GrassStreet Opens For The HillBenders’ During April 1st Concert At McGregor Hall

HENDERSON, N.C. (March 16, 2017)— On April 1st, Vance County’s Bluegrass band GrassStreet will perform live on the stage of McGregor Hall Performing Arts & Learning Center as they open for The HillBenders. GrassStreet is comprised of Wayne Kinton on guitar, David Kinton on upright bass and mandolin, Ricky Hargis on banjo and Tab Kearns on dobro.

Since 2003, GrassStreet has performed across the state and region, offering a high-energy mix of original material and Bluegrass standards. The band is noted for their unique ability to cover musical styles ranging from Rock to Blues to Jazz, which sets them apart from the average Bluegrass band.

GrassStreet recently released the album “Time Moves On,” which was produced by Steve Dilling and recorded at Reminiscence Recording Studio in Henderson, N.C. Thirteen of the 14 tracks on “Time Moves On” are original compositions by the four band members collectively, drawing from personal family situations such as depicted in the tunes “Cotton Miller’s Lament,” “Time Moves On” and “Going to Caroline.” Additional favorites include the Civil War era tune “Warren County Clay,” several songs of faith such as “Look Beyond Life’s Storms,” and a song about a late night car race, “Street Fight.”

“We are pleased to have GrassStreet perform on the McGregor Hall stage for the first time,” said Tommy Deadwyler, Executive Director of McGregor Hall Performing Arts and Learning Center. “Not only is it an honor to support these local musicians, but the band’s level of talent is stupendous and concert-goers will be in awe by the energy and excitement that they bring.”

Equally talented, according to Deadwyler, are The HillBenders, which will headline the April 1st concert. Also a Bluegrass band, The HillBenders will perform their unique version of songs from The Who’s “Tommy” album, one of the biggest “Rock operas” of all time.

Originally composed by guitarist Pete Townshend, “Tommy” by The Who tells the story about a deaf, dumb and blind boy, including his experiences with life and the relationship with his family. The original album has sold 20 million copies and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant value.”

With a stylish mix of musicianship and rock-star vocals, The HillBenders will bring Pete Townshend’s original vision to life in a new and exciting way during the concert at McGregor Hall Performing Arts and Learning Center on April 1st 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, N.C. For more information, contact McGregor Hall’s Executive Director Tommy Deadwyler at (252) 598-0662 or email him at [email protected]

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

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.

Contemporary Christian Music Legend Sandi Patty Makes Henderson The Only North Carolina Stop On Her Farewell Tour’s Fall Lineup

HENDERSON, N.C. (August 16, 2016)—Legendary contemporary Christian artist Sandi Patty is set to perform at the newly opened McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson, N.C., on September 17th at 7:30 p.m.  The event will be Sandi’s only North Carolina stop this fall on her worldwide farewell tour that celebrates her latest album “Forever Grateful.”

Sandi is the most awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music history with five Grammy awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three platinum records, five gold records, more than 40 Dove awards, and 12 million units sold. Sandi was introduced to the world with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. Virtually overnight she became one of the country’s best-loved performers. Among her proclaimed concerts, Sandi has performed during three separate Presidential Inaugurations as well as at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“What a privilege it has been to share my story and faith through song for so many years,” Sandi says. “My heart is full of gratitude for so many who have been along this journey with me. I could never have imagined my career taking me to so many amazing places and meeting so many people who have changed my life forever. My desire is to use this next season and the ‘Forever Grateful’ tour as an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to as many people as possible.”

As part of her farewell tour, Sandi will feature songs from her newly released album “Forever Grateful” as well as special guests Veritas, an Inspirational Music group, and performances from members of her family. A portion of the proceeds from the tour will also be donated to World Vision, the international children’s support organization.

“Sandi is not only a legendary Christian artist, she is a worldwide humanitarian,” said Tommy Deadwyler, executive director of McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson. “We are honored that she has selected Henderson’s new performing arts center for her Forever Grateful farewell tour and will be able to share her inspiring messages of faith and hope to our community.”

ABOUT THE CONCERT: Sandi Patty will perform at McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center on September 17th at 7:30 p.m. 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. Interviews, press materials and media passes are available upon request.

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].