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LOCAL BRIEFS: Train Day, 'Strings on Fire,' Sandburg Folk Festival

Julian Schwarz will perform with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra on May 18. Julian Schwarz will perform with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra on May 18.

Award-winning cellist 
lights ‘Strings on Fire’

The Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra will heat up the hall with a concert featuring award-winning cellist
 Julian Schwarz at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Blue Ridge Conference Hall at BRCC.
For the “Strings on Fire” concert, the Symphony will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in
C major and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Schwarz will join the orchestra in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” and Popper’s “Hungarian Rhapsody.”
Heralded from a young age as a cellist destined to rank among the greatest of the 21st century, Schwarz’s powerful tone, effortless virtuosity and extraordinarily large color palate, hallmarks of his style, will be on full display in these elegant and riveting works for cello and orchestra.
A single, general admission ticket to the May 18 concert is $40 for adults and $10 for students. Group discounts are available. Tickets can be purchased by calling 828-697-5884 or by visiting
A pre-concert talk, hosted by Music Director and Conductor Thomas Joiner and guest artist Schwarz, will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Room 213, upstairs from the concert hall. This informative presentation is open to all concert attendees.
In addition, pre-concert music will be presented at 6:45 p.m. by the Hot Club of Asheville, a band known for its recreation of Gypsy-style guitar jazz, a throwback to the sound created by Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt during the 1930s in Paris.
Born in Seattle, Schwarz studied at the Academy of Music Northwest and the Lakeside School. He continued to the Colburn School in Los Angeles under Ronald Leonard and then moved to New York City to study with mentor Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 2014 followed by a master’s degree in 2016. In 2013 Schwarz won first prize in the professional cello division of the Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong, and in 2016 won 1st prize at the Boulder International Chamber Music Competition’s “The Art of Duo” with Canadian pianist Marika Bournaki. He plays on a Neapolitan cello made by Gennaro Gagliano in 1743.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, or call 828-697-5884.


Railroad Club hosts
 open house on May 11

The Apple Valley Model Railroad Club is hosting an open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on National Train Day Saturday, May 11, at the Hendersonville Train depot on Maple Street in the Historic Seventh Avenue District. The event will feature a real locomotive from Blue Ridge Southern Railroad, the Sandburg goats, a restored caboose, an interactive telegraph system, three model railroads, speakers talking about local railroad history and activity and many railroad artifacts. Pizza, ice cream and lemonade will be for sale.
Green Meadows residents
join NeighborWoods project
Residents in Green Meadows will receive trees on Saturday, May 4, to plant at their homes. The 12 trees are provided at no charge by Hendersonville Tree Board to eight Green Meadows homeowners who signed up to participate in its NeighborWoods project. A demonstration at 10 a.m. at 807 Robinson Terrace will show participants how to properly dig the soil, amend it, and plant the new trees to increase the chances of success. The trees include dogwoods, tulip poplars and red maples.
More than 200 trees have been planted in Hendersonville through the NeighborWoods program since 2010, including projects in Hyman Heights Historic Neighborhood where 35 new trees have been added to the numerous historic trees in the neighborhood; Hendersonville Community Co-op where more than 14 trees and numerous pollinator plants and shrubs were installed to enhance the storm water wetland behind the new storefront; 84 American dogwoods planted on properties along Fifth Avenue West, creating a beautiful springtime display; Regal Oaks affordable-housing project for senior citizens, where at least 10 fig and cherry trees were planted; a project in Green Meadows which included fruit and nut trees; and Druid Hills Historic Neighborhood, where 35 trees were planted last year at homes and in Keith Park.


Etowah Methodist Church 
seeks flea market donations

The Etowah United Methodist Church is seeking donations for its annual flea market, which raises money for local, statewide and national charitable and mission projects and is sponsored by Etowah United Methodist Men. The church is accepting donated items every Friday morning through July 19 from 9 to11:30 a.m. at the pavilion behind the church. Most everything in clean, reasonable condition is accepted and appreciated. Items not accepted are clothing, shoes, purses, obsolete computer and electronics, magazines, reference books (e.g. encyclopedias), china cabinets and TVs other than flat screen. Etowah United Methodist Church is located off U.S. 64 at 110 Brickyard Road, across from the Etowah Library. Pick-up assistance for larger items is available in the Etowah area and may be arranged through Friday, July 19, by calling Brian Lund at (408) 695-5518 or by email The GIANT Flea Market will be Saturday, Aug. 3, with the gates opening at 8 a.m.

Saluda Fund grant 
covers depot roof

SALUDA — The Saluda Community Fund has provided a grant to the Saluda Historic Depot that will pay for a new roof and gutters on the Depot. In addition, the grant contributes to the replacement of a new HVAC system when needed. Showing support for the monthly Saluda Train Tales, the Polk County Community Foundation has become the exclusive sponsor of this popular event.
“Since this is an incentive grant, we will continue our outreach to raise funds for the museum from Saluda citizens and ongoing fundraisers,” says Saluda Historic Depot treasurer Bruce Hunt.
The depot and museum is open to the public 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Julian Schwarz Schwarz will join HSO in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” and Popper’s “Hungarian Rhapsody” on Saturday, May 18.


Folk Music Festival 
set for Memorial Day

FLAT ROCK — Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site will host the 33rd annual Carl Sandburg Folk Music Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Memorial Day, Monday, May 27.
The folk festival honors Carl Sandburg and his preservation of American musical heritage, as found in his collection, “The American Songbag.” The festival’s performers are skilled in sharing traditional stories in distinctive ways. All performances take place in the amphitheater, unless otherwise specified, and signs will direct festival goers.
Keep in mind that the parking lots fill up quickly. The park service will run a courtesy shuttle from satellite parking lots at the Flat Rock Playhouse and from the Flat Rock Village Offices (110 Village Center Drive) to the park entrance throughout the day. It is a short walk from the park entrance to the amphitheater. There will be also be a shuttle operating inside the park to take visitors from the entrance to the amphitheater, Sandburg Home and barn area.
Amphitheater performances:
• 11 a.m.: Lillian Chase and Friends perform old time music on fiddle and guitar. Lillian is a talented 15-year-old Appalachian fiddler and ballad singer. Her fiddling draws both from old-time styles and bluegrass. She has won awards at prestigious music contests in the region, including at the Mount Airy Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention.
• Noon: Drayton and the Dreamboats perform a mix of swing tunes, Latin numbers, and vocal ballads from the golden age of radio. With clever arrangements and rock solid musicianship, the band breathes new life into some of the twentieth century’s greatest tunes. Their unique approach transcends nostalgia and offers listeners something both vintage and new.
• 1 p.m.: Leeda ‘Lyric’ Jones plays soul music. Lyric started out busking on the streets of Asheville and touched many hearts. Since taking to the streets, Lyric has shared the stage with legends such as George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Gladys Knight, Booker T. Jones, Little Big Town, Dionne Warwick, Count M’Butu, and Warren Haynes.
• 2 p.m.: Jamie Laval and vocalist Megan McConnell take the audience on a musical journey through Celtic lands, reimagining Gaelic love songs, and ancient mythic tales with violin and voice. Laval is recognized internationally as one of the premier performers of Celtic violin music. He has performed for Her Majesty the Queen, appeared on Dave Matthews’ platinum “Some Devil” album, and presented a TED Talk on the value of arts and music in our communities. Vocalist Megan McConnell is lauded for the ethereal, lyric beauty of her singing, her broad stylistic range, and her perky, theatrical performance sense.
At the Goat Barn Area from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Steve and Jean Smith will be performing mountain and hammered dulcimer music. Steve and Jean have performed in at least nineteen states and two other countries, as well as on radio and on television. They have taught dulcimer workshops at festivals across the region and are award-winning musicians.
Carl Sandburg began playing the guitar in the early 1900s to enhance his lectures and performed during the era of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. He was the mentor for Burl Ives. Sandburg played the guitar, banjo and harmonica, and collected a series of folk songs, which he published in his book “The American Songbag.”

‘Soul Teacher’ headlines 
church’s lecture series

The Rev. Ed Bacon is the featured speaker for the Walter E. Ashley Lecture Series at First Congregational United Church of Christ May 31-June 2.
Oprah Winfrey recently named Bacon a “Soul Teacher” on her “SuperSoul 100” list, a collection of “100 awakened leaders who are using their voices to elevate humanity.” An Episcopal priest and the author of “8 Habits of Love,” Bacon is a national voice on Issues of the Oneness of all creation, rethinking Christianity as non-bigoted, science-friendly, and love-based; as well as promoting faith and justice for all regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Lectures are $25 each or $75 all with lunch. Here are Bacon’s topics:
• 7 p.m. Friday, May 31: Love Over Fear. Jesus’s life, ministry and relationships were an invitation for us to leave our “houses of fear” to join the path of living a love-based life.
• 10 a.m. Saturday, June 1: Oneness Versus Separateness. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thomas Merton had at the center of their writings and living the conviction that the universe is constructed as an interdependent whole.
• 1 p.m. Saturday, June 1: If the path of Jesus is about Love and Oneness, not fear and separateness, then what does that mean about our daily living, our life of prayer and our responsibility to seek first the “kingdom of God”?
• 9 a.m. Sunday, June 2. Forum, Sanctuary: What Does It Mean To Be a Person of Prayer?
• 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship service. Bacon will deliver the sermon.
Congregational Church
announces forum topics
First Congregational United Church of Christ (1735 Fifth Ave. W & White Pine Dr.) invites all to its weekly Adult Forums in the Felix Building at 9 a.m. Sundays. Forum topics are:
• May 12. The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code, Ben and Joanna Coonrod. Columbus and other colonizers laid claim to the lands of the original nations of the Americas and elsewhere on the basis of the idea that Christians had a biblical right to discover and dominate non-Christian lands. This doctrine, supported by papal edicts, continues to serve as the conceptual foundation of the political and legal system of the United States and elsewhere in the world for their dominion over original nations. The Coonrods are members of FCC and were married there. They have a rich background in spiritual growth matters and serve as Prayer Chaplains. Ben is very involved in The Mankind Project.
• May 19: Mental Health Survey, Fe Anam Avis and panel. May is Mental Health Month and May 19 is Mental Health Sunday at First Congregational Church. As part of that emphasis, the Mental Health group is conducting a Forum seeking to better understand the needs of members and the community by sharing our own stories. An author and church consultant, Fe has long been interested in mental health matters. He is the founder of Soul Shop, a national movement. Among his published books are :A Second Day: A Hopeful Journey Out of Suicidal Thinking” and “Life, Death and Resurrection: The Gift of the Impossibly Messed-Up Life.”
• May 26: Preparing for Walter E. Ashley Lecture Series.
• June 9: A conversation about the gifts and challenges of the weekend together with the Rev. Ed Bacon.

Mast General seeks 
shoes for the needy

Mast General Store is seeking gently worn shoes during its Sharing Our Shoes drive this month.
The store is accepting gently worn shoes that still have some miles left on them, and it needs all styles and varieties. From gym shoes to dress casual to business appropriate, shoes can span all types for all genders, ages and uses. Simply connect the shoes into pairs via a rubber band or by tying the laces together and drop them off at the local Mast Store on Main Street. The Hendersonville store will work with the Interfaith Assistance Ministry, a non-profit that meets the basic needs of families in Henderson County who are in financial crisis. For more information about Sharing Our Shoes, call your local Mast Store at 828-696-1883.


Organists Guild presents 
concert spanning centuries

The Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will present a free concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, in Stull Hall at Grace Lutheran Church. Musicke Anitqua, a consort of early instruments including recorders, viols, percussion and an English spinet, will present music from a variety of historical time periods, including the Renaissance, folk songs and more modern music. The congregation and community are invited to attend.

New exhibit shows 
Sandburg family dress

FLAT ROCK —A new exhibit, “Dressing for the Occasion: Mid-Century Sandburg as Celebrity and Family Man,” opens Monday, May 13, and runs through October at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. A part of the Sandburg Home tour, “Dressing for the Occasion” offers visitors a window into the style, culture, and feel of mid-century America.  The family’s clothing and accessories weave together the roles of Carl Sandburg as a prominent writer, celebrity, father and husband.  The exhibit offers an exciting opportunity for the public to view objects that are normally in storage or in the possession of Sandburg family members.  Tours of the Sandburg Home are offered daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are available first come, first served, each day from the visitor information area in the ground level of the Sandburg Home. 

Nearly every room in the historically furnished house museum will be included in the exhibit. Visitors will see the characteristic scarves Carl Sandburg wore as he played his guitar and sang folk songs to entertain his family and guests, the dress Lilian Sandburg wore to meet President Lyndon B. Johnson, and many other mid-20th century pieces worn by the Sandburgs and their daughters. Historic photographs, paired with the clothing, will provide context.