‘Celebrate the Block’ fundraiser moves to Berry Temple church

Audrey DuBois Harris will perform at Celebrate the Block on Friday, Aug. 29.
Audrey DuBois Harris will perform at Celebrate the Block on Friday, Aug. 29.

Press Release

Eagle Market Street Corp.

Downtown neighbors are celebrating the revitalization of the block at the intersections of Eagle and Market Streets. Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation (EMSDC) and Asheville Lyric Opera (ALO) are partnering for an event Friday, August 29 to recognize the revitalization of the historic buildings on Eagle and Market Streets. Celebrate the Block will be an evening of world class musical entertainment and a chance to celebrate long held relationships and to build new relationships with community members who are passionate about the revitalization of the historic neighborhoods here in Asheville.

Bringing recognition to this exciting new venture, Celebrate the Block will entertain guests with the talents of international gospel, jazz, and opera singer Audrey DuBois Harris. In an effort to create a more intimate setting for a world class performer to share her talents with the Asheville community, Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation and Asheville Lyric Opera have moved the Celebrate the Block Friendraiser to the historic Berry Temple United Methodist Church at 34 College Place, Asheville NC 28801.

The historic Berry Temple United Methodist Church is located across the street from the Allen Home School for Girls, one of the first schools in the Asheville area that was solely for the education of the African American female community. The school was built in 1897 and was an all-girls school until 1941 when it was accredited by the state of North Carolina and became Allen High School. Berry Temple United Methodist Church served as the chapel for the school until 1974 when the school shut down.

As an avid recitalist and concert performer, Audrey DuBois Harris has sung with the Gerda Lissner Foundation at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, a September 11th remembrance ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC., The Marcello Giordani Foundation Gala Concert at Merkin Hall honoring opera soprano, Renata Scotto, and as a soloist on tour with The American Spiritual Ensemble. She performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for both the premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ mass: ‘Abyssinian 200: A Celebration’ and the occasion of Wynton Marsalis’ 50th Birthday celebration broadcast on PBS conducted by Composer/ Arranger/ Conductor/ Pianist, Damien Sneed. American conductor and founder of Opera Orchestra of NY, Eve Queler featured Ms. DuBois Harris in her gala concert entitled: Eve Queler & Friends in Blandford, MA. She also performed as a special guest artist in concert with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera under the baton of Anthony Morss, and as a guest artist in concert with the Palm Beach Opera under the baton of Maestro Anton Guadagno.

In 2014, Audrey DuBois Harris was featured on the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Praise the Lord program. Hosted by Gospel Superstar and multiple Grammy, Dove & Stellar awards winner, Pastor Donnie McClurkin. Ms. DuBois Harris was the ‘Official Day Soloist’ for the 105th Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Mo., which aired LIVE around the world and a guest artist for the 133rd Annual Session of The National Baptist Convention in Charlotte, NC. In addition, she was the guest artist for the 13th Annual Keepers of the Dream Awards in NYC where President Barack Obama gave the special keynote address. She has traveled the country extensively singing and promoting her Classical/ Gospel CD: Testimony; a soaring, inspirational collection of beloved and cherished hymns of faith. No matter the venue, critics and audiences have hailed her for her luminous voice, passion and artistry. A native of Miami, Florida, Ms. DuBois Harris is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts and The Juilliard School in NYC.

Among the attendees for Celebrate the Block are local and state leaders, board members of YMI Cultural Center, EMSDC, and ALO, as well as others who have an interest in revitalizing the historic community.

Celebrate the Block will be held Friday, August 29, 6-8 pm at the Berry Temple United Methodist Church. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling the Asheville Lyric Opera Office at 828-236-0670. Please note seating is limited. Donations will be accepted.

About Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation
Founded in 1994 as a non-profit organization, EMSDC’s mission is to develop people, property and businesses and envisions economic and social justice and growth for all. ESMDC strives to develop a cooperative and collaborative environment that fosters local, regional and global healthy, sustainable communities. For more information about EMSDC, contact Stephanie Swepson-Twitty, President/ CEO at 828-281-1227.

About Asheville Lyric Opera
ALO is a professional, non-profit opera company celebrating its 16th Anniversary. ALO’s mission is to build a professional opera company in Asheville and present an educational outreach within area school and universities, thereby becoming part of and enhancing the life of the family of arts and culture in Western North Carolina. For more information about ALO, contact David Starkey, General and Artistic Director at 828-236-0670.

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About Carrie Eidson
Carrie Eidson is a multimedia journalist and editor at Mountain Xpress. She can be reached at ceidson@mountainx.com.

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