BSA Eagle Scout project to benefit Thalian Hall

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) - TJ Carter, a 15-year-old, aspiring Eagle Scout from Troop-19 in Wilmington, NC, has chosen Thalian Hall-Center for the Performing Arts, to be the beneficiary of a concert he is producing with legendary North Carolina singer/songwriter Mike Cross on October 21st, 2011.

An Eagle Project is required of any Boy Scout who wants to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting. It must be an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, and manages for for the benefit of a non-profit organization, religious group, or the community.

For his Eagle Project, TJ is donating a life-size bronze sculpture called “Comedy & Tragedy” by Colorado artist Bets H. Lundeen, that will be featured in the main lobby of the theater. “I wanted to do something special for this incredible concert hall for my Eagle Project,” said TJ. “Thalian Hall is celebrating it’s 153rd anniversary this month, and when I found this bronze sculpture I knew I’d discovered a piece of art that really captured the spirit of this historic theater,” Carter said.

Thalian Hall, built in 1858, is listed on the National Register for Historic Places, and is the only surviving theater designed by John Montague Trimble, one of America’s foremost 19th-century theater architects. It is home of the oldest continually operating theater company in the country.

To fund the purchase of the bronze sculpture, TJ approached renowned musician Mike Cross, who had played Thalian Hall numerous times in the past thirty years. The offer to perform was enthusiastically accepted by Cross, who recorded his live album at Thalian Hall during four back-to-back concerts thirty years ago in 1981.

“I’ve played a lot of halls around the country–Symphony Hall in Boston–wonderful facilities that have international reputations,” Cross said, “and I’ve never been in a more beautiful place than Thalian Hall.”

Mike’s song “Carolina Calling” was featured by the NC Department of Tourism for a “Visit North Carolina” TV and radio ad campaign. A song he wrote in 1973 called "The Scotsman" gained notoriety as the theme for the Dr. Demento Radio Show, and "Leon McDuff" was recorded and performed by the Dirt Band for the first Farm Aid Concert.

“The bronze sculpture will be presented to Thalian Hall after the intermission on the night of the concert. I think everyone will be amazed when they see it in person.” TJ said.

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