Arts & Entertainment news, Jan. 15-21

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 15, 2015

Chatham County Line bears torch for North Carolina’s musical tradition

by Glenn Hudson

There may not be a band more passionate about creating and performing “North Carolina” music than the internationally-acclaimed group Chatham County Line, which will play Lee Street theatre tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 plus tax and are available online at, by phone at 704-310-5507, or the box office at 329 N. Lee St.

The band consists of Dave Wilson on guitar, lead vocals and harmonica; John Teer on mandolin and fiddle; Greg Readling on bass, piano and pedal-steel guitar; and Chandler Holt, who plays banjo for the band and who spent part of his youth here.

Holt says that the band’s tradition of displaying the North Carolina flag behind the stage at their concerts is every bit a celebration of home, no matter where they are performing.

“Going around the world and the country and playing has been a huge eye opener about how much people do know about North Carolina,” said Holt, who spent six years in Salisbury from fourth grade at Henderson Elementary School to his sophomore year at Salisbury High School. He says all his best friends are here in Salisbury and he considers it home.

“People love North Carolina. I never imagined that people in Holland, England and Ireland would feel the same about how we feel about this state. We are proud of where we are from. It’s that simple. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t celebrate it.”

But it’s how Chatham County Line celebrates North Carolina’s musical tradition that is so impressive. They are extremely talented musicians who have taken what they’ve learned from listening to legends such as Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, and they’ve put their own subtle, youthful influences into the music as well.

“We have such a huge respect for people like Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson,” said Holt. “But we are not the band that is going to do exactly what they did. We are trying to do what is right for ourselves as well. North Carolina has a deep legacy and we want to continue to bear that tradition out in some sense.

“My playing is very much based in the Earl Scruggs style of banjo playing that he invented,” said Holt. “But we don’t play traditional bluegrass by any means. It obviously branches off of it. Dave Wilson writes most of the songs. And I try to play the banjo in a way that serves each song.”

For more than a decade Chatham County Line has served bluegrass and the state of North Carolina well. They are truly loyal ambassadors for the next generation, both here and abroad.

“Our looseness. Our carefreeness. That comes with playing in a band for a really long time.” Holt said. “That, you cannot fake. We trust each other and we know what each of us is going to do before they do it. And that allows you to do a lot of things during a performance that are subtle but can be huge for the song.”


East Spencer to host events honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

East Spencer — Mayor Barbara Mallett and the East Spencer Board of Aldermen announce a special event on Monday, Jan. 19 to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is the second year of this event.

With a theme of “Kids for King — Biking for a Change,” the event starts at noon on Robin Circle of Long Street near the old Dunbar School.

Citizens may gather to begin a half-mile march, ending at the East Spencer Fire Department Annex.

At Robin Circle, the Town will hold a raffle for five bikes from donations to the East Spencer Police Department.

Long Street will be closed to traffic between noon and 2 p.m. for the bike ride. Traffic will be detoured off Long Street during this two-hour period.

Following the march, a special program for the youth will take place at the East Spencer Fire Department Annex. All youth are asked to bring a fact about the life of Dr. King for prizes. Refreshments will be served.

The public may participate by joining the noon Bike Ride and attending the special program. For more information, contact Mayor Mallett, Town Clerk Anneissa Hyde, or Administrative Assistant ShaTaira Bailey at the Town Hall at 704-636-7111.

Salisbury MLK events

The Human Relations Council hosts its 29th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration beginning with a holiday parade on Saturday, Jan. 17.

The parade will begin in downtown Salisbury at 11 a.m. on the corner of North Main and Liberty Streets and end at Livingstone College on West Monroe Street.


9 a.m. Parade Registration: All parade participants must check in at Soldiers Memorial AME Zion Church at 306 N. Church St. starting at 9 a.m.

10 a.m. Final Line-Up

11 a.m. Parade Start

Noon Parade Ends

Post-parade celebration

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Vendors Set Up at Hall Gym

12:30 – 4 p.m. Hall Gym Celebration program

Monday, Jan. 19

MLK Breakfast and program

7- 9 a.m. Breakfast program at J F Hurley YMCA

9:30 a.m. Wreath Laying at Freedman’s Cemetery


‘Sounds of the Sixties’ at Lee Street Cabaret

Enjoy an evening of great cabaret style performances of favorite music from one of music’s best decades. The cabart-style event features the vocal talents of Patsy Parnell, Kent Bernhardt, John Brincefield, Becky Lippard, Douglas Brewer, Carol Harris, Graham Carlton and Mary Ann McCubbin.

Tickets are $15 + tax and on sale now for these dates: Jan. 22-24 and 29-31, at 7:30 p.m.

Call 704-310-5507 or buy online at

Lee Street Theater & Performing Arts Center at the Tom & Martha Smith Event Center is located at 329 N. Lee St.


Music for violin and piano in a free concert 

Daniel Skidmore and Mary Ann Bills will be performing music for violin and piano in a free concert offered at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel at Catawba College.

Skidmore performs regularly as concertmaster of the Salisbury Symphony and as associate concertmaster of the Winston-Salem Symphony. He teaches violin at Catawba College and Piedmont International University and has also served on the music faculties of Wake Forest University, Elon University, and Appalachian State University.

As a soloist, Skidmore has appeared numerous times with the Salisbury Symphony and has also performed concertos with the Winston-Salem Symphony and the North Carolina Symphony. In the summers, he gives violin and chamber music instruction at the Eastern Music Festival and serves as a section violinist in the Eastern Faculty Orchestra. He holds a doctor of musical arts degree in violin performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His teachers include Mary Wilson, John Fadial, Blair Milton and Charles Castleman.

Mary Ann Bills has been an adjunct professor of piano at Wake Forest University since 2001. She holds a bachelor of music degree from Washington State University and a master of music degree in accompanying from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. In addition to her teaching, Bills works as a staff accompanist at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she serves as Cantata Singers accompanist as well as music director and pianist for both the undergraduate opera workshop and for the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute’s Educational Outreach Program. She also heads the accompanying staff of Chamber Music on the Hill, an intensive summer chamber music program.

Bills’ teachers have included Loran Olsen, Benton Hess, Andrew Willis and Peter Kairoff.

Skidmore and Bills met in 2000 at UNCG where they were both graduate students. They enjoyed playing several recitals and other performances, and they are thrilled to be playing together again.


Meet the cast of PPT’s ‘Macbeth’

The Piedmont Players youth theater will take on “Macbeth,” Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy that follows the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth and his Lady as they descend into the realms of arrogance, madness and death. Public show dates are Feb. 20-21 and 27-28.

Macbeth – Austin Young

Lady Macbeth – Amery Barton

Witch 1 – Morgan Fuller

Witch 2 – Ava Holtzman

Witch 3 – Brittany Schell

Banquo – William Clark

Duncan – Eli Duncan

Macduff – Jonathan Matthews

Macduff’s Wife – Brittaney Hogan

Macduff’s Son – Courtney Williams

Porter – Elijah Carpenter

Malcolm – Patrick Moore

Donalbain – Hunter Cates

Fleance – Reagan Carpenter

Ross – Sarah Hallett

Lennox – Joe Cornacchione

Angus – Joseph Clark

Siward – Kaylee Hawley

Young Siward – Chloe Corley

Captain – Riley Campola

Doctor – Jason Matthews

Gentlewoman – Laura Bullock

Murderer 1 – Andrew Prater

Murderer 2 – Rachel Nuottilla

Murderer 3 – Jonah Evans

Hecate – Baylee Errante

Caithness – Madison Barrier

Manteith – Alex Blumenthal

The Norvell Theater box office is located at 135 E. Fisher St. Call 704-633-5471 for ticket information.

Veteran art competition

The Salisbury VA Medical Center is taking submissions for the local level of competition of the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. Winners in the art competition will be announced Feb. 21.

Applications for the competition are available through the Recreation Therapy office located in Building 6. Entries are due by 7 p.m. Feb. 9.

The competition includes 51 categories in the visual arts division and 100 categories in the performing arts. First place winners from this local show will be entered into the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, taking place Oct. 12-19 at the VA Medical Center in Durham.

Veterans who would like more information on the competition can call Terri Gilbeau at 704-638-9000, at ext. 3575; Jenny Taylor, at ext. 3065; or Brittany Gerring, at ext. 3143 or visit

The arts competition is sponsored by the Salisbury VAMC Recreation Therapy Department and the American Legion Auxiliary.


Calling all playwrights

The 2015 Original 10-Minute Play Festival: Yard Sale is set for May 6-9 at 7:30 p.m.

Lee Street theatre’s Original 10-Minute Play Festival is in its seventh year. Whether you are an experienced playwright or trying to complete your bucket list, submit a play and have the chance to see your ideas come to life.

Submission deadline is Feb. 28.


1. The 10-minute play must be a comedy and incorporate this year’s theme of “Yard Sale.” Be as creative as you wish within the theme.

2. Must be easy to stage on a black box stage with limited single set and minimal props.

3. No more than four characters.

6. Script(s) must not have been previously staged by anyone in any way.

5. Limit three scripts per playwright.

4. Email your script in PDF format to no later than Feb. 28.

Other guidelines and submission info can be found at

Email Questions to


Call for Singers

Southern Piedmont Singers

Kannapolis — The Southern Piedmont Singers will be accepting new members (8th grade and up) from Sunday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Feb. 8.

No audition or experience is required. To join, simply show up to a rehearsal, which are on Sundays at 2:15 p.m. at Kimball Memorial Lutheran Church, 101 Vance St.

This is a fun, energetic, diverse and welcoming group of singers with no boards, no rules, just a love to sing music of all genres and styles. SPS is under the direction of Damien Evans and accompanied by Joel Everett.

For more information, email, call 704-224-7148 or visit

Piedmont Choral Society

Kannapolis — The Piedmont Choral Society will resume rehearsals for its spring concert series on Monday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at Forest Hill UMC, 265 Union St. N. The group meets each Monday from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

New members are being accepted in all sections. For more information or to schedule an audition, contact 704-699-6053 or email by Jan. 25. Prior choral experience or vocal training is not required.

Plans for this semester include two formal concerts in early May, a performance for the annual meeting of the Military Order of the Purple Heart at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Club on May 8, and several all patriotic music concerts scheduled for late June.

One of the patriotic concerts will be designated to benefit a chosen local non-profit.

Joseph Judge of Albemarle, professor of music at Pfeiffer University and director of music at Central United Methodist Church, Albemarle, is director of the group, and Dr. Don Simmons of Kannapolis is accompanist.


‘Our Earliest Cultures’ opens at The Rowan Museum

From 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday is the opening reception in the DAR Room to honor exhibit contributors and guests.

This exhibit reflects the history of Rowan County dating back to 12,000 BC.

The exhibit focuses on early Native American artifacts which include pottery, stone tools and points.

Also shown are several reproduction items reflecting the early cultures.

Adjacent to the display is a case housing two computer screens. One is a point identification program. Guests may bring in items from their personal collections and use the program to identify their own points.

The second computer screen houses a locally filmed flint knapping video featuring flint knapper Dennis Redfern.

The Rowan Museum is located at 202 N. Main St. and is open Friday through Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. For more information or to schedule group tours, call 704-633-5946 or email


Little Roy and Lizzy Long return

TROY — The annual Little Roy Lewis and Lizzy Long concert, hosted by the West Montgomery Lions Club, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24. Proceeds from this musical comedy concert benefit Lions Charities.

The event will be held in the James Garner Center, 210 Burnette St. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Call 704-985-6987 or email

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