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May 21, 2015

Sunday, May 24, Swinging Under The Stars Dance Event,

Downtown Hickory’s Sails On The Square!

Hickory - The 8th annual Swingin Under the Stars Concert, featuring the Hickory Jazz Orchestra (HJO), returns to the Sails on the Square in downtown Hickory on Sunday, May 24th, from 6:30-9:30pm. Presented by the City of Hickory and hosted the Hickory Music Factory, this community swing dance event is free and open to the public and will feature big band arrangements of jazz standards from the great American songbook.

Swingin Under the Stars along with the Hickory Jazz Orchestra was formed in 2008 thanks to funding by the United Arts Council of Catawba County, and the help of Hickory Downtown Development Association. In 2009, Swingin Under the Stars was awarded the “Best Outdoor Event for North Carolina” by the NC Department of Commerce Main Street Center.
This annual cultural event continues to grow and attracts thousands of patrons each year. Swingin Under the Stars is also a part of the ever popular "Jazz on Tap" hosted by Rick Cline every Sunday night at the Olde Hickory Taproom.

This year Hal Rowe from WHKY will emcee the event and the Hickory Music Factory big band will open up the evening.

There will be venders selling kettle corn, hot dogs and drinks. In the event of rain, the event will be moved to the Salt Block auditorium.

As the City of Hickory moves towards "a life well crafted,” please join in continuing to support our community with unique and meaningful cultural events. Sponsors of the event include: City of Hickory, United Arts Council of Catawba County, the Hickory Wine Shoppe, Larry's Music and Sound, PACE@Home and Olde Hickory Taproom.

For more information please contact the Hickory Music Factory at 828-308-5659 or

HCT’s Best Party In Town Offers $10,000 Vacation Prize, June 8

Hickory - “The Best Party in Hickory,” the Vacation Extravaganza at the Hickory Community Theatre on June 8th at 6:30pm, is fast approaching and the Theatre’s board has just announced the entertainment for the evening.

The Time Travelers, a band featuring Dick Hull, Ken Sigler, Dave Walker and Dave Watson, will be performing in the Jeffers Theatre throughout the evening. Joining them on stage will be friends Jeff Cline and Mark Sinclair.

The Extravaganza is an annual fundraiser for the Theatre, featuring a draw down raffle for a $10,000 grand prize to use on the vacation of your dreams. Tickets are $100 each, which admits two for a party that includes plentiful food and drink, as well as a silent auction with typically over 300 items ranging from hand crafted art to weekend getaways.

Tickets are going fast and can be purchased from Theatre board members, by phone at (828) 327-3855 or online at

PHOTO: The Time Travelers (from left Ken Sigler, Dave Walker, Dave Watson and Dick Hull) are the featured entertainment for the Hickory Community Theatre’s Vacation Extravaganza on Monday, June 8 at 6:30pm. For tickets and information call (828) 327-3855 or click

Downtown Hickory Art Crawl Is Thursday, May 21, 5-8pm!

Hickory - Downtown Hickory is definitely the place to be on Thursday evening, May 21. The first Art Crawl of the year and the Farmer’s Market first Tastin’, Tunes and Tomatoes will be held in and around the Downtown area. The Art Crawl is from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and features artists in and outside of businesses, demonstrations, music and children’s activities. The artists will be there for you to speak with you about their creations. All artwork is for sale, so please support the tremendous talent we have in the area.

The Downtown Hickory Art Crawl’s Kick Off Party will be held at the Jackson Group, located at 219 First Avenue SW. The Jackson Group is a family owned consulting firm located in the renovated 1928 Ford Motor Co. building. The bird houses and bird feeders of Fred Abernathy, Serendipitini Jewelry by Teena Stewart, and pen & ink drawings by Judy Broesder will be on display. The first 20 people there will receive $5.00 in Downtown Dollars, which can be used that evening at any participating business. Grab a map and get crawling!

Leave the Jackson Group and take 2nd Street Plaza NW and take a right on Government Avenue and stop by The Potted Red Geranium located at 109 Government Ave SW, where time-worn treasures and gifts can be found. Terrell Miller, Jr. will be there with his folk art and acrylics.

From there, take a left and crawl to 232 Government Ave. Pat Hatley, author of Four Generations of Work: Leading from Conflict to Collaboration will be at Olde Hickory Station. Enjoy drinks and dinner while talking with the author.

Then take a right till you reach Second Street NW and wander down to 29 Second Street, where Tasteful Bean Coffeehouse will feature photography by Richard McGee, Clayton Joe Young and George Johnston. Enjoy a coffee and a baked treat while there.

Walking out the door, take a left and follow the sounds of the music performed by Ben Pleasant and Friends. The band will be playing in front of the Wells Fargo Building which houses Boyd & Hassell I-C, Inc., one of the sponsors of the Art Crawl. The featured art here will be digital prints by Marijoyce Porcelli and acrylic Doodlebug Designs by Laura Gatwood.

Continue right on First Ave. NW to Sonya’s Dance Academy, 258 First Avenue NW, where modern jazz dance demonstrations are showcased. A special dance will be performed at 6pm.

Another right brings you to Turnip the Arts, 266 First Avenue NW, who offers a wide variety of functional and decorative arts with workshops regularly scheduled. Ellen Ball Studios will be displaying her enameled & metal-smithed jewelry in copper, aluminum, brass and sterling.

Follow the acoustic sounds of Kevin Lee Smith to the corner and stop in Hatch’s Sandwich Bar where you can visit with Ollis Baggett who creates one-of-a-kind copper jewelry using tubing, flashing, wire, and other metals.

Cross First Avenue NW to visit Full Circle Arts at 45 Third Street NW. FCA is hosting a “Photography Show.” Works by various local photographers will be on display.

Go up the steps and to the left and crawl up Third Street to Union Square and stop at Larry’s Music and Sound, where wood and metal lighting by Ned Espey and handmade greeting cards by Josephine Espey will be displayed.

Head on down Union Square to Aqua B where Acrylic paintings & photography by Elizabeth Keys and handmade bath & beauty products from Hedgehog Hills are featured.

Visit Rodney Smith of MUD Shack Pottery as he demonstrates his skills on Union Square.

Stroll on down Union Square to The Hickory Wine Shoppe. Charles Kismo will be there with his wonderful jewelry. Bloomin’ Glass Arts by Pam and Jerry Miller will be in the grassy knoll in front of the Wine Shoppe.

The Hickory Museum of Art will be on the Square with educational and entertaining experiences for young art crawlers.
Bisque n Beads, a place to be creative, will host Scott Regenbogen’s beautiful hand turned, inlaid woodworking inside with Jordan Ellis’s photography, filmmaking and video art out front.

A left from Bisque n Beads brings you to Tracy’s on the Square, where a wide selection of apparel, jewelry, shoes, and tuxedos can be found. The Art of UMAR, a fine-art vocational service for adults with disabilities, will be featured.

Traffic Jam by Susan Grant

Under the Sails are the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market vendors and their Third Thursday Tastin’ Tunes’ & Tomatoes. Performing on the sails stage will be the Shake Down Band.

The Warehouse Resource Center will be on the Square, with activities for the young and the young at heart.

Wander on down to The Natural Olive, 216 Union Square, who offers a vast selection of Extra Virgin Olive Oils, flavored oils and vinegars. Beautiful wooden bowls and vases by Tom Dennewill be featured.

Anthony & Brown PLLC, 208 Union Square, Ste. 204, will host oils on canvas by Carl Zwingli,the abstract artwork of Paul "Buzz" Browning, and watercolors by Susan Grant.

Located in the same building, Northwestern Mutual, 208 Union Square, Suite 201, will host oil and acrylic artist Molly LaFontaine. Eugenie B. Fein will be outside with her oil and watercolor paintings.

The oil paintings of Kent Paulette, also known as “derfla,” will be featured at Attitude Salon, located at 204 Union Square.

Finish up your evening at the Olde Hickory Taproom serving great food and a wide selection of fine spirits, wine, and award-winning beer. Southern Fried Dixieland performs at 8pm. No cover charge.

The Downtown Hickory Art Crawls are sponsored by the Hickory Downtown Development Association, Boyd & Hassell Industrial Commercial Real Estate and the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The United Arts Council of Catawba County is committed to advancing the cultural life of Catawba County through grants, marketing, fundraising and facilities management. The council strives to provide awareness of the cultural activities in our area, as well as grant and contribution opportunities. . Boyd & Hassell Industrial Commercial Real Estate specializes in sales, leasing, and management of industrial and commercial real estate.

For more information on HDDA, membership, businesses, other events and Downtown Hickory, please call 828 322 1121 or email Please visit the website,

The Green Room’s Little Shop Of Horrors, Through May 24

Newton, NC - The Green Room Community Theatre continues its run of the musical Little Shop of Horrors weekends through May 24th. One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof of 1950’s sci-fi movies has become a household name. A down-and-out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding his growing appetite.

Little Shop of Horrors is directed by William Morgan and musically directed by John Coffey. It is produced by Robert Abbey, Inc. and Cargo Transporters. Remaining performance dates are May 22, 23, & 24, 2015. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8:00 pm, and Sunday shows are at 3:00 pm. This show is rated PG-13.

Tickets may be purchased by calling The Green Room Box Office at (828) 464-6128. The Box Office is open Wednesdays – Fridays from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm.

Tickets are $16 for Adults, $14 for Seniors and Students, and $8 for Children age 12 and under. Ticket prices include NC sales tax.

For more information about this or any of the other programs offered by The Green Room Community Theatre, please contact our offices at (828) 464-6583, or visit us on the web at The Green Room Community Theatre is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

Photo: Heather Baynes & Caleb Warren. Photo by Ken Burns

Sails Music Series Hosts Banda Magda On Friday, May 22

Hickory – Banda Magda bursts with humor and quirky sensibility, powered by an unflagging energy.

Banda Magda is welcomed to The Sails Original Music Series in Downtown Hickory at the Sails Stage at 6 p.m. this Friday, May 22.

Founded by Greekborn singer, film scorer, and composer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda moves from samba to French chanson, from Greek folk tunes to Colombian cumbia and AfroPeruvian lando. Their songs capture the best of midcentury pop ballads and cinematic arranging, drawing on the band’s global background and unchained musicality. Trained in film scoring at Berklee, Giannikou’s film music finesse has won her awards and caught the attention of everyone from Kronos Quartet to Louis CK; she sang a duet with CK for the comedian’s TV show.

This group of close musical friends turn Giannikou’s songs into engaging romps that have won them a spot with Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers Series, as well as performances at discerning venues and festivals, such as Webster Hall, Irving Plaza, The Kennedy Center, The Jefferson Center, Celebrate Brooklyn, Jazz al Parque, St. Moritz Festival Da Jazz, and the Chicago World Music Festival.

After the success of their brilliantly colorful albums, “Amour, t’es là?” (Top 10 Billboard World Music Charts, NPR’s All Songs Considered, First Listen, NPR’s 10 favorite World Music Albums 2013), and “Yerakina” (co-produced by GRAMMY Award winners Michael League and Fab Dupont), the Banda is in preproduction of their third opus, the vibrant, Technicolor “Tigre” to be released in January 2016.

Banda Magda plays May 22

“I read a great quote about the band, Banda Magda, that described them as ‘musically promiscuous’!  While, I am not precisely sure what that means, I do know they are going to be a whole bunch of musical fun,” said Bob Sinclair, coordinator of the Sails Original Music Series.  “The band is a supremely talented ensemble of close friends and they will be unlike any band we have seen or heard before.”

Sinclair continued saying that the band, led by Magda Giannikou, who is a pianist, an accordionist, a singer, a composer, an orchestrator, a songwriter, a music producer, an aspiring dancer and a very good chef, reflects her many interests as they perform quirky, world-music, with pop-oriented hooks.  They sparkle on the stage, whether on traditional Greek or French tunes or Magda’s own original material.  The band mates are formally trained artists, but, are just as likely to play a kitchen spatula, a piano or a dulcimer.  It is going to be something brand new to Hickory.  I can’t wait.”

Event attendees are encouraged bring their lawn chairs or blankets and pack picnics or get food from one of the restaurants in the area.

For more information on Banda Magda, visit the website at

The series is scheduled each Friday in May and June from 6 to 8:30 p.m. under the beautiful Sails on the Square Stage.

La Cage Is A Hit! Musical Returns To HCT Thurs., May 21, 7:30pm

Hickory - Audiences were bursting with laughter and raucous applause from the first musical number to the last as “La Cage aux Folles” opened on the Jeffers Mainstage at Hickory Community Theatre. The smash hit musical continues a second weekend of performances beginning Thursday, May 21, at 7:30.

Based on the French play by Jean Poiret, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman (“Hello Dolly” and “Mame”), and a book by Harvey Fierstein, the show has been a worldwide sensation. The play was also the basis for two hit movies – the French film “La Cage aux Folles” and the Hollywood remake, “The Birdcage” starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.

Performance dates and times are as follows: Thursdays, May 21 and 28 at 7:30pm; Fridays and Saturdays, May 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 8:00pm; and Sundays, May 24 and 31 at 2:30pm. Regular price tickets for Fridays through Sunday are $18, seniors are $16, students and youth are $10. Thursday nights, tickets for all adults and seniors are $14; student and youth tickets are $10. For tickets, call (828) 328-2283 or click Due to adult humor, this show is recommended for mature audiences.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. “La Cage aux Folles” is produced by Robert Abbey, Inc. and Dr. Delores Hammer, DDS. This production is part of the 2014-15 season sponsored by Paramount Automotive.

PHOTO: Scott Curtis (left) and David Zealy star in “La Cage aux Folles”. The award-winning musical continues this weekend on the Jeffers mainstage at Hickory Community Theatre. For tickets call (828) 328-2283 or click Photo is by Ken Burns Photography.

New Horizons Band Concert Is Thurs., May 21, 7:30pm

Hickory - The Catawba Valley New Horizons Band is pleased to announce their Celebration Concert this Thursday evening, May 21, 2015, beginning at 7:30pm. The concert, which is their first open to the public, celebrates six years of making music together. First United Methodist Church in Hickory has graciously allowed the use of their Christian Life Center for this concert. The address of the church is 311 Third Avenue NE, Hickory. Light refreshments will be served following the concert.

The CVNHB is made up of "prime of life" adults who have a desire to learn a new instrument or to sharpen their skills on an instrument from high school or college days.

New Horizons before a recent Crawdads game performance

Many levels of aptitude are represented in the band and orchestra, from beginner to quite accomplished. All are welcome.

The band meets on Wednesdays at the SALT Block, from 9:00am - 11:30am. The orchestra meets from 1:00pm - 3:30pm. While the official semesters are from September-December and January-May, the band meets unofficially during the summer and anyone is welcome to drop by, listen, and ask questions.

For more information on the concert or joining the band or orchestra, please contact Len Allman at 828-449-7442 or Cynthia Summey at 828-238-8358.

Catawba Valley New Horizons Music is a self supporting (through membership dues), non-profit organization.

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