2/27/2019 6:41:00 AM Burnett Sisters Concert Sunday At Cultural Center
(Photo Courtesy Robert Davezac, International Bluegrass Music Assn.)
Lincoln Herald File Photo
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
When we tell you that Colin Ray is going to be playing at the Lincoln Cultural Center this Sunday afternoon (March 3rd), we're not talking about the country music star who is now a senior citizen. That's Collin Raye, and that's his stage name. The Colin Ray we're talking about is a 2015 graduate of Lincoln Charter School from Lincolnton, son of Tom and Michelle Ray, brother of Justin, and a rising star on the bluegrass music scene.
Colin (ours, not the other one) didn't set out to be a professional musician. He started taking guitar lessons from Jim McCurry while he was in kindergarten. When Jim's music store closed, he began taking lessons from Darin Aldridge. Shortly after starting with Darin, he switched over to banjo (while he was in the 4th grade), and then the mandolin. He didn't perform professionally until he was a junior at East Tennessee State University. That's where a friend asked him to join a group known as Dreamcatcher--all ETSU students--and he did.
Colin's degree from ETSU isn't in music--it's in Spanish (and he graduated last year summa cum laude!). He may teach Spanish someday, but for now, he's decided on pursuing his musical ambitions.
When we talked with him Tuesday (Feb. 26th) he told us studying at ETSU was a big part of what sent him in pursuit of a musical career. He told us ETSU has the best bluegrass music program in the country. "While at East Tennessee State University, I had the opportunity to play in the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band, which is the top bluegrass band in the program. This past year I had the opportunity to fill in with Dailey and Vincent and got to play at the Grand Ole Opry with them four times. I now am the lead singer and guitar player for Jeff Parker and Company and play banjo with the Burnett Sisters (Kathleen, Anissa, Sophia and Anneli) when my schedule allows." This Sunday is one such occasion.
While most local folk may be attending the Sunday 3 PM concert at the Lincoln Cultural Center to see and hear Colin, since they are the group whose name is on the marquis, we should tell you a bit more about the Burnett Sisters.
Ranging in ages 12 to 22, the Burnett Sisters Band consists of five members (the sisters and Colin) who create a unique blend of music in the folk, oldtime, and bluegrass traditions. Establishing themselves as a gospel quartet, all four sisters began singing and playing together at local venues and churches in their early youth with the inspiration of other family bands. Currently performing professionally as a five-piece string band at events and festivals across the South, they've established a name as a highly entertaining, engaging, and delightful group of musicians with haunting sibling harmony vocals. The sisters--Kathleen, Anissa, Sophia and Anneli Burnett--are products of the very successful JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) program and based in Boone. They strive to carry on the oldtime and bluegrass traditions, while providing their own characteristic renditions of classic favorites and originals.
Admission to the concert for non-members of the Lincoln Concert Association, the sponsor of the concert, is $20 for adults, $5 for students and tickets will be available at the door. Members of the Concert Association are admitted with no additional charge to the four concerts locally each year--plus concerts of other concert associations in Gastonia, Statesville and Albemarle. There is one more local concert planned for the 2018-2019 season: Orquestra Mayor, a Latin band, May 5th at the Cultural Center.
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