Entertainment

Summer Concert Series kicks off May 14 at Gates Four

09 Gary Lowder picAs more pandemic restrictions are being lifted, many of us are ready for spring and summer activities to begin. Warmer weather and sunshine invite us to venture outdoors to enjoy friends, good food, a favorite beverage and great music. On May 14, Fayetteville Dinner Theatre, Up & Coming Weekly, and Gates Four Golf & Country Club will kick off the Gates Four Summer Concert Series with the Carolina Summer Beach Bash.

Piedmont Natural Gas and Jay Dowdy of All American Homes are the title sponsors of this new summer-long outdoor music venue for Cumberland County residents. Working in conjunction with Healy Wholesale Distributors, these great sponsors support this musical series to assist in raising money for reading and educational resources for Cumberland County children through the Kidsville News Literacy and Education Foundation.

All concerts will be presented outdoors at the Gates Four Pavilion and socially distanced. The Concert Series includes a variety of musical acts from Beach to the Beatles. The Concert Series will be held monthly through September, with tickets available online at www.fayettevilledinnertheatre.com or the Gates Four business office during business hours. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with food (included with ticket price) served 6-7:30 p.m. A complete line of beverages will be available at three convenient full-service cash bars serving Healy Wholesale beer and wine products and your favorite mixed drinks. Concierge table service will be provided for VIP tables inside the Pavilion. Fayetteville's own Mash House Brewery will also have a large selection of their custom craft beers available. Sweet Frog will be present for those with a sweet tooth.

There will be something for everyone during this concert series which showcases a different band each month. Kicking off the Concert Series on May 14 is Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot. Known as a party band based out of North Myrtle Beach, their music covers songs from several decades with many different genres of music represented, including soul, rhythm and blues, funk, reggae, jazz standards, country, 50s, 60s and Carolina Beach Music. In addition to covering today's top trending hits, the Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot also has successful hits on local radio and internet stations across North and South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Florida.

Members of Smokin' Hot have been nominated collectively for several Carolina Beach Music Awards over the years. In 2013, the band won "CD of the Year" at the Carolina Beach Music Awards. In 2014, they won "Group of the Year." In 2015, they were nominated for 13 Carolina Beach Music Awards, with J.K. Loftin, group guitarist, winning "Engineer of the Year." In 2016, they were nominated for 6 CBMA Awards, including "Male Vocalist" (G. Lowder), "Group Album" ("Playin' With Fire 2"), "Entertainer" (G. Lowder), "Engineer" and "Producer" (J.K.Loftin), "Collaboration or Duo" (G. Lowder & Marsha Morgan, "Too Many Tears"). Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot is an example of the quality entertainment Gates Four brings to Fayetteville and Cumberland County.

The next concert on June 26 will be the British Invaders, who will present a Beatles Tribute to Beatlemania of the 1960s when English bands stormed the U.S. music charts and won over crowds of screaming fans. While dressing in period Nehru suits and playing vintage instruments, the British Invaders will entertain the audience with a mixture of British hits from the Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Dave Clark Five, The Animals, The Yardbirds, Rod Stewart and Elton John.

On July 17, it's a classic retro rock party with the Jan Michael Fields Band performing hits of the 70s and 80s. Here is another decade of fabulous Rockin' in the 80s music. Jan Fields is a charismatic performer known as one of the top vocalists in the southeast. His stellar voice and ability to work the stage are just as relevant today as in the 80s when he was the frontman for the international touring act, Sidewinder. Jan is the consummate pro, and his dedication to his craft earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 for outstanding contributions and support of the North Carolina music industry.

August 28 picks up in the 90s with Stylin' Country with the Tim Hair (Tim McGraw) Tribute Band. For fans of McGraw's country and crossover hits, the show will follow his career from his 1994 breakout "Indian Outlaw" and feature his many number one songs through his chart-topper "Humble and Kind."

The grand finale of the Summer Concert Series is on September 18, showcasing Fayetteville and Cumberland County's 4-time winner "Best Local Band" in Up & Coming Weekly's Best of Fayetteville survey. The versatile Rivermist Band will be performing their award-winning songs to include top forty, rock, pop, funk and R & B. This talented group of musicians has played together in Fayetteville and the southeast for more than 40 years. It is a great way to end the Summer Concert Series. Their shows are always professional, energetic and entertaining.

Plan to be at the Pavilion at Gates Four on May 14 for the Carolina Summer Beach Bash. The Gates Four Summer Concert Series offers terrific music from the talented artists along with Gates Four hospitality, friends, great food, plenty of drinks and a great time. Tickets for all concert dates are available for purchase at Gates Four or online at www.fayettevilledinnertheatre.com. Tickets are $60 per person and include the concert, food, lawn seating (bring your chairs), gifts, door prizes and a few surprises.

For VIP Tables, group rates or more information, call 910-391-3859. Tickets are limited in order to keep the concert attendees comfortable and socially distanced.

Salvation Army Red Shield Club Summer Day Camp accepting registrations now

08 sdc parachute 3The Salvation Army of the Sandhills region will be hosting a Summer Day Camp for children in grades K-8 from June 7 to
Aug. 16.

“The Salvation Army Red Shield Club Summer Day Camp is our annual camp that provides a safe environment for the children we serve to play and grow,” said Alison Henion, who serves as the community relations and development coordinator for Sandhill’s Salvation Army.

The camp takes place annually and can usually hold 45 to 50 kids but will host only 22 this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The camp costs $55 per week, with a one-time $15 registration fee, and will have a rolling registration all summer so participants can join anytime. Camp will be held during the day from 7:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

“This year is an Olympic theme so we will have many friendly and fun competitions mimicking the Summer Olympic Games,” Henion said. “We also have art and crafts, field trips, movie days and computer time. We incorporate education in a fun way as well by hosting a reading competition and academic games.”

The camps will be led by their Community Center Director Donya Campbell along with two other program aides.

“We also will have different businesses, churches and community groups come spend time with the kids,” she said. “They host activities provide lunch or just simply hang out and play.”

The camp application to the camp can be found at www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/fayetteville/community-center/? and emailed to donya.campbell@uss.salvationarmy.org or delivered in person at the admin office located at 220 E Russell St.

For those interested in donating to the local Salvation Army or volunteering, visit www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/fayetteville/? or call Alison at 910-483-8119.

Men's basketball: Three Trojans earn all-region honors

14 MBB all region collage 768x432Three Fayetteville Tech men’s basketball players were named to the All-Region 10 Division II team for the 2021 season.

Tyreik McCallum earned second-team honors, while Donte Johnson and JeKael Gay made third team.
All sophomore forwards, the trio played a key part in the Trojans’ success this season, which ended April 3 with the program’s second straight appearance in the regional quarterfinals.

“Tyreik has been an all-around producer for us,” head coach Brian Hurd said.

“Donte turned into a consistent presence on offense and defense. And JeKael has really made the most of his experience at the two-year level, on the court and in the
classroom.”

McCallum and Johnson each landed in the top five among all NJCAA Division II players in field-goal percentage, with McCallum’s 68.8 percent landing him third on the list and Johnson holding the No. 5 spot at 65.5 percent.

McCallum led the Trojans in scoring and rebounding for the season, averaging 14.5 points and 7.5 boards per game.

The 6-foot-4 Lumberton native’s totals came despite an abbreviated 11-game season, cut short due to injury with five games left to play.

Johnson scored 10.8 points and pulled down 5.1 rebounds per game. Late in the season, the 6-foot-5 post player showed a penchant for accuracy from 3-point range, going 5-for-6 in the last four games and finishing the season shooting 63.6 percent from behind the arc.

Gay, who like Johnson is a Greene Central High School product, made perhaps the biggest strides year-over-year of any player on the Trojans’ roster.

He averaged 13.3 points on the year and 4.3 rebounds and added another dimension by developing his 3-point shot. He shot 45.5 percent on 3-pointers, second in Region 10 DII behind teammate Chance Minott.

Pictured Above: FTCC men's basketball players (left to right) Tyreik McCallum, Donte Johnson, and JeKael Gey earned All-Region 10 Division II honors for the 2021 season. (imagery courtesy of Fayetteville Technical Community College). 

Renovation underway at Cape Fear Regional Theatre

07 CFRT BEFORECape Fear Regional Theatre is undergoing renovations to improve the audience experience.

The popular theatre that began performing in 1962 under the name “Fayetteville Little Theatre” became CFRT and now features a three-story complex serving about 49,000 audience members in a typical year.

“This theatre is flying from coach to first-class,” Mary Kate Burke, artistic director for CFRT, said.

CFRT will be getting a new HVAC system, more handicap accessible and stair-free seating, better lighting and a new sound system, among other changes.

“The width of the seats will go from 19 to 21 inches and the depth of each row will gain at least 6 inches deeper than before from the knees to the back of the chair,” Burke said. “There was a lot of community engagement and consensus and we have decided to stick with the red seats.”

In the past, CFRT received feedback about volume issues and uneven hearing throughout the theatre. The new sound system will address and fix these problems. The organization invited Rob Kaplowitz to help design the system.

Kaplowitz is a 25-year veteran in the sound industry, having worked as a composer, sound designer and is a recipient of a Tony Award for “Fela!” and an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence In Sound Design, among other celebrations of his work. He has worked in many theatre companies on and off Broadway.

CFRT hosted a meet-and-greet with Kaplowitz for theatre sponsors, donors and patrons on April 16 to show the crowd prototypes of the new improvements and the new sound system.

“The old sound system’s best speakers were the center ones, you can see there’s a wide variation from front to bank, so rest assured I have replaced all of them,” he said. “We are becoming inaudible going to the back. Before, the person who wanted the front and aisle seat was hearing the worst sounding show possible.”

Kaplowitz said the equipment that CFRT had been using in the building is pre-2000s and basically obsolete, adding that sound technology has rapidly evolved in the last few years.

“The new speakers sound 60 times better than the voice you heard so far,” he assured the crowd. “With the new speakers, you've got coverage all the way to the back, with very little variation. The difference between two seats will not be more than 8 decibels, which is very low.”

CFRT has reached over 70% of their monetary goal to pay for renovations due to contributions from various patrons and donors. The theatre also received a $250,000 grant that jump-started the campaign from a foundation that prefers to remain anonymous.

Theatre-goers can also sponsor a new seat with a plaque bearing a name or message. There are about 100 seats left to sponsor. Sponsor plaques from the original seats will be part of a new installation in the lobby. More information can be found by visiting www.cfrt.org/support/#capital-campaign. Those interested in learning how to become a sponsor can call Ella Wrenn at 910-323-4234 ext. 229.

Nurses Week virtual 5K raises money for scholarships

08 nurses week virtual 5kSince first hearing the word "coronavirus," we have found ways to do just about everything we need to from a distance or virtually. This includes shopping, work, school, appointmentss and even fundraising.

Cape Fear Valley Health nurses are hosting a virtual 5K from May 1-15 to raise money for the Nursing Education Scholarship to help those pursuing a career in nursing or nurses who are advancing their education.

“This is the first year for us to hold a 5K,” said organizer Beth Langley, Ph.D., RN, who is a Nursing Quality Specialist with Cape Fear Valley.

“This will be the biggest fund raiser we’ve ever done in the community. With the pandemic, doing this virtually seemed like a safe place to start. It’s been very affirming to see members of the public get involved.”

Since its inception in 2017, the Nursing Education Scholarship has helped over 24 Cape Fear Valley Health nurses work towards advancing their education.

The goal of fundraisers like the Nurses Week 5k is to not only assist current nurses enhance their skills but also to create a permanent source of scholarship funding to continue supporting nurses into the future.

To sign up for the 5K, go to https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/Fayetteville/NursesWeek5K. The cost to participate is $25. Registration is open through May 15.

Participants can register as individual runners or as part of a team. Those wishing to help, but not run, can donate to support an individual runner, team, or to the overall fundraising effort.

Because the event is virtual, participants can walk or run their 5K at any location and can divide their 5K into several days. Particiapants are encouraged to get their family, friends and even co-workers involved in the cause.

Langley said she is aware of several participants who have mapped out laps around their workplace, which they will use on their lunch breaks to complete their 5K over multiple days.

Sponsorships opportunities are available for businesses and organizations interested in supporting the Nursing Education Scholarship and the Nurses Week 5K.

“We’ve also been honored by the level of community support we’ve received from our sponsors,” Langley said. “They help make this event happen.”

Among the event’s top sponsors are Castle Uniforms, Boone Trail Fit Body Boot Camp, Victoria Baskett Patient Safety Foundation, and Cumberland Anesthesia.

For more information about the Nurses Week Virtual 5K, contact Langley at mlangley@capefearvalley.com or 910-615-5865.

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