South Carolina Philharmonic


April 30, 2009

SCP presents North Carolina Symphony in Finlay Park

BB&T Blue Skies and Golden Sands tour features beach music and shag dancing in free concert.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Philharmonic is proud to present the North Carolina Symphony with dozens of performers on Wednesday, May 20 at a free, 8 p.m. outdoor concert in downtown Columbia’s Finlay Park.

More than two dozen artists will share the stage with the North Carolina Symphony in BB&T Blue Skies and Golden Sands, a celebration of the coastal Carolinas that continues a musical journey that began with Blue Skies and Red Earth in the fall of 2006.

The all-star cast includes Legends of Beach, a band comprised of five former members of The Embers. Also joining the Symphony are the Monitors, the Gospel Jubilators, Native American flutist Arnold Richardson, vocalist and concertina player Jeff Warner, vocalist Laurelyn Dossett, and dancers Heidi Kulas and Tyler Mercereau. NPR’s Frank Stasio will be the narrator.

Conceived, in part, to celebrate the orchestra’s 75th anniversary, the 2006 Blue Skies and Red Earth concerts brought the orchestra together with some of North Carolina’s finest folk musicians for a grand homage to the state’s musical heritage. But in spite of the sheer depth and breadth of the homegrown traditions showcased in Blue Skies and Red Earth, those performances by no means exhausted North Carolina’s musical resources.

Music Director Grant Llewellyn is looking forward to performing this enduring music with the orchestra. “As a Welshman,” he says, “I come from a country of people who love to sing and play traditional music. Our Blue Skies and Red Earth program was my first introduction to the music of North Carolina and I’m thrilled to continue my education, this time in the music of the coastal Carolinas, and bring it to new audiences in our area.”

Beach music, with its unique rhythms and moods is, as most native Carolinians know, the inspiration for a style of swing dancing known as the Carolina Shag. Once found most commonly at beach clubs and dance pavilions from Wilmington to Myrtle Beach, shag dancing is now performed all over the Southeast and has even become the official dance of both North and South Carolina.

BB&T Blue Skies and Golden Sands both celebrates this music and explores its roots as well, diving deeply into the history of coastal Carolina music. The concert begins with a tribute to the first music makers and dancers of eastern North Carolina, the many Native American tribes who first inhabited the region, and continues through the centuries right up to the beach music that still rocks Carolina nights.


Jason Rapp, Communications Director
South Carolina Philharmonic
721 Lady Street, Suite B, Columbia SC 29201
(P) 803.771.7937   (F) 803.771.0268

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