Country star to perform at Tar River Orchestra’s summer show

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Larry Gatlin


Telegram Correspondent

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Crocker Farm will host the Tar River Orchestra’s Soulful Summer concert on Saturday.

Ticket holders can stake out their spots on the grass beginning at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and can bring chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and small shade tents. The concert starts at about 6 p.m. It is a rain or shine event.

Special guest will be Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers, an iconic country and gospel music singer and songwriter.

Also performing will be the local band Refried Beans and the Tar River Children’s Chorus.

Crocker Farm has been the site of the orchestra’s big summer concert for a few years. Brenda Crocker said she and her husband’s love for the Tar River Orchestra motivates their generosity in opening their home up to the public for this annual event.

The Crockers have been involved with the Tar River Orchestra since its inception in 1986. Brenda Crocker was the first general manager of the orchestra and her husband has been the chairman of the board for the past 32 years, stepping down just this year. Jean Bailey is the current chairwoman of the board.

“We got involved years ago because there was no local source for orchestral music,” Crocker said. “With great sponsors, patrons and fundraisers, we were able to help create something really wonderful for Rocky Mount. You don’t have to pay high ticket prices, drive to Raleigh, deal with the traffic. We are lucky enough to have wonderful musicians and music here in our hometown.”

The Tar River Orchestra has grown over the years and supports four ensembles in addition to the orchestra: The Swing Band, Adult Chorus, Children's Chorus and Youth Strings

Tar River Orchestra manager Jennifer Harris said the group received a grant from the Nash County Tourism Development Authority, which is helping to pay for the cost of the concert.

“We were seeking to hire an artist that may bring in people from outside of Rocky Mount,” Harris said. “Larry Gatlin is well known and has been performing for many years. He is also used to performing with live orchestra so he seemed like a great choice.”

Harris said about 30 Tar River Orchestra League volunteers will help to produce the Soulful Summer concert.

Crocker Farm is located at 3358 Turkey Foot Road in Rocky Mount. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at tarriverlive.com or at the gate at the event. Tickets for children and college students are free. Red Oak United Methodist Church will have food for sale at the event.