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NewSong Music & Winston-Salem’s Hanesbrands Theatre Partner to Showcase Exceptional Emerging Artists in North Carolina

September 7th, 2011

Winston-Salem native brings musical talent to the Triad.

New York, NY – September 7, 2011 – New York’s NewSong Music is proud to partner with the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to curate a new emerging artist music series at the Hanesbrands Theater.

The series will showcase some of the most talented emerging performing songwriters from across North America. Performers announced to date include the Sweater Set, who launch the series on Friday, September 23, and The Honey Dewdrops, who perform Friday, December 16. Both shows begin at 8:00 PM.

Gar Ragland, the director and co-founder of NewSong Music and a native of Winston-Salem, is a member of the Arts Council’s Winston-Salem Music and Nightlife Task Force. “Milton Rhodes, Richard Emmett and I have discussed co-curating an emerging artist series in Winston-Salem for several years now. NewSong is currently a partner with two New York City arts presenters – Arts>World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – to produce similar showcase series.”

“When we were ready to take the program beyond New York, it was a natural choice to bring it to my hometown and host the shows at the newly renovated Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. It’s a great honor to have the opportunity to share with the Triad some truly exceptional talent from our artist community, and to present this new emerging artist series at the Hanesbrands Theatre in downtown Winston-Salem.”

NewSong Music is an independent music organization based in Brooklyn, New York. Its mission is to build a supportive community of performers and songwriters across all genres of music and levels of skill, while identifying truly exceptional artists within this community and introducing their music to a broader, international audience. The standout talent NewSong works with is discovered primarily through the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, one of North America’s premier showcases of emerging performing songwriters.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with Gar Ragland and NewSong Music for this showcase of emerging music talent at the Hanesbrands Theatre,” said Richard Emmett, COO of the Arts Council and owner and operator of The Garage live music venue in the Arts District. “Gar and his company have earned an international reputation for giving emerging artists a platform to present their songs to audiences across North America, and for giving the top new talents they discover the promotional support and performance opportunities to take their career to the next level. Winston-Salem is lucky to be able to play host to some of NewSong Music’s stable of emerging musicians.”

Each year, the grand-prize winner of the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest receives a performance on an international broadcast of NPR’s Mountain Stage show, as well as a recording project produced by one of the premier producers in the music industry. The project is then released and distributed on the NewSong Recordings label. The 2010 winner Amber Rubarth’s prize-winning album was produced by Grammy-winning producer Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, Tom Waits) and is scheduled to release on September 22.

To learn more about this year’s contest and to submit (the deadline is September 16), please visit


The Sweater Set – September 23

Since their early years as teens in a DC church choir, Maureen Andary and Sara Curtin have developed a unique musical relationship.  Intricate Soprano-Alto harmonies soar over multi-instrumental arrangements of ukulele, guitar, flute, hand percussion, accordion, glockenspiel, and the occasional kazoo/mouth trumpet solo.

The Sweater Set has been nominated for 7 Washington Area Music Association awards including Best Contemporary Folk Duo of 2010, Best New Artist of 2009, has been awarded two Young Emerging Artist grants from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and are 2010-11 Strathmore Artists-in-Residence in Bethesda, Maryland.

Honeydew Drops – December 16

Writing and singing in the veins of folk and old country music, the Honeydew Drops entwine harmony singing with tight instrumentation and craft songs that are simple and fine-tuned. Theirs are new songs from the southern mountains that ring with originality. After their appearance and first place win on a 2008 talent show broadcast of NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion”, the Dewdrops began their careers as songwriters and have since released two critically acclaimed albums, If the Sun Will Shine (2009) and These Old Roots (2010) both of which have charted at the #1 and #2 positions on the Folk DJ-L Charts for 2010.

NewSong Music:
The Arts Council of Winston-Salem:
Hanesbrand Theater:
Arts World Financial Center:
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts:
The Sweater Set:
The Honey Dewdrops:

For all inquires please contact:

Lauren Stockner