Darrell Conner and Friends perform free at library

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 7, 2013

SALISBURY — Rowan Public Library hosts Darrell Conner and Friends in concert at Rowan Public Library headquarters, 201 W. Innes St., at 7 p.m. today in the Stanback Auditorium.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free.
A Rowan County native son of a musical family, Darrell began playing guitar and banjo at the age of 13. He formed his first group, The Country Ramblers, at age 14 with his twin brothers, Ronnie on the keyboard and Donnie on the bass.
When Darrell was 16 years old, they became The Chapparelles, singing old rock ‘n roll, beach music and fifties tunes.
In 2004, he was asked to put together a backup band for the legendary Don Helms, who played steel guitar for Hank Williams Sr.
Darrell has played twice at the Grand Ole Opry and once at Ernest Tubb’s Midnight Jamboree in Nashville.

NC Transportation Museum Spring Kick Off
SPENCER — The NC Transportation Museum welcomes back the warmer weather season with a day full of family fun.
The 2013 Spring Kick Off is Saturday, featuring a steam engine pulling a train full of cabooses, unlimited rides on the museum’s regular passenger train, model railroaders, photo opportunities with some of the museum’s coolest equipment and kids’ crafts and games.
The LeHigh Valley No. 126 steam engine will be pulling a special Caboose Train. Featuring five of the museum’s colorful cabooses, riding along in this train provides a different perspective for visitors, looking on from the cupola from above.
Originally built in 1931, the LeHigh Valley No.126 steam engine was used in the coal industry in Pennsylvania during its working career.
Completely restored by the Gramling Locomotive Works in 1993, the engine travels the country, appearing at railroad museums.
Visitors will have the rare opportunity to see and hear this iron horse of the past as it chugs down the tracks.
Ticket buyers will have access to unlimited train rides on the museum’s regular passenger train during the Spring Kick Off.
Operating on an extended schedule, passengers will get a “from the rails” view of the museum property, riding in 1950s-era passenger cars and pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive engine. The 25 minute narrated train ride tells the story of this state historic site.
For a smaller view of the railroading world, the museum will welcome back the Atlantic Coast S-Gaugers, a staple at many of the site’s larger events. The model railroading group will set up their impressive display in the Back Shop.
The museum will be pulling some cool equipment out of the display areas for photo opportunities throughout the day. The museum’s 1929 Ford Model AA Fire Truck, the 1935 Highway Patrol Car and the Deuce and a Half military truck will all be positioned on site for photo opportunities and viewing.
Soaring above it all will be model airplanes from the Rowan Aero Modelers, with their radio controlled airplanes of all shapes and sizes. Taking off from the lower parking lot, the radio controlled air craft will be flying throughout the day.
Several kids’ activities will be available during the Spring Kick Off, including one with some railroad history attached to it.
Kids will be able to enjoy coloring areas and temporary tattoos in the Wagons, Wheels & Wings exhibit space, as well as sidewalk chalk and other activities just outside.
Tickets for the event will be available at the museum on the day of the event. They are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and active military and $10 for children ages 3 to 12.
The price includes unlimited rides on the museum’s passenger train and all activities.
Rides on the Caboose Train pulled by the LeHigh Valley steam locomotive are an additional $6 per person, per ride. Turntable rides are $1 per person.

PPT’s youth theatre audition workshop
Piedmont Players Theatre will host the “Treasure Island” youth audition workshop on Saturday, March 23, from 9-11 a.m.
This workshop will focus on preparing young students to audition for a play, specifically geared towards PPT’s upcoming production of Treasure Island. Skills developed will be in stage presence, stage movement and effective auditioning techniques. If your child has ever wanted to audition but just didn’t know how, has auditioned many times and just can’t seem to get that role, or just wants to fine tune their audition skills, this workshop is for you.
Edward Whitney will teach the workshop at Norvell Theater rehearsal hall, 135 E. Fisher St. Ages: elementary-high school. Cost: $40. Only 20 spots available. Call 704-633-5471 to sign up.

Memorial tribute concert to Joe Thompson
CHARLOTTE — Grammy winners Rhiannon Giddens Laffan and Justin Robinson will present the memorial concert “Remembering Joe Thompson” at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Ave., sponsored by the Charlotte Folk Society.
The concert is free, but donations are appreciated.
This gathering concert celebrates the life and music of fiddler Joe Thompson, mentor to the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
The Charlotte Folk Society had a long-time association with Thompson and was one of the earliest presenters of Sankofa Strings, the first incarnation of the Drops.
Thompson died last year at the age of 93. In his lifetime, he played at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center and toured in Australia, Even so, he might well have left this world without passing on the African American fiddle-and-banjo string band tradition handed down through the Thompson Family, from Joe’s enslaved grandfather to his father and uncle, and on to Joe, his brother Nate, and his cousin Odell.
None of his younger family members were interested in taking up the string band tradition.
In 2005, 86-year-old Joe Thompson met three young musicians at the landmark Black Banjo Gathering in Boone. Soon, the trio was traveling to Joe’s Mebane home every Thursday. During those weekly visits, Joe gladly shared his family legacy with Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson.
Monthly Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free.
Refreshments, a song circle, and informal jam sessions follow the hour-long concert; visitors are welcome to join in or simply listen. Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club members offer loaner instruments to visitors wishing to try their hands at playing.
For full details, visit www.folksociety.org

St. Patrick’s Day parade

MOORESVILLE — Downtown Mooresville will host a community parade Saturday featuring Irish pipe band Ceo na Gael, an Irish wolfhound, Irish step dancers, dance groups and more.
Ceo na Gael plays “music of the Gaels” consisting of mostly Irish tunes with some popular Scottish tunes thrown in for good measure.
The band was formed in 2001 and is the only Irish pipe Band in the Carolinas to have participated in parades in Charlotte, North Raleigh, Waxhaw, Harrisburg, Myrtle Beach and Charleston, S.C. Ceo na Gael wears the traditional Irish saffron kilt and were awarded the ‘Best Musical Group’ plaque in the 2011 Charlotte St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The parade starts at 3 p.m. Saturday at Main Street at Iredell Avenue. It will run south on Main Street and end at Center Avenue.
To request more information, email info@downtownmooresville.com
Opening reception for West Rowan student show
SALISBURY — An opening reception for the show “Lines and Color and Shapes, Oh My” will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Looking Glass Artists Center, 405 N. Lee St.
The reception is free and open to the public.
The exhibit features more than 100 pieces by West Rowan High School art students.

Natalie Merchant tickets

CHARLOTTE — Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant will perform with the Charlotte Symphony in a concert which will include music from her new album along with songs from her solo career and days with 10,000 Maniacs.
The special concert is Saturday, March 23 at the Belk Theater.
Tickets start at $44.50 and can be purchased at charlottesymphony.org or by calling the Charlotte Symphony ticket office at 704-972-2000.
During her performance with the Charlotte Symphony Merchant will include classic songs from her days with the band, including “Verdi Cries” from their 1993 record In My Tribe.

T-shirt design contest

The deadline is March 15 for the Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival’s contest for a T-shirt design for the 19th annual festival in June.
The festival committee will present one artist $100 and two passes for the winning T-shirt design. Email your creations along with your name, evening phone number and mailing address, or any questions about rules to graphics@waynehenderson.org
The nonprofit festival has been held every June since 1995 has awarded $79,000 in scholarships to young students who play guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, lap dulcimer or acoustic bass and the organizations that support them.

‘Night of January 16th’

CONCORD — Old Courthouse Theatre presents ‘The Night of January 16th’ by Ayn Rand.
Performances begin at 8 p.m., Thursday, March 14 and run through March 16.
Originally written in 1933 and reedited by Ayn Rand in 1968, “The Night of January 16th” is a courtroom trial set in New York City.
Bjorn Faulkner, genius financier or swindler of millions, has two women in his life: his new bride, Nancy Lee Faulkner, daughter of the prominent banker, John Graham Whitfield, and Bjorn’s long-time secretary and mistress Karen Andre.
On the night of January 16th, Faulkner falls to his death from Karen’s penthouse apartment.
Was it murder, suicide, or something else altogether?
Karen is placed on trial with the prosecution claiming she did it out of jealousy since Bjorn no longer wanted a relationship now that he was happily married.
In an interesting twist, the audience will be asked to help decide the outcome of the trial. Old Courthouse Theatre, 49 Spring St. NW, 704 788-2405, www.oldcourthousetheatre.org

PPT introduces the cast of Monty Python’s Spamalot
King Arthur will be played by Kent Bernhardt and Gary Thornburg will take on the roles of Patsy, Mayor and Useless Guard 2.
Sir Robin, Guard 1 and Brother Maynard: Nick Culp
Sir Lancelot, The French Taunter, The Knight Of Ni, And Tim The Enchanter: Daniel Breuer
Sir Galahad, Prince Herbert’s Father and The Black Knight: Greg Hensley
Sir Bedevere, Dennis Galahad’s Mother, and Concorde: Darrell Brown
The Lady Of The Lake: Brianna Smith
Prince Herbert, Historian, Not Dead Fred, The Minstrel and French Guard: Josh Wainright
Ensemble/Dancers are Kyle Smith, Marvin King, John Woodson, James Woodson, Jody Perrell, Ed Whitney, Lauren Gaskill, Jackie Batten, Brenda Julian, Winnie Mickelson, Hannah-Kathryn Wall and Kelly Flick.
The show’s director is Reid Leonard.
Performance dates are April 18-20 and 24-27. For details, visit www.piedmontplayers.com.

Scrabble Scramble 10

It’s time to sign up for Scrabble Scramble 10, which will be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday April 30 at the Holiday Inn in Salisbury. Participants get a buffet dinner and three rounds of team Scrabble. The cost is $30 per person, or $300 for a table of 10. Sponsored by Rowan County Literacy Council. Call 704-216-8266 by April 25 for reservations.
Prison Symposium

The 16th annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium is April 5-7, which includes seven lectures relating to the 1861-1865 military prison, a banquet, displays, books and prints. Open to all, the fee is $65 until March 16, $75 afterwards. Two memorial services on Sunday are free and open to the public. Contact the Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78, UDC, southpaws@fibrant.com

Sunday Matinees

WINSTON-SALEM—Come spend an afternoon at the movies at Reynolda House Museum of American Art each Sunday in March, beginning March 10.
The film on Sunday, March 10 is “The Kid,” the 1921 silent film directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. The film features Jackie Coogan as Chaplin’s adopted son and sidekick. Ethan Uslan, two-time winner of the World Championship of Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, will play piano accompaniment during the film.
“Star Power” Sunday Matinees present a collection of timeless films in celebration of the Hollywood icons seen in the exhibition “Star Power: Edward Steichen’s Glamour Photography.” Films begin at 2 p.m. and tickets are $10 for non-members.
For detials visit reynoldahouse.org or call 336-758-5150.

Latta Celtic Festival

HUNTERSVILLE — The Latta Celtic Festival happens March 16-17 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and learn about Celtic people, enjoy live music from Irish Temperance, performances by the Charlotte Scottish Country Dancing Society, and Celtic re-enactors spanning from the Medieval Celts to WWII. Shop with Celtic Vendors, enjoy food from Scottish Cottage, and grab a cold beer from The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. Vendors include The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Scottish Cottage, Scottish Leather and Lassie Wear, The Heelanhound, Near and Far Scottish, Scotia Metalwork. Clans Iinclude The Society of William Wallace ‘USA’, Clan Gun, Clan Mackintosh, Clan Graham, And more. Historic Camps include Medieval Celt, Backwoodsmen, American Revolution, American Civil War, World War II. Admission is $7 for adults. $6 seniors, $5 students and children 5 and under free.
Saturday night, March 16, is Celtic Music Night featuring Irish Temperance, from 6-9 p.m., with food, beer, clans, Scottish dancing, live music, and more. Support Historic Latta Plantation and enjoy live music, food and beer. There will be a fundraising raffle and activities for adults and kids. Tickets are $10 per person.
Latta Plantation is only an hour from Salisbury at 5225 Sample Road in Huntersville, 704-875-2312, ww.lattaplantation.org