The Batte Center announces 2012-13 season performances

Amy Grant is scheduled to perform at the Batte Center on Oct. 20
Contact: Kim Williams
Communications Writer

Laura Kratt
Director of Cultural Events

Wingate, NC –Wingate University announces their 14th Annual Performance Series featuring a diverse array of legendary performers, regional collaborations and cultural adventures during the 2012–13 season. Bluegrass, holiday brass and a little bit of magic are all planned at The Batte Center.

The season kicks off in Sept. with Exploring the Himalayas: A View from the Top of the World. This campus-wide, month-long exploration of the people and places of Tibet and Nepal will offer the community engaging performances, dynamic speakers and photographic exhibitions. Visiting Tibetan Lamas (monks) as part of The Mystical Arts of Tibet’s week-long residency will construct a traditional Tibetan colorful mandala sand painting and wrap up the week with a performance of ancient temple dances and multiphonic chanting in the Batte Center.

Taking audiences from the ridiculous to the sublime, N.C. humorist Jeanne Robertson and Grammy Award winner Amy Grant will be making their Union County debut. Presented in partnership with Music for a Cure Union County, the legendary bluegrass band Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out will be joined by local bands A Deeper Shade of Blue and The Hinson Girls for a bluegrass blowout to benefit the Levine Cancer Center. Music by the charismatic Sam Cooke, best known for his chart-topping hits Chain Gang and Twistin’ the Night Away and You Send Me, will take center stage in The Cooke Book by Broadway triple threat, Darrian Ford. The music continues with the singer-songwriter talents of Loudon Wainwright and one of the leading groups in Irish traditional music, Cherish the Ladies. Master illusionist Jason Bishop will deliver breathtaking feats of magic and innovative Toronto artist Evalyn Parry will take audiences on a musical and theatrical journey in SPIN.

Audiences will have two great choices for ringing in the holiday season. The legendary Canadian Brass will perform a special holiday concert of classic secular and sacred Christmas music with help from the Wingate University Choir. For fans of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Gathering will bring together band member Rhiannon Gibbons and Laurelyn Dossett along with a stellar string band for a concert that the Wall Street Journal says is “What the season sounded like before shopping and Irving Berlin.”

The Batte Center presents its 2012-13 season performances:
Mystical Arts of Tibet: Sacred Music & Dance on Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The celebrated multiphonic singers from Tibet’s Drepung Loseling monastery share their centuries-old sacred traditions.

The Jason Bishop Show on Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. From a breathtaking double levitation to cutting edge op-art and plasma illusions, Jason Bishop features award-winning sleight of hand, grand illusions and close-up magic projected on a huge screen so you can see for yourself.

Amy Grant on Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. With six Grammys and numerous Dove Awards to her credit, Amy Grant was the first breakthrough contemporary Christian artist to dominate the pop charts.

Loudon Wainwright III on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. With 40+ years of songwriting and performing under his belt, Loudon has a wealth of material to draw upon and an ever-sharpening wit that finds humor and wisdom in topics ranging from the profound to the mundane.

Canadian Brass: A Holiday Concert on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. With an international reputation for combining consummate musicality with a signature style, Canadian Brass has truly earned the distinction of “the world’s most famous brass group.” Special guest: The Wingate Concert Choir

The Gathering on Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. Featuring the distinct voices of Laurelyn Dossett and Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) and backed by an all-star string band, The Gathering breathes new life into traditional Christmas music and introduces fresh new songs of the season.

The Cooke Book: The Music of Sam Cooke on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. From gospel roots to pop sensation, relive the music and experience the magic of Sam Cooke. This singing son of a Baptist minister had over 29 Top 40 hits including Chain Gang, Twistin’ the Night Away and You Send Me. This dynamic tribute features Darrian Ford, who effortlessly captures the charisma and high spirits of The Man Who Invented Soul. “Darrian raises the bar for male vocalists everywhere.” -The Philadelphia Daily News

Cherish the Ladies on Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. “Cherish the Ladies has been a leading group in the Irish traditional world for more than a decade… it is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do.” -The Boston Globe

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out Opening Acts: A Deeper Shade of Blue and The Hinson Girls on Mar. 2 at 6 p.m. Named IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year two years running, Russell Moore is at the top of his game and fronting a stellar bluegrass band. Presented in partnership with Music for a Cure Union County. Proceeds to benefit the Levine Cancer Center.

SPIN on Apr. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Innovative, award-winning Toronto artist Evalyn Parry takes her audience on a theatrical and musical journey in SPIN, her tour-de-force performance celebrating the bicycle as muse, musical instrument and agent of social change.

Jeanne Robertson on Apr. 7 at 4 p.m. Whether regaling audiences with her experiences as a 6’2? Miss Congeniality winner in the Miss America Pageant or tales of life with her husband, “Left Brain,” she delivers family-friendly comedy with class that will have you rolling in the aisles.

Tickets go on sale to season subscribers and members of the Batte Center Friends group on Monday, May 21 by mail, email, phone and fax. To subscribe, patrons can buy three or more shows and Friends of the Batte memberships start at $50. Single tickets will go on sale to the general public on Aug. 6. Tickets will be mailed out in Aug. Visit Wingate University’s Batte Center website at for a complete schedule of events, ticket prices, as well as subscriber and membership information or call 704-233-8300.

Opened in 1999, the George A. Batte, Jr. Fine Arts Center presents events in the McGee Theatre, Plyler-Griffin Recital Hall and Austin Auditorium. Located just a short, 5 minute drive from Monroe, The Batte is just two blocks off of Highway 74 and 30 miles southeast of Charlotte. Free parking is plentiful and all three performance spaces are handicap accessible.

About Wingate University
Wingate University, ranked as the 8th "best value" in the South by U.S. News & World Report, serves more than 2,500 students on three campuses in Wingate, Matthews and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the University offers 34 undergraduate majors, 37 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy and education. With a 14 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support needed to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life.

In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports. The University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past six years. For more information, go to