AURA at ASU March 12

Article Published: Mar. 4, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
AURA at ASU March 12

The High Country community is invited to experience an evening of performing arts at Appalachian State University's Valborg Theater on Friday March 12, hosted by Two Rivers Community School (TRCS).

AURA (Artists United Reaching out for Academic) showcases the talents of local performing artists, musicians, dancers and poets.

The evening's diverse performers include the Sheets Family Band, Elkland Art Center, the Mountain Laurels, ASU dance faculty and Rhythm Foundation, all local performing artists in the High Country.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, available only at the door. The doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the performance begins at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be on sale prior to the show and during intermission.

Opening the first set is the Sheets Family Band, an old-time Appalachian string band featuring traditional and original music. Members include Deborah Jean Sheets on guitar and vocals, Randy Sheets on banjo and vocals, Kelly Sheets Snider on fiddle and vocals and Charlie Hart on bass, with guest Ian Snider on vocals.

They are a real family band and have been making music together for many years, a spokesperson for the event said.

Next, Elkland Art Center, brings its spunky, thought-provoking puppetry onstage. Through the efforts of Cindy Ball, Lexie Danner and Martha Enzmann, the Elkland Art Center has brought expressive art to the High Country for decades, striving to build strong communities through awakening and nurturing the creative spirit, the spokesperson said.

Known for their performances focused on water conservation and litter awareness, the group offers summer workshops in hands-on community art and various other workshops throughout the year.
Elkland Art Center synthesizes art and issues of local and global importance with beauty and humor, the spokesperson said.

Some of the center's best known events include the Liberty Parade in Todd on July 4t, the International Day of Peace Parade in Boone on Sept. 21and the International Puppet Festival in Todd.
Closing the first set is Pink Chain, featuring Mar Startari Stegall and Chris Winsor. Their mix of poetry and music takes on an energy all its own. Stegall's artwork and poetry are unique to the southern Appalachians. She has performed on various stages in the High Country featuring spoken word, collaborative dance and expressive movement, the spokesperson said.

Following a brief intermission, the second set opens with the talents of seven local women, known together as the Mountain Laurels. Performing an eclectic blend of Celtic, folk and traditional fiddle music, the ensemble features Suzi Mills on bass, Connie Woolard on hammered dulcimer, Elaine Gray on guitar, Liz Rose on Celtic harp, Lisa McNeal on flute, and Rhonda Lorence and Dawn Grant on violin.
ASU Dance Studies faculty members Laurie Atkins, Rebecca Quin and Holly Roark will perform a collaborative modern dance that explores dynamics of relational movement.

Closing the show with its unique mix of West African drumming, dance and song is Rhythm Foundation. The group will perform two contigas from 14th century Toledo, Spain. The contiga is a musical form honoring the divine feminine. Nia Dickens will perform the contigas together with dulcimer player Jeff Dickens.

On display will be two original Irmaly yard art landscape pieces, a hand-blown glass vessel by Glenn Randle, and a collaborative painting from TRCS students. All items are available for bidding in the silent auction, with proceeds, in addition to those from the performance, benefitting the arts programming at Two Rivers Community School.

TRCS is an expeditionary Learning Outward Bound public school in Boone. As a North Carolina charter school, Two Rivers has adopted an integrated, thematic, experiential, project-based model of education, and it strives to incorporate artistic expression and performance into its curriculum. For more information, visit

The Valborg Theatre is located at 480 Howard St., behind the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Parking is available after 5 p.m. in campus lots, the College Street parking deck near the Belk Library and Information Commons, and behind the Turchin Center.

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