Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

LOCAL BRIEFS: HSO returns, Pup Crawl, 'Vagabond Squares'

HSO opens in-person concert season Dec. 11


After a 20-month layoff, the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra announces its long-awaited return to the stage on Dec. 11. This will be the first orchestra concert since the long pause due to the Covid-19 gathering restrictions.
Tickets are now on sale for the public to secure their seats for the HSO’s four-concert series. The concert titles all reflect the mood of each concert: Appalachian Christmas on Dec 11; From Russia With Love on March 19; Insurmountable Odds on May 7; and New Beginnings on May 21. All concerts are at 7:30 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Community College Concert Hall.
Season ticket prices are $160 for a single, reserved seat for all four concerts and enrolled students, $40. A single general admission concert ticket is $45 for adults and $12 for students. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (828)697-5884
In partnership with Blue Ridge Community College, HSO is taking every precaution to make everyone’s experience of returning to live performances this year safe and comfortable. HSO has ensured that all staff, volunteers and musicians are fully vaccinated.
“Our excitement is greater than ever, with this very special season presenting our final three music director candidates,” said Paul Conroy, HSO executive director. “After an extensive search and interview process, we will now have audience members and musician feedback to help us choose who will lead our orchestra into the future.”
Appalachian Christmas on Dec. 11 will be the first performance, conducted by our interim Music Director Eric Scheider. The program of holiday favorites with a mountain flair features Nashville-based, Western North Carolina-raised 2017 RockGrass competition winning fiddler Julian Pinelli and Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers front man Graham Sharp on banjo.
On March 19, From Russia With Love, begins the Music Director audition concerts with candidate Yuriy Bekker. Virtuoso trumpet soloist Francis LaPorte will be featured in Arutunian’s flashy “Trumpet Concerto.”
The next candidate, Timothy Verville will lead the HSO on the evening of May 7. The program Insurmountable Odds will include Daugherty’s “Red Cape Tango” and the dazzling “Scheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov. Canadian pianist Carter Johnson joins the orchestra performing Ravel’s “Concerto for the Left Hand”.
John Concklin conducts the final candidate program of the year on May 21. His program, New Beginnings, offers familiar and comforting works and opens with Mozart’s beautiful and at times gleeful “Overture to the Magic Flute.” Guest cellist Miriam Smith is featured on Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E minor.” The performance closes with Dvořák’s “Symphony no. 9 in e minor from the New World.”
For more information or to purchase season tickets, visit, or call 828-697-5884.

Pup Crawl is Oct. 23 on Seventh Avenue

Dog owners and pet lovers are invited to bring their pups and friends to tour the businesses of the Historic Seventh Avenue District Saturday, Oct. 23, for the second annual Pup Crawl in the Historic Seventh Avenue District.
Hosted by Guidon Brewing Co., the Brandy Bar, Southern Appalachian Brewing Co., Triskelion Brewing Co. and White Duck Taco Shop, the tour will feature a pet giveaway or treat at each stop as well as an interactive activity hosted by a local pet-centric business, such as paw print painting, paw reading, agility course, ask a trainer and more. Crawlers may also enjoy specials just for the Pup Crawl at the host venues.
To see all the activities and to participate, purchase a “Pupport” online at As crawlers travel around Seventh Avenue they’ll receive a stamp at each location as they participate in each activity. When their pupport, is full they’ll be entered into a grand prize drawing for a basket of merchandise and gift certificates from the host locations and more.
Pupports purchased by Sunday, Oct. 10, are only $15. Last minute and onsite purchases are $20. Each pupport includes most activities and giveaways at each stop for participating pets, with some activities offered by donation. Proceeds from the event, as well as a portion of sales from the host locations, will support rescue services for animals in Henderson County.

Carolina Village enjoys ‘Vagabond Squares’

Flat Rock Playhouse received a $5,000 grant award from the Community Foundation of Henderson County Perry N. Rudnick Endowment Fund for a unique, new program that brings virtual entertainment to local retirement communities. Styled after the iconic game show “Hollywood Squares,” Flat Rock Playhouse’s Vagabond Squares brings together artists and local community figures in a live-recorded virtual episodic game show. Flat Rock Playhouse completed the first “season” in the summer of 2021 for air in the fall, and filming will continue in 2022.
“Carolina Village was thrilled to partner with Flat Rock Playhouse to sponsor Vagabond Squares,” Carolina Village Executive Director Kevin Parries said. “The Playhouse has always been creative and forward-looking when it comes to programming, but this project was especially meaningful for us. The Playhouse created programming specifically for locals — including our senior population —who may not feel safe going out because of Covid. We were very impressed and wanted to support it,”

Each episode features two contestants and nine celebrities, where the contestants join Flat Rock Playhouse professionals onstage at the Leiman Mainstage, and nine stars participate live via Zoom. The nine celebrities make up the squares that the contestants use to play tic-tac-toe. Contestants earn a square by correctly agreeing or disagreeing with the celebrity’s answer to a trivia question. Episodes are jam-packed with puzzling questions and hilarious answers, all while celebrating the people and places that make Henderson County shine.
Beloved Playhouse veteran Scott Treadway hosts Vagabond Squares and leads the contestants and celebrities through the game. Joining Scott Treadway are local community pairs: McCray Benson (president of Community Foundation of Henderson County) and Roxanna Pepper (early childhood consultant at the Children and Family Resource Center), John Bryant (superintendent, Henderson County public schools) and Blair Craven (School Board chair), Sherri Holbert (director, AdventHealth Foundation) and Victoria Dunkle (communications director, AdventHealth), and Tanya Blackford (executive director, Crossnore Western Region) and Denise Long (executive director, United Way of Henderson County).
Bringing it all together are the Flat Rock Playhouse artists. Fans of the original Hollywood Squares game show will remember Paul Lynde in the permanent center square position. To date, the center square has welcomed celebrities Richard Kind and Jimmi Simpson. The rotating cast also includes Flat Rock favorites such as Paul Babelay, Barbara Bradshaw, Leslie Collins, Preston Dyar, Linda Edwards, Tauren Hagen, Ryah Nixon, Grayson Powell, Peter Thomasson, Stephanie Wahl and Jason Watson.

Twelve graduate from BRCC Fire Academy

Blue Ridge Community College, in conjunction with the Henderson County Fire and Rescue Association, recently celebrated the graduation of 12 students from its 2021 Fire Academy.
The three-month program is designed to provide students with entry-level skills as a firefighter. A student can enter the Academy with no experience and leave with a North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal Firefighter certification. Graduates and their sponsoring fire department are:
• Blue Ridge: Alexis Marsteller, Michael Wexler
• Edneyville: Philippe Oubre
• Little River: Braden Mackey, Nathan Merrill
• Mills River: Daniel Jarvis
• Old Fort: Kevin Moffett
• Skyland: Charles Morales, Alexa Perez
• Valley Hill: Dalton Boone, Thomas Capps, Jadon Strickland


Higate Road residents to plant trees Saturday

Neighbors in the Higate Road section of Druid Hills, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, will receive trees at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, to plant at their homes. Nearly 20 trees, paid for and provided by Hendersonville Tree Board at no cost to homeowners, will be distributed to those who signed up to participate in its NeighborWoods Project. The residents agreed to plant, maintain and care for the trees so they will thrive and increase the urban-forest tree cover in the city. User-friendly information on how to properly dig the hole, amend it and plant the new trees to increase the chances of success has been provided. Student volunteers from Hendersonville High School will be on hand to help carry, lift and distribute the trees. The city Public Works Department is supplying bags of mulch and amendments to ensure the new trees will thrive. Rain date is Oct. 23.
More than 200 trees have been planted in Hendersonville through the NeighborWoods program since 2010, including fruit and nut trees, flowering trees, and numerous pollinator plants and shrubs. Trees provided in the NeighborWoods Project are purchased with money from the Tree Board’s budget, which is funded by Hendersonville City Council.


Presbyterian Church hosts Kirkin’ of Tartans

In celebration of its Scottish heritage, Hendersonville Presbyterian Church, 699 N. Grove St. will offer the annual Kirkin’ of the Tartans during the worship service at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 17.
Joe Bailey and the Montreat Scottish Pipes and Drums, harpist Carroll Ownbey and soloist Brian Tribby will be guest musicians. The choir will sing the Celtic anthem “Let Melodies Rise” by Jan McGuire, Ed Rush and Stan Pethel.
Kathleen Guice Reid and Chuck Rouse will “call the clans.” Clan tartans represented will be Anderson, Blair, Bruce, Buchanan, Burns, Cameron, Campbell, Cunningham, Davidson, Elliott Farquharson, Fraser, Galloway, Gordon, Graham, Hardie, Hay, Henderson, Irvine, Lindsay, MacArthur, MacDonald, Magill, MacGregor, MacKay, Mackenzie, MacMillan, MacNaughton, MacPherson, MacRae, McCauley, McClellan, McClintock, McKean, McLeod, Morgan, Morrison, Murray, Nisbet, Stewart, Taylor, Wallace, and Watt. Districts represented are Aberdeen, Carolina, Perthshire and USA. There are multiple variations on some clan names totaling 63 tartans. Some will be carried in a processional, and some will be on display. All clans and all families attending will receive a “blessing.”
The Rev. Rob McClelland will deliver a sermon. Dwayne Durham will serve as liturgist and Bruce Hatfield will hold the office of Beadle.