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Arts and entertainment briefs

Brian Ray, winner of the inaugural South Carolina First Novel Prize sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission, will be at Literary Bookpost signing his prize-winning novel, “Through the Pale Door,” during the Night Out on the Town this Friday, 7-9 p.m.
Originally from Georgia, Ray teaches writing at UNC-Greensboro. The novel is one of love, art and loss. The story is sprinkled throughout with art history, and Ray manages to paint and sculpt beautiful masterpieces for the reader.
For more information call 704-630-9788.
Jazz guitarist
Jazz guitarist, writer, vocalist and bassist John Sharp will be in Salisbury this Saturday, performing at The Blue Vine, 209 S. Main St., from 9-11 p.m.
Sharp has lived and performed in Charlotte since the mid-80s, and has played and recorded with many performers, including Jimmy Buffet, Brook Benton, Wynton Marsalis and The Dave Brubeck Quartet, and with numerous Carolinas beach acts.
His CD “Better Than Dreams” was released on San Francisco’s Reference Records label in 1993, receiving considerable jazz airplay across the US and Europe.
There will be no cover charge for Saturday’s show.
For more information, call 704-797-0093.
Tom Sawyer auditions
Piedmont Players Theatre announces auditions for a youth production of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” by Ken Ludwig, with music and lyrics by Don Schlitz, based on the classic novel by Mark Twain.
Auditions will be held Sept. 8 and 9 at 4 p.m. on the third floor at the Meroney Theater, 213 S. Main St. Young people auditioning are asked to come with a song prepared. An accompanist will be available. There will be a cold reading from the script.
Show dates are Oct. 7-10 and 16-17.
Call 704-633-5471 or visit www.piedmontplayers.com for more information.
The Mystical Organ
First United Methodist Church’s Music Department launches its second season of firstARTS on Friday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 p.m. with L’Orgue Mystique (The Mystical Organ) featuring organist Br. Jonathan Ryan from Chicago, Ill., where he is a member of the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius (Roman Catholic) Parish.
A graduate of the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, Ryan has won top-prizes in many of the most established organ competitions in the U. S. and abroad and is currently a finalist in the 2009 Jordan International Organ Competition. He will perform a virtuoso concert with works of Messiaen, Ligeti, Karg-Elert, Bach, Shearing, and Duruflé on the church’s newly refurbished Schantz pipe organ.
An offering will be received for the Music Memorial Fund.
firstARTS began last year as a concert series to enrich the cultural and artistic life of historic Salisbury. All concerts and programs are presented through the generosity of members of First United Methodist Church.
For more information, contact the church office at 704- 636-3121.
Thomas at NCTM
SPENCER ó Thomas the Tank Engine is coming to the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer for the Day Out With Thomas 2009: The Hero of the Rails Tour.
This event offers preschoolers and their families the opportunity to take a 25-minute ride with a 15-ton replica of Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the popular Thomas & Friends series.
Other activities include arts and crafts, storytelling, video viewing, and live music. There will be exclusive commemorative merchandise including a 2009 Day Out With Thomas passenger car, as well as a t-shirts, engineer caps, pennants, and more.
The event takes place Sept. 25-27 and Oct. 2-4, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tickets are $18 plus tax for ages 2 and up. They are on sale now and available by calling Ticketweb toll-free 866-468-7630, or by visiting www.ticketweb.com/thomas or www.nctrans.org.
Music masterclass
Arlene Shrut, a faculty member of the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, will visit Livingstone College to present a vocal and piano master class on Thursday, Oct 22, from 6:30-8:15 p.m. This class is free and open to the public.
Private voice lessons will also be available with Shrut during the day of her visit. The cost is $40 for a 30 minute lesson and $80 for a one-hour lesson.
Shrut was honored in 2003 as the inaugural “Coach of the Year” in Classical Singer Magazine. She has collaborated with such vocal artists as Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson and has recorded on the Dorian, Centaur, Orion, Summit and Albany Records labels.
Arlene Shrut earned two solo piano degrees from the Eastman School of Music and a doctorate in accompanying from the University of Southern California. In 1981, she received a Fulbright grant to Germany in vocal coaching.
For more information, or to sign up for a lesson time, contact Teresa Moore-Mitchell at 704-216-6144 or 704-798-7085, or email: teresaamoore@hotmail.com.

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