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Today’s Email Announcements

Rucco-James Duo to Perform Feb. 18

The guitar duo of Pasquale Rucco and Douglas James will perform Feb. 18 in Broyhill Music Center’s Recital Hall. Admission to the 8 p.m. performance is free.

Rucco and James perform on 19th-century guitars.

Their program includes Antoine de Lhoyer’s “Grand Duo, Op. 31, No. 3,” two movements from Anton Diabelli’s “Orpheus Melodische Sätze fur Zwey Guitarren,” Mauro Giuliani’s “Variazioni Concertanti, Op. 130” and a movement from Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” arranged by Giuliani.

Italian guitarist Rucco is the winner of several European guitar competitions, including the 1989 Arturo Toscannini Solo Guitar Competition for the performance of 19th-century music. Since then he has performed regularly in Europe and the United States, both as a soloist and chamber musician specializing in the 19th-century literature played on period instruments. Rucco is also the founding director of a consortium of music academies operating in the greater Naples region.

James has received numerous prizes and awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships. He performs frequently throughout the United States and in Europe, and has been featured on major classical radio broadcasts including NPR’s Performance Today.

James is professor of guitar in the Hayes School of Music. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Guitar Foundation of America.

MerleFest Adds Powerful Names to Lineup

MerleFest, presented by Window World and slated for April 28-May 1, 2016, is proud to announce three powerful new additions to the 2016 lineup: breakout Americana star Jason Isbell, legendary Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and inspiring gospel songster Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Revue. These three new artists join over 100 other artists already announced, including John Prine, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dave Rawlings Machine, Brandi Carlile, The Wood Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Alison Brown, Doug Seegers and more! The four-day event, the largest roots and Americana music festival in the nation, takes place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the heart of Appalachia. MerleFest continues the legacy of Doc Watson and is a benefit for the college. This homecoming of roots music artists and fans draws nearly 80,000 participants every year.

[cid:image003.jpg@01D16320.09BA4280]Alabama native Jason Isbell is having quite the year! His new album, “Something More Than Free,” was not only a chart topper, it was a chart redefiner, bringing in simultaneous No. 1 rankings in Billboard’s Rock, Country and Folk charts. Critically acclaimed by nearly everyone, Isbell took his place at the head of a new generation of country artists transforming the Nashville sound. The once lead-singer for famed alt-country band Drive By Truckers now has a solo career that can’t be stopped. Born in Green Hill, Ala., Isbell is undeniably inspired by the soul-tinged rock, country and blues produced in neighboring Muscle Shoals. As a lyricist, Jason is willing to tell the difficult stories, whether raw, introspective, messy or poetic. As an artist, he reveals his own vulnerabilities – his successes and failures – in which listeners might find kinship or perspective.

[cid:image005.jpg@01D16320.09BA4280]Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is an accomplished fingerstyle player, frequently threading three different parts simultaneously into his material, operating as a one-man band that handles the melody, the supporting chords and the bass all at once. There ‘s is a science to assembling the parts, and Emmanuel’s technical gift has earned him multiple awards and made him a Member of the Order of Australia, an honor bestowed by the Queen Elizabeth II in his homeland. But the average fan could listen without even considering the precision behind the work, focusing instead on the artful tension and release of Emmanuel’s melodies. A friend and follower of the late Chet Atkins – who christened Emmanuel a Certified Guitar Player, making him one of only five musicians to receive the C.G.P. distinction from the master – Tommy Emmanuel easily skates between musical styles, playing with blues, infusing Spanish tradition and exploring folk, making him the ultimate “traditional plus” artist.

[cid:image007.jpg@01D16320.09BA4280]Inspirational songwriter Mike Farris is a man who knows personal struggle and knows how to take life experiences and turn them into something beautiful. The 2007 recording by Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Review, “Salvation in Lights,” was Farris’ first project after recovery. The year after the release, he won an Americana Music Award for New/Emerging Artist. His live performances at Bonnaroo, SxSW, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and others drew rave reviews. Revered artists like Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin and Marty Stuart were struck by his incomparable voice, and Mike opened shows for Patti LaBelle, Mavis Staples, Blind Boys of Alabama, Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby. He released his next album, “Shine For All The People,” in 2014, which won a Grammy Award in 2015 for Best Traditional Roots Gospel Album. Mike says, “There was a time when I carried all the songwriting on my shoulders, but then the ego gets in the way of what it should be. These days, I don’t have to write everything. I just open the door and these songs show up … songs I need to hear in my struggle; songs I know people need to hear in theirs.”

MerleFest has announced over 100 artists so far, and there are additional performers to be announced next month. The 2016 lineup is available online at www.MerleFest.org/lineup.

Early Bird Ticket Tier 1 Deadline – February 15, 2016

The deadline to take advantage of the Early Bird Tier 1 ticket discount is coming up on February 15. A three-tiered pricing structure is offered for MerleFest 2016. The Early Bird Tier 2 ticket discount will run from February 16, 2015, through April 22, 2015, and the third price tier will be gate pricing. Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the Tier 1 discount now. Tickets for MerleFest 2016 are now on sale and may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857.

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

Medicare 101 Seminar Set for Feb. 18

Approaching 65?  Confused about Medicare?  Work with individuals turning 65?  Join us for an information session at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone on Thursday Feb. 18, 2-3:30.  We’ll discuss the basics of Medicare, supplements, and drug plans.  Please call Jen Teague to register at 265-8090.  This event is part of the SHIIP Program (Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program) and is not sponsored by any insurance company or agent.  For more information about the N.C. SHIIP program, please call 1-855-408-1212.

Spring Railroad Excursions Offered April 2

Its that time of year again for the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum to offer our annual Spring Excursions on April 2. Attached is photo’s showing the train and a press release about the trip which starts out in Johnson City via motor coach. Appreciate if you could get the information in your Newspaper as soon as possible since we have to sell so many tickets by the 1st of March to make the trips go. We always have great response from the your area since there are so many people wanting to ride a train. These trips will giveeveryone a chance again to ride a train. 

Adult Spelling Bee Slated for April 12

15th Annual Adult Spelling Bee

Offered to promote Education in the High Country

Teams of 4 persons will spell words in writing in three rounds (Easy, Intermediate and Difficult).  If a word is misspelled, the team has the option to “buy” Bee Bucks and remain in the competition.




from students GRADES K – 12 will be on display during this event and a WINNERS will be announced!



April 12, 2016


05:00 PM – 07:30 PM EDT




Watauga High School Auditorium


Barbara Armstrong



Date/Time Details:

April 12th

5 – 7:30 pm


Registration per team is $100 (including 2 bee bucks)

Additional Bee Bucks are $10 each.

Awards for best costumes and table decorations, Prizes for best spellers.

Public is invited to join in the fun!  Light refreshments provided.

See Clybourne Park at ASU Feb. 24-27

The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance is producing the regional premiere of “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris. It is the only play ever to win the “triple crown” of theatre, which consists of the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Tony Award for Best Play and England’s Olivier Award for Outstanding Play.

Five performances of the play will be given in Valborg Theatre on campus, with 7:30 p.m. shows from Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 24-27, with a 2 p.m. show on Sunday, Feb. 28. The final matinee performance will be interpreted using American Sign Language (ASL). Ticket prices start at just $10 for Appalachian students and $17 for adults. For more information, visit www.theatreanddance.appstate.edu, call the box office at 828-262-4046 or 800-841-ARTS (2787).

A smart, razor-sharp satire, “Clybourne Park” questions our assumptions about racial integration in the United States. The first act takes place in the Chicago suburbs in 1959 where a working class black family has purchased a house. Their new neighbors have concerns about the future of their white neighborhood. The second act takes place in 2009 in the same house and same suburb, but this time an affluent white family has purchased the house and plans to renovate the property. The neighbors have concerns about the future of their “historically black” neighborhood.

The dramaturg for the production, Associate Professor Paulette Marty, said, “Bruce Norris has crafted a devilishly clever play that exposes our culture’s complacency about racial inequality. He makes us laugh, while at the same time challenging us with the question, ‘If we’ve made so much progress on racial equality, how come our neighborhoods are still almost as segregated as they were in 1959?’”

“Clybourne Park” is the concluding event of a four-week campus and community-wide conversation titled “How We Talk About Race in 2016,” which began in January with a staged reading of Lorraine Hansberry’s masterwork “A Raisin in the Sun” by In/Visible Theatre. Both plays and the related education and outreach programs were purposely scheduled to coincide with African-American History Month. In the interim period, classes in academic departments across campus studied the plays and the issues they contain.

With regard to the production and its education and outreach programs, Chancellor Sheri N. Everts said, “The arts can be incredibly powerful in highlighting social issues in a way that sparks deep and honest conversation. I look forward to the dialogue that ‘Clybourne Park’ will spark on our campus and in our community.”

In addition to the Department of Theatre and Dance, other entities participating in the various programs include: the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs; the Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance; and the Office of Multicultural Student Development. Support for this production is provided through the College of Fine and Applied Arts, with support for ASL interpreters by the Office of Disability Services.

In addition, “Clybourne Park” is being used as a starting point for an exploration on the issues of race by the Sustained Dialogue Initiative, whose mission is to engage members of the Appalachian community in dialogues that cultivate strong, trusting relationships and foster respect for each individual and their ability to contribute to positive change.

There will be talkback discussions after each performance involving members of the audience and an experienced panel of experts on the issues contained within “Clybourne Park,” including race, segregation, gentrification, upward mobility, aspirations for a better life, mental health, PTSD and suicide. Bindu Jayne, associate vice chancellor for equity, diversity and compliance and chief diversity officer, said, “The intention of these talkbacks is to take these themes off the stage and place them into the context of our own community, as a powerful reminder that the dream continues to be deferred for many of us.”

Moderators for the post-show discussions are Traci Royster and Lindy Wagner from the Office of Multicultural Student Development. Panelists to date, and the departments they represent, include Joseph Bathanti (English), Mark Bradbury (Government and Justice Studies), Tandrea Carter (Institute for Health and Human Services), Elisabeth Cavallaro (Wellness and Prevention Services), Rich Crepeau (Geography and Planning), Cameron Lippard (Sociology), Keith Martin and Paulette Marty (Theatre and Dance), Sonyé Randolph (Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance) and Elizabeth Shay (Geography and Planning). In addition, Chancellor Everts and Provost Darrell Kruger will offer opening remarks to put the production in the larger context of the campus and community conversation.

The production is directed by Keith Martin, the John M. Blackburn Distinguished Professor of Theatre, with scenic design by Professor Mike Helms and costume design by Associate Professor Sue Williams – all faculty members within the Department of Theatre and Dance. The lighting and sound design is by Tim Snyder, a 2012 graduate of Appalachian’s Theatre Arts (BA) – Theatre Design/Technology degree.

Notable in this production is the work of Marty and a team of student dramaturgs. “Our students have done stellar work on this production,” Marty said. “They’ve done extensive historical research that has informed the actors’ performances and designers’ choices, dug into the themes of the play with the director to help him shape his concept for the production, and found great materials for audiences about the play’s themes and context.”

The cast for “Clybourne Park” includes Dylan Brown, Lydia Congdon, Koria Johnson, Logan Frazier, T.J. Lewis, Jake Roberts, Aaron Scotch and Jenna Allred-Tonsor. Karina Galiano is stage manager for the production.

 About Valborg Theatre

The Valborg Theatre is located on campus at the north side of Chapell Wilson Hall on Howard Street in Boone. The theatre entrance faces the back of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on King Street. Parking is available after 5 p.m. on campus in faculty/staff lots and after 5:30 p.m. in the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons.

To purchase tickets, contact the Valborg Theatre box office at 828-262-3063, the Schaefer Center box office toll-free at 800-841-ARTS (2787), or visit the department website at http://theatreanddance.appstate.edu.

About the Department of Theatre and Dance

The Department of Theatre and Dance is housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to provide liberal arts educational opportunities including B.A. degrees in dance studies and theatre arts. The department also values the opportunity to offer coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Vital to the support of this mission is a dynamic co-curricular production program that provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region.

The departmental philosophy is to support the university’s liberal arts environment through a balanced and integrated emphasis on teaching, creative activity, scholarship and service.

Roberta Lowman Named LPGA Chair

With the start of the 2016 Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) season, the Tour announced the election of Roberta Bowman, longtime sustainability and communications executive, as Chair of the LPGA’s Board of Directors. Bowman and her husband, Andrew have been members of Linville Ridge since April 2005.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to take on the role as Chair of the LPGA’s Board of Directors,” said Bowman. “It’s a very exciting time to be a part of the LPGA, and I look forward to helping the Tour continue to grow through its recent trend of positive momentum both on and off the course.”

Click Here to Watch: Bowman’s first remarks as LPGA Board Chair

The West Hartford, CT native succeeds Mike Trager who served as Board chair in 2014-2015. Bowman spent most of her business career at Duke Energy in Charlotte, NC.  She joined the company in 1986 and served the multinational energy company for over 25 years before retiring in January 2012 as Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. In that role, Bowman served on the company’s Management Committee and led the company’s integrated response to environmental risks and opportunities.  She also represented the company at industry, national and global policy forums. Her career at Duke Energy included executive leadership roles in public policy, government relations, environment health & safety, corporate communications and crisis management functions.  Bowman started her career in 1978 at Northeast Utilities in Hartford, Conn.

“Roberta is both personally passionate and fully dedicated to the task of growing opportunities and benefits for our members, our sponsors, and our staff,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “She is an incredible advocate of the LPGA and her time spent on the Board has proven that her unique combination of leadership and listening skills makes her a tremendous asset and visionary for helping us reach new heights.”

Bowman has served on the LPGA’s Board of Directors since August 2011 before taking over as Board Chair. “My work with the LPGA fuels two of my passions:  opportunities for women to achieve their dreams and the unique role golf plays in business and building relationships,” Bowman added. “I’ve seen how our LPGA professionals engage with fans and sponsors and believe it provides an exceptional opportunity in professional sports.  In addition to being outstanding athletes and golfers, our LPGA professionals are terrific role models as well.”

As an avid golfer herself, Bowman chaired the Executive Steering Committee of the 2001 U.S. Women’s Open and co-chaired the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open, both held at Pine Needles Golf Club and Lodge.

In addition to her role with the LPGA, Bowman serves on the Board of Trustees of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest health insurer.  She remains active in business as founding principal of Bowman Strategic Advisors, providing consulting services in sustainability, energy, leadership and crisis management.

Bowman earned a BA and graduated with distinction from Tufts University. She and her husband, Andrew, reside in Bluffton, SC and Linville, NC.

About Linville Ridge

Linville Ridge is an established private residential community near Blowing Rock, North Carolina – a short drive from Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Winston-Salem and Asheville.  Developed by The Lutgert Companies in 1982, Linville Ridge boasts the highest elevation golf course east of the Mississippi River which was redesigned by Bobby Weed Golf Design in 2009; five dining venues; eight Har-Tru® tennis courts; two regulation–sized croquet lawns; heated mountainside swimming pool; hiking trails; youth activities; and a full service hair salon and spa. Linville Ridge Country Club offers a variety of membership categories for golf and social members alike. Linville Ridge offers a range of ownership opportunities from estate homes, mountain cottages, town homes and homesites, through their on-site brokerage, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information, visit www.linvilleridge.com.