Raffle tickets to win one of Judith Beyer’s guitars are available at the Murphy Art Center downtown, where it is on display.

SCOUTING AROUND: Big Valley concert supports music scholarship

   Music lovers will come together Friday night to support the future of music. The second annual Support Big Valley Music Benefit Concert returns to The Daily Grind & Wine in downtown Murphy to raise funds for the Judith Beyer Memorial Music Scholarship.
   The scholarship will be presented by the Cherokee County Arts Council to a high school senior pursuing a degree in any music field. The free concert, which raises funds primarily through a tip jar and raffles, starts at 5 p.m. with a performance from Lindsay Beth Harper of Mineral Bluff, Ga.
   The well-known band Gnarly Fingers is the headlining act. Other local acts include Scott Stambaugh & Friends (Stambaugh, Colby Beck and Tom Pelczynski) and Dottie (a new band formed by Johnny Scroggs and Chad Johnson).
   Just before Gnarly Fingers performs, there will be a drawing for a guitar once owned by Beyer. The like-new guitar is a mahogany Epiphone acoustic with electric pickups for an amplifier with a built-in tuner. It is valued at about $400, plus comes with a hard-shell case and stand.
   The guitar was donated by Diane and Tom Pelczynski, Beyer’s friends and neighbors who cared for her as she battled cancer. Beyer died on Dec. 21, 2015.
   “I was very honored that they trusted me with one of her valued instruments, and I thought Judith would love it,” said Shelly Stephens, the council board member organizing the event and scholarship. “She gifted many of our musician friends with many of her instruments before her passing.”
   Stephens said the Pelczynskis have been very supportive since Stephens suggested creating the scholarship during Beyer’s wake. Stephens also has worked closely with Lane Lowe, owner of The Daily Grind, to organize the annual concert.
   The raffle gives those in attendance an opportunity to win one of two works of local art, a painting by Tim Ford and stained-glass cleft note by Jeanne Roche. The pieces, which graciously were donated by the artists, are valued at more than $200 each.
   Raffle tickets are available throughout the week at $5 each, or $20 for five tickets, at The Daily Grind, Murphy Art Center and Parsons Pub. Tickets will continue to be available to purchase until just before the drawing. Winners do not have to be present at the concert to win. All proceeds from the event – including tips – go toward the scholarship.
   The council plans to raise enough funds to provide a $2,000 scholarship this year. Students interested in applying should contact their music teacher, guidance counselor or David Vowell, director of the arts council.
   The scholarship is open to all high school seniors in Cherokee, Clay and Graham counties. The application deadline is Friday, April 27, and is scheduled to be awarded Saturday, May 19.

50/50 show returns Friday
   The seventh annual 50/50 Art Show will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Andrews Art Museum, on the second floor of the Valleytown Cultural Arts Center downtown. The show features 50 works of art from local and regional artists, each available to purchase for $50.
   Each artist may submit up to three pieces for the show. Museum director Tom Vogler said there would be 25-35 artists participating this year, with many pieces being “worth considerably more.” The show is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, with funding from the National Endowment of the Arts.
   Money raised from the show – half of the price of each sold work goes to the artist, while the other half goes to the museum – will go toward hardware for displaying artwork, which will be used to help fund future exhibits at the museum, Vogler said.
   The show will feature the musical talents of Paul Constantine, more commonly known as Dr. Paul. The local musician gained national fame as a contestant on The Voice in 2015.
   “It’s quite an honor and privilege to have him play at our local art center,” Vogler said.
   The show also features two local authors, Wally Avett and William Roy Pipes, who will present and sign their books.
   “I’m very grateful for all of the artists, musicians and writers who help to make this event a success,” Vogler said.
   There will be two other opportunities to see the show and purchase pieces. The museum will be open during the Andrews Earth Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21, as well as during the Community Youth Players/ACT 2 Dinner Theater from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, May 5.
   Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.