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Today’s Email Announcements

Small Farm Classes Start with Broccoli Production Feb. 15

Whether you run a small farm and are looking for new crops and strategies to improve your profitability, or a gardener with big plans for the season ahead, Extension’s Small Farms Class Series on Monday nights in Watauga County will be of interest. The series begins with a class on growing and marketing broccoli on Monday, February 15 at 6:30 PM. This and all other Small Farms classes will be held at the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center.

Broccoli is a healthy vegetable that thrives in the NC High Country at times (i.e.- summer) when much of the rest of the southeast is too hot. Could it be a good fit for your farm? How should farmers plan for soil fertility, weed control, disease prevention and insect management? Techniques discussed will also apply to most other brassica crops, such as collards, kale, Brussel sprouts, etc. The class is free and open to all members of the public with a serious interest in small farms production. For further information or to reserve  a place in the class, e-mail richard_boylan@ncsu.edu or call Watauga County Cooperative Extension at 828-264-3061.

Full Small Farm Class Series Schedule

(All classes are free and begin at 6:30 PM unless otherwise noted)

2/15 – Broccoli Production How-To’s: an increasingly-popular small farms and garden crop, with research and market updates. (Free)

2/22 – Establishing and Maintaining a Blueberry Planting in your Small Farm or Garden (Free)

2/29 – Shiitake Mushroom Production in Your Small Farm or Garden (Free)

3/7 – Establishing an Apple Orchard at your Small Farm or Homestead. Avery County Agricultural Technician and Heirloom Apple enthusiast Doug Hundley co-presents. (Free)

3/14 – Maintaining and Managing Pests in your Small Farm or Homestead Apple Orchard. Avery County Agricultural Technician and Heirloom Apple enthusiast Doug Hundley co-presents. (Free)

3/21 – Season Extension at your Small Farm or Homestead: low tunnels, high tunnels, and greenhouses. (Free)

3/28 –Establishing and Maintaining a Raspberry Planting in your Small Farm or Garden (Free)

4/4 – Vegetables and Strawberries on raised-bed &/or plasticulture systems at your Small Farm or Homestead (Free)

4/11 – Soil Food Web & Microscopy: let’s look at what’s in your garden compost & soils. (A $20 materials fee is required for this class. Class will run from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM)

Teen Financial Literacy Program at Watauga Library Feb. 8

The Watauga County Public Library would like to invite you to join us for the third in a series of Financial Literacy Workshops for teens and young adults on February 8th from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at NC Works Career Center, 130 Poplar Grove Road Connector, Boone, NC 28607.

Presenter: Amber Mellon, Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences at Appalachian State University.

This month’s focus will be on paying for college. Specifically, teens will learn how to evaluate college costs, avoid the credit card craze, calculate taxes, and decipher payroll deductions. They will learn how to prepare for emergencies and gain an understanding of the risks and annual expenses related to investing. Budgeting and saving will be revisited for their critical role in dealing with these challenges.

Food will be served at the event!

To RSVP or for more information please call

(828) 264-8784 ext. 2

Appalachian Symphony Orchestra to Perform Feb. 14

Songs of love provide the foundation for the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra’s Feb. 14 concert. With the theme “L’amour toujours” or love always, the performance includes works by Edward Elgar, Astor Piazolla, Jules Massenet and solos performed by winners of the Hayes School of Music’s 2015-16 Orchestra Concerto/Aria competition.

The free performance begins at 2 p.m. in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free.

The orchestra is led by guest conductor Cornelia Laemmli Orth, assisted by Will Selle.

Opening the concert is Edward Elgar’s “Salut D’Amor, Op. 12.” Written in 1888, the well-known composition was presented as part of Elgar’s marriage proposal to his future wife.

Andres Orench will join the orchestra for a performance of two movements from Warren Benson’s “Concertino for Alto Saxophone.” Selle will conduct the orchestra.

Pianist Hunter Cox will perform the third movement of Tchaikovsky’s “Concerto in B-flat Major Op. 23.”

The orchestra will also perform the overture to Mozart’s opera, “Cosi fan tutte.”

Tenor Remy Martin will perform “Pourquoi me reveiller” from Jules Massenet’s opera “Werther,” “La donna e mobile” from Verdi’s opera, “Rigoletto” and “Amor ti vieta” from Umberto Giordano’s opera “Fedora.”

The concert will conclude with the overture to  Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The piece will be introduced by Professor Derek Gagnier from the Department of Theatre and Dance who will recite a monologue from the conclusion of Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet.”

About the Concerto/Aria award winners

Andres Orench

Orench is a senior music education major from Alexander. He has played saxophone in various school music ensembles including the Appalachian Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble I, Saxophone Choir and the Saxophone Quartet. His studies have included a tour of Italy with Jazz Ensemble I. He has also performed with the Hickory Jazz Orchestra and the Asheville Jazz Orchestra. Orench is a White Wind Scholar, and is a member of the National Association for Music Educators. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music education, complemented by a Certificate of Recognition in Music Performance and a Certificate of Jazz Studies. Orench plans to teach middle and high school band when he graduates. He is a student of Scott Kallestad.

Hunter Cox

Cox, who has been playing piano since age 12, is a student of Dr. Rodney Reynerson. A junior music education major from Sanford, Cox is a member of The Honors College. He is a member and the treasurer of the Appalachian’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education. He studies saxophone with Scott Kallestad and plays violin as well. Cox also is a piano instructor with the Hayes School of Music’s Community Music School.  A recipient of an AppalPIE Scholarship and the Will Hester Memorial Scholarship, Cox is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and music education.

Remy Martin

Martin, a senior vocal performance major from Medford Lakes, New Jersey, is a student of Joe Amaya. Along with performing across Europe with a national choir, Martin has performed as the lead in several opera and musical theatre productions. He has been singing classically for five years and said the opportunities he has had to perform have helped maximize his musicianship.

LMC Arts to Present Sondheim and Sondheim Feb. 25-28

He’s been hailed as one of the most significant figures in modern musical theatre, and Lees-McRae College’s Performing Arts program will present some of Stephen Sondheim’s best music in Sondheim on Sondheim February 25‒28 at Hayes Auditorium.

The musical revue is a compilation of 41 songs from some of Sondheim’s most well-known productions. The show is built around recorded interviews with the master composer and lyricist which are projected onto the stage. The interviews outline the high points of his career and introduce his songs, many of which were cut from performances and are relatively unknown.

“Sondheim is a phenomenon in musical theatre, and this show illustrates his song-writing genius showing audiences a little of his process,” said director Dr. Michael Hannah, associate professor of performing arts at Lees-McRae. “Some of the songs included in the show underwent changes as the various musicals changed, so we see how he adapted some songs for new characters and new situations.”

The revue is not strictly chronological but moves fluidly through Sondheim’s career, augmented by his comments about particular songs or musicals. “As a Sondheim fan, I’m particularly interested in why a song is changed during the production process or why it’s cut completely,” Hannah said. “These are like little gems that we may not know as well as his more famous songs.”

The College offers a BFA in Musical Theatre, and Hannah wanted to offer young singers, as well as other performing arts students, a challenging production. “I wanted to give a lot of students a chance to perform,” Hannah said. “The cast of 22 singers is much larger than the original production, but that means we can provide audiences with a much wider range of singing, and more students get the chance to learn about one of our musical theatre masters.”

The cast and live band will perform songs from classic musicals including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, West Side Story, A Little Night Music, Sweeny Todd, Company, Anyone Can Whistle, Into the Woods, Passion and Follies.

Sondheim on Sondheim runs February 25‒27 at 7:30 p.m. and February 28 at 2 p.m. in Hayes Auditorium on the Lees-McRae campus. Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for students. Tickets are sold at the door one hour before show time. For more information, call (828) 898-8709.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With more than 1,000 students hailing from 30 states and 10 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu.

HCW to Host Dr. David Spiceland and “Secrets of Tweetsie” on Feb.11

High Country Writers welcomes Dr. David Spiceland as guest speaker on Thursday, Feb 11 at the Watauga Public Library at 10 am. The program is free and open to the public. Dr. Spiceland has been researching ETWNC, Tweetsie, which was a part of Boone history for 20 years. He has uncovered rare artifacts and details that have been “right in front of our eyes,” says Spiceland. “I love history, and I love railroads. I hope I can answer questions about the railroad and find others who agree that this is a story worth telling.”

 Since coming to Boone and Appalachian State 24 years ago, Dr. Spiceland had many interests including the FCC’s “Fairness Doctrine” (his dissertation topic) and the railroad that came to Boone and left too soon after a major hurricane barreled through North Carolina. Surprisingly there are railroad stories connected with the “Tweetsie” that can still be discovered.

David Spiceland is an Associate Professor at ASU in the Department of Communication in Electronic Media and Broadcasting. His future plans include a video detailing the abandonment of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina railroad (Tweetsie) and a book on the John Wayne Western, “Red River.”

High Country Writers is an organization which fosters the growth and creativity of writers of all genres offering its members support, constructive criticism and professional development. The meetings are held at 10 am at the Watauga County Library on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Guests are welcome. Meetings are canceled when the Watauga County Public Library is closed for inclement weather. For more information about the organization, membership, and calendar of events, please visit the HCW website at http//:highcountrywriters.tripod.com