By Scott Baughman
The dulcet tones of classical and contemporary music will once again echo from the walls of the Hickory Nut Gorge this June as the Lake Lure Music Festival returns to the are for the first time since 2019.
Festival organizer Christropher Dolman says the success of that inaugural 2019 show made the idea of a follow-up for the event a foregone conclusion, but then the COVID-19 pandemic struck and plans had to be put on hold.
“When my wife and I first started coming to the area in 2017, we could already see how many local people were so good about supporting Lake Lure Classical Academy and the local food bank, and then seeing how active everyone was, I asked myself what I could do to help out,” Dolman said. “I am a former actor and now a director in New York and so my wife Cathi and I are friends with musicians and actors and many others from that world.”
Dolman said the idea of bringing some of the Big Apple’s talent to the lake came about naturally, but it wasn’t always easy to get the performers schedules and the endeavor to line up.
“We knew that Brevard Music Center is obviously an artistic place for the area in Western North Carolina,” Dolman said. “I produce theater and we’ve been there. And I was wondering what it would be like to produce music.”
Dolman says the festival team hatched the idea over a couple days, and the response was strong for a classical music festival. The classical music could be the anchor, but they also wanted to bring in some other styles of music.
“Rutherford County is really becoming more dynamic,” he said. “So this year we’re bringing in some more musicians and some broadway hits.”
The 2022 festival will be two nights – Friday, June 17 and Saturday June 18. On Friday the theme will be “A Night on Broadway” featuring Laura Woyasz who played Glinda the Good With in “Wicked” on Broadway for five years. The show will start at 6 p.m. at The Pavilion at Rumbling Bald on Lake Lure. Premium Pavilion Seating will be $75 and includes buffet hors d’oeuvres and one complimentary wine or beer. General admission tickets for lawn seats are $35 and children 15 and under are $15.
On June 18, the theme will be “An Evening of Mozart +” with many classical musicians including clarinetist Mark Nuccio who is returning for the 2022 event. The concert will happen at the Lake Lure Classical Academy Raptor Center Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 for premium seating, $35 for General admission and $15 for children 15 and under.
“We were very fortunate to have great musicians in 2019 and did our first LLMF at the Raptor Center,” Dolman said. “And we are thrilled to have so many of them back for this year. We also want to have community tickets that are more affordable and worked to support the school and to the HNG Outreach. We’ve done that even during the pandemic. We want to expand that idea and find need where we can and do our part to help out.”
Despite the postponement of the 2020 Festival to the summer of 2022 the Lake Lure Music Festival donated $1000 to the Lake Lure Classical Academy and $500 to the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach.
In 2022, the festival will make a donation to the Lake Lure Community Education Foundation in support of the LLCA as well as the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach.
Lake Lure Music Festival to reprise performance
By Scott Baughman