USO Liberty Bells come to Blowing Rock



Article Published: Aug. 5, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
USO Liberty Bells come to Blowing Rock

The USO Liberty Bells will perform in Blowing Rock Aug. 28, as part of a fundraiser for the Hayes Performing Arts Center. Photos submitted



Operation Hayes Center: Putting the 'fun' in fundraiser.

Blowing Rock's Hayes Performing Arts Center is hosting an energetic evening of Broadway and big band favorites performed by the USO Liberty Bells, direct from New York City.

The special fundraising event is being held on Saturday, August 28, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hayes Center in Blowing Rock. All proceeds from the benefit will help sustain the Hayes Center and its limited operations as the performing arts venue prepares for its grand reopening in summer 2011.

The USO Liberty Bells - comprised of three female vocalists and one male vocalist for this performance, with select live accompaniment by pianist and director Ray Kennedy - will perform music by legends, such as the Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, as well as contemporary artists like the Black-Eyed Peas and Beyonce.

The group will have toes tapping with such jazzy numbers as "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" and "My Boyfriend's Back" to classic Great White Way tunes like "Lullabye of Broadway" and "Ain't Nothin' but the Blues."

And the evening is further amplified by patriotic standards, including "God Bless America," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "God Bless the USA."

The USO Liberty Bells travel throughout the world performing for service members, their families, veterans and audiences that actively support the troops here and abroad. The troupe is comprised of Broadway and Off-Broadway professionals who are chosen each year after an extensive audition process in Manhattan.

This year's performers hail from the Broadway shows Hairspray, The Sound of Music, The Color Purple and Cirque du Soleil.

"We are proud of our new 2010 USO Liberty Bells," said Brian Whiting, president of USO of Metropolitan New York. "They are impressively talented and will add a nostalgic, contemporary and patriotic touch to our tour."

A pre-performance party will be hosted by Chetola Resort, and an apres-show cast and benefactor party at the Main Street Blowing Rock home of Dieter and Karyn Herterich will commence directly after the show (details TBA).

In addition, 40 percent of the USO Liberty Bells' artist fee goes directly back to the USO to enable the USO Liberty Bells to perform for free for active duty military, veterans and Wounded Warriors, as well as provide phone cards and care packages for the troops.

"We are proud to present such wonderful and world-renowned artists as the USO Liberty Bells at the Hayes Center," said Ronald Bryson, chairman of the Hayes Performing Arts Center board of trustees. "This fundraiser is vital for us to sustain operations until our grand reopening in summer 2011, and it's also a wonderful way to help support our military troops.

"There has been a lot going on behind the scenes to get the center onto sound financial footing. The support has been tremendous, and things are looking very positive. It is very gratifying to see this show and fundraiser scheduled and to have activity in the Hayes Center again.

"The center plays a big part in the economic impact of our community, town and High Country region. And we are thrilled that we can bring this show to Blowing Rock."

The USO Liberty Bells perform at military homecoming and deployment ceremonies, VA hospital tours and shows in honor of the nation's fallen heroes. They also entertain at high-profile venues, including New York Mets and Yankees games, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NBC's Rockin' New Year's Eve, the New York City Columbus Day Parade, "Fox and Friends," and many others.

Most recently, they returned from a week in Dubai and the Wounded Warrior Games in Colorado.
Performance time for the USO Liberty Bells on Broadway is Saturday, Aug. 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Donation levels are $50, $125, $225 and $1,000. Tickets to this fundraiser are not available online. To make reservations, call (828) 295-0112 x5 or x6.

You may pay by credit card (VISA, MasterCard or Discover) or by cash or check (in person). For group seating, the center strongly suggests early reservations.

The Hayes Performing Arts Center is located at 152 Jamie Fort Road in Blowing Rock, just off U.S. 321. For more information, call (828) 295-9627 or visit http://www.brcac.org.

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