A new holiday tradition
Rep. Patrick McHenry is planning his "first annual" Christmas dinner.The Dec. 17 fundraiser at the Holiday Inn Select in Hickory costs $100 per couple. To attend a private reception beforehand with former Gov. Jim Martin, "patrons" pay $250 per couple, "sponsors" pay $500 per couple, and "hosts" pay $1,000 per couple.
N.C. musicians play White House
Jeff Perks has played piano while folks have prayed, dined and cruised.
Now the Denver, N.C., resident gets to show his talent for guests strolling through the White House.
Perks is one of the musical entertainers selected to perform at a series of receptions hosted by President Bush and first lady Laura Bush.
Perks is scheduled to play Dec. 19-20 at two holiday open houses for invited guests.
He describes his songs as "elegant dinner type music."
Perks got a piano performance degree at the University of South Carolina and lived in Charlotte between 1991 and 2002 while playing at venues such as the Providence Baptist Church and the now-closed Bravo restaurant.
He left for four years to play on Carnival Cruise Lines ships.
Back in the area for the last year and a half, he can be heard at Denver United Methodist Church, the East Lincoln Community Chorus, and the Speedway Club at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He also teaches piano to children and adults and has seven CDs.
Perks, 45, says he played his first wedding when he was 13, and he got the White House gig through a more recent matrimonial event. An assistant to Laura Bush was singing at a wedding where he was the accompanist.
"I'll be playing holiday favorites," he said. "They said you can play anything you want as long as it is all holiday music."
On tap are classics like "Home for Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
Perks isn't the only Carolinian on the White House list of entertainers.
The 4 Bows String Quartet from Mooresville was scheduled to play Saturday. Others on tap include the Sherwood Forest Elementary Songsters from Winston-Salem on Tuesday,
Angela Ballard and Charlie Tipton from Iron Station on Saturday, the UNC Asheville Chamber Singers on Dec. 19, and 4 For One from Lincolnton on Dec. 21.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Christmas with Pat and George