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Salisbury Symphony goes country, to perform alongside Darrell Harwood

Staff report

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Symphony Orchestra may be about to make history, country-style.

On May 5, the symphony will become one of the first orchestras in the nation to perform alongside a country music band when it presents a joint concert at Keppel Auditorium with country singer Darrell Harwood.

Harwood, who hails from China Grove, is a prolific country music artists, performing more than 150 shows up and down the East Coast each year.

His accolades include the 2016 Country Music Association Country Male Artist Award and 2017 Carolina Artist Showdown Humanitarian Award. But the upcoming concert may top them all, he says.

“Performing with the Salisbury Symphony is one of the highest honors I’ve received,” Harwood says. “It’s great for me to join forces with such a major Rowan County music-making organization. If you want a one-of-a-kind night of live music, this is your chance.”

The first half of the concert will feature the orchestra performing well-known Western tunes including Bernstein’s “Magnificent Seven,” Williams’ “Cowboys Overture,” Copland’s “Rodeo,” Albert’s “Western Suite” and Daughtery’s “American Gothic: Pitchfork.”

The second half of the concert will feature Harwood and his band and will include orchestral arrangements of Harwood’s original songs including “Out With a Bang,” “One for the Money,” “Fixer Upper,” “Love You More,” “Stand Together,” “Mama, I Hate to See You Cry” and “Magic Cowboy Hat.”

Harwood has developed a loyal following with his fast-paced, high-energy country rock.

Music Director David Hagy will lead the 60-piece Salisbury Symphony Orchestra in the concert.

John Stafford, director of music ministries at First Presbyterian Church as well as music director for musicals at Lee Street theatre and Piedmont Players, is arranging Harwood’s music for orchestra.

Keppel Auditorium will be transformed into a country music venue with a light show and special effects.  Breaking from symphony concert tradition, audience members will be encouraged to get in the spirit and wear cowboy hats, cowboy boots, jeans and the like.

The lounge will open at 5.30 p.m. with Morgan Ridge’s Pop-Up Bar, which will serve wine, beer, light snacks and sodas throughout the evening.

The concert begins at 7.30 p.m.

There will be an after party with Harwood, where guests can meet the artists and have a photo and autograph opportunity.

Admission to the after party is $5. All proceeds go to the Salisbury Symphony.

Audience members wearing Darrell Harwood-branded apparel will get free access to the after party. 

Tickets range from $25 to $5 and can be purchased at www.salisburysymphony.org or by calling 704-216-1513.

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