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LOCAL BRIEFS: Spring Ahead concert, Hot Club, linens for Lent, African art

The Hot Club of Cowtown will perform at BRCC on Saturday, March 14. [PHOTO BY RYAN SAUL] The Hot Club of Cowtown will perform at BRCC on Saturday, March 14. [PHOTO BY RYAN SAUL]

Community events include the Hendersonville Community Band's Spring Ahead concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, the Hot Club of Cowtown at BRCC next Saturday, an open mic writers forum, Trinity Presbyterian Church's linens for Lent and an exhibit of African art.


Percussionist highlights Community Band show

Conductor Winford Franklin and the Hendersonville Community Band will present the Spring Ahead concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8, in the Blue Ridge Conference Hall at BRCC.
A highlight of this concert will be widely-known percussionist Jason Decristofaro as soloist for “Concertino for Solo Percussionist and Band.” This piece highlights three stations of percussion instruments. The first station is five timpani; the second station is marimba and vibraphone; the third station is drum set, including snare drum, bass drum, tom-toms and cymbals.
Guest conductor and band member Joe Brasier will conduct “Sousa in Swing” which is different take on some of the well-known Sousa marches, and “This Majestic Land.”
The remainder of the program is under the baton of Winford Franklin and will include among others “Travelin’ Music,” a commissioned piece by Robert Sheldon celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary. Some of the other pieces are “Satiric Dances,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Broadway Spectacular.”
Tickets are $10; students free. Tickets are available at Crate Wine Market, the Henderson County Visitors Center, at the door and from any band member. For more information, call (828) 713-8590.

Hot Club of Cowtown performs March 14


The Austin, Texas-based trio The Hot Club of Cowtown performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at “Bo” Thomas Auditorium at Blue Ridge Community College as part of Hendersonville Symphony’s “Hendersonville Symphony Presents” series.

In its 48th season of bringing live symphonic music to the region, the Hendersonville Symphony has expanded its offerings with a four-concert series featuring a broad range of traditional music genres in exciting alternate venues. The final concert date for the season is April 18 featuring The Kruger Brothers joined by the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra String Quartet.
“The Hendersonville Symphony is expanding its broad mission to provide exceptional live music performances to our region,” said Pat Tukey, executive director. “The artists showcased in the new Hendersonville Symphony Presents series span the spectrum of musical backgrounds, presenting music for all audiences in an informal, fun and relaxing environment. The Hot Club of Cowtown is sure to provide us an exciting evening of music.”
Since its beginnings in the late 1990s, the Hot Club of Cowtown’s star has continued to rise with its jaw-dropping virtuosity and unforgettable live shows. The trio’s stylistic genesis – as well as title – stems for their unique blend of string music pulling equally from the Manouche gypsy jazz greats from France and the no-less virtuosic hillbilly pickers from Oklahoma and Texas. Together for over 23 years and over 16 albums, the trio featuring high-heeled violinist Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin show from the beginning that jazz and country music can exist together on the same page.
The Hot Club of Cowtown last year released “Wild Kingdom,” a collection of eleven sparkling originals including “Mountains of Montana,” “Cavemen” and a reflection on James’s “Near Mrs.,” plus three gorgeous American Songbook standards served up Hot Club-style.
The band has toured extensively worldwide for over 20 years, both on its own and with artists including Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Gatemouth Brown, the Avett Brothers, Dan Hicks, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, the Squirrel Nut Zippers and many more. The multi-award-winning group has been featured on the Lincoln Center Women in Jazz series, Country Music Hall of Fame, Cambridge (UK) Folk Festival, Mountain Stage, A Prairie Home Companion, All Things Considered.
Tickets are $28 each and can be purchased by calling 828-697-5884 or on the Symphony’s website, Tickets will also be available at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m. the day of the performance depending on availability.

Trinity seeks donations of new linens for Lent

Rather than “giving up” something for Lent, the community is invited to join the Trinity Presbyterian Church family and give new blankets, towels, sheets and other linens much needed by children and adults in Hendersonville. Those who wish to participate are invited to bring their gifts to Trinity and place them in the tubs labeled New Linens for Lent. The linens will be delivered to Interfaith Assistance Ministry for distribution to local children and adults in need in the community. Trinity Presbyterian Church is located at 900 Blythe St.


African art and artifacts on display at church gallery

Crystal Cauley’s African art and artifacts will be exhibited in the Hall Gallery of the First Congregational Church, 1735 5th Ave W, in Laurel Park, March 15-April 22. Cauley, of the Black History Collective of Henderson County, is bringing to light the fact that African Americans played an important part in the development of Henderson County. Paintings commissioned to depict this story will be part of this exhibition. Additionally, artifacts from Africa will be on display representing the roots that tie many citizens of Henderson County to this continent. Gallery hours 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon-1 p.m. Sunday.

Police department offers teen driving program

The Hendersonville Police Department will restart and continue its free teenage driver safety course in 2020.
Similar to the Alive @ 25 Young Driver Safety the department conducted for the past several years under the direction of Lt. Jimmy Case, the program will focus on lectures and other course delivery methods to address impaired driving, distracted driving and general traffic safety advice for younger inexperienced drivers.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every hour, about 30 teens are injured in motor vehicle crashes involving an inexperienced driver,” said Police Chief Herbert Blake. “Each day, seven will die in those collisions. Motor vehicle fatality is the leading cause of accidental death among teenagers, representing over one-third of all deaths to teenagers. Teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers age 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. While driver education and the state’s graduated driving licensing systems are effective, we believe our teens can benefit from additional training and guidance to hopefully reduce any risky behaviors and improve decision-making skills while driving.”
This three to four-hour class will be scheduled on Saturdays as needed throughout the year. It will be offered to teenaged drivers who live in Henderson and adjoining counties. The course may be especially valuable to teen drivers who have been issued a traffic citation for a moving violation if their cases are pending in court. Teen drivers who attend will receive a certificate of completion. For more information or to register, call 828-697-3031.

Writers forum at Brandy Bar


In the Company of Writers presents a series of personal and conversational dialogues featuring guest writers/poets followed by an open mic forum at 7 Wednesday night at the Brandy Bar, 504 Seventh Ave. E. The Chicago blues music of Mr. Jimmy welcomes you, continues during intermission and closes the evening. This month’s featured authors will be Evan Williams and DJ Gaskin.

A writer, poet and amateur photographer, Gaskin has published poetry in Gargoyle, SLAB, the Comstock Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Deep Water Literary Review, Ars Medica, and others. His chapbook, Of Crows and Superstitions, was recently published by Main Street Rag Publishing. Gaskin escaped the rat-race of Washington DC a couple of years ago and headed for the hills, where she now lives blissfully among many other artists and two literate cats named after her favorite poets.

Williams earned an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. His first book, a memoir entitled One Apple at a Time, received the North Carolina Historical Society’s Willie Parker Peace Award. His short stories include Hemingway Shorts: A collection of new and engaged writing from new and engaged writers in the best tradition of Ernest Hemingway, The Cricket and Other Stories: Finalists from the Second Annual Grateful Steps Short Stories Contest, The Main Street Rag and others. His latest novel, Ripples, draws heavily on his family's multi-generational local apple-growing business.

An open mic from 8 to 9 p.m. follows the readings with sign-up sheet on-line at Sign-up sheet is available at The Brandy Bar at 6:30 p.m. if open spaces are available.


Education Foundation invites input for plan

The Henderson County Education Foundation is undergoing a strategic planning process and is looking to the community for insight. In keeping with the HCEF mission to develop resources to support educational excellence in Henderson County Public Schools, the strategic plan will guide the future direction of the Foundation.

Part of the strategic planning process includes a short online survey to gather information and to better understand the needs of Henderson County. HCEF welcomes the input of the community with this survey. The survey can be found at is offered in English and Spanish. The survey closes March 6.

For more information or questions, contact Summer Stipe, Executive Director of HCEF, at or call 828-697-5551.

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. For more information visit or call 692-8630. Topics are:
• March 8: Creating Your Best End of Life - Jose Said Osio, Michele Skeele, Diane Swift. Three certified End of Life Doulas will discuss ways they can help you have the best possible end of life experience, which include planning for spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being; assisting in planning an end of life celebration or funeral; and being present at your bedside as you near death. They also can be present for grieving family members. Each Doula will explain ways that they like to serve.
• March 15: The Writers Forum. Rand Bishop. The Writer’s Forum is devoted to our writers, whether church members, friends or visitors. The writer reads his or her own work, any genre, to the group. If you’d like to read, please contact Bishop at 808-697-0090 or A retired college professor of English, Bishop facilitates a Writers Roundtable every fourth Thursday morning at the church.
• March 22: The Connection between Trees and Me – Mary Eichorn. This will be an interactive workshop in which we will be reflecting on the diversity, beauty, and soul found in trees to help us gain insight into the wisdom inherent in our own souls. A photographic exhibit will be used to help us reconnect with our core humanity and unearth qualities we may have forgotten, such as resourcefulness, re-generativity, reliability, resiliency and hope. Eichorn received an undergraduate degree from Kennesaw State University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Georgia. Currently retired, she has lived in Hendersonville for the past five years. She was a practicing psychotherapist/counselor for the past 25 years, the last 15 in private practice.