Ken Lavigne to appear at McGregor Hall Tomorrow Night

Joined by a four-piece ensemble, Ken Lavigne takes his audience on a riveting and enchanting journey, retelling his personal campaign to sing at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops.

His performances are told with spectacular songs as well as entertaining and hilarious stories that showcase how Lavigne embodies the spirit of the underdog—audacity, tenacity and ultimately…triumph. Audience favorites include Loch Lomond, Danny Boy, Hallelujah, Bring Him Home and more.

Recognized early for the outstanding timbre of his lyric tenor voice as well as the ease and agility with which he sings, Ken’s career has taken many directions that include his current touring show, The Road to Carnegie Hall.

Since his Carnegie Hall Debut, Ken has regularly performed with multi-Grammy winner David Foster and has had the honor of performing for his Majesty Prince Charles last fall. All the while he continues to earn accolades with symphonies and orchestras internationally.

Show Date/Time: February 4th at 8:00 p.m.

McGregor Hall

The Hoppers Return to Henderson


HENDERSON, N.C. (January 18, 2017)—Following the release of their new album “Life is Good” and back by popular demand, the legendary Gospel music group The Hoppers will grace the stage of McGregor Hall Performing Arts and Learning Center in Henderson, N.C., for their second concert there on Saturday, January 28th at 7p.m.

Known as “America’s Favorite Family of Gospel Music,” the multi-award winning group from Madison, N.C., have been singing to global audiences for over 55 years with appearances ranging from presidential religious inaugural ceremonies and New York’s Carnegie Hall to singing conventions and church platforms. Their unique blend of harmonies and song choices have landed them on top of the Billboard and Singing News charts and featured on Gospel music showcases such as The Gaither Homecoming videos and tours.

The Hoppers are comprised of family members Claude and Connie, sons Mike and Dean and his wife, Kim, and their daughter Karlye. A cancer survivor, Connie has been honored with numerous awards, including being inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Sons Dean and Mike have continued the family legacy with their musical talents and business abilities; and Kim, Dean’s wife, hails from her own nationally acclaimed musical family, The Greenes.

The Hoppers will be joined by two local opening acts: Unashamed and Lynn Cooper. Unashamed, a Southern Gospel Quartet from Henderson, N.C., are comprised of Bill Wheeler (bass), Chris Jarrell (baritone), Scott Brantley (lead) and Cliff Reavis (tenor). From a Country/Bluegrass sound to more progressive Southern Gospel, the quartet offers something pleasing for everyone.

Lynn Cooper is a rising Gospel/Christian recording artist from Durham County, N.C., who now resides in Granville County, N.C., with her family. This past December (2016), Lynn released her first Christian album titled “A Person From The Pew,” which was recorded and produced by three-time Grammy Award recipient Tre Corley of Oak Tree Studios in Hendersonville, Tenn. Along with her music ministry, Lynn and her husband, Joe Don, produce “House of Fate Ministries,” a faith-based performance held at Tungsten Baptist Church in Henderson, N.C.

For more information on the concert, visit, (252) 598-0662 or visit the box office at 201 Breckenridge Street in downtown Henderson.


For More Information About McGregor Hall, Contact:

Tommy Deadwyler, Executive Director

McGregor Hall Performing Arts & Learning Center

201 Breckenridge St., Henderson, NC  27536

(252) 598-0662

[email protected]

Hendersonian Chris Burke Comes Home to McGregor Hall Jan 6th

Soul/Pop artist Chris Burke returns to his hometown on January 6th to perform at McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson, N.C., one year after the theater first opened its doors. After spending much of his youth in Henderson, Chris will share his nationally acclaimed “velvet vocals” with his beloved community.

Chris first gained stardom in 2003 when he appeared on NBC’s “Today Show.” In awe of his soulful vocal range, NBC producers hand selected him out of more than 6,500 vocalists to be a part of the show’s version of “American Idol” entitled “Today Show’s Superstars.” In front of millions of viewers and the celebrity panel of judges, Chris warmed his way into America’s homes and hearts. On the heels of the show’s success, his career then spring boarded forwarded where he appeared on countless TV and radio programs across the country.

From there, he moved to “Music City Nashville” and has released several recording projects, including four full-length albums of both original material and cover songs, and several singles. His latest album, “I Can’t Make You Love Me: The Mike Reid SongBook,” was released this year (2016) and pays homage to the famous Country music songwriter Mike Reid who has written hits for Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd, Ronnie Milsap and more. Reid also provided Chris with several songs for the album that had never been recorded by another artist. With producer and bass player Bobby King, Chris has put together an incredible Soul band, the Chris Burke Band, that perform across the country and within Nashville’s hottest venues. His musical style combines contemporary Neo-Soul/Pop with the classic sounds of Motown and R&B.

Chris is looking forward to returning to Henderson, and refers to his time spent in Vance County as his “golden years.” He explained, “It was a magical time in my family’s life. It’s the last time that we all lived under one roof, my two brothers and my mom and dad. We were all there together and whenever I think about that time, it seems to glow and have a wonderful golden hue around the memories. The path I have taken and the successes I am having now very much originated in Henderson.”

Chris’ concert at McGregor Hall is a reunion of sorts, bringing family and friends together. The Burkes moved away from Henderson in 1989 following the passing of Chris’ father Don. Attending the concert will be Chris’ mother Hansell, his two older brothers Justin and Monte, and a host of family friends who are eager to reconnect with the Burkes.

As the Kerr-Vance Academy Headmaster for approximately 10 years before his passing, Don Burke was a key member of the community and actively worked to excel grade-level education in Vance County. Hansell Burke was also active in various community projects, including helping to open a home for battered women. “During those years, the Burkes were an integral part of our community,” recalls Irv Gupton of Henderson and long-time family friend of the Burkes. “Don was not just a dear friend, but his passion for the outdoors and life in general, helped lift me and my family to new heights. And the Burke’s contribution to Vance County lifted many others in our community as well.”

During his January 6th concert, Chris is not only planning an exciting performance, but will have the opportunity to honor his father, who is laid at rest in Vance County. Chris said he looks forward to giving back to the community that supported his family during his father’s untimely death. “At his funeral, it was standing room only. I believe that people were outside the church because there wasn’t enough room inside. His life and death had a huge impact on not only us, but the town as a whole. I will always remember the love and support we felt as a family from Henderson and everyone in it. So, the idea that I can come ‘home’ to Henderson and pay homage to my father and to the town that raised me is amazing and feels very full-circle.”

Gupton also added, “It has been my dream to reconnect with the Burke family since they left the area following Don’s death from colon cancer. So I am thrilled that his son Chris can perform at McGregor Hall and give many of us an opportunity to reconnect, honor Don and his contributions to education, and celebrate the success of Chris’ career as he entertains us.” And Chris is planning a concert that the Kerr Lake region won’t soon forget. “I’ll be performing with the best band I have ever worked with in my life. The musicians here in Nashville are no joke and, I’ll be bringing my full band and we’ll be performing songs from all my albums. It’s the first time that I’ve ever performed a retrospective-type show with songs from all four albums—two of original material and two of covers. It’ll be an exciting mixture of well-known songs and songs that reflect what I was feeling and going through at the time.”

If you like and appreciate soulful music, this concert is for you, according to Chris. “The music is soulful and makes you feel something deep down in every song. I truly hope to give the audience an experience like no other. I’ve learned so much in my 12 years here in Nashville about music and about who I am as an artist, and I hope to give a little insight into who I am and how I’ve grown since leaving Henderson. It’s going to be a smooth and soulful look into who I am as an artist and what it means for me to be back in my hometown after being away too long.”

The concert will be the first performance held at McGregor Hall for the 2017 season, according to Tommy Deadwyler, executive director of McGregor Hall. “Chris and his band’s exciting performance will not only help to kick off the New Year, but will start the theater’s second-year celebration after opening in early 2016. McGregor Hall has had a hugely successful lineup of events and performances this year (2016) and we’re looking forward to continuing that in 2017 with a showcase of talented performers and educators.

Next year at McGregor Hall is poised to shine an even bigger spotlight on Henderson as the place for arts, entertainment and education in our region.”

Tickets remain available to experience the soulful sounds of Chris Burke and his band at McGregor Hall Performing Arts & Learning Center on January 6th at 8 p.m. For more information on the concert, visit, (252) 598-0662 or visit the box office at 201 Breckenridge Street in downtown Henderson.

Vance County School Students Enjoy “Beauty and the Beast” at McGregor Hall

Vance County Schools fourth graders and their teachers enjoyed a wonderful performance of the “Beauty and the Beast” ballet on Monday, December 5.

The performance was held at the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center.

The ballet was performed by the New York City Ballet.

The free performance was provided to the students and teachers by McGregor Hall and the Henderson Community Concert Association.

Fourth-grade students from Granville County Schools also attended. Almost 1,000 students and teachers filled the auditorium.

Vance-Granville Community Band to present free holiday concert on December 5th

The Vance-Granville Community Band will perform traditional Christmas fare as well as light classical and contemporary favorites during its ninth annual holiday concert on Monday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson.

This will be the first time that the Community Band has held a concert at the 1,000-seat venue, which opened earlier this year and is located at 201 Breckenridge Street in downtown Henderson. Admission is free of charge.

The band has prepared a program that includes seasonal music like “Wishing You a Merry Christmas,” a medley of Christmas carols arranged by William E. Rhoads; “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson; “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” a medley featuring “Welcome Christmas” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”; and “The Carollers March” by R.E. Holz, arranged by band member Bob Salzmann. Another piece, “The Night Before Christmas,” features a dramatic reading of Clement Moore’s poem by the band’s Claire Ramsey, with musical accompaniment.

The band is also set to play “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky; the overture from “Abduction from the Seraglio” by Mozart; a symphonic suite of music from the sci-fi franchise “Star Trek” to commemorate its 50th anniversary by Michael Giacchino, Alexander Courage and Gene Roddenberry; “Hallelujah” (featured in the movie “Shrek”) by Leonard Cohen; and “Riders for the Flag,” a march by John Philip Sousa.

The concert will also feature the “Old Vanguard Woodwind Quartet” playing additional selections of holiday music. The quartet comprises a bassoon, a soprano saxophone, an alto saxophone and a tenor saxophone.

Brian Miller, who retired as band director at Louisburg High School and now teaches for VGCC and Crosscreek Charter School, is the band’s primary conductor. Tracie Winstead, who plays bassoon in the band, is the associate conductor.

The Community Band, which is sponsored by the VGCC Division of Arts and Sciences, includes people of all ages, from all walks of life, and from throughout the region. No auditions are required. Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings from 7-9 p.m. at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center, on the Main Campus in Henderson, at Exit 209 on Interstate 85 (Poplar Creek Road). For more information, contact Brian Miller at (919) 496-5877 or at [email protected] or Betsy Henderson at [email protected].

Christmas with The Embers coming to McGregor Hall Dec 9th

The Christmas holidays will be here before you know it, bringing along aromas of cinnamon and gingerbread, stores
packed to the brim with shoppers and plenty of local events to make this season count.

So, where to begin? Why not stop in at the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center and purchase tickets to this year’s “Christmas with the EMBERS?” An absolute great gift for a friend, an employee or just a nice treat for yourself!  This is an absolute can’t miss special event filled with holiday music for family, friends, residents and visitors
looking for a spectacular way to ring in the holiday season.

Those of you wanting to help your business gain exposure and build lasting relationships with key business leaders throughout Henderson/Vance County – become a sponsor!

For more information about this event, please contact the Henderson-Vance Chamber by calling 252-438-8414.

Tickets are on sale at, by calling (252) 598-0662 or by visiting the Box Office, T-F 1-5pm, at 201 Breckenridge Street in Henderson, N.C. Please contact McGregor Hall’s Executive Director Tommy Deadwyler at (252) 598-0662 or email him at [email protected].

McGregor Hall to present “13 The Musical” Nov 18th and 19th

A hilarious, coming-of-age musical about discovering that “cool” is sometimes where we least expect it. This performance has something for anyone who is a teenager, who has been a teenager, or is raising a teenager!

Evan Goldman is about to turn 13, and he can’t wait. His life seems full of possibilities—that is, until his parents get divorced, and he is forced to move with his mom from big-city New York to “podunk” Henderson, NC. If Evan can’t get the coolest kids to come to his bar mitzvah, how is he going to survive the school year, not to mention, the rest of his life? And how will he ever accomplish that in a place where kids don’t even know what a bar mitzvah is?

Geek. Poser. Jock. Beauty Queen. Wannabe. These are the labels that can last a lifetime. Thirteen is a musical about fitting in—and standing out. As Evan navigates the world of cool kids and nerds, jocks and cheerleaders, first kisses and heartbreak, he comes to understand what it means to be a friend and that Henderson “isn’t so bad after all.”

With a bright, catchy pop score from Tony-winning composer and pianist Jason Robert Brown, equal doses of humor and pathos, and a cast of wildly talented teens, Thirteen is irresistible to grown ups and almost-grown ups alike. A six-piece live rock band of local talent will bring the music of Jason Robert Brown to life.

Thirteen is the only Broadway musical ever to perform with a cast and band entirely made of teenagers. Some of the finest young talent from Henderson and beyond will bring the musical to our stage in a way you never thought possible.

WRAL TV’s Bill Leslie to Perform at McGregor Hall

Take a journey through North Carolina, as well as places like Scotland and beyond, with long-time WRAL News Anchor Bill Leslie. This award-winning North Carolina journalist is also an internationally acclaimed musician, singer and composer who performs across the globe with his group Bill Leslie & Lorica.

This five-member ensemble showcase a blend of Celtic, Folk and New Age music that includes albums that have topped World Music charts in the U.S and abroad. His most recent recording “Scotland: Grace of the Wild” was named World Radio Album of the Year in 2013.

Bill Leslie & Lorica’s soothing musical configurations include the guitar, Celtic whistle, violin, flute, piano, percussion and vocals. Bill seems to transport his audience into his music, inviting you to travel with him as he explores various melodies that often describe his journeys through his beloved home state such as his hikes among the ancient pines of North Carolina’s Linville Gorge.

McGregor Hall offers opportunity to leave ‘lasting impression’

The Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall wants you to “leave your mark and ‘Take a Seat.’”

In addition to purchasing tickets for events in the new performing arts center, patrons are being given the opportunity to leave a lasting impression by naming a seat in honor or memory of individuals, groups, businesses and organizations.

“The completion of the Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall marks an important milestone for our region,” said Tommy Deadwyler, director of the new arts and education center located in Henderson at 201 Breckenridge Street. “We have created the Take-A-Seat campaign to provide an opportunity for area citizens and organizations to mark their place in history on this important landmark.

“Soon our new center will have brass markers on each of the 997 seats in the hall with the names of those who have demonstrated their love of the arts.”

A gift or pledge of $1,000 secures the lasting tribute, noted John Wester, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation (ECCF).

“We started the Take-A-Seat campaign soon after our doors opened,” Wester said. “The heavy lifting has been done by some generous donors to get our beautiful new facility in operation. Start-up funding is needed now to help us secure the programming for 2016-2017 to attract patrons and meet ongoing facility needs.

“Already dozens are getting on board with Take-A-Seat to help us make this exciting new venture an immediate success. Already we have some individuals who want to remember family members with a memorial plate,” Wester added. “Businesses and civic organizations also are seeing this as a way to show their support and creating a lasting tribute for their entity.”

Wester added that the gift to the Hall is a meaningful way to mark a birthday, anniversary or holiday. Special gift acknowledgment letters are sent to persons who are specified.

Among those who have shown their support is George M. Harvin of Henderson, who has “taken” several seats.

“I want to remember my family and I want to show appreciation to the community,” Harvin said. “Those are the basic reasons, but this is also a fun thing. This is a really positive accomplishment for our town and I certainly want it to succeed.

“There’s the obvious fact that it is renovating and revitalizing downtown,” he added. “It’s also a show of pride in the community. That’s the biggest thing.”

“McGregor Hall belongs to all of the communities surrounding its central location in Henderson,” added Deadwyler. “We are seeing support grow from beyond Vance County’s borders to bring in friends from Granville, Franklin and Warren counties as well as Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and beyond.

“Contributions to McGregor Hall’s ‘Take-A-Seat’ campaign are welcomed from all individuals and organizations who will be enjoying the events our new theater is able to offer,” Deadwyler said.

“At every event, donors will have the pleasure of knowing their generosity has made it possible for someone else to experience the unique joy of entertainment, understanding and self-discovery that comes only with the performing arts available to our communities.”

For those who wish to make installments to make the contribution, the donation can be spread over four payments within the scope of a year. Credit card payments are accepted.

A brochure is available from McGregor Hall with more details on the project, and additional information and a pledge form are available on the web at Forms and payment information should be mailed to the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation, the Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall, P.O. Box 1333, Henderson, NC 27536.

Questions can be directed to Tommy Deadwyler at (252) 598-0662 or [email protected] or James Edwards, ECCF board treasurer, at (252) 213-8221 or [email protected].

Hendersonian Gerald Alston Returns To Perform With Grammy-Winning Group The Manhattans

Legendary Rhythm and Blues group The Manhattans, featuring lead-singer Gerald Alston, will perform at the newly opened McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson, N.C., on June 18th at 8 p.m.  Born and raised in Henderson, Alston has been singing with The Manhattans since 1970 and led the group to several chart-topping hits like the Grammy-winning song Shining Star.

The son of the Rev. J.B. Alston and Geraldine Harrison of Henderson, Alston was inspired by music at an early age, singing both gospel and secular music with his group The New Imperials. Along with his musically talented father, Alston’s uncle is the late Gospel-music great Johnny Fields of Henderson, a founding member of the group 5 Blind Boys of Alabama, and his aunt Shirley Alston-Reeves of Henderson is the lead singer of The Shirelles, a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame group. Along with earning a Grammy for the song Shining Star, Gerald Alston was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2015 after his 45-year career with The Manhattans as well as numerous solo records.

On June 18th, Alston will once-again perform in his hometown of Henderson as the lead singer of The Manhattans. “This concert is expected to be a sold-out show,” said Tommy Deadwyler, executive director of the newly opened McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson. “We are thrilled that Henderson’s new performing arts center allows us to host Gerald and his group within his hometown and we know the community is especially excited about this concert.”

ABOUT THE CONCERT: The Manhattans featuring lead-singer and Henderson-native Gerald Alston will perform at McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center (PAC) on June 18th at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale at, by calling (252) 598-0662 or by visiting the Box Office at 201 Breckenridge Street in Henderson. The 1,000-seat, state-of-the-art McGregor Hall PAC opened in February 2016 as part of Henderson’s revitalized downtown. Media passes available upon request. For interviews and more information, contact McGregor Hall’s Executive Director Tommy Deadwyler at (252) 598-0662 or email him at [email protected].