Today’s Email Announcements

Published Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm

1) Country Music Duo Ashton & Kennedy to Say Farewell to Boone with Thursday Performance

On Thursday, April 23, country music duo Ashton & Kennedy will perform their final local full-band concert before moving to Nashville, Tennessee to continue pursuing their musical dreams. The show will take place at Galileo’s on King Street in downtown Boone. Start time is 10:30 p.m. and the door charge is $3 for ages 21 and up, $5 for ages 18-20.

The duo will field their entire six-piece band for an energetic performance filled with their original music and crowd-favorite covers. Their music is decidedly country, but displays a  unique character that blends traditional influences with modern flare. The duo recently released their debut EP, “Finding the Still.” CDs will be available for purchase at the event, and the project can also be found on various digital music services such as iTunes and Spotify.

“We can’t thank our hometown fans enough,” says Ashton Lee of Ashton & Kennedy. “It’s been so great to play our music in Boone over the course of our time here and feel the love from so many supportive people who are affected by what we do.”

Of the upcoming show, the duo’s Kennedy Fitzsimmons says, “We want to pull out all the stops! Our fans in Boone have been so great to us that we can’t leave without giving them the best show we can play.”

Lee and Fitzsimmons officially formed the power duo Ashton & Kennedy about a year ago. The two met while working on a solo release for Kennedy through Appalachian State University’s student-run Split Rail Records. Ashton, a seasoned songwriter, performer and session musician, helped write and record what would be Kennedy’s first artist statement in the country music genre after she had spent many years performing in various bands and genres. After touring successfully through the summer and fall, Ashton and Kennedy decided to record a project that reflected their sound and artistic vision together. Both artists’ influences are apparent in the tracks, but there is an overall cohesiveness that undoubtedly results from the pair’s undeniable chemistry in both their performance and songwriting.

The EP title “Finding the Still” is a nod to the band that Ashton helped found three years ago named Hidden Still. The band played with the duo through their formative stages and filled studio musician and engineering roles on the recording project. Joining the duo onstage April 23 will be original Hidden Still and Ashton & Kennedy drummer Zack Barnes, along with bassist Jordan Bailey, rhythm guitarist Will Bean and fiddle player/vocalist Kate Rhudy. This all-star cast will certainly be ready to rock.

2) Beanstalk Community Theatre to Begin Audition Process for SHREK in May

Beanstalk Community Theatre will host a pre-audition workshop for “SHREK: The Musical” on May 3 at 2 p.m. at Three Forks Baptist Church and auditions May 16 at the same location. Auditions for ages four and up, many adult roles. To sign up for auditions, call Beanstalk Community Theatre at 828-312-0263 or schedule online at www.tinyurl.com/shrek-audition-signup. Visit www.beanstalkcommunitytheatre.com for more information.

3) Grandfather Mountain Launches Online Ticket Sales

Grandfather Mountain visitors can now purchase park admission tickets online.

The new online ticketing option, which launched Monday, allows visitors the convenience of buying tickets ahead of time — and the advantage of taking a shortcut into the park on selected busy weekends.

“Many of today’s guests like to buy their tickets online, so we’re pleased we can now give them that option,“ said Harris Prevost, vice president of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. “We also hope online sales will help alleviate traffic congestion at the entrance gate by allowing guests who have already purchased tickets to enter the park another way on our super-busy dates like Memorial Day weekend, July 4 holidays, Labor Day weekend and October fall color weekends.”

Visitors can go to tickets.grandfather.com to purchase regular adult, senior citizen (ages 60 and up) or child tickets, as well as AAA discounted tickets, using any major debit or credit card. Online ticket prices are identical to tickets sold at the entrance gate.

Anyone who purchases a AAA ticket or senior ticket must show a valid AAA membership card or ID card, respectively, upon arrival. No other types of tickets (such as group tickets) can be purchased online.

The tickets can be used for regular park admission on any date and are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

After completing the simple purchase process online, customers will receive printable tickets by email. Visitors must present a printed copy of the tickets upon arrival, as poor cell phone reception near the mountain may prevent ticket-holders from accessing their information on a smartphone or other handheld device.

Visitors who buy tickets online, along with Bridge Club annual pass-holders and other prepaid ticket-holders, may enter Grandfather Mountain through the prepaid lane that bypasses the main entrance gate on anticipated high-volume dates.

The prepaid lane, located 0.3 miles south of the main entrance on U.S. Highway 221, allows these guests to take a short gravel driveway through beautiful MacRae Meadows and access the park just above the main entrance gate. Attendants will be stationed at the driveway entrance to direct traffic and redeem tickets. 

Drivers should note that the Prepaid Lane is intended for visitors who travel to Grandfather Mountain from the west via N.C. Highway 105 or N.C. Highway 181. Those who approach the park from the east via the Blue Ridge Parkway or U.S. 221 from Blowing Rock will find it most convenient to enter through the main entrance gate. Those guests should still benefit from an even more rapid transaction at the ticket booths.

Proceeds from admission tickets benefit the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the park for future generations. 

The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call 800-468-7325 or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.

4) Register Now for the May 23 High Country Kids Triathlon

The 2015 High Country Kids Triathlon will take place Saturday, May 23, at the Watauga County Pool and the Greenway Trails. There will be three age divisions: 8 and under, 9-12 and 13-18. Registration fees are $25 before May 10 and $30 after May 10. Register online at www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=2126094. For more information, call 828-964-9378.

5) Community Music School to Host Open House on April 26

Appalachian State University’s Community Music School will hold an open house on Sunday, April 26, from 2-4 p.m. at its facility at 134 Doctor’s Drive in Boone. Interim director Laura Chu Stokes and CMS instructors will be on hand to answer questions about CMS’ instrumental offerings, in addition information registration for both summer and fall lessons. Tours will be offered by current students.

Parking will be available on site for public use. Directions and further information can be found at http://music.appstate.edu/about/community-music-school.

“We are very excited to be offering for the first time instruction to children and adults this summer,” Stokes said. “CMS has always had two registrations for fall and spring but operating in our own facility now gives instructors the flexibility to teach interested students from May through August.”

CMS also will offer a Brass Blast Camp for rising seventh- and eighth-graders Aug. 3-6. “The camp will give students the opportunity to hone their skills on brass instruments and have fun too,” Stokes said. The Brass Blast camp will be led by Hayes School of Music faculty member James Stokes.

The Community Music School provides non-credit music instruction for children and adults in the local community and surrounding Western N.C. counties. University expertise is combined with area teaching artists to provide outstanding musical training.  CMS offerings include the Appalachian Youth Chorale and instruction in violin, viola, cello, guitar, piano, voice and flute.  Stokes said there are plans to expand CMS’ offerings to include woodwind, brass and percussion.

6) Collegium Musicum Performs Friday at Appalachian

Works from the 17th and 18th centuries comprise the Friday, April 24 performance by Collegium Musicum at Appalachian State University.

The program begins at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free.

The ensemble will perform Arcangelo Corelli’s “Sonate da Chiesa a tre in F Major, Op. 1,” four compositions by J.S. Bach and “King Arthur” by Henry Purcell.

Collegium Musicum members are Elizabeth Chapa, soprano, Chandler Fadero, violin, Lindsey King, violin, Nicolas Allion, cello, Rory Parrish, theorbo and Hunter Cox, harpsichord. The group is directed by Alicia Chapman.

7) Chamber and University Singers to Perform Thursday at Appalachian

The Chamber Singers and University Singers from Appalachian State University will perform Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free. 

Stephen M. Hopkins is the conductor, Hollie Lacy is the accompanist and John Fowler is the guest tenor.

The University Singers will perform Stephen Chatman’s “An Elizabethan Spring,” John Rutter’s “Seeds Grow to Plants,” Gerald Finzi’s “Haste on, my joys!,” David N. Childs’ “Fill My Life with Spring” and Ariel Ramírez’s “Misa Criolla.”

The Chamber Singers will perform Hugo Distler’s “Praise to the Lord,” Brahms’ “Vier Quartette, Op. 92” and “Louise Talma’s “Let’s Touch the Sky.”

8) Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox church to Host Father Andrew Stephen Damick April 28-29

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Boone is pleased to welcome author and pastor Father Andrew Stephen Damick for two special presentations on Christian Worship & Christian Community in the time of the New Testament.

 Tuesday, April 28 at 7 p.m.: The topic is “The Church in the Bible: The Body of Christ in the Holy Scriptures.” How did Christians worship during the time the Christian Scriptures were written?

Wednesday, April 29 at 7 p.m.: The second evening‘s topic will be “The Church, After the Bible – The Body of Christ after the Apostles.” How did Christians worship after the passing of the Apostle John?

No admission charge, although freewill offerings to cover the speaker’s expenses will be accepted. Both evenings of talks will be held at the High Country Home Builders Association Banquet Room, 755 N.C. Highway 105 Bypass in Boone.

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