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LOCAL BRIEFS: Russian singers, walking tours, WHHS grad honored

LYRA will perform Sunday, April 24, at St. John in the Wilderness. LYRA will perform Sunday, April 24, at St. John in the Wilderness.

LYRA to perform at St. John church

LYRA, an a cappella group of five professional vocalists from St. Petersburg, Russia, will present a concert of Russian choral and folk music at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 24, at St. John in the Wilderness Church in Flat Rock. The concert is sponsored by the Friends of Music of St. John in the Wilderness.
LYRA is a community of 25 international, award-winning professional musicians, most of whom are students or graduates of the St. Petersburg Conservatory who sing in churches and musical theatres throughout that city. They perform in smaller groups of soloists due to the sometimes difficult logistics of international touring. Through these small group tours, LYRA introduces the enormous musical heritage of the Russian Orthodox Church as well as traditions of Russian folk music.
St. John in the Wilderness is at 1905 Greenville Highway. Tickets are $15 per person and are available at the church office and the Henderson County Visitor Center. For more information, call (828) 693-9783 or visit

Walking tours feature history of Main Street

Starting Saturday, April 23, and continuing at 10 o’clock on Saturday mornings through May, former Hendersonville City Council member Mary Jo Padgett will lead guided walks along Hendersonville’s Main Street. The tours describe the history of the town and cover architectural features during stops at the Historic Courthouse, Skyland Hotel, City Hall and shops and buildings on Main Street. Cost is $10 per person 10 years and older. Children under 10 are free with a paid adult. Space is limited. Reservations are suggested. Call Padgett at 828-545-3179 or email
Tours will gather at the Sixth Avenue entrance of City Hall (off King Street) at 9:30 a.m. The walks will last about 90 minutes and will be held rain or shine. The tours covers the age of the oldest block of buildings, what was on the third floor (and in the basement) of the old City Hall, who was the town named for, bordellos, shoot-outs, trolley lines and more.
Padgett served on Hendersonville City Council for eight years and is a journalist and public relations consultant. She was a co-founder and former executive director of ECO and associate editor at The Mother Earth News magazine.

Sister Cities conference to be held in Asheville

A joint conference of Sister Cities members and boards in North Carolina and South Carolina will be held Saturday, April 16, at the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville. The event is co-hosted by Asheville and Hendersonville Sister Cities organizations. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The conference is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is $20, which includes lunch. North Carolina attendees can pre-register by sending a check to Barbara Shepard, P.O. Box 4752, Cary, N.C. 27519. For more information contact Shepard at For information on the Hendersonville Sister Cities program visit

N.C. Writers Network holds readings at library

The North Carolina Writers Network invites all writers and the public to Literary Open Mic Readings the third Monday of each month at the Henderson County Public Library. This month’s meeting will take place on Monday, April 18. To read, sign up at Kaplan Auditorium at the main library branch, between 5:15 and 5:45 p.m. Reading is from 6 to 7:30. Readers are timed: poetry three minutes, prose five minutes, including the writer’s introduction. The Hendersonville Public Library is at 301 N. Washington St. For more information email or call (828) 808-0899.

Catherine Swift inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

Catherine Louise Swift, a Morehead scholar at UNC at Chapel Hill, has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest college honorary society.
A senior majoring in religious studies with minors in medicine, literature and culture and environmental science, Swift is the daughter of Rebekah Ellsworth of Hendersonville. She is a 2012 graduate of West Henderson High School.
A student who has completed 75 hours of course work in the liberal arts and sciences with a GPA of 3.85 or better (on a 4-point scale) is eligible for Phi Beta Kappa membership. Also eligible is any student who has completed 105 hours of course work in the liberal arts and sciences with a 3.75 GPA. Less than 1 percent of all college students qualify.

Bearcat Loop plants will attract pollinators

Volunteers with Hendersonville Tree Board will install three 4x8-foot raised-bed plots along Bearcat Loop Parkway and plant them with a variety of pollinator-friendly plants on Saturday, April 23. The pollinator beds will enhance more than 70 native and pollinator-friendly trees that were planted along the driveway to Hendersonville Elementary School and Hendersonville Middle School. In addition, the city will install identification placards for the trees that volunteers planted along the roadway last year.
Hendersonville became a Bee City USA in 2015. The demonstration pollinator beds will serve as a friendly place for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators — providing nectar, pollen, and host plants needed for their reproduction. For more information visit

Southern Lights sets ‘April Showers’ dance

Southern Lights Square and Round Dance Club will hold its “April Flowers Bring May Flowers Dance” on Saturday, April 16, at the Whitmire Activity Center on Lily Pond Road. Advanced dance is at 6 p.m., early rounds at 7 and squares and rounds at 7:30. Caller is Stan Russell and cuers are Tom and Cindy Bunn. For information or directions visit

Volunteers to work on Servant Saturday

More than 125 members of Grace Lutheran Church will gather on Saturday, April 23, for a day of volunteer work in the community. An annual event since 1993, Servant Saturday has resulted in hundreds of projects and more than 6,500 hours of work in Hendersonville neighborhoods to provide assistance to agencies and individuals in need.
Volunteers will spend the day doing projects for the Boys and Girls Club, Four Seasons Compassion for Life, Interfaith Assistance Ministry, Safelight, Hendersonville Rescue Mission, Lutheran Missions, Children and Family Resource Center and Thrive. Work includes painting, landscaping, gardening, mulching, window washing, cleaning, quilting, sandwich making and other jobs. Most projects will be completed in 4 to 5 hours.
Volunteers will meet at Grace Lutheran at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast and commissioning, then travel to their job sites by 9 a.m. To sign up, call the church at 828-693-4890 or email Jim Krause at or Jim Florine at and give a preference for the type of project preferred.

Camera Club to hear from nature photographer

Jeff Miller, owner of Mountain Lens Photography, will be the guest speaker at the April 26 meeting of the Camera Club of Hendersonville. For the forum topic, Glass, Miller will critique members’ images and provide suggested techniques for improvement. Inspired by the natural beauty of the Southern Appalachians, Miller wants to help photographers capture and share the beauty of the mountains. The club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Chamber of Commerce, 204 Kanuga Road. Visitors are welcome. For more information, visit


Tavernier to represent N.C. in piano competition

Christopher Tavernier has been selected as one of the 15 top outstanding junior pianists from around the world and will represent North Carolina in the 2016 biennial Midwest International Piano Competition at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music in Cedar Falls, Iowa, June 5-11.
Additionally, Tavernier won the 2016 Concerto Competition in the Asheville Symphony Orchestra’s Spotlight on Young Musicians. He is is a freshman at Hendersonville High School.