs.com/community/sportsCamps.htmThe Touchstone Energy Sports Camps program provides a unique educational and athletic opportunity for our state’s youth and demonstrates one of the core cooperative values: commitment to community. For more information on the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Camp visit http://www.gopack.com/ot/summer-camps.html. For information on the Roy Williams Carolina Basketball Camp visit www.roywilliamsuncbasketballcamp.com. For general information, contact Grey Scheer, director of community relations, Blue Ridge Electric, at (828) 759-8994 or gscheer@blueridgeemc.com.

2) Viticulture Conference Brings Regional Winemakers and Vineyard Managers Together

The 5th Annual Grape Growers and Product Producers Conference, to be held on Feb. 26, will attempt to bring a new focus to growers and producers in the Western North Carolina region. The conference will not only address issues of substance for producers and growers it hopes to lay the basis for regular interaction on the part of vineyard managers, winemakers, and product producers. The conference will feature four major topics of specific interest to those in the region – Recent Developments in Grapevines that thrive in the cold and mountainous terrain of our region; Wine Blending to develop unique tastes and flavors; A Winemakers Forum featuring an open discussion of regional winemakers; A Vineyard Managers Forum to address issues specific to the region. The two forums are designed to establish the basis for an annual meeting of winemakers and vineyard managers in the region. The annual meeting concept is something new and something that is being asked for during conversations with winemakers and vineyard managers. On Thursday, February 26, 2015, the Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard, and the French Broad Vignerons, will host the 5th Annual Grape Growers Conference in the Madison County Cooperative Extension auditorium in Marshall NC. Conference time will be from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The conference Early Bird registration fee is $45 paid in advance before midnight Feb. 12. The regular registration fee of $50 will be for those who register between February 13 and noon on Feb. 24. This registration also Includes lunch, coffee break refreshments, handouts, and free parking. Online registration is now available at www.GrapeSAVI.org until noon on Tuesday, Feb. 24. The Walk-in Registration for those registering after noon on Feb. 24 will be $55 and there is no guarantee that lunch will be available. People who register in advance will receive a copy of the agenda and directions to the conference location. For additional information about the upcoming conference or to schedule a TV appearance or radio interview, please contact Chuck Blethen, Executive Director, Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute, 828-606-3130 or email Blethen@GrapeSAVI.org

3) Appalachian Chorale Ensemble Accepting New Members

The Appalachian Chorale will continue to accept new members on Monday, Jan. 26, in preparation for its April 28 concert of Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” and John Rutter’s folksong cycle “The Sprig of Thyme.” The chorale is an 80- to 90-voice choir comprised of community members and students. It is open to all who would like to sing choral masterworks and feel that they can hold their own on a part. No auditions are required. Rehearsals are Monday evenings from, 7-9 p.m., in room 214 Broyhill Music Center whenever university classes are in session. Bernstein was commissioned to write “Chichester Psalms” in 1965, 50 years ago this spring. “This is a gorgeous and exciting 20-minute setting in Hebrew of portions of Psalms 108, 100, 23, 2, 131 and 133,” said Dr. Linda Larson who directs the choral. Larson is a member of the Hayes School of Music faculty. “The commission suggested that a hint of ‘West Side Story’ in the new piece would be welcomed, and those hints can be heard in the dance-like rhythms, the fresh harmonies and the dramatic elements in the piece.” The chorale also will perform a group of British Isles folksongs, “The Sprig of Thyme,” set by composer John Rutter. Rutter is perhaps best known for his pieces written for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, Larson said. The concert, which is free and open to all, will be on Tuesday, April 28, at 8 p.m. in Rosen Concert Hall. Directed Larson, it will feature faculty organ professor and chorale accompanist Dr. Joby Bell. For additional information, contact director Larson at larsonll@appstate.edu.

4) Endowed Scholarship Recital Held Jan. 29 at Appalachian

The annual Endowed Scholarship Recital will be held Thursday, Jan. 29, at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Recital Hall at Appalachian State University. Admission is free. The recital showcases the talent of scholarship recipients for the Theodore Presser, Hayes Young Artist, White Wind and Elmer White Jazz Trumpet scholarships and the Will Hester Memorial Scholarship, which are the Hayes School of Music’s most prestigious scholarships. The scholarships are awarded based on an audition and/or faculty nomination. The White Wind Scholarship is awarded to an entering freshman wind performer on the basis of exceptional talent and performance ability. The award is renewable for three additional years. It was established by the late Elmer White, professor emeritus, and his wife, Lynn White, professor emerita of the Hayes School of Music. Recipients of White Wind Scholarship performing at the recital are senior music performance major Matthew Dickson from Apex, trumpet; freshman music performance major Brynn MacKenzie from Southport, flute; junior music education major Andres Orench from Alexander, saxophone; and junior music education major Nicholas Pressley from Belmont, trumpet.  Pressley is also the recipient of the Elmer White Jazz Trumpet Scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year. Lynn White established this scholarship in memory of her husband. Senior choral music education major Paul Cranfill from Cary is the recipient of the Will Hester Memorial Scholarship. Awarded to a junior or senior music major, the Will Hester Memorial Scholarship recognizes intelligence, creativity, originality and talent. This year’s Hayes Young Artist Scholarship recipient is bassoonist Rachel Davis, a sophomore music performance major from Greensboro. Senior music education major and percussionist Tyler Stark from Lexington also will perform as the recipient of a Theodore Presser Scholarship, which is presented to a rising senior based on merit and excellence. Additional information about scholarships offered by the Hayes School of Music is online at http://music.appstate.edu/students/scholarships.

5) Last Chance to See Mavis Staples and More at Barter Theatre

Ben Sollee & David Wax Museum with Cereus Bright Jan. 23 at 8 p.m.

“There aren’t too many singer-songwriter-cellists operating in today’s indie world, but then again, there’s very little that’s ordinary about Ben Sollee.” – Paste 

Ben Sollee’s music is difficult to pin down but impossible to ignore. Always innovative, Sollee has collaborative with Mexican-American-folk-rock duo David Wax Museum to create a completely original show for Abingdon, that he’s calling “Mountain Stories.”  Percussive cello, literate lyrics, and joyous harmonies combine for an electric evening.

David Wax Museum have been featured on NPR, Daytrotter and PBS. The New Yorkerwrote that the band “Kicks up a cloud of excitement with its high-energy border-crossing sensibility,” and Time Magazinedescribes their sound as: “Joyful Mexo-Americana fusion, with virtuosic musical skill and virtuous harmonies.”

Opener Cereus bright is a young band out of Knoxville, TN, featuring aspecial brand of folk-influenced modern rock delivered with charismatic, harmony-driven energy.

Still not sure what to expect from this quirky lineup?  Visit our website for video previews!

Get tickets now! www.bartertheatre.com

Greensky Bluegrass with The Last Bison Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Limited number of tickets left.

The five members of Greensky Bluegrass have forged a defiant, powerful sound that, while rooted in classic stringband Americana, extends outwards with a fearless, exploratory zeal. “Greensky are hardly strictly bluegrass and, yet, they’re representing the genre for a whole new generation.” – Rolling Stone.

The Last Bison is southern folk rock that has drawn comparisons to indie superstars the likes of Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists, and Fleet Foxes with their dynamic folk anthems.

This show will be a special *extended* set! Doors open at 6:45 p.m., Show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Get tickets now! www.bartertheatre.com

Mavis Staples with Cody Chestnutt Jan. 29 at 8 p.m.

She rose to fame as part of the legendary Staples Singers in the 1960s, and over 50 years later, Mavis Staples has proven she is still at the top of her game, with a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Americana Album. Whether she is lifting the audience up with a glorious gospel rendition, or getting down and dirty with a funkadelic groove, Mavis Staples shows why Rolling Stone listed her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Cody Chesnutt is a soul troubadour whose frank, socially conscious ruminations on life have inspired a cult following and led to collaborations with The Roots, and an electrifying appearance on Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.

Get tickets now! www.bartertheatre.com