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Gaston County’s

The Banner News /

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Thursday, January 21, 2021




Details page 11 Volume 87 • Issue 3

News from a neighbor! • Belmont • Cramerton • Lowell • McAdenville • Mount Holly • Stanley

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Karen Hite Jacob makes beautiful music on a unique instrument By Alan Hodge

When Karen Hite Jacob of Belmont sits down at the keyboard of her harpsichord, beautiful music flows like water from her fingertips. Wait. What the heck is a harpsichord? The harpsichord is a musical instrument that was the forerunner of the modern piano. The harpsichord was most likely invented in the late Middle Ages. Harpsichords vary in size and shape, but all have the same basic mechanism. The player depresses a key that rocks over a pivot in the middle of its length. The other end of the key lifts a jack (a long strip of wood) that holds a small plectrum (a wedge-shaped piece of quill, often made of plastic in the 21st century), which plucks the string. When the player releases the key, the

far end returns to its rest position, and the jack falls back; the plectrum, mounted on a tongue mechanism that can swivel backwards away from the string, passes the string without plucking it again. As the key reaches its rest position, a felt damper atop the jack stops the string’s vibrations. Since it uses quills instead of felt covered “hammers” like the modern piano, the notes a harpsichord makes are lighter and crisper in sound. In fact the whole instrument is lighter in weight and construction than a piano. The harpsichord was a favorite instrument during the Baroque time period (16001750). Folks that wrote and played copious amounts of music for it include Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Georg Philipp Telemann. See MUSIC, Page 6

Karen Hite Jacob prepares to play a tune on the Belmont Abbey harpsichord.

Mt. Holly honors two police officers By Alan Hodge

randum for the award. “While on duty on this date (Dec. 11), Officer HernAt its January 11 meeting, don responded in the early the Mt. Holly city council honored MHPD officers the late Tyler Herndon as well as Sgt. Todd Calhoun who retired after 30 years on the job. Herndon was posthumously awarded the prestigious Commander’s Coin for his actions during a Dec. 11, 2020 event where he was fatally wounded in action. The MHPD Commanders Coin award recognizes employees who have distinguished themselves by acts of special accopliusjmnen tor other acts of service above and beyond those normally expected by members of the department. It is the highest award given to members of the department. MHPD chief Don Roper wrote the following memo- Tyler Herndon

Belmont’s Rocky Branch Park getting major upgrades Other Parks and Rec. projects also moving forward By Alan Hodge

One of Belmont’s most popular recreational areas, Rocky Branch Park, is current closed. However, it’s all for a good cause- that being major upgrades to make it a more walkable and a family friendly oasis of outdoor area just a couple of blocks from the heart of downtown. Rocky Branch Park has

primarily been a mountain biking/hiking trail park. It first opened for use in July 2013 with a couple miles of biking and hiking trails. It was carved out of the woods at the bend in the road where Sacco St. and Woodrow Ave. meet. The initial construction was done mainly with volunteer labor and free land making it one of the city’s best park deals ever. The current upgrades project got started a couple of weeks ago and are expected to be done by mid-March See TRAIL, Page 4

Photo by Alan Hodge

morning hours, along with other officers, to the report of a breaking and entering in progress in the 300 block of

Beatty Dr. Upon arrival, Officer Herndon and the other officers encountered a felony See OFFICERS, Page 4

Sgt. Todd Calhoun