By Madison Fisler Lewis
Jan. 20, 2015. Melissa Reaves will be turning up the heat on her upcoming “Below Zero” winter tour. The tour will officially kick off in Boone on Jan. 23, when Reaves performs live with the Appalachian State University Gospel Choir and Keith McCutchen as part of the 31st Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration.
The concert will start at 8 p.m. at Appalachian State University in Boone at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts in conjunction with An Evening with Julian Bond. The entire event is free and open to the public.
“I have not performed with the Appalachian Gospel Choir before, but it was just a wonderful opportunity and I was honored to be asked,” said Melissa Reaves.
” Just commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. and the work he stood for and died for is the perfect energy that I need to bring to the other shows. This is the perfect way to kick off my new tour.”
Reaves said that most of the music will be gospel music, where she will stand in with the Appalachian State University Gospel Choir and perform alongside them.
“I have listened to the gospel choir for many years,” Reaves said.
“Twenty-two years ago, I would go every Thursday night to their practice and I knew that my troubles would be left behind me. They let me just sit there and observe, and I think the choir was 70 voices strong at that point. It is really something that is hard to explain – when that many voices are singing with that much passion it is just unbelievable.”
Other confirmed dates for the Below Zero tour include the following:
- Jan. 26 – The Whistle with Michael Bellar – Hillsborough, N.C.
- Jan. 28 – Greensboro College – Greensboro, N.C.
- Jan. 30 – The Dispensary – Spruce Pine, N.C.
- Feb. 4 – Speakeasy 5 Points with Camel City Collective – Columbia, S.C.
- Feb. 5 – New Mountain Asheville with Camel City Collective – Asheville, N.C.
- Feb. 6 – High Rock Outfitters with Camel City Collective – Lexington, N.C.
- Feb. 7 – Murphy’s with Camel City Collective – Boone, N.C.
- Feb. 13 – Beech Mountain Brewing Company – Beech Mountain, N.C.
- Feb. 14 – Boone Saloon with Bafoodus – Boone, N.C.
“I can’t imagine why anyone would miss this show,” Reaves said.
“I would encourage everyone to come out and be a part of this commemoration out of respect for Martin Luther King, Jr. The speaker for the night, Julian Bond, will be wonderful. We have such a rich community of musicians that really do so much day in and day out and throughout the year and over the years. I would really encourage people to come support them, because this choir is absolutely wonderful. It is an opportunity that you would be crazy to miss!”