Music Will Fill Air During Palustris Festival
BY MARY ELLE HUNTER
Special to The Pilot
A dozen performances with eclectic musical styles - from operatic, symphonic and choral to jazz, big band swing, country rock, bluegrass, acoustic, soul, folk and country - will essentially offer something for everyone's taste at the four-day Palustris Festival in March.
The first-ever arts celebration for Moore County focuses on the performing, literary and visual arts with more than 90 events planned from March 25-28.
Professional musicians, as well as talented students, will be spotlighted. Before the Fayetteville Symphony plays an opening concert Thursday, March 25, musically inclined Moore Children of SCORE will appear in concert at 3:30 p.m. at the Pinehurst Elementary School, and Danny and June Infantino, a popular guitar and flute duo, will present the University of North Carolina at Pembroke Faculty Jazz Trio at The O'Neal School from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.
At 8 p.m., music lovers have a choice between the concert by the Fayetteville Symphony at the Robert E. Lee Auditorium at Pinecrest High School, and the western swinging trio of The Hot Club of Cowtown, appearing at the Poplar Knight Spot in Aberdeen. The program for the symphony includes works by Rossini, Haydn and Beethoven, while the Hot Club of Cowtown shows off the ever-evolving sound that has won them a following on the international festival scene as well as appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, and on top-rated radio and TV programs.
Friday's schedule of musical performances includes a Baxter Clement "Student Spectacular" presented by and located at Penick Village in their auditorium at 1 p.m., featuring young artists from Moore County. Then at 6:30 p.m. at the Sandhills Theater Renaissance School, Paul Murphy and his jazz band will perform along with the STARS Middle School honors choir.
Three entirely different musical styles are available for evening entertainment on Friday. Starting at 5:30 p.m. and lasting until 11 p.m., "An Affair of the Arts" presents an elegant dinner dance and cabaret show at the Pinehurst Fair Barn, with Tom Bernett's Swing Street Band playing nostalgic tunes from the Big Band era and dance favorites from the 1950s through 1980s. Cabaret appearances by Sandhills celebrity performers round out the evening, sponsored by nine area organizations
Or come and enjoy a performance by the West Pine D.R.U.M. Ensemble, followed by a fun drum circle experience with audience participation led by the ensemble, starting at 7 p.m. At the Poplar Knight Spot at 8 p.m., an Acoustic Free-For-All gets under way featuring Joe Newberry and the Boulder Acoustic Society in a musical adventure from old time Appalachia to the modern urban soundscape.
Saturday afternoon, March 27, opera lovers can attend a performance of "Hamlet," from the Metropolitan Opera, Live in HD, at the Sunrise Theater beginning at 1 p.m. At the Old Bethesda Church in Aberdeen, the Moore County Historical Association presents two back-to-back concerts at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
First up is Larry McNeely & Friends. A Moore County resident, Larry McNeely is a five-string banjo player known for his collaboration with Glen Campbell and for recording several soundtracks for different motion pictures. On tap later in the afternoon is the father and son team of Craig and Patrick Fuller.
Craig Fuller is a founding member of the pioneering country rock band Pure Prairie League. He now divides his time between Pinehurst and Nashville while performing 25-30 shows a year, mostly with Pure Prairie League, but also as a solo. Patrick Fuller, currently a sophomore at UNC at Chapel Hill, has been performing since he was 17 years old and has been writing his own songs almost as long.
To cap off the afternoon's musical offerings, at 5 p.m. a concert will be given at Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines by an ensemble from the Moore County Choral Society, under the direction of Anne Dorsey.
The Arts Council of Moore County and the Moore County Historical Association present Tift Merritt in concert as a major event of the Palustris Festival at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the Robert E. Lee Auditorium at Pinecrest High School. This multi-talented Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and recording artist delights audiences with her unique style, spanning rock 'n' roll, soul, folk and country. She has received high critical acclaim for her three studio albums, "Bramble Rose," "Tambourine" and "Another Country" and for her live album, "Buckingham Solo," released last year.
Information about how to make reservations or buy tickets for all of these musical happenings at the Palustris Festival, access the Festival's Web site at www.palustrisfestival.com. Additional details on the events and their locations may also be found on the Web site, or by calling (800) 346-5362.
Contact Pinehurst freelance writer Mary Elle Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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