Page 1

April 2018

Jamming at Richard’s Coffee Shop

Emerson Carter Singing and songwriting in her subtle way LAKE NORMAN 

Nuptials Section

THE EASTON MILLS Memorial Workout Challenge

Hanging out at PHPhysique Fitness Boutique DAVIDSON ICE HOUSE flexes its freshness

Billy Jones makes a nest


Cornelius, North Carolina | | 704.727.4170

The location, the style, the feeling you get when you walk through the door – every aspect of your home should be a reflection of who you are, where you’ve been and the life you aspire to live. Your best life begins with a home that inspires you. Call us today and let us find your inspiration. 877.539.9865

Asheville | 828.277.3238 Banner Elk | 828.898.5022

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Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.




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Contents April 2018 vol. 11 No. 4

24  Make a Mess Billy Jones’ Birdnest

offers more than music

34  Thoughts from the Man Cave The “case” for music

Photo of Emerson Carter at Old Town Public House in Cornelius by Brant Waldeck

Channel Markers Movers, shakers and more at the lake

15  Ryan’s Bridge gives adults with special needs a purpose

16  The Lake Norman Big Band

92  Out + About An Epic Evening at

plays for the love of it

the Carriage House

94  On the Circuit What’s happening at Lake Norman this month

96  Lori’s Larks Editor Lori K. Tate

dances her heart out at Cornelius’ Ludmila

APRIL 2018


About the Cover:

Lake Norman Nuptials


Love, ceremony and celebration

48  A day in the life of a wedding planner

50  A bride overcomes her wedding day regret


19  Take 10 — An evening with Kellie Pickler

20  The Easton Mills Memorial Workout Challenge turns pain into strength

28 S  potlight

Emerson Carter’s subtle songs will reel you in

Lake Spaces

How we live at the lake

68  Dwellings

Ally Whalen transformed a Mooresville lakeside house into a home

Dine + Wine

Eating, drinking, cooking and fun

36 T  rends + Style Get springy with it

84  Wine Time

Flatiron’s triple play

86  On Tap

The 2nd Annual Craft Beer SpringFest

87  In the Kitchen

with Jill Dahan

Too-Good-to-Believe Fudge Brownies

88  Nibbles + Bites

Davidson Ice House offers mealtime choices for all types of palates

38 G  ame On

Bungee workouts bring a spring to your training

Subscriptions are available for $30 per year.

Send us your name, address, phone number and a check made payable to Lake Norman CURRENTS at the address above and we’ll start your subscription with the next available issue.

10225 Hickorywood Hill Ave, Unit A, Huntersville, NC 28078 704.749.8788 |

Lake Norman CURRENTS is a monthly publication available through direct-mail home delivery to the most affluent Lake Norman residents. It also is available at area Harris Teeter supermarkets, as well as various Chambers of Commerce, real estate offices and specialty businesses. The entire contents of this publication are protected under copyright. Unauthorized use of any editorial or advertising content in any form is strictly prohibited. Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine is wholly owned by Oasis Magazines, Inc.

2014 Gold MarCom Award Winner for Design Excellence 2013 Platinum Award Winner for Magazine Special Edition 2013 Lake Norman Chamber Business of the Year

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54 S  pecial Section Wedding Services

Between the Beacons Charting Your Course to Retirement

Alternative Retirement Strategies

o you ever get the feeling that you might be missing out on a good thing, because no one has taken the time to explain alternative strategies? This can apply to investment strategies and health care strategies. Most folks we meet have the same old things in their retirement plans like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, REITS, variable annuities, CDs, etc. Frankly, very few people actually have a comprehensive plan that covers the key planning areas of income, investments, healthcare, legacy and tax planning like our Chart Your Course Retirement Plan does. And frankly, we think a lot of people are missing out. Fixed rates are low, the stock market can be volatile, and many folks are worried about the next crash. We’re in a “bond bubble”, and as interest rates rise, bond prices will fall. That brings a lot of concern for many people, and rightfully so. So, what’s one to do?

about reliable income in retirement. I’ve stressed this over and over as a retirement planner. So, what is a Fixed Indexed Annuity? I’ll keep it simple, and I’d encourage everyone to get in contact with me to learn more. An FIA is simply an annuity that guarantees that your principle is safe, but gives you the option to link to a market index (S&P, Dow, etc.) to potentially earn additional interest. If the index goes up, then you participate in the gains, the gains lock in, and the index baseline is reset. If the index goes down, then you might earn zero, but you won’t go backwards. So, you’re removing risk while preserving some potential for growth. Some FIAs get an upfront bonus, some have guaranteed income benefits that roll up at 6% - 10% per year, and some even have long term care features. Fees are typically no more than 1%, but most don’t even have fees unless you attach a rider for extra benefits. I can honestly tell you that over the past few years, we’ve had clients make double digit returns. Not bad for something that’s safe. You do have to commit to a period of time with annuities. This is called a surrender period, during which you only have limited access to the funds (typically 10% of your balance each year without penalty). Knowing they have your money for a while is what allows the insurance company to give you such strong guarantees. Overall, I think annuities can

Chart Your Course to Retirement Thursday April 12th & Tuesday April 17th ••• Epic Chophouse Mooresville ••• 6:30pm (doors open at 6:00pm) REGISTRATION REQUIRED TO ATTEND Call 704-660-0340 or email be a great piece in a retirement portfolio. So, don’t miss the boat! I have numerous studies that show the value of these products. All you have to do is ask, and I’ll get the reports to you. At JDS, everything we do is designed to take the worry out of your retirement. If you’d like to set up a visit to discuss your retirement and get your own Chart Your Course Retirement Plan, then give us a call. And remember: The purpose of the money dictates where you put it! Until Next Month, James D. Stillman

(704) 660-0214 119-F Poplar Pointe Drive Mooresville, NC 28117 James D. Stillman is a licensed insurance professional, Registered Financial Consultant, and Investment Advisor Representative. He is the founder and president of two companies: JDS Enterprizes, Inc. and JDS Wealth Management Corporation, a Registered Investment Advisory Firm. All content is intended for informational purposes only. Guarantees apply to certain insurance and annuity products (not securities, variable or investment advisory products) and are subject to product terms, exclusions, and limitations and the insurer’sclaims-paying ability and financial strength.

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James D. Stillman

This month I want to discuss the basics of one “alternative strategy” that’s been quite successful over the years for our clients and many others across the nation. It’s called a Fixed Indexed Annuity or FIA for short. Now I know many advisors, especially those that purely push investment strategies, have been bad mouthing annuities forever, so folks have been conditioned to hate annuities in general over the years. In my opinion, no investment or savings product should be classified as good or bad all of the time and advisors should not make blanket statements about any one product or strategy. All investments are both good, bad, and imperfect. It’s always give and take or trade off and compromise. In other words, you simply have to use the right tool for each specific job or goal, because no one tool can do all jobs well. Are annuities right for everyone? Absolutely not, but they can be the perfect solution in the right situation. The bottom line is this annuities are a multi-trillion dollar business and have provided both security and guaranteed income for millions of people over time dating back to the Roman Empire. Facts are facts, it is what it is, and you can do your own search on the history of annuities if you don’t believe me. How do you think the majority of pensions are funded? Yep, you guessed it, annuities. Anyone out there hate your pension? We like to call it “mailbox money”. It’s all

from Where I Sit

The magazine by and for the people who call Lake Norman home

Publisher MacAdam Smith

Time Travel

Advertising Director


Sharon Simpson

APRIL 2018


believe in time travel. I’m not talking about the kind that involves a DeLorean and Michael J. Fox. I’m talking about the kind that involves my minivan and SiriusXM radio. By turning this little knob on my dashboard, I can go anywhere. I can’t think of anything else that does this as effectively. If I’m feeling nostalgic about being a little girl, I can flip to 70s on 7 and get weepy to John Denver’s Sunshine on my Shoulders. If I want to tap into my high school days, 80s on 8 offers The Cars, REM and Guns & Roses. (I still remember the first time I heard Sweet Child O’ Mine. I was riding home from school in the backseat of my best friend’s brother’s Subaru. He clicked in the Appetite for Destruction cassette, and a new world of music opened to us all.) One of my favorite things to do is listen to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville station during the dead of winter. It might be rainy and cold outside, but in my car, we’re on a Caribbean vacation. And in the summer, there’s my beloved Yacht Rock, filled with cheesy hits by Ambrosia, Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. No one can resist the pull of Toto, no one. My love for music goes way back. When I was 5, my

Photo by Glenn Roberson

by Lori K. Tate

parents gave me a record player from Sears. It had decorative jean pockets on its case and only played 45s. One of my first records was KC and The Sunshine Band’s Shake Your Booty. (Probably not the most appropriate song for a young kid, but it was the ‘70s.) I played it until it had scratches all over it. Years later, I remember how excited I was to go to the record store with my own money and purchase Michael Jackson’s Rock With You. I stayed in my bedroom the whole night dancing to it. You can bet that’s the first thing I think of when that classic comes on the radio. Luckily I married a man who is just as passionate, if not more, about music as me. My husband, John, is the guy who reads the liner notes, places concert ticket stubs in the appropriate CD case and remembers who played with whom on which album. He’s

slowly making the shift to MP3s, but he will never give up his vinyl. It’s so much a part of who he is that we have a record player in our living room. When we have friends over for dinner, one of our favorite things to do after we eat is listen to records. We sit in the living room looking through stacks of albums, making fun of cover photos and requesting songs. It’s like playing a fun game, and our kids get in on it, too. Last year in their music class at school, the teacher held up a record and asked if anyone knew what it was. Our kids were the only two who did — a proud parenting moment for sure. While music can be enjoyed in so many ways now, one thing remains the same — its unifying power. You might disagree with someone about politics, religion or sports, but a good song can bring you together, even if it’s only for a few minutes. So as the days grow longer and the sun shines brighter, I plan on opening my sunroof and letting my time machine take me where it wants to go. I have a feeling it’s going to be somewhere tropical.

Advertising Sales Executives

Carole Lambert

Cindy Gleason

Beth Packard

Trisha Robinson

Social Media Specialist Michele Chastain

Design & Production idesign2, inc

Contributing Writers Holly Becker Trevor Burton Jill Dahan Bek Mitchell-Kidd Rosie Molinary Renee Roberson Mike Savicki

Contributing Photographers Editor

Lisa Crates Ken Noblezada Joe Purvis Brant Waldeck

Mission Statement: Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine will embody the character, the voice and the spirit of its readers, its leaders and its advertisers. It will connect the people of Lake Norman through inspiring, entertaining and informative content, photography and design; all of which capture the elements of a well-lived life on and around the community known as Lake Norman.


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Spring Boat Show | April 28 & 29 Membership and Boat Dealer incentives

We are your home on the water!

Whether it’s dining on our veranda or just splashing around our pool, every moment spent at The Peninsula Yacht Club is another opportunity to make a lasting memory.

To learn more about membership, visit: • 704-765-4093 •

LAKE NORMAN BOATING & WATER SPORTS FESTIVAL Kings Point Marina, May 5, 2018, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free admission with all proceeds benefitting local charities

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Local Restaurants & Food Trucks Free Boating & Water Safety Seminars Police & Fire Boat Interactive Exhibits Over $3000 in Raffle Prizes

Rain Date: 05/06/18

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Kids’ Activities: Facepainting, Bounce House, etc. Land & In-Water Boat Displays Boats for Sale through Marine Max Proceeds Donated to Local Charities

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$15 Adult $12 Children (2 - 17) & Seniors over 62 FREE! For Children under the age of 2 $8 Group Rate - 10+ visitors $8 Public Service (Military, Police, EMT, Firefighters, etc) $20 Thursday Evening Carnivore Feed Safari Tour $40 Individual Annual Pass $30 Overnight Safari Camp (May - September) $120 Family of 4 Annual Pass $100 Educational Animal Encounter

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channelMarkers Movers, Shakers, Style, Shopping, Trends, Happenings and More at Lake Norman

APRIL 2018


An Organized Future hen Kelly Richards’ son graduated from Community School of Davidson last May, she thought about what was next for his future. Her answer was founding Ryan’s Bridge. The nonprofit helps young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities transition from high school. “There were no programs in the area that were good options for us,” explains Richards, who lives in Mooresville. “I thought there might be other families in the area in the same boat.”

Last September, Ryan’s Bridge participants began meeting three days a week from 9 a.m. until noon in a room Richards rents from the Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson. Ryan’s Bridge focuses on providing its participants with educational, vocational and social opportunities. Participating families and donations fund the program. Courtney Whittington, a special education teacher, leads and plans the curriculum, which includes current events, reading, math and science,

Ryan’s Bridge gives adults with special needs a purpose

geography, and life skills. On Monday mornings, the group volunteers in the Ada Jenkins Center food pantry alongside other community volunteers. They also make play dough for the preschool at Ada Jenkins Center. “Ryan and so many special needs young adults need a more organized day,” Richards explains. “They need to have purpose and to be productive each day. Connecting with friends and the community are very important.” Three young adults are taking part in Ryan Bridge’s

inaugural year. A fourth participant attends social opportunities with the group. For now, Ryan’s Bridge operates on a fall to spring schedule. Richards’ goal is to grow the program to include more young adults with special needs and become a yearround program. — Holly Becker, photography by Lisa Crates 

Ryan’s Bridge Ada Jenkins Center Davidson Instagram @RyansBridge Facebook @RyansBridgeNC


Mooresville’s Kelly Richards with her son, Ryan. Kelly founded Ryan’s Bridge to help young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities transition from high school.


For the Long Run

The Lake Norman Big Band plays for the love of it

APRIL 2018

The Lake Norman Big Band has 20 talented members.


he Lake Norman Big Band has been swinging for more than 16 years. After a few of the original members spun off from the Lake Norman Orchestra in 2002, they started playing wherever they could, including street corners in Mooresville. The now 20-member strong band includes saxophones, trombones, trumpets, piano, guitar, bass and drums, all under the leadership of Band Director Ken Davis. The band often features additional percussionists for some spice, and guest vocalists regularly join the band. In February, the band performed a concert in Mooresville with Bobby Shew, a legendary trumpet player, who played in bands with Benny Goodman, Maynard Ferguson and more. The average age of the band members is mid-50s, but

audiences of all ages enjoy the music. President Richard Spangler explains that the band is a nonprofit. “This means we do not strive to make a profit for our performances,” he explains, adding that the band has financial needs such as new music, paying for guest artists, lighting and sound equipment maintenance, and storage costs. “I have played with the Lake Norman Big Band since August 2013. My intent was to be a substitute player and come as needed, but one of the thencurrent players was retiring and moved to Florida,” he recalls, “The rare spot opened, and I gladly accepted the invitation to join the band. Despite being one of the newest members, I was tricked into becoming president last September… it’s a labor of love.” A labor of love indeed, as

members are not paid. The band rehearses once a week and performs on the third Monday of the month at The Finish Line Restaurant & Lounge at George Pappas Victory Lanes in Mooresville. While some members are retired, there are many who balance work, family and time in the band. “This is one aspect that highlights the dedication and love our musicians have for the music,” says Spangler. “The schedule requires a commitment that is truly amazing and inspiring to me as president.” The band plays a high-energy assorted line-up of traditional big band era numbers, but it also features contemporary pieces that challenge the group musically and keep the crowd coming back. “We recognize the importance of meeting the expectations of our [audience]

dancers at our regular performance,” says Spangler. “We play a different set of music at each show to keep things fresh for everyone.” In addition to their home base at Finish Line, the band has also performed at several area locations over the years. Spangler says some of the band’s favorite lake spots include performing in Cornelius near the Veterans Monument, Langtree Plantation, Trump National Golf Club Charlotte and Downtown Statesville. “All of these venues are just beautiful,” he says, “and we love to share our music in these popular lake locations.” — Bek Mitchell-Kidd, photography by Brant Waldeck 

For more information regarding The Lake Norman Big Band, visit www.thelakenormanbigband. com or look for the group on Facebook.


We’re Just Crazy About

Years ago Huntersville’s Kayla Harris took a calligraphy class in high school as an elective. Later when she was getting married in September 2017, she drew the table numbers and seating chart for the ceremony. “At the point of my wedding, it was just something I liked to do for fun, but friends and family members started asking if I could make them custom pieces,” recalls Harris. “I thought that maybe if they are enjoying my work, others would as well.” With that in mind she started Muscadine Design Co. Right now she’s focused on making signs, mostly out of wood. She can customize small standalone wood signs, as well as large framed hanging designs. “The benefit to offering different styled signs, is that the client can really customize their piece to be exactly what they want,” Harris explains. “My most popular pieces have been family established, engagement, wedding and birth announcement signs.” The wording on the signs is hand painted (freehand) by Harris. Once the lettering is finished, she adds any hanging attributes requested. “I really just love the creativity behind it,” says Harris. “It allows my mind to be challenged, and I feel as my business is growing, I am growing, too.”

APRIL 2018

Signs by Muscadine Design Co. can be purchased on Etsy at Prices begin at $10, and Kayla Harris also does e-mail consultations.

Kayla Harris's signs are painted freehand and can be customized.

Photography courtesy of Kayla Harris

Signs by Muscadine Design Co.



pringtime is festival season in the Lake Norman area. On just about every weekend there’s some kind of street or park celebration going on somewhere in the area. Here’s a roundup of what to expect in April and May. Go out and have fun!

Cornelius ‘Tawba Walk Arts & Music Festival (April 14) ‘Tawba Walk is a multidimensional, eclectic art crawl that snakes through the heart of Old Town Cornelius, featuring dozens of local vendors, live street performances, shopping, food and more, showcasing the best Cornelius and the surrounding areas have to offer. 2-8 p.m. Free. Old Town Cornelius, APRIL 2018


Earth Day Celebration/Hooked on Cornelius (April 21) This family event features free “green” activities including arts and crafts, demonstrations, wildlife habitat improvements, nature walks, fishing and more. Fishing is limited, and preregistration is required. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Robbins Park, Cornelius, www. Healthy Kids Day (April 28) Enjoy all the Lake Norman YMCA has to offer and more. Time TBA. Free. Lake Norman YMCA, 21300 Davidson Street, Cornelius, www.

Davidson Art on the Green (April 21-22) This enormously popular event brings thousands of people to Davidson to enjoy art, live music and food. Art on the Green is a juried art festival featuring booths filled with top-quality art works from artists throughout the region. The weekend includes musical performances by a variety of local talents and a host of food choices from both on-site vendors and area

restaurants. Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun noon-4 p.m. Free. Davidson Village Green, Davidson Town Day (May 5) This annual festival brings everyone to town. Learn about community-oriented organizations, listen to music, play games and enjoy good food. Be sure to check out CURRENTS 8th Annual Canine Cover Contest at the event. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Davidson Village Green, Davidson,

Huntersville Spring Food Truck Rally (April 6) Enjoy more than 20 food trucks, NC Craft beer/wine, live music, bounce houses, games, hayrides and more. 5-9 p.m. $5 per vehicle. Historic Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, www. Loch Norman Highland Games (April 21-22) Come and experience highland dancing, bagpipe bands, highland athletics, a giant kids’ zone, Scottish merchants, haggis, Celtic rock and traditional performers, historic reenactments, Scottish country dancing, Sunday church service, hearth cooking, NC beer and wine, whiskey tastings, kilted running events, and Scottish clan societies. Sat 8 a.m.-until, Sun 4 p.m.-until. Ticket prices vary. Historic Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, Hello Huntersville (May 6) Head to downtown Huntersville to celebrate the works and talents of local artists and musicians, while you taste the fruits of local breweries, wineries and food trucks. STEM is a newly added component to this event from local businesses. 2-6 p.m. Free. Downtown Huntersville, www.

Spring is Festival Time North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival (May 11-12) Enjoy live bands and more types of North Carolina-brewed beer than you can count. Fri 11:30-10 p.m., Sat 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary. Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville,

Mooresville Uncorked & Artsy (April 13) Held each spring and fall, Uncorked & Artsy features wine and craft beer tastings at multiple Downtown Mooresville businesses and additionally showcases regional artists displaying and selling their works along Broad and Main Streets. 6-9 p.m. $25 advance, $30 at event. Downtown Mooresville, www. Festival of Food Trucks (April 14) Enjoy gourmet fare from a bunch of food trucks. Festival of Food Trucks takes place on North Main Street (between Moore Avenue and Iredell Avenue). Main Street from Moore Avenue to Iredell Avenue will be closed for the event, so bring a chair, hang out in the street and stay a while so you can check out food from around the area, listen to music and stroll the streets, and shop. 5-8:30 p.m. Free. Downtown Mooresville,

Compiled by Lori K. Tate

35th Annual Race City Festival (May 12) This Mooresville tradition features live music, 200 vendor booths, food trucks, a beer garden, arts, crafts and more. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Downtown Mooresville, www.mooresvillenc. com.

Statesville The Wine Walk (April 14) Stroll the streets of Downtown Statesville, where you’ll find more than 70 wines waiting to be tasted. Downtown shops will also be open for shopping. 4-7 p.m. $30 advance, $35 day of. Downtown Statesville, Spring Art Crawl (April 27) The Art Crawl showcases more than 40 artists in more than 30 galleries, shops and businesses scattered throughout the heart of Downtown Statesville. The crawl is self-guided and you can begin the crawl at any location. Look for sidewalk markers indicating a participating business. A program/map directing attendees to all the locations and listing all participating artists will be available at each location. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Downtown Statesville, www.

Art on the Green takes place April 21-22 on the Davidson Village Green.

Photography courtesy of the Town of Davidson

Live Like a Native


Take 10

Kellie Pickler’s Denver Gig invitations to the gig, so off we went to see the Stanly County native perform. (I was especially excited because I spent many summers in Stanly County at Lake Tillery, and my high school played Pickler’s high school in sports.) Despite the rain and a quick stop at Wendy’s for a cheeseburger, Pickler showed up at the Beams’ home and performed on their terrace. In between songs she answered questions about American Idol and her hometown. Sharon and I had a great time listening to her sing about her Red High Heels on the shores of Lake Norman. You never know where this magazine (or Sharon) will take you. — Lori K. Tate

APRIL 2018

his year marks the 10th anniversary of CURRENTS Magazine, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. As our staff looks back over the last 10 years, there are plenty of moments that stand out in our memories. That said, we’ve decided to share some of the best ones each month throughout 2018 in this column appropriately titled Take 10. In 2009, Sharon Simpson, one of the magazine’s co-founders and now the advertising director, heard that country music star Kellie Pickler was going to perform at Garry and Debbie Beam’s home on Governor’s Island in Denver. The Beams won the show from 96.9 The Kat. Somehow Sharon finagled two


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Turning Pain into Strength The Easton Mills Memorial Workout Challenge offers help and healing

APRIL 2018


hen Brandon and Liz Mills moved to Huntersville from Cincinnati in September 2016, it was important to them that they find a gym. They both researched the area and decided on the Lake Norman YMCA. Not only did it fulfill their exercise needs, but the lakeside facility also offered a welcoming place for their children, Grant and Easton. Most every day, Liz would attend the Y’s Functional Training Class, while Grant attended school at Huntersville Elementary and Easton charmed the staff in the Y’s childwatch area. “Easton called it her school,” recalls Liz. “She had to have her book bag like her brother. She owned that place.” Then on May 3 of last spring, Easton didn’t feel well, so Liz took a day off from working out and cancelled her daughter’s swim lesson at the Y for the day. “We just stayed home,” remembers Liz, who opted to clean her house that day. “I asked Easton if she wanted to help, and she said, ‘I help.’ I gave her a sponge, and she followed me around.” That night Easton began to feel worse, and by the next day she was so lethargic that her pediatrician sent her to Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Hospital in Concord. When her condition grew more serious, she was transferred to Levine Children’s Hospital during the night. On May 5, two-year-old Easton passed away due to an Atypical Teratoid Thabdoid Tumor (ATRT). According to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital website, ATRT is a rare and

fast-growing cancerous tumor of the brain and spinal cord. It is extremely rare in that it is found in fewer than 10 percent of children with brain tumors, and it is mostly seen in children age 3 and younger. “She was only sick a day,” says Liz, adding that the tumor wasn’t discovered until after Easton passed away. As Brandon, Liz and 7-year- Easton Mills old Grant try to navigate a new normal without Easton, they are determined to turn their pain into strength. One way they’re going about that is by holding the Easton Mills Memorial Workout Challenge at the Lake Norman YMCA on May 5. “I wanted to do a workout to honor her,” explains Liz. “I initially thought that it would be my workout friends doing a workout to honor her. Then someone said, ‘Why don’t we charge people? We can raise money for something.’ ” All proceeds individually at a competitive or from the event benefit the Send non-competitive level. After the a Kid to Camp scholarship fund event, there will be a reception at the Lake Norman YMCA. and raffle at D9 Brewing “Easton would have wanted to Company in Cornelius from 1-4 help kids,” says Liz. “This is a p.m. great thing that the Y does.” “I feel like Easton is working All fitness levels are welcome through me a little bit on this at the event, which includes a because she was such a good four-part functional workout person,” says Liz. “At 2 years old, (think burpees, kettle bell she touched so many people. … swings, snatches, sprints and She made us better people.” more). You can create teams — Lori K. Tate, photography for the challenge or do it courtesy of Liz Mills

Left, Easton and her mother, Liz Mills. Below, Easton and her brother, Grant. Easton passed away on May 5, 2017 from an ATRT brain tumor.

Easton Mills Memorial Challenge

May 5, check-in at 8 a.m., workout begins at 9 a.m., 11:40 closing ceremonies $40 per person, donations welcome Lake Norman YMCA 21300 Davidson Street, Cornelius Register at the Lake Norman YMCA, or e-mail jameka.haynes@ Reception and raffle at D9 Brewing Company, 11138 Treynorth Drive, Cornelius, 1-4 p.m.


Attention Dog Lovers

and have them like your post on our page. The top five posts with the most likes will be asked to join our staff at Davidson Town Day on Saturday, May 5. All five canines and their pet parents will be asked to come on stage to share a bit about their pets. The contestant receiving the most likes on our Facebook page will be crowned the winner and will appear on the cover of the July issue. All top five contestants will be featured inside the July issue with a brief synopsis of their story. Ready, set, go.

Available For All Ages


Visit our website for camp dates and times. Register online or give us a call. 10610 Kerns Rd. Huntersville NC 28078 704-947-RIDE (7433)

“I wasn’t born in a barn but I got there as fast as I could.”


Experience Horsemanship Camp This Summer

APRIL 2018

oes your dog have what it takes to be on the July cover of CURRENTS Magazine? There’s only one way to find out. Enter your furry friend in CURRENTS’ 8th Annual Canine Cover Competition. First, like CURRENTS on Facebook at LNCurrents. Then message us on Facebook with a photo of your dog, along with a brief description of how you met your pet and why he or she should be on the cover of our annual Pet Issue. Next, contact your friends

CURRENTS’ 8th Annual Canine Cover Competition is coming

make a Mess

Making his Nest

by Rosie Molinary | photography by Lisa Crates

Billy Jones’ Birdnest offers more than music

APRIL 2018


As the owner of The Birdsnest in Davidson, Billy Jones teaches music lessons and sells vinyl.

avidson was supposed to be a stopover. But, in 2001, on his way to Asheville to make music, Billy Jones found his home — and his purpose. “There was a month layover, so I got a part-time job in The Soda Shop, fell in love with Davidson and decided to move here,” recalls Jones, who is originally from Statesville. While the idea of the music scene in Asheville called him there, it was the people of Davidson that kept him here. “I had gone through an experience where I lost my best friend and, when I was in Davidson, the guy I worked with lost his girlfriend in a car accident, and I decided I could help this person with the experience I had just gone through,” Jones, now 42 and

the owner of The Birdsnest, explains. During the summer of 1994, Jones was with his best friend when he died suddenly from electrocution. A recent high school graduate, it would seem the grief stopped him in his tracks. Looking more closely, it actually started something profound. “I canceled everything college-related. I started listening to music and digging it. I could sing but couldn’t play an instrument,” he recalls. “At 19, I thought I would never play an instrument. All these guys had started so early. One day, I was waiting for a guy to come play with me. He didn’t show up. I decided maybe it was a good time to pick up a guitar, teach myself and be my own accompaniment.”

Jones further discovered his purpose as he began to write songs. “I started trying to not push the way I feel about something onto people but wanted to give them the opportunity to feel something themselves.” Even today, his songwriting process begins with a notebook and pencil. “I will write a half-page of nonsense — whatever I am thinking about, whatever I am doing. After a minute or two, things start clicking, and I start honing in on a certain emotion or feeling and I can’t help but want to pick at it like a scab,” he explains. “Songs are easy to write but to touch people with songs is harder, you have to search deeper into yourself to do that.” Though music wasn’t a pronounced part of Davidson’s

Behind the

Process Creativity is? Everything. When you were 10 years old, what was your favorite way to be creative? I thought I would be a comedian. What’s a good way to be more creative every day? Keep your eyes open, and make sure that you view each day differently. What do you wish you had more time for in your life? My kids and travel — simultaneously. What creative resource has been most helpful to you? Vinyl records. I can’t usually listen to a whole vinyl record without needing to write something down.

Jones has launched a non-profit called Second String, which gives music lessons to children who can’t afford them.

can’t afford music lessons, giving them lessons for free and instruments to use at home. The only thing for the kids is that they are required

to mentor another kid in the community in any way they like,” Jones explains. “To grow musicians in a community is really fun for me. I’ve been here

long enough to see some kids grow from elementary school to college, and they are still coming back for life lessons, not just music lessons.”

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APRIL 2018

landscape in Jones’ early years, he realized he wasn’t limited to just creating music here. He could help create a music culture. As he held down day jobs at various Main Street staples, Jones would play gigs at night. Working at Summit, he convinced the owner to let him play music there on Thursday nights. Now, music is as synonymous with Summit as coffee and Trivia Night. After one gig, a neighbor asked if Jones could teach his son how to play. Jones had never taught but decided to give it a try. Soon, he was giving private lessons all over town. In 2010, he opened The Birdsnest to provide quality music instruction in a central location. He and his instructors offer almost 50 private lessons a week to children and adults, and, now, Jones is expanding his impact by launching a nonprofit called Second String. “We are finding kids that

Dine, Dazzle & pend the day in Davidson! Spring is in the air and downtown is abuzz with activity. Come early and visit The Davidson Farmers Market. Take in an event at Davidson’s annual “April is for Arts” celebration (see box at far right for a list of events). Enjoy shopping in eclectic boutiques and galleries. Dine from a diverse mix of excellent restaurants, coffee houses, wine bars and pubs. Venture across the bridge at I-77, Exit 30 to watch a beautiful sunset over Lake Norman from a waterfront pub. Fall in love with Spring!

Carrburritos – Mexican Taqueria

Offering fresh, sophisticated flavors served in generous portions and made on location daily. Burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, weekly specials and more. Full bar featuring a variety of Signature Margaritas and Mexican Beers. Patio seating. Located 445 S. Main Street.


Come join us and get a little ARtsy in our DIY boutique workshop during April is for Arts in Davidson. Plan the perfect girls’ night, date night or birthday party and make personalized home decor pieces that you will be proud to display or give as a gift. Don’t forget your wine and snacks! Please note our Summer Camp registrations are now open. Hurry, spots are filling fast! Visit us at

HONEYSUCKLE HOME For unique finds and trendy fashions for you and your home be sure to shop Davidson’s newest boutique, Honeysuckle Home, located at 428-C South Main Street Davidson, NC. Open Mon-Sat 10 – 5

Main Street Books

Stop by Main Street Books for a leisurely browse in the oldest building downtown. You’ll find bestsellers alongside our best local authors. Keep up with book signing events and story times on our website. Tradewinds Eye Care & Optical Tradewinds is a modern sunwear and eyewear boutique. Vision dedicated and Style inspired. Specializing in spectacular eyewear, stop by and get styled! Frame of the Month: Salt Nia in Sandy Sea Green/Antique Gold! Sign up for our Purple Pair Club on our website! Located at 610 Jetton Street, next to Harris Teeter. Mestizo Contemporary Mexican Cuisine Bringing a taste of Mexico City to Davidson. Fresh, Gluten Free Dishes. Traditional Mexican Dishes. Full bar, featuring a host of authentic Tequila drink selections. Indoor and patio dining. Tues-Thurs 11-2:30 and 5-9:30pm Fri – Sat 11am -10pm Sun Brunch 11am – 3pm | Closed Mon For reservations go to our website and look for the NexTable logo. 121 N. Main Street. Davidson Village Inn Guests are always made to feel welcome at the 18 room, European style, Davidson Village Inn serving breakfast and afternoon tea daily.


In Davidson TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Davidson

Where Relationships Make The Difference. Dr Dick Hay, Davidson graduate ’77, has been leading a caring, skilled, and compassionate staff since 1999. Their team provides full medical, dental, and surgical services, as well as Integrative Medicine options. Look for our new location coming soon!

The Rumor Mill Market

The Rumor Mill Market, Davidson’s largest retailer, is home to over 80 local artisans who create and find fun and funky décor items and furniture for your home. Located at 217 Depot Street, Davidson, NC. Open Mon – Sat 10 – 5

North Harbor Club Restaurant

Always an intriguing dining experience, North Harbor Club is the perfect lakeside destination! Enjoy the ambiance of our dining rooms with views of the harbor from our wall of windows or at our lakefront patio, weather permitting. Conveniently located at North Harbor Place, by land right off I-77 at exit 30, or by boat in the Davidson Creek area at marker T4. www. NORTHHARBORCLUB.COM

Davidson Chocolate Co.

Welcome spring with our delicious handcrafted chocolates. We are celebrating 10 years of making sweet history in Davidson with our artisan truffles and confections! Whether you are looking for an irresistible gift for any occasion or an indulgent treat for yourself, we have the answer. Located in Harris Teeter Shopping Center, 610 Jetton St., Suite 150, Davidson, NC

Carolina Craft Butchery

Your Local, Farmer Owned Butcher Shop. Berkshire Pork, Grass Fed Angus Beef, Lamb & Poultry Fresh Cuts, Dry Aged Beef, House made Sausages, Hickory Smoked Bacon. Catering. Monthly Butchering Classes. 605-B Jetton Street, Davidson • Closed Mon. & Tues. Wed. – Fri. 11-7 Sat. 9-4 Sun. 11-4

North Harbor Place at Davidson Landing

Enjoy Lakeside Fine Dining at North Harbor Club. Boat to work? We offer exclusive Waterfront Office & Retail space. Boat Slips for lease & convenient, downtown Mini Storage.

Lake Norman Cottage Visit us for the perfect wine, beer and gift retail experience…then take a short waterfront walk over to The Cabin for local craft beers and cigars.

April is for Arts GALLERY CRAWL Friday, April 20 Trolley service will transport visitors throughout the town of Davidson to view artists at various business venues SCULPTURE TOUR sponsored by DAVIDSON LEARNS Friday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. Meet in front of Davidson Town Hall ART ON THE GREEN April 21, Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. April 22, Sunday noon-4:00 p.m. CONCERT ON THE GREEN April 23, Sunday 6:00-8:00 p.m. SHAKESPEARE ON THE GREEN A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM May 11, Friday 6:00 p.m. May 12, Saturday 6:00 p.m. May 13, Sunday 2:00 p.m. For Information on Town of Davidson events Visit

Tiny & APRIL 2018


Huntersville’s Emerson Carter began taking guitar lessons at age 8. Since then, she’s recorded an EP, played a ton of gigs and started piano lessons.

Talented Emerson Carter’s subtle songs will reel you in

APRIL 2018

lmost two years ago I went to Bella Love’s Open Mic Night in Old Town Cornelius. The evening mostly featured men and women in their 20s and 30s performing some original and some not-so-original songs. Then this little girl took the stage and performed Cleopatra by The Lumineers, as well as an original song. I was so blown away by her performance that I began following her progress on Facebook. Turns out the then-9-year-old was Emerson Carter, and since that night she’s recorded an EP, played a ton of gigs and started taking piano lessons. As an 11-year-old about to finish fifth grade at Huntersville’s Grand Oak Elementary, Emerson exudes a quiet confidence well beyond her years. Her singing voice has a pure sound that is both innocent and telling. It’s as poised and collected as her conversation voice, but most of all, it brims with talent.


by Lori K. Tate


photography by Brant Waldeck


APRIL 2018


Emerson says its easier to write a sad song than a happy song.


Discovering her talent

Sitting at Davidson’s Summit Coffee on a dreary Wednesday evening, Emerson Carter looks like a miniature college student with her jean jacket and her wavy hair pulled back with a scarf. However, unlike many college students these days, she uses complete sentences and doesn’t start her conversations with the word “so.” Oh, and she’s also sitting with her mother, Heather Carter. Both say that Emerson’s musical journey sort of began by accident. When she was 7, she went on a playdate with a friend to Cornelius’ Learn Music. Her friend went there for piano lessons, and Emerson thought it would be cool to learn to play an instrument, so she opted for the ukulele. “I loved it,” recalls Emerson, who three months later performed an original song called Sitting

by the Seaside in public at Bella Love. She wrote the song, which is about the ocean and friends, while she was at Amelie’s French Bakery & Café in Charlotte’s NoDa district. “She wanted to go to a coffee shop to write a song,” says Heather. “I remember she would not let me leave until she was done.” They were there for four hours. Emerson’s parents made a deal with her that if she took ukulele lessons for a year, she could begin taking guitar. Though she has natural ability, she’s had to work hard to get to where she is in such a short period of time. She tries to practice at least once a day, and she plays for the public whenever she can. Learn Music’s Brandon Berg has been Emerson’s teacher since the beginning. “She’s evolving,” says Berg. “She’s always learning new stuff. She’s

always practicing. She’s at least once a week going out and playing music, whether it’s an open mic or doing a show.” Shortly after Emerson began taking ukulele, she also started taking songwriting lessons at Learn Music. Though those lessons aren’t currently offered, she still continues to write songs. “A lot of what we do is work on songs, whether it’s songs that she’s started or learning songs kind of in the style that she’s already writing,” explains Berg. “She’s not really wanting to learn things a lot of 11 year olds are listening to. She’s kind of listening to the same music all of the adults are listening to.” Right now Emerson is into the music of Lord Huron, First Aid Kit and North Carolina’s Ryan Adams. Locally she admires Charlotte’s Alexa Jenson. Last month Emerson played a gig with 18-yearold Jenson at Whole Foods

Market at SouthPark to raise money for a microloan charity. Another favorite is her teacher. “Brandon is awesome. I love his sound,” she says. “In class he always gives me great tips and great ways to perform, not just sing my songs.”

Attaining a goal

In 2016, Emerson launched at 30-day Kickstarter campaign online to raise $3,000 so that she could cut an EP. She got the idea for the project when a representative from Lululemon’s Aviva brand for young girls came to her Girl Scout troop. “They were doing a promotion, trying to get girls to set goals,” recalls Emerson’s mom. On the last night of the challenge, she met her goal and proceeded to record her EP with Mooresville’s Jacob Early, her previous songwriting teacher.

ideas. I hear the song first and then come up with the lyrics. But normally I can’t just sit down and tell myself to write. I have to be in the mood for it. I have to have ideas already in my head.” As for what’s in her head for the future, she knows what she doesn’t want. “I don’t want to be TV famous and on the news,” she says, adding that shows like The Voice carry no interest for her. “I don’t want to have to wear sunglasses all the time.” “She’s the kind of person that likes art that yields a subtlety,” says Berg. “That’s what really awesome about her. She has, in a lot of ways, an adults’ taste but still maintains that innocence that comes from being 11 years old.” Emerson’s mom, Heather, and her father, Joe, support their daughter’s interest in music but are not stage parents

Emerson tries to perform as often as she can.

in the least. “I think it’s fine if everything is balanced in her life. I think what makes her a good songwriter is that we’re doing all of the normal stuff,” explains Heather. “What’s great is that it’s [this experience] taught her more than music. It’s taught her to go out there and reach for something.” Whether Emerson pursues music as a career or opts for being a trauma surgeon

(something she’s talked about since she was 6 years old), the work ethic she’s gleaned from this experience is sure to come in handy. “You’ve just got to do your own thing,” says Emerson. “Be a risk taker and don’t be afraid to do what you want to do.” 

For more information regarding Emerson Carter and her music, visit www.

APRIL 2018

Emerson asked Early, Brandon Berg and Learn Music’s owner Adam Wilson to donate their time to play on the EP, and they did. There are three songs on the album, including Gun Song (about shootings), Tiny Treasures and Why Me (about bullying). “It’s easier to write a sad song than it is to write a happy song,” explains Emerson. “I just love being creative with it [songwriting] and being able to write down my thoughts in a different way than just a story. I love seeing people smile when I’m on stage and seeing people enjoy it.” One of her most recent songs is called Remember Me. She wrote it when she thought a job transfer was going to move her family to Tennessee. “I didn’t really want to do that because I love it here,” says Emerson. “Sometimes I sit in my bedroom and jot down




E S T. 1 9 6 9

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Lake Norman’s most coveted award, The Current is coming. . .


Music On Main Indoor Series 2018



Open all year, sailing lessons, annual passes, paddle boards and kayaks for the whole family.






WE ACCEPT ALL TYPES/SIZES Open all year, sailing lessons, annual passes, paddle boards and kayaks for the whole family.


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215 North Main • Mooresville, NC

Located at Blythe Landing Park on Lake Norman


APRIL 2018

Located at Blythe Landing Park on Lake Norman For more info call 704-947-7245 •


thoughts from the Man Cave

The “Case” for Music A language, a love, a lifetime

APRIL 2018


n a recent Saturday morning when I happened to spot first one, then two, then at least 10 guitar cases while strolling Main Street Mooresville in the hands of seniors, not cool schoolkids or longhaired musical gods, I became intrigued. They all went into Richard’s Coffee Shop, so I followed them inside. There, U.S. Army Veteran Tim Correa opens his case to reveal a guitar smaller than most, a ukulele. He holds it up for me to observe, and a smile comes across my face. Handmade from now-rare Koa wood carried from his native Hawaii, his instrument is as beautiful as I imagine it is melodic. “I had a ukulele in my hand before I could walk,” Tim tells me. “All the kids in the islands all played music. It was just something we did.” Why didn’t he stop in high school like most of us did, I wonder aloud? “Because music is a language all its own,” he explains. “It speaks to everyone, it knows no age, it plays no favorites and it brings people together like nothing else can. Friends. Families. Towns. Entire islands.” As he strums his first note, Tim tells me about his days playing the clubs and hotels on the Waikiki strip. About singing in the Honolulu Opera Company and with the AllArmy Chorus. Then I meet Air Force Veteran Wayne Brown. Wayne got his first guitar at age 9 but didn’t play it much. “I couldn’t find anyone to

by Mike Savicki


photography by Mike Savicki

Lots of guitar cases can be found at Richard’s Coffee Shop on Saturday mornings.

U.S. Army Veteran Tim Correa strums one of the ukuleles he made.

Correa says music brings people together like nothing else can.

teach me, and there was no internet like today where anyone can type in ‘guitar lessons’ and be playing almost immediately,” he says, while tuning a handmade guitar, one of the 16 he has made through the years — each handcrafted, labeled and numbered.

“Playing at Richard’s gives me a chance to get out and mingle with some folks,” says Wayne, “I feel like I’m a part of something here.” Before seamlessly joining a bluegrass jam already in progress, Wayne tells me he again picked up guitar at age 14, played through his military service, and has carried his guitar case in and out of Richard’s on Saturday mornings, almost religiously, since 2005. I try to do the math, but my mind only hears music. Not long ago, Tim Correa, now 78, was diagnosed with leukemia. He now approaches life in three-month chunks. He is not sure how much longer he will be around, but that’s

not his focus. What happens during those three-month periods is what matters. Since he received the news, he asked forgiveness and reconciled with a long-estranged son, celebrated a daughter’s birthday, traveled to the islands for a family reunion, and now stays busy making ukuleles that he will leave behind. And he plays and plays and plays for hours upon hours, days upon days. “Music is the one thing that can never be taken away,” Tim says while strumming an island tune. “It is my therapy, my gift to others, my way of entertaining friends, the thing that takes me back to those times and places that define my life.”


Make An Appointment Now So We Can Help Your Dog Avoid Itchy, Flakey, Allergy Misery This Spring And Summer. Call 704-948-6300 to schedule an appointment. Tom Hemstreet, DVM, RSO Donna Warren, DVM

Jean Tuttle, DVM, CCRP, CVSMT Lauren Kappers, DVM

Kay Wahl, DVM, CVA Gretchen Burke, DVM

Treating Pets Like Family For 20 Years

704.948.6300 • 106 Parr Drive, Huntersville, NC

In The Big Yellow House Off Of Hwy. 73

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by Lori K. Tate photography by Brant Waldeck

with it


Fun Finds for Sunshine (3)

APRIL 2018





1) Quicksilver Wallet, $20 • IcyWakes Surf Shop, 20601 Torrence Chapel Road, Cornelius, www.icywakessurfshop. 2) Tyler Sweatshirt by Milly, $325 • Monkee’s of Lake Norman, 605-A Jetton Street, Davidson and 106-A South Main Street, Davidson, 3) Ally Skort by Liquido, $69 • Well Kept, 624 Jetton Street, Suite 135, Davidson,

(7) (8)

4) Neon Flamingo Leggings by Goldsheep, $98 — Well Kept, 624 Jetton Street, Suite 135, Davidson, 5) Tory Burch Carter Slide in Rose Gold (also in black/silver, white/ silver), $248 • Monkee’s of Lake Norman, 605-A Jetton Street, Davidson and 106-A South Main Street, Davidson,


6) The Beach Glass (machine washable; sticks in sand, grass and snow, and it floats), $9.95 each • The Village Store,110 S. Main Street, Davidson, look for The Village Store on Facebook.


8) Athletic Socks by Stance (men’s $14, women’s $16) • IcyWakes Surf Shop, 20601 Torrence Chapel Road, Cornelius, www.icywakessurfshop. 9) Monogrammed Penguin Ukuleles, $54 each • Poppies, Birkdale Village, Huntersville, and Facebook. 10) Lake House Wrist Keychain, $19.95 • The Village Store, 110 S. Main Street, Davidson, look for The Village Store on Facebook.

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11) Sleep Shorts by TOSS Designs, $34 • Poppies, Birkdale Village, Huntersville, www. and Facebook. 12) Asmara Tote by Graf & Lantz, $398 • Monkee’s of Lake Norman, 605-A Jetton Street, Davidson and 106-A South Main Street, Davidson, 13) Premium Eco Travel Mat by Kriya Veda, $63 • Well Kept, 624 Jetton Street, Suite 135, Davidson,



APRIL 2018

7) Lakegirl Hat, $21.95 • The Village Store, 110 S. Main Street, Davidson, look for The Village Store on Facebook.

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Bungee fitness is a new type of workout that offers empowerment and excitement. Inset, Melanie Taylor, founder of PHphysique Fitness Boutique in Cornelius, says its perfectly normal to feel a bit out of place when you begin your first bungee workout.

Hphysique Fitness Boutique's Melanie Taylor says it is perfectly normal to feel a bit out of place at first. After all, the sight of thick bungy cords hanging from the ceiling combined with the knowledge that you are about to wriggle into a harness, then attach yourself to one of those before beginning a workout is enough to make even the most experienced fitness professional a bit uneasy. It’s called bungee fitness, and if you haven’t yet given it a try — or a fly as it often appears — founder Melanie Taylor says you might be missing out on a new type of low-impact training designed to improve strength, add tone and increase cardio in everyone from young adults to seniors.


by Mike Savicki | photography by Brant Waldeck

APRIL 2018

Bungee workouts add a spring to your training


Engaging the core

APRIL 2018


Bungee fitness is a new type of lowimpact training designed to improve strength, add tone and increase cardio in everyone from young adults to seniors.

Whether you are doing a push up, running, or doing a squat or a plank, you are engaging your core in a safe, low-impact way.

From her Cornelius studio, where she also leads TRX and kettlebell training, Melanie is a bungee fitness pioneer. Trained in Bangkok, Thailand, she is one of the first in America to practice this form of exercise, so she is effectively creating a new style of training. “Bungee fitness is new fitness with old fashioned values,” Melanie explains. The bungee has been around for years, but it is only recently that we began to see it as a tool for fitness.” Learning to trust the bungee and accept and embrace it as an assistive exercise aid is one of the most important components of the workout according to Melanie. “People love that feeling of being attached to something — there is that element of excitement and empowerment,” she continues. “And with it comes that element of trust, to trust and believe the bungee, to take that first step, to go down then come back up, to run, jump and leap, and know the bungee is there. There’s really nothing like it.” “What the bungee does is it adds resistance,” explains Andrew Taylor, Melanie’s son and an avid runner and bungee fitness instructor. “As soon as you step away from the center point, you are adding resistance and your core is becoming engaged. When you begin moving, you feel the acceleration of the bungee and you feel what it’s like to be three feet in the air. And so, whether you are doing a push up or running or doing a squat or plank, you are engaging your core in a safe, low-impact way, almost like a dancer or flying circus acrobat.”

Free flowing Each of Melanie’s workout classes are free flowing, upbeat, energetic and fun, often giving participants that same sense of weightlessness, flow and freedom seen under the big top. Twenty- to thirtyminute beginner (or “neo”) classes introduce students to the basics of bungee fitness, while the 45-minute

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advanced classes ultimately incorporate many of the 50 to 60 moves and exercises common to bungee fitness. “If you love aerial yoga, you’ll love bungee fitness. It’s like learning to fly while burning calories. But if you are still skeptical or nervous, well, just give it a chance,” Melanie says, adding, “Within the first 10 minutes, once the initial hesitations and trepidations spring away, you will be jumping, diving and planking, not to mention laughing and smiling your way through a workout that is unlike almost anything else. “The people who have come through remember the fun of it, the theater and the performance, not the exercise component of it,” she says. “Exercise should never be a chore. It should be fun, and fun is what bungee fitness is all about. It is a break from tradition and a new way to work toward those fitness goals and gains.”

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Photography courtesy of Historic Rural Hill


A day in the life of Wedding Planner Jennifer Duncan, p. 48 A bride overcomes her wedding day regret, p. 50

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bridal tales

A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner Jennifer Duncan walks us through what it takes for a wedding to be magical by Lori K. Tate | photography by Ken Noblezada

ne of my favorite romantic comedies is The Wedding Planner. I love the beginning when Jennifer Lopez runs around putting out every wedding ceremony fire imaginable with ease and precision. No mishap or emergency is too big for her. As weddings continue to grow in complexity and detail, Lopez’s portrayal is not too far off. We recently spoke with Jennifer Duncan, owner of Celebrated Event Planning, about what a typical wedding day is like for her. “For my brides and grooms, I tell them I belong to them for the day,” says Duncan, who previously planned corporate events in the financial industry. The Davidson-based event planner walks us through what her schedule is like for a 5 p.m. wedding, where the ceremony and reception are at the same venue. APRIL 2018


7 a.m. » Wake up and shower. “I’ll put on regular clothes [slacks and ballet flats) and go decorate,” says Duncan. “My hair is going to be down and later on it will be up in a nice professional doo.” 8 a.m. » Head to the venue and call the bride on the way over to see how she’s doing. “One of the things that I always ask my clients through the entire process is, ‘How are you feeling?’ If they are having struggles,” says Duncan, “it gives them the chance to talk with somebody.” 9 a.m. » Arrive at the venue and begin decorating. Meet the florist and other decorators. “I’m getting everything set up. Usually there are more people there helping me,” says Duncan. “I check the Remembrance Table. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding where someone was not missing from the table. I want to make sure people stop and look at that.”

Noon » Go get lunch or go home if the venue is nearby. Change into a dress and low, comfortable heels. “I found some dresses that have pockets in them. They are my favorite wedding dresses ever,” says Duncan. “I’ll put my hair up and hairspray it really good. …I always put my hair up because I don’t want it getting in the way.” 2:30 p.m. » Return to venue to meet the caterer, photographer and the DJ. “I spend a lot of time talking to the DJ because we’re working in tandem for the rest of the night,” explains Duncan. ”I need to make sure he’s set up for the sound and that everything is good to go on his end.” 3 p.m. » The officiant arrives. “He or she may or may not have been at the rehearsal, so I need to make sure they know where to go,” says Duncan. “I’m the first level of questions. When people have questions I want them to come to me, so I can figure out who to ask.”

Davidson's Jennifer Duncan of Celebrated Event Planning tells her brides and grooms that she belongs to them on their wedding day.

Duncan often decorates for her clients.

3:30 p.m. » Cake arrives. Check on the bride and the wedding party. “I carry an bridal emergency kit filled with safety pins, bobby pins, Chapstick, Tums, ibuprofen, foundation, cover-up and more,” says Duncan, who once saved a bridemaid’s dress by pinning it. 4 p.m. » If the bride wants, the photographer captures the groom’s “First Look” before the ceremony. “First Look is when they do a photo shoot of the groom seeing the bride for the first time,” explains Duncan. “I want to see that.” 4-4:30 p.m. » Guests begin arriving.

5:15 p.m. » Sneak into the ceremony and watch. “During the ceremony I don’t have to do anything,” says Duncan. “I always get so caught up in it.”

6:45 p.m. » Introduce the wedding party. 7 p.m. » First dance, father/ daughter dance, mother/son dance. 7:10 p.m. » Bride and groom eat.

5:30 p.m. » Ceremony ends. 5:35 p.m. » Cocktail hour begins. “At this point I’m making sure that the bartender and caterers are all set up,” says Duncan. “They are ready to go when the ceremony ends.”

7:15 p.m. » Prayer and speeches. Buffet opens. “I always tell people to keep speeches at three minutes or less,” says Duncan. “If you can do it in one-and-a-half minutes, that’s great.”

5:35 p.m. » Bridal party photos. “I’ll get the bride and groom something to sip on while they’re doing photos. Sometimes I’ll bring out some food,” says Duncan, who takes a couple of photos while the photographer takes pictures.

7:20 p.m. » Bride and groom visit each table to greet their guests as husband and wife.

6:30 p.m. » Sunset photos if possible.

8:10 p.m. » Open dance floor.

7:50 p.m. » Cake cutting and champagne toast. 8 a.m. » Garter and flower toss.

8:15 p.m. » Grab a plate for dinner. 8:45 p.m. » Photographer leaves. 10:20 p.m. » Say goodbye to guests. 11 p.m. » Everyone has left and clean up begins. Midnight » Leave the venue and take shoes off. “Wedding days are the longest days, but they fly by,” says Duncan. “You can only tell it’s long because of my feet.”

APRIL 2018

4:45 p.m. » Collect the father of the bride who is visiting with family. “I’m making sure everyone is where they need to be,” says Duncan.

5 p.m. » The ceremony begins.


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wife reflections

Take TWO

John and Lori K. Tate on their wedding day — September 20, 2003.

by Lori K. Tate


APRIL 2018


knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t want some guy in a cheap suit leaning over my Aunt Phyllis as he filmed our wedding. I didn’t want our ceremony to end up looking like a press conference. I certainly didn’t want to see our names on the TV screen in a cliché script font with an even more cliché version of Canon in D playing in the background. And most of all, as someone who has yet to watch her college graduation video that was taped almost 25 years ago, I didn’t want to sit down with a bowl of popcorn to watch my husband and I exchange vows. We’re not talking about a basketball game here; we’re talking about a wedding. After crunching all of those factors into a warped bride-tobe equation, I opted not to have my wedding videotaped. My parents were married in 1959, so all they ever had to share with me about that day was a white vinyl photo album filled with faded pictures. As a little girl, I’d pour over those photos imagining what the day was like. It was fun to dream about how they said their vows and who inappropriately sneezed during the ceremony. Maybe someone even had a crying

baby in the church. A game that was this fun for me would surely fascinate my offspring more than a tacky video made by someone who dropped out of film school. So while obsessing about cake fillings, gown fittings and hydrangeas, I shunned all mention of hiring a videographer, suggesting that it would be vulgar having such a thing as a video camera in the sanctuary. (Keep in mind that trying my best to have a variety of Broadway show tunes performed during the ceremony — a practice the Methodist Church pretty much prohibits across the board — seemed perfectly fine to me.) Maybe I was so against filming our wedding because I abhor how I sound on tape — think a peppier version of Charlie Brown’s teacher with a southern accent. Maybe I thought I’d jinx our marriage. Remember when Toni Collette kept watching her wedding video in The Sixth Sense? Maybe I chucked the idea because every other bride in town had done it, and I was determined to be the articulate bride who personally narrated everyone through her photo album instead. Besides that, doesn’t the camera add 10 pounds?

With all of this in mind, plus plenty of other irrational thoughts that only an engaged woman could have, I purposely left the video column out of my wedding budget. There were columns for massive amounts of daisies that didn’t live through my honeymoon. There was plenty of money allotted for centerpieces — decorative objects most of our guests moved to the side as soon as they took their seats for dinner. And there was an extra wide column for a dress that I knew upfront I would only wear once, twice if you count the portrait session. Looking back over the situation, none of it makes sense. Why wouldn’t I want to be able to replay every detail of that wonderful day for the rest of my life? I waited forever for it to happen, and I spent months planning it. Why wouldn’t I want to watch the fruits of my labor whenever I felt like it? Wouldn’t my unborn children want to see how mommy and daddy acted when they were younger? These important questions were the ones that never entered my mind during the months leading up to the big day. It wasn’t until a friend e-mailed me a video clip of my

husband and I running through a shower of flower petals during our exit that I felt the first pang of regret. The clip was only a few seconds long, and it was taken with a cheap camera, but it perfectly captured the animation of the day. You could hear our friends and family cheering for us as we ran to the car. Of all moments to capture, she captured the best one. Eventually we received our wedding album from the toptier photographer that I just had to have. While it was fun to look through the pictures, it wasn’t as special as that tiny video clip from my friend. It simply didn’t feel the same. For a while I obsessed over my grievous era. As time went on, my big regret only reared its ugly head when friends talked about watching their videos. They’d get together and drink wine while laughing at how silly their hair looked and how much make-up they wore. Ironically these are the same brides who annoyed me during my decision-making process. I suppose the pretentious brideto-be part of me deserved this cruel and unusual punishment. A few years later, a family friend enclosed a DVD with his Christmas card. He had digitized some old movies and

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wife reflections

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made a reel of the highlights. In a couple of them I saw my parents as young people, people younger than I was at the time. I stared at the screen as if I were seeing them for the first time because in many ways I was. My parents had me in their mid-30s. I was always the kid in class with the older parents. My father’s hair turned from black to white shortly after I was born, so he never seemed young to me. But in these clips my parents were young and hip. They were hanging out with friends at a lake house while listening to music. Mom’s hair was teased, and Dad’s black locks were slicked back as he slouched on a couch smoking a cigarette. Some of their friends were dancing on the living room rug. In an instant, my wedding video regret


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returned stronger than ever. At this point all I could do was learn from my mistake. When I became pregnant with twins in 2009, my husband and I wrote down the things we would need to properly raise our children. You can bet that a video camera ranked near the top of the list right after diapers and life insurance. At first we used the camera a lot, but eventually we turned to easier forms of taping technology such as the Flip and later the iPhone. Regardless of the tool, we were determined to catch our children’s amazing moments on film. When I watch the clips we have, that familiar feeling of regret frequently resurfaces. But now it doesn’t hurt as much because I know that we’re capturing so much of our children’s history.

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No, they won’t be able to see how mommy carefully walked down the aisle with their grandfather as daddy grinned at her. They won’t be able to hear the congregation laughing at the jokes about the rivalry between our respective colleges. And they won’t be able to feel the excitement that we both shared as we began our life together. However, one day when my daughter was around 2, she flipped through one of our cookbooks and found a random snapshot of us leaving the sanctuary after we said our vows. As soon as she got her hands on it she shouted, “Mommy and Daddy get married” with all the happiness she could muster. She quickly placed it in her dress-up purse and proudly carried it around the house. Six years later the picture sits in a frame beside her bed. Through that one picture, she understood how special that day was, and mommy’s big regret was finally laid to rest.


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Local Bridal Services CATERERS&VENUES to make your wedding day extra special

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The Day You’ll Always Remember

Plan a personalized wedding with help from our experts by Renee Roberson

APRIL 2018


s the weather turns warmer and days grow longer, it’s also the start of an exciting new time in many women’s lives — wedding season. With so many little details involved in creating a wedding day to remember, figuring out where to start can be a little overwhelming without a plan. Luckily, the Lake Norman area (and beyond) has plenty of bridal experts who can offer solid advice and tried-and-true tips regarding the perfect dress and accessories, venues, menu and dessert


Photography courtesy of Chetola Resort

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APRIL 2018


selections, and more. When planning a wedding, combining your personal style with current trends can help create the perfect day for you. Carey Driskell, wedding and events specialist at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, describes vintage glamour as being hot for 2018. This includes a combination of natural materials, neutral color palettes, native greenery, strands of twinkling lights and glowing candles. Whimsical-themed weddings are on the rise as well, with the bride and groom embracing everything from pop culture (TV shows, movies and comic books) to personal hobbies and interests (books, sports and travel) in an effort to make their wedding unique and memorable … and a

photographer’s dream. “This year [2018] is going to be all about the experience,” says Jessica Bustamante, accountant and private events director at Huntersville’s Historic Rural Hill. “Think less emphasis on favors and trinkets and more on the entertainment. While you’ll still have the traditional DJs and bands, you’ll also see things like sketch artists, characters, more elaborate photo booths and magicians. Rural Hill is the perfect spot to craft a night for your guests that they will never forget.” Bustamante adds that she sees brides booking their weddings out 10 months or so in advance, going as far as two years. With the popularity of “vineyard weddings” growing,

as well as the use of “gathering tables,” at receptions, Kim Myers with Laurel Gray Vineyards, 30 minutes north of Lake Norman in Hamptonville, believes their venue stands out when brides are scouting the perfect location. “At Laurel Gray Vineyards we have a beautifully manicured vineyard setting with a farm pond and covered outdoor venue,” she says. “We also make internationally award-winning wine.” Chetola’s Driskell says that it is important that the location of the wedding be convenient for a majority of the guests to get to. Nonetheless, whether you are having a destination wedding or holding the event close to home, you need to consider the logistics of getting everyone to and from the site.

Other considerations are guest count, style, time of day and weather. “Select a location that fits you and your style,” says Myers. “Always remember if everything doesn’t go as planned, you are still just as married when you say ‘I Do,’ and those unplanned moments will be what you remember the fondest at every anniversary.”

Sparkle and Shine

Kim Gregory with R. Gregory Jewelers, located in downtown Statesville, says the current trend in wedding bands is rose gold, with white gold still remaining at the top of the list. For engagement rings, oval diamonds with halos are popular, but brides also favor simple, classic styles. “If the jeweler is full service,


Outdoor weddings are lovely, but make sure you have a back-up plan.


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a bride and groom should expect help with anything they need,” says Gregory. “From help with choosing wedding bands to bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, full service means we’re with you from the beginning through it all.”

Taking Care of You

We are a full service shop ready to fullfill all of your floral needs, including beautiful custom designed wedding bouquets, centerpieces and boutonnieres. Albertine Florals Wine & Gifts 751 North Carolina 16 | Suite J Denver, NC 28037

APRIL 2018


704.489.6202 | We also offer beautiful corsages for prom season, call today!

Preparing for the big day also begins with the right amount of self-care. This includes getting plenty of rest, taking time for you to reduce stress levels and eating a balanced diet of protein, fruits and vegetables. Dr. Amanda Bailey, a doctor of osteopathic medicine at Lake Norman Family Medicine, recommends bridesto-be start a workout routine at least six months or more before the wedding. “It takes awhile to see results,” says Bailey. “Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results after the first month.” It’s also important to note that a bride’s life doesn’t stop when planning for a wedding. “Most of us still have to keep up with the demands of work and family, and the stress can take a toll on your health,” says Dr. Eva Imperial, a physician with Iredell Primary Care for Women, “I would tell any bride-to-be to stick to a


Creating memories for a lifetime, whatever the occasion! glitter lens photography

White gold is still the number one choice among brides.

sleep schedule, eat healthy, stay active, and keep up with doctor’s appointments and screenings. Taking care of yourself is probably one of the best things you can do to make sure you look good and feel good on your big day. That goes for the mother of the bride and bridal party as well.” As the wedding date approaches, the Piedmont HealthCare Women’s Center in Statesville offers the number one fat reduction treatment — CoolSculpting. This technique can help brides get rid of any lingering areas of concern. The FDA has cleared CoolSculpting for non-invasive

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fat reduction, as it can help with abdominal areas, saddlebags, under the arms, inner thighs and more.

You are Invited . . .

Tracy Parks of Sweet Magnolia in Cornelius also sees weddings featuring more and more personalized touches representing the individual personalities of the bride and the groom, starting with the invitations. “When it comes to invitations, there’s not just black and white,” says Parks. “There are unlimited possibilities. Invitations are less formal, full of color, festive, often themed to match the wedding. They can be as creative as the couple and truly express a feeling of celebration. Save-the-date cards often include a photo of the happy couple. We try to get a feel for each individual bride’s vision and offer choices.”


Love . . personalized

Dress to Impress

It’s the little details that ensure your wedding festivities run smoothly and according to plan. “The best advice we can offer brides to create the perfect wedding is to hire a detailed wedding planner, someone whose job it is to focus on the minute details, allowing the bride to focus simply on enjoying the special moment,” says Carey Driskell of Chetola Resort. “Chetola Resort works in tandem with our list of preferred wedding planners to ensure the bride’s day is as perfect as she envisioned it. And it’s always important to impart to the bride to concentrate on what she and her fiancé want, not what everyone else wants. The day is about the bride and groom. Ultimately, that’s truly what matters.”

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Poppies is your go to gift shop this wedding season. Wedding gifts, bridesmaid gifts, flower girl gifts. Our online stationery shop has invites and thank yous for your wedding and shower needs.

APRIL 2018

Experts at the popular wedding website The Knot scouted the runway at 2018 Bridal Fashion Week and shared that the trending bridal gown styles represent a wide array of personal styles, from halter necklines, dresses in gold, blush and mauve shades, split sleeves, ball gowns, and slip dresses. Are you a fan of florals and the cold-shoulder trend? Consider carrying these styles into your bridesmaid dresses, along with gowns featuring beads, sequins and tiered ruffles. When designing a look for your bridal party, don’t overlook the groom and his groomsmen. “It is common for most brides to have been planning this special day since adolescence. You’ve thought about every detail, except how could a young girl possibly know what her husbandto-be would like or prefer?” asks Eddie Wheeler, owner of The Back Room, LLC in Mooresville. He believes men should also invest time in looking their very best on the big day, so they can be as complementary to the bride as possible. “Many men are opting out of traditional black tie attire for various shades of blue and dark greys,” says Tyler Hampton of Hampton Men’s Clothing in Mooresville. “I’m selling just as many suits as I am tuxedos. This is especially helpful for springtime outdoor weddings.” Hampton adds that while formalwear is traditionally black and white, blues and greys continue to gain momentum Wheeler agrees, "We are seeing more options for the UltraSlim fit tuxedos and suits. The hottest color this year is Indigo Blue. Bow ties are still the norm for more formal events, with Windsor-style ties for the less formal occasions.

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Taste Test

Photo courtesy of Laurel Gray Vineyards


Your wedding should be a reflection of your tastes.

APRIL 2018


Most venues are flexible, depending on the couple’s vision, such as Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville. “We specialize in a beautiful, affordable venue that can be rustic and peaceful or dressed up to country club chic, and anywhere in between,” says Jessica Bustamante. “At Historic Rural Hill, we

work well for both budget conscious brides, as well as brides that want to splurge on extras like a more expensive meal, extra entertainment, or a photo booth and save on their venue. With 256 acres, we have many different options for your ceremony, and your photographer won’t know where to shoot you next.”


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Food should not be an afterthought when planning the wedding festivities, from the rehearsal dinner to the reception to capping off the evening with a tempting dessert. Brandy Suggs with Lancaster’s BBQ in Mooresville recommends brides and grooms book any catering at least five months out. “We offer tastings for brides and grooms and are always striving to make the wedding day as easy for them as possible. We want them to enjoy their day and the food,” she says. Driskell says Chetola Resort’s onsite gourmet restaurant, Timberlake’s, provides custom catering to meet all party sizes with menu offerings of exquisite heavy hors d’oeuvres to elegant plated and buffet dinners. “We pride ourselves in our attention to detail of all aspects of the special milestone from start to finish, including pre-wedding celebrations such as bridal luncheons and rehearsal dinners,” she says. Sue Gilbert, owner of Nothing Bundt Cakes in Huntersville, says she has seen a lot of brides opting for more affordable wedding cakes that still look and taste great. The store specializes in Bundt Cakes,

which it decorates for every occasion. They come in multiple sizes and 10 flavors, including Chocolate Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Raspberry, Red Velvet and Lemon. Seasonal flavors are also available. “Brides are choosing to have a dessert table and use our tiered cakes for the bride’s cake to cut into and then also using the bundtinis in different flavors, so each guest can have a different flavor,” says Gilbert. These miniature cakes also come in their own individual container, which can be used as a perfect wedding favor for each guest.

APRIL 2018

Preparing Your New Home and Beyond

64 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS Photography courtesy of Sweet Magnolia

Above: Nothing Bundt Cakes in Huntersville offers more affordable cake options for weddings. Below: Sweet Magnolia has everything you need for your honeymoon.

Registered yet? Stephanie Nieuwendijk-Bramble, owner and creative director of Dutchmans Casual Living Store in Cornelius, says brides should think beyond trends and add items to their registry that will bring joy for years. Dutchmans in-store registry can help with that as brides can craft the perfect wish list here. “Most brides are on a budget,” she says, “and your style will probably change as you grow into your new life, so spend money wisely. When it comes to your big purchases, choose something that has longevity. Your accessories are where you can save money, because you will be able to change them every few years as trends come and go.” Attending a wedding soon and looking for the perfect gift? Sweet Magnolia in Cornelius offers practical gift ideas, such as personalized barware for entertaining and unique monogrammed cutting boards

Pete & Pop's Findery in Davidson offers fun wedding gifts.

and serving pieces. Another place to shop for unique wedding finds of every kind is Pete & Pop’s Findery in Davidson. Designed as a modern mercantile, the shop has fun and classic gifts for the wedding, bridal shower or bachelorette party. From “cold feet” socks and bride’s instruction manuals, to T-shirts and drinkware for the wedding party, you can add even more joy to this joyous occasion. Finally, when planning down to the last detail, don’t forget a personal “thank you” to the bridal party that has supported you throughout months of planning and helped you celebrate your big day. Kate Kazmer, owner of Poppies Gifts in Huntersville’s Birkdale Village, says a personalized gift ensures your wedding memories last beyond the ceremony. “Monogramming is timeless and classic, and it adds elegance and tradition to any aspect of a wedding.” In the end, even with the well-meaning advice of friends, family and anyone involved with the wedding, there is one important thing for brides to remember when planning their special day. “The best advice on creating your perfect wedding is that it is your wedding. Be nice, be polite, but then make decisions that will make you as a couple happy,” says Bustamante.

Photography courtesy of Pete & Pop's Findery

Special Advertising Section Photography courtesy of Nothing Bundt Cakes


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APRIL 2018


Photography by Joe Purvis


Ally Whalen brought a Mooresville lakeside home into the light, p. 68

A combination of woodwork and grass cloth gives the dining room of Donna Robbins’ Mooresville home a comfortable warmth.




68 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS Photography by Ken Noblezada

Donna Robbins and Bob Mueller with their dog, Shelby.

Ally Whalen transformed a Mooresville lakeside house into a home Custom cabinets painted in Benjamin Moore’s Designer’s White and crowned with a light quartz give the kitchen new life.


by Lori K. Tate


photography by Joe Purvis


The backsplash features a Walker Zanger tile called Wave, a subway tile with a subtle wave in its texture.


t all began with a water leak in the upstairs bathroom. One leak launched a renovation that eventually made its way through Donna Robbins’ entire lakeside home in Mooresville. It turned out to be a fortunate accident.

dwellings Robbins told interior designer Ally Whalen that she wanted lightness and touches of pink throughout her home.

Robbins originally wanted to renovate her home when she bought it furnished four years ago, but as the owner of Streetside Classics, a classic car dealership with six locations across the United States, time was at a premium. Luckily, she met Ron Carroll of Stonebridge Luxury Homes and Ally Whalen of Ally Whalen Design, and the owner of Simplicity Interiors in Old Town Cornelius, and they created the home Robbins always knew her house could be.

Lighten Up

APRIL 2018

Built in 1998, the interior of the home, along with its dark and heavy furnishings, was dated. To remedy that, Whalen softened the palladium windows in the family room with white custom window treatments accented with a taupe stripe. The barrel ceiling was updated with trim work reminiscent of a coffered


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ceiling, and the walls were painted in Sherwin Williams’ Agreeable Gray. Dark walnut hardwoods crowned with a custom rug from Stark ground the space. A large cream sectional from Whalen’s Simplicity Furniture Line offers plenty of room to relax in the space and watch TV, which is concealed with a retractable floral painting above the mantel. New custom bookshelves flank the fireplace clad in a light distressed brick. “Before, this room never was used because we didn’t have a TV in it for one, but it didn’t have comfortable furniture,” says Robbins, sitting with her golden retriever, Shelby. “The people who owned the home previously said that they had sat in this room four times in 16 years.” The removal of interior columns allows the family room to now open to the dining room. This area also went through a renaissance, as its octagon tray ceiling was replaced with a coffered ceiling punctuated with an antique gold sphere chandelier. A combination of woodwork and grass cloth serve as the background to a triptych of commissioned feather paintings by Cornelius artist Amy Sullivan Weishaar. A gray dining table and black chairs from Whalen’s Simplicity Furniture Line round out the space.

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The family room features a large cream sectional from Whalen’s Simplicity Furniture Line. A floral painting retracts to reveal the TV.

dwellings The bathroom in the master suite is Robbins’ favorite room in the house.

APRIL 2018


Relaxed and at home One of the best places to see the transformation of the home is in the kitchen, as it embraces natural light with its custom shaker-style cabinets painted in Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White. Artisan Cabinetry did

the cabinet work for the entire home. The tops of the cabinets feature seeded glass, while the countertops are light quartz. The backsplash features a Walker Zanger tile called Wave, a subway tile with a subtle wave in its texture.

The kitchen’s island offers a lower table portion for seating. “At first they [the builders] didn’t think we had room for this, but we made it work,” says Whalen. Having the eating area connected to the island allows space for a seating area by the

windows, complete with plush chairs and a tufted ottoman. It’s the perfect place for morning coffee. The master suite also resides on the first floor, and it includes Robbins’ favorite room in the house — the master bath. When

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Robbins first met with Whalen, she told the designer that she liked lightness and wanted touches of pink throughout the home because pink is her favorite color. This vision comes through perfectly in the master bath, as it is a warm mix of cream and gray with blush custom window treatments, accents and flowers. A sculptural stand-alone tub by Ferguson coupled with marble tile gives the space an elegant look that embraces relaxation. “I love my bathroom,” says Robbins.

Great for guests As the renovation became more involved, Robbins and her partner, Bob Mueller, opted to redo the basement of the home as well. One of Streetside Classics’ locations is in nearby Concord, so they entertain employees and customers in their home frequently. “Our staff is like family. They’re always over here,” explains Robbins. “My family lives all over, so they come in and have their vacation here. We have lots of people come over all the time. In the summer it’s constant.”


We have lots of people come over all the time. In the summer it’s constant.

– Donna Robbins

With that in mind, this area was designed to easily entertain. The basement’s interior featured the same dark and formal look that the rest of the house initially did. Whalen took a similar approach with this space by painting the dark woodwork a light gray and bringing in the same sectional she used in the family room upstairs, except the one in the basement is upholstered in a gray indoor/outdoor fabric. “You want it to look nice, but you want it to be livable,” explains Whalen. “That’s

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The basement’s bar and kitchen allow guests to feel at home during their stay.

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kind of my thing.” A whitewashed barrel coffee table echoes the shape of the round game table in the corner. (The top can be flipped so it can serve as a poker table.) In the next room, the pool table was painted silver and re-felted to match the new interior of the basement. The low-drop tile ceiling was replaced with an elegant tray ceiling, giving the room an updated look, while accenting its breathtaking view of the pool and the lake. A large storage room was

converted into a spacious kitchen, so that guests can easily grab whatever they need for the lake or the pool. The kitchen, along with the basement’s guest suite, gives Robbins’ guests all they need for a relaxing stay. “Donna was the dream client,” says Whalen. “We got to a point where a lot of times I would say, ‘You decide,’ ” says Robbins of Whalen. “She makes it look so much nicer and more relaxed. … Now it just feels like mine, like home. It’s me.”



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Dine + Wine Eating, drinking, cooking and fun

APRIL 2018


Flatiron’s triple play, p. 84

Photography by Brant Waldeck

The 2nd Annual Craft Beer Springfest, p. 86 Too-Good-to-Believe Fudge Brownies, p. 87 Davidson Ice House opens for all palates, p. 88

The newly opened Davidson Ice House offers choices for all tastes.

Dine + Wine

Wine Time

A Triple Play

by Trevor Burton | Photography courtesy of Trevor Burton

Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse in Davidson has a great atmosphere, an inventive and accomplished kitchen, and a series of superb wine events

Davidson’s Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse offer a delicious gastropub experience. APRIL 2018


ubs and I go back a long way. My grandfather was the landlord of the Shakespeare’s Head in the industrial town in England where I was brought up. When I was 6 years old, he took me under his wing and into his cellar to judge ales on tap for that day. Back then the only culinary addition to an ale was a packet of crisps (potato chips on this side of the pond). Life felt great; we didn’t know what we didn’t have. Fast forward to today when traditional pubs in England are dying out at an alarming rate. Fortunately, many are being replaced by gastropubs — traditional pubs, upgraded and outfitted with a decent kitchen. My wife, Mary Ellen, and I make a beeline for them whenever we visit my hometown or hang out in London. Pardon this rambling, but it leads me to Davidson’s Flatiron Kitchen +

Taphouse. In my mind, we have our very own gastropub here — and a whole lot more. Over the years my tastes have evolved. My love of ale and crisps has been replaced by a fondness for wine and good food, which brings me to a wine event that we recently attended at Flatiron. This was an evening to taste wines from Italy. Not just the usual suspects, but also some wines you rarely come across; right up my alley. Adding to the adventure, we chose dishes from Flatiron’s menu to go along with the wines as we tasted them. Most times, you get to just taste wines or have them paired with prechosen dishes. Flatiron’s format encouraged us to taste wine and figure out what to pair with it. Wines were presented and poured by Flatiron’s resident sommelier, Maureen Muscarella. (Yes, a gastropub

with its own sommelier! Muscarella is not just someone who uses sommelier as a title. She’s highly certified and clearly knows her stuff and is articulate in presenting it. Rather than go through all the wines she poured, let’s just say they were from all over Italy, and they were interesting. Her list had six wines. The first one and the last one illustrate, perfectly, the great evening we had. We started with a white wine that rarely makes it onto wine lists here in the United States; I’ve never come across it. It’s a wine from the Est! Est!! Est!!! Montefiascone region, just outside of Rome. A crazy name with a neat tale behind it, but that’s for another time. We sipped on this wine along with some edamame hummus. We’re big hummus fans, but Flatiron is the only place we’ve seen it made from edamame —

I did mention the inventive and accomplished kitchen. The last wine was equally interesting, a Primitivo from Puglia, the “heel” of Italy’s boot. I’m a huge fan of Southern Italian wines — generally, great values. This guy hit the spot because it is a close cousin of the Zinfandel grape. It’s fun to see how the two compare to each other. For Primitivo, we chose a gently raised chicken breast. A rich dish paired with a “rustic” wine. A long journey down Memory Lane, from a pint of ale and a packet of crisps to a gastropub with its own sommelier. So far, so tasty. There’s plenty of life left in these old taste buds, and it’s my responsibility to keep them happy. I believe I’m up to the task. Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse 215 S. Main Street Davidson

Online Registration Opens April 7 Selma Burke Center • Talbert Recreation Center War Memorial Center • Winnie Hooper Center Mooresville Parks & Recreation offers traditional, sports & specialty camps for ages 2-17 from June to August. We offer an exciting atmosphere for traditional campers to participate in field trips, sports, STEM activities, character development, cooking, music and drama. Breakfast and lunch are provided. We coordinate with highly qualified instructors to offer a wide variety of sports and specialty camp experiences for your family.

Register Online @MooresvilleRecreation APRIL 2018


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On Tap

by Mike Savicki


Photography courtesy of Cornelius Drafthouse


APRIL 2018


You Don’t Need A Special Occasion To Have An Epic Evening.

704•230•1720 Historic Downtown Mooresville

Initially Casey Ashcraft was a bit nervous about going head to head with other spring events and festivals when he first considered hosting a spring craft beer event. It was 2015, and his Cornelius Drafthouse and Bottle Shop was, like the craft beer culture in the area, still in its infancy. So, he and co-owner, Wes Lucas, decided to do things a bit differently. “While bigger events looked to fill up Saturdays, we looked at Sundays as a way to bring in families, too. We wanted our event to be family friendly so kids could have as much fun as their parents,” Ashcraft explains. “That’s the type of scene we hoped to create not only in the Drafthouse but also in the community. That’s what makes craft beer different. “And as for the beer,” he continues, “hoping our event would be the hidden gem of area craft beer breweries, we opened it up.” Looking back with a smile, Ashcraft still remembers trying to estimate how many might attend the first event held a year ago. On their event application they hoped for 1,000 attendees. Three thousand ultimately attended. “What happened very

quickly around here,” Ashcraft says, “is that we went from getting our feet wet in the craft beer scene to approaching saturation. No matter where you look now, it seems everyone has their hand in craft beer to some degree.” Along with co-host Harvey’s Restaurant, the 2nd Annual Craft Beer SpringFest will bring together a baker’s dozen breweries in an open-air event, complete with bounce houses for the kids, a wine tent, area vendors, food and two live bands. Look for beers from Southern Tier, Wicked Weed, NoDa, Lone Rider, Green Man, Twin Leaf, Ecusta, Great Lakes, Sierra Nevada, OMB, Devil’s Backbone, Bold Missy, Lenny Boy and Eleven Lakes. Between the Drafthouse’s 16 taps, Harvey’s eight, plus another 24 in the village square, Ashcraft is excited to offer approximately 48 options from across the region. “The event really has become a hidden gem that compliments our area’s love of craft beer and its culture,” Ashcraft says. “It’s a great way to start the season for those who love craft beer to those who just love to be social.”

The 2nd Annual Craft Beer SpringFest Sponsored by Harvey’s and Cornelius Drafthouse and Bottle Shop Sunday, April 8, 2018 • 1-7 p.m. Jetton Village II • 19818 North Cove Road • Cornelius Proceeds to benefit the MDA. Look for more information on Facebook.

Dine + Wine

Ingredients 2 large responsibly laid eggs, plus 2 large egg whites


¼-cup (2 ounces) coconut sugar

Jill Dahan

½-cup (1.5 ounces) organic cacao powder

Photography by Glenn Roberson

In the Kitchen with Jill Dahan

A pinch of vanilla bean powder 4 ounces of unsalted butter (I love Kerrygold.) ¼-cup Unreal brand dark chocolate drops (optional)


Too-Good-to-Believe Fudge Brownies

 ill Dahan lives in Cornelius and is the author of Starting Fresh! Recipes for Life. You can J learn more about her at







All Specials Expire April 30th, 2018

***209 WEST PLAZA DRIVE*** • Mooresville NC 28117 • 704- 235-6800 • M-F 8:00am-8:00pm Sat 8:00am-4:00pm RandyMarionRMX

Pro Comp Suspension Authorized Installers



APRIL 2018

Lent is over, and Easter is here, with bathing suit weather just around the corner. So what better time to whip up these delectably gooey, deep, dark, dense, moist brownies that are chock full of antioxidants, minerals and protein? The ingredients and preparation are simple, and these beauties are low-glycemic, gluten-free and contain cacao, which has more magnesium than spinach. Indulge yourself because feel-good food has never tasted so divine.

Melt the butter with the cacao powder, sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and gradually mix in eggs. In a separate bowl, wipe the bowl and beaters with a little white vinegar, and then add the egg whites and beat until frothy and peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture just until combined. Pour into a greased 7x7-inch pan, and top with candies if using. Bake at 350 F for 13 to 15 minutes until set and skewer comes out with no liquid on it, but still with a bit of goo attached. Let cool at room temperature, and slice to serve. Makes 9-16 squares.

Dine + Wine

Forward-Thinking Fast Food Davidson Ice House offers mealtime choices for all types of palates by Holly Becker


Photography by Brant Waldeck


Davidson Ice House

STATS Cuisine

Fast, casual, healthy

Price Lunch Dinner APRIL 2018


Attire Casual

From left, General Manager Jackson Goyette and Davidson Ice House Owner Jennifer Brulé.

hat’s for dinner? That’s a question of great debate in many households. Chef Jennifer Brulé aims to solve that dilemma with her new Davidson restaurant — Davidson Ice House. Her eatery focuses on fresh, quality food and family friendly fast service. “I think of this restaurant as a hybrid. As a classically trained chef, I am putting out fine food, just doing it in a fast, casual atmosphere,” explains Brulé. “My father [also a culinary school grad] calls it fine casual.” A mother of four daughters, Brulé knows very well the challenges that families face with hectic schedules and meals. “People are busy, but they want healthier choices than fast food,” she says.

Build your own Some might recognize Brulé from her Sunday morning cooking segments on WCNC, as well as appearances on Charlotte Today and Headline News Weekend Express. The food writer and restaurant consultant describes herself as a flexitarian and developed a menu around the concept. “A flexitarian is someone who wants to eat more plantbased meals but doesn’t want to give up meat, fish and poultry completely. It’s like a hall pass for vegetarianism. At Davidson Ice House, we’re moving meat from the center of the plate to a component of the plate,” says Brule, whose second cookbook,

New Vegetarian South, comes out this fall. Build-your-own bowls and non-bread wraps help Brulé cater to varying dietarian needs, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, Paleo, Whole 30, and meat and potatoes options. The entire menu is nut-free. Guests choose a base of mixed whole grains, fluffy rice or salad greens. Then, they select a protein such as grilled chicken, chicken meatballs, slowly braised beef brisket or mini black bean burger patties. Next, they pick from vegetables like mapleglazed sweet potatoes, grilled sesame slaw, roasted black beans, sweet and spicy peppers, caramelized onions, and kale salad.

Atmosphere Fine casual

Group Friendly Family Friendly Going Solo Lunch Meeting Date Night Outdoor Seating

PRICE KEY 15 and under


25 and under


50 and under


75 and under


This includes an entree and a non-alcoholic beverage.

APRIL 2018


Davidson Ice House is a dream come true for Brulé whose new cookbook, New Vegetarian South, comes out this fall.

The secret is in the internationally inspired, housemade sauces (creamy pesto, Parmesan peppercorn Caesar, Tahini/lemon, Kathmandu, spicy Lima green, buffalo, herby ranch and tangy apricot). Scratchmade spreads include pimento cheese, silky ratatouille, and classic and green hummus. Three homemade soups — tomato basil, creamy truffle potato and classic chicken noodle — are offered daily. Sides consist of a bowl of vegetables, fries, crispy cauliflower and

crunchy mushrooms. Save room for dessert because the baked cookies and milk hit the spot. In addition to traditional takeout, Davidson Ice House offers grab-and-go, vacuumed-packed meals stored in a refrigerator for pick-up. The meals can be reheated later at home.

A place with a history Located at 416 S. Main Street, Davidson Ice House occupies the former Campania Café space. The historic, brick building was constructed in 1922, and

the restaurant’s name pays homage to the building’s original occupant, Davidson’s old ice house. Brulé celebrates the rich character of the building with restored hardwood floors and old photos from the original ice house. A large piece of industrial equipment, an artifact from the ice house days, hangs in the back dining room, along with festoon lighting. Though Brulé has developed recipes and opened local and national restaurants, she says

Davidson Ice House is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. “Opening my own restaurant is something I’ve wanted to do my whole career,” she says. “I’ve always opened restaurants for other people.” Davidson Ice House 416 S. Main Street, Davidson 704.895.5555 Mooresville Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Monday closed.


CURRENTS Canine Cover Competition Sponsored by:

Upload your pup’s photo today! ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, April 13 | VOTING DEADLINE: April 25 A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to:


May 5th from 12-4 Calling all fashionistas in the Lake Norman and surrounding area. The extravagant hats that have become associated with the Kentucky Derby did not really come around until the 1960s, when the hats became larger, brighter, and more extravagant. So start decorating your hat and join us for cocktails and hor’derves at CoCo Couture located in Jetton Village. View gorgeous designs from Frank Lyman Designs & Atina Cristina.


Judged Art Show & Competition

Visit the Gallery to see the area’s best artists and shop for original pieces!

Opening Reception: Friday, April 20, 2018 (6-8pm) Last year’s Best of Show Winner: By Her Own Hand by Marnie Hart

Show Dates: April 10 - June 7 2018

103 W Center Ave Mooresville, NC Celebrating 40 Years in the heART of downtown Mooresville!

704-896-8044 |

APRIL 2018

19818 N. Cove Drive Suite B | Cornelius, NC 28031


Out + About

An Epic Evening at the Carriage House Photography by Emby Taylor Photography

APRIL 2018


On February 24, Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County held An Epic Evening at the Carriage House at Johnson Carriage House & Meadows in Mooresville. In 2017, Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County spent more than $1.2 million in uncompensated patient care and community programs. Over $12,000 was raised for the nonprofit organization during the evening. More than 110 people attended the event sponsored by Randy Marion Automotive and hosted by Lillian and Tony Johnson. Epic Chophouse served food and offered wine tastings, while The Shawn Ervin Trio provided musical entertainment. Sweet Thing Bakery provided dessert. For more information regarding Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County, visit

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Lori Schneider, M.D. Pre-Planning, After Care, On Site Cremation Call today for a FREE preplanning guide 16901 Old Statesville Road • Huntersville, NC

Awards received last three years running “Patients’ Choice” Award • “Compassionate Physicians” Award


19615 Liverpool Pkwy., Ste. A • Cornelius • NC 28031

APRIL 2018

704-892-9669 •

New York University School of Medicine


at the Lake

a month of things to do at the Lake KIDS

Peter Pan Jr. (April 20-29) Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell, visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night and, with a sprinkle of pixie dust, begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. In the adventure of a lifetime, the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, a fierce Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates and, of course, the villainous Captain Hook. Connie Company, Davidson Community Players. Fri 7 p.m.; Sat 1 p.m., 4 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m. $12, $2 more at the door. Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour Street, Davidson, APRIL 2018


Davidson College Chorale Spring Concert (April 6) Davidson’s premier student choral ensemble performs their annual spring concert at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. The Chorale, including


Photography courtesy of Davidson College.


the Davidson Singers, Collegium Musicum, and After Hours Vocal Jazz, present a varied a cappella and accompanied choral repertoire. 5 p.m. Free. Davidson College Presbyterian Church, The Malpass Brothers (April 7) This old time "real" country music duo performs in the Music on Main concert series. 7 p.m. $15-20. The Charles Mack Citizen Center, Mooresville, Bach and Beyond Part II: Joseph Meyer, Violin (April 8) Artist associate in violin and associate concertmaster of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Joseph Meyer performs part two of his series of two recitals featuring works from Johann Sebastian Bach and more. 3 p.m. Free. Tyler-Tallman Hall, Davidson College, Sierra Hull (April 10) Sierra Hull has been recognized from age 11 as a virtuoso mandolin-player, astonishing audiences and fellow musicians alike. Now a seasoned touring musician nearing her mid-20s, Hull speaks eloquently in her challenging and sensitive originals, her heartfelt vocals, and continues to break new ground on the mandolin. 7:30 p.m. $20, free for Davidson College students (tickets required). Duke Family Performance Hall, Davidson College, Lake Norman Big Band (April 16) The Lake Norman Big Band plays every third Monday night at The Finish Line Restaurant in Mooresville. The show features favorite hits from the big band era and more. 7-9 p.m. $20 cover (includes buffet dinner). Call 704.664.2695 for reservations. The Finish Line Restaurant at George Pappas Victory Lanes, 125 Morlake Drive, Mooresville, www.

The legendary Chick Corea performs at Davidson College on April 17.

Chick Corea, with the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble (April 17) Chick Corea has attained iconic status in music. The keyboardist, composer and bandleader is a DownBeat Hall of Famer and NEA Jazz Master, as well as the fourth-most nominated artist

Girls’ Night Out in Grammy Awards history with 63 nods and 22 wins, in addition to a number of Latin Grammys. From straight-ahead to avant-garde, bebop to jazzrock fusion, children’s songs to chamber and symphonic works, Corea has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his career since playing with the genre-shattering bands of Miles Davis in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Corea has never been more productive than in the 21st century, whether playing acoustic piano or electric keyboards, leading multiple bands, performing solo or collaborating with a who’s who of music. Underscoring this, he has been named Artist of the Year three times this decade in the DownBeat Readers Poll. 8 p.m. $18.65-$32.63. Duke Family Performance Hall, Davidson College, WDAV’s Young Chamber Musicians Competition Past Winner’s Concert (April 21) Winners of WDAV’s 2017 Young Chamber Musicians Competition, Quartet Amí, all studied at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. Miki Nagahara, violin; Natalie Lee, violin; Gabriel Napoli, viola; and Geirthrudur Anna Gudmundsdottir; cello, came together in September 2015 and worked extensively as a chamber ensemble during their time at Northwestern, coached by members of the Vermeer Quartet and the Dover Quartet. 8 p.m. $20, free for Davidson College students with tickets. Tyler-Tallman Hall, Davidson College, WDAV’s Young Chamber Musician’s Competition (April 22) WDAV Classical Public Radio (89.9 FM) brings in four of the nation’s most talented young chamber ensembles for the fifth annual WDAV’s Young Chamber Musicians Competition, powered by OrthoCarolina. 3 p.m. $45, free for Davidson College Students with tickets. Duke Family Performance Hall, Davidson College, A.W. Duo (April 23) The husband-and-wife duo James Waldo (cello) and Alyona Aksyonova (piano) present a program linking the music of

Family Fun

Me Time Photography courtesy of Downtown Mooresville

Date Night

Uncorked & Artsy takes place April 13 in Downtown Mooresville. J.S. Bach and J. Brahms. Part of the Music at St. Alban’s concert series. 3 p.m. $15; students and young adults under 25, $10; seniors 62+ $10; children under 12 free. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 301 Caldwell Lane, Davidson, www. Bernstein Birthday Bash (April 26) Celebrate the 100th birthday of one of America’s most beloved musical artists, Leonard Bernstein. In addition to charismatic works that pay homage to Bernstein’s inspirations, the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra will perform music from Candide and West Side Story. 7:30 p.m. Free. Duke Family Performance Hall, Davidson College, Ziad Jazz Quartet and Friends (April 29) The Ziad Jazz Quartet performs Musica instrumental Brasileira, Brazilian jazz that will get your toes tapping. Part of the Alexaner Community Concert Series. 3 p.m. Price TBA. The Episcopal Church of St. Peter by-the-Lake, 8433 Fairfield Forest Road, Denver,


Spring Food Truck Rally (April 6) Enjoy more than 20 food trucks, NC Craft beer/wine, live music, bounce houses,

games, hayrides and more. 5-9 p.m. $5 per vehicle. Historic Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, Uncorked & Artsy (April 13) Held each spring and fall, Uncorked & Artsy features wine and craft beer tastings at multiple Downtown Mooresville businesses and additionally showcases regional artists displaying and selling their works along Broad and Main Streets. 6-9 p.m. $25 advance, $30 at event. Downtown Mooresville, www. Festival of Food Trucks (April 14) Enjoy gourmet Fare from a bunch of food trucks. Festival of Food Trucks takes place on North Main Street (between Moore Avenue and Iredell Avenue). Main Street from Moore Avenue to Iredell Avenue will be closed for the event, so bring a chair, hang out in the street and stay a while so you can check food from around the area, listen to music and stroll the streets and shop. 5-8:30 p.m. Free. Downtown Mooresville, www. The Wine Walk (April 14) Stroll the streets of Downtown Statesville, where you’ll find more than 70 wines just waiting to be tasted. Downtown shops will also

be open for shopping. 4-7 p.m. $30 advance, $35 day of. Downtown Statesville, www. ‘Tawba Walk Arts & Music Festival (April 14) ‘Tawba Walk is a multidimensional, eclectic art crawl that snakes through the heart of Cornelius, featuring dozens of local vendors, live street performances, shopping, food and more, showcasing the best Cornelius and the surrounding areas have to offer. 2-8 p.m. Free. Old Town Cornelius, Earth Day Celebration/ Hooked on Cornelius (April 21) This family event features free “green” activities including arts and crafts, demonstrations, wildlife habitat improvements, nature walks, fishing and more. Fishing is limited and preregistration is required. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Robbins Park, Cornelius,

Loch Norman Highland Games (April 21-22) Come and experience all the fun with highland dancing, bagpipe bands, highland athletics, a giant kids’ zone, Scottish merchants, haggis, Celtic rock and traditional performers, historic reenactments, Scottish country dancing, Sunday church service, hearth cooking, NC beer and wine, whiskey tastings, kilted running events and Scottish clan societies. Sat 8 a.m. until, Sun 4 p.m. until. Ticket prices vary. Historic Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville,

Easton Mills Memorial Workout Challenge (May 5) Enjoy a two-hour functional training workout in honor of the late Easton Mills, a 2-year-old member of the Lake Norman YMCA who passed away in 2017 due to a brain tumor. All proceeds go to the Send a Kid to Camp scholarship fund, which helps send kids to camp who otherwise would be unable to go. 9 a.m.- noon. $40 per person. Lake Norman YMCA, 21300 Davidson Street, Cornelius,

Spring Art Crawl (April 27) The Art Crawl will showcase more than 40 artists in more than 30 galleries, shops and businesses scattered throughout the heart of Downtown Statesville. The crawl is self-guided and you can begin the crawl at any location. Look for the sidewalk markers indicating a participating business. A program/map directing attendees to all the locations and listing all participating artists will be available at each location. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Downtown Statesville, www.


Healthy Kids Day (April 28) Enjoy all the Lake Norman YMCA has to offer and more. Time TBA. Free. Lake Norman YMCA, 21300 Davidson Street, Cornelius,

Warehouse Performing Arts Center Cinema (April 11) An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power will be shown. Former Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight (begun in 2006’s An Inconvenient Truth), traveling around the world to train an army of activists and influence international climate policy. 7 p.m. $10. Contact Warehouse PAC’s box office for tickets, 704.619.0429 or www.warehousepac. com. Warehouse Performing Arts Center, 9216-A Westmoreland Road, Cornelius,

Photography courtesy of Historic Rural Hill

Full Moon Sculpture Tour (April 30) Tour the sculptures on the Davidson College campus by moonlight. 7:30

Movies in the Park (April 5) Huntersville’s Movies in the Park kicks off the season with Coco. All movies begin 15 minutes after sunset. Drinks, candy and popcorn are available for purchase. Veterans Park, 107 N. Main Street, Huntersville,


Cornelius Arts Center Various exhibits. Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-noon. 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, Foster’s Frame and Art Gallery Various exhibitions. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10a.m.-4p.m. 403 N. Old Statesville Road, Huntersville, 704.948.1750. Four Corners Framing and Gallery Various exhibitions. Tue-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 148 N. Main Street, Mooresville, 704.662.7154, www. Lake Country Gallery Various exhibitions. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Exit 36 – Mooresville, between Belk and Kohl’s, 704.664.5022, Mooresville Arts Gallery SpringFest April 10-June 7. Opening reception April 20, 6-8 p.m. Opening reception April 20, 6-8 p.m. Tue-Fri noon-4 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 103 W. Center Avenue, Mooresville, Tropical Connections Various exhibitions. Tue- Fri 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment. 230 N. Main Street, Mooresville, The Van Every/Smith Galleries Tyler Starr: Implementalist Papers. Through April 12. Annual Student Art Exhibition. April 25-May 10. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon-4 p.m. Davidson College, The Van Every/Smith Galleries, 315 N. Main Street, Davidson, www.


Carolina Raptor Center Live bird presentations, flight shows, behind-the-scenes tours and more take place at Carolina Raptor Center throughout the month. Visit carolinaraptorcenter. org for more details.

The Loch Norman Highland Games April 21-22 at Historic Rural Hill features all things Scottish

2nd Friday Street Festival (Every second Friday) This event features many of the area’s most talented and innovative artists and craftsmen while showcasing a fabulous lineup of entertainment including local bands, performance groups, live art demonstrations and much more. Area businesses will be out to impress, offering special sales and incentives to event guests, who can also enjoy a variety of food and drinks from

local breweries and food. 6-10 p.m. Free. 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, Davidson Farmer’s Market (Every Saturday) Find fresh local produce and flowers and this event. 8 a.m.-noon. Next to Town Hall between Main and Jackson streets in downtown Davidson, www.


Davidson College Baseball It’s time for a trip out to the ballpark, aka Wilson Field. George Mason (April 6, 6 p.m.; April 7, 2 p.m.; April 8, 1 p.m.), Winthrop (April 17, 6 p.m.), VCU (April 27, 6 p.m.; April 28, 2 p.m.; April 29, 1 p.m.). Davidson College, 202 Martin Court Drive, Davidson,


First Date (Through April 1) Aaron is introduced to the world of blind dates by Casey, who has been on more than her fair share. When a mutual friend sets up the two, will sparks fly? The night unfolds with its share of surprises in the form of imaginary visits from an ex-girlfriend, an uptight sister, the pair’s protective parents and even their future son. This musical comedy looks at contemporary dating and the unforgettable first encounter between two romantics who just might be perfect for each other. Or not. This is a Davidson Community Players production. Sun 2 p.m. $20, seniors $18, students $12 — add $3 to door tickets. Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour Street, Davidson, Much Ado About Nothing (April 27-29) Beatrice and Benedick are the perfect match — it’s too bad they can’t stand each other. When their war of wits comes to a head, their friends decide there’s only one thing to be done — trick the hapless couple into falling hopelessly in love. The resulting series of plots, pranks, plans and ploys start to veer out of control, threatening more than one romance. Will their scheming succeed? Or will it all be Much Ado About Nothing? Presented by Warehouse Performing Arts Center. Fri-Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m. $20, seniors/students $15. Jetton Village, Cornelius,


Art on the Green (April 21-22) This enormously popular event brings thousands of people to Davidson to enjoy art, live music and food. Art on the Green is a juried art festival featuring booths filled with top-quality art works from artists throughout the region. The weekend will include musical performances by a variety of local talents and a host of food choices

p.m. RSVP is required. Contact Allison Tolbert for information, altolbert@, Davidson College,

APRIL 2018

Global Youth Service Day (April 21) During Global Youth Service Day, Mooresville Parks & Recreation offers a variety of ways for youth and families to improve the community from park cleanup to service projects to creating care packages. For more information, visit www.

from both on-site vendors and area restaurants. Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun noon-4 p.m. Free. Davidson Village Green,

Lori's Larks



APRIL 2018


Editor Lori K. Tate dusted off her ballet slippers for the Adult Try Everything Dance Class at Ludmila European Music and Art Academy in Cornelius.

From left, Tara Ward and Tate. Ward danced professionally in Austin and San Diego.

Editor Lori K. Tate dances her heart out at Cornelius’ Ludmila by Lori K. Tate | photography courtesy of Lori K. Tate

am a 45-year-old mom who drives a minivan. While I love my life, there are times when I just want to tap into my glamorous, crazy side for a few minutes. For example, one day I might sing into my curling iron while pretending I’m Lady Gaga, while on another day I might do the Time Warp in my kitchen. In order to take my wild side escape to a higher level, I signed up for the Adult Try Everything Dance Class at Ludmila European Music and Art Academy in Cornelius. Taught by Tara Ward, the introductory class explores the basic techniques of ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary dance. Ward danced professionally at Ballet Austin and the City Ballet of San Diego, where she performed soloist and principle roles in a number of ballets by George Balanchine and Elizabeth Wistrich. Needless to say, she knows what she’s doing in a dance studio. “Every week I try to switch it up,” says Ward, who recently moved to Huntersville from California. “I like to change it up so that no one gets bored.” Although I took dance growing up (13 years to be exact) and I’ve danced in plenty of musicals, I was a bit nervous. Regardless, I persevered with my dusty ballet slippers in hand. I even threw my character shoes into my bag in case she wanted to try a little soft shoe, as tap was always my favorite. When I arrived, Ward suggested we warm up, so we did jumping jacks, followed by burpees (my eternal nemesis) and stretching (boy, do I need to do that more). Then we began doing some jazz moves back and forth across the floor

(think lots of turns and chasses – Google it if you don’t know). Ward threw out names of other dance steps, and I explained to her how I’m more of a visual learner. She would then break the steps down and show them to me, sometimes more than once. The more I tried them, the more comfortable I became. We discovered that my left side is much more stable than my right side, and I also rediscovered how to spot turn. Near the end of class, Ward began teaching me a combination. We learned a couple of steps, and then we’d practice. Then we’d learn a few more steps and add them to what we already learned. This was addictive because the more we did; the more I wanted to do. This was also the part where I got to pretend that I was one of Beyonce’s dancers. I really began to feel like I could run the world. Did I do the combination perfectly? No. Did I look a little bit like Elaine dancing on Seinfeld at times? Probably. But I didn’t care because I was dancing with all of my heart. As a bonus, I was also getting a great workout. It felt good to move and see what my middle-aged body could still do. Plus, Ward was a patient teacher, which allowed me to try and fail as many times as I needed to. The next time I need to dance out of my comfort zone, I know exactly where to go. Adult Try Everything Dance Class Tuesday, 6-7 p.m. Ludmila European Music and Art Academy 20920 Torrence Chapel Road Cornelius


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Lake Norman Currents April 2018  
Lake Norman Currents April 2018  

The magazine by and for the people who call Lake Norman home