More & More Critics Quit or Are Bought Out – Think it Can’t Happen Here? Think Again.

It’s everywhere. Think it can’t happen here? It’s already happened here, and it continues. Now’s the time to ignore the disgruntled naysayers and step forward to support the arts journalism we still have, while we still have it. See:

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Hugh Partridge Recognized for 40+ Years of Service to Music Education

Business Support of the Arts


Philharmonic Association Artistic Director Hugh Partridge was honored on January 16 during the 2018 State of the Arts and Culture in Wake County event sponsored by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County and the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Partridge received the 2018 Business Support of the Arts in the Arts Education category.

United Arts President, Eleanor Oakley, gave the following introduction:

For over 40 years, Hugh Partridge has demonstrated extraordinary support of the arts and influenced the musical life of North Carolina through his leadership as a performer, music educator, collaborator, and conductor.

Coming to North Carolina in 1976 to serve as Principal Violist with the North Carolina Symphony, Hugh brought his professional experience and love of working with young people to the Symphony’s already acclaimed educational program. Outside of his demanding performing schedule, and later teaching position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he voluntarily assisted in recruiting for the Wake County Public Schools strings programs, performed recitals in the community, provided thoughtful musical experiences at his sons’ schools, served on arts committees and boards, and graciously responded to young people’s requests for help in their musical endeavors.

A Cary resident, Hugh served on the first citizen cultural arts committee, helped raise funds to renovate Cary’s historic Page Walker Hotel by donating his services to organize and perform a benefit concert and has also performed pro bono at Lazy Daze and Spring Daze festivals.

Hugh was a founding Board Director of the Community Music of School of Raleigh; organized and taught free summer lessons for students who wanted to audition for Philharmonic Association orchestras; planned a weeklong summer camp during which he donated his time as the orchestra conductor; and functioned without payment as a substitute when the school lost a string teacher.

There is no greater example of Hugh’s willingness to help young musicians than his response to thirty-five students who approached him in 1988 to help them form an orchestra. The resulting Philharmonic Association (PA) would likely not exist today had Hugh not been willing to donate his time to begin and nurture it until it had some financial wherewithal. It began as an entirely volunteer, grassroots organization, and it wasn’t until after several years of fundraising efforts, including multiple benefit concerts in which Hugh donated his services, that the non-profit was able to provide a small stipend for his conducting time. His role as Artistic Director remains an unpaid Board position. He has continued for 30 years, giving of himself without regard to the level of remuneration, and is also the largest individual donor to the organization. Under his leadership, the PA has grown to sponsor three full orchestras, two string orchestras, four jazz ensembles and multiple chamber ensembles. This award-winning youth arts education program is perhaps his greatest accomplishment and legacy. Throughout his music career, Hugh has made a lasting difference in the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of students of all abilities and backgrounds.

PA String Quartet Also Performed at Same Event January 16


The Philharmonic Association String Quartet (Samuel Zhu and Shania Khoo, violins; Esther Zhu, viola; and Stephen Chang, cello) were very effective in the premiere of an excerpt of R. Michael Daugherty’s The Story of Rapunzel or the Rampion Girl. This chamber work with narrator (expertly provided by William Kalland of Cary’s applause Youth Theatre) was commissioned by the Philharmonic Association in 2017.

Click here to hear the performance. 

(Reprinted with permission of the Philharmonic Association.)

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RIP Sally Buckner, Poet – Memorial Service Jan. 19

Professor Emerita of English, Dr. Sally Buckner, Passes Away

January 9, 2018
Dr. Sally Buckner at 2017 Commencement


William Peace University is deeply saddened by the passing of a former faculty member, Professor Emerita of English, Dr. Sally Buckner. Buckner taught literature and writing at Peace for 28 years before her retirement in 1998, and remained an active and committed supporter in many ways after retiring. This past May, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities at Commencement in recognition of her dedication and service to Peace. Throughout her tenure, her impact on students, faculty, and staff was immeasurable and she will be greatly missed.

“She was a passionate and dedicated educator and poet and will be dearly missed by her friends and colleagues here at Peace.”

Dr. Sally Buckner served Peace for 28 years before retiring in 1998.
Dr. Sally Buckner served Peace for 28 years before retiring in 1998.

Dr. Buckner, a published poet and Statesville native, earned her Ph.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill and her BA from WCUNC (now UNC Greensboro). Buckner taught at every level of education, from kindergarten through graduate school, and published fiction and poetry in a number of journals and anthologies, including “Voices from Home,” “Crucible” and “Out of Line,” and authored a poetry collection, “Strawberry Harvest.” Buckner also edited two anthologies, “Our Word, Our Ways” and “Words and Witness: 100 Years of North Carolina Poetry.” Buckner’s papers, “Sally Buckner Papers, 1963-2004,” reside in The Southern Historical Collection, Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library.

In 2016, Sally received the Order of the Longleaf Pine from the State of North Carolina. She was also a longtime donor to the University, participating in the Kresge Challenge during the POP Campaign and was on the Sesquicentennial Campaign Committee in 2007.

“Sally was an author, a poet, an editor, a mother, and a grandmother, but most of all she was a teacher,” said Charles Duncan, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs. “And in her teaching – whether it was in the classroom or out in the world – she was smart, gracious, and kind, but also tough in just the right way. She was a gift to all she touched, and Peace was lucky to have known her.”

“She was a gift to all she touched, and Peace was lucky to have known her.”

“The impact of Dr. Buckner on the Peace community, alumni and the region cannot be overstated,” said Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D., President of William Peace University. “She was a passionate and dedicated educator and poet and will be dearly missed by her friends and colleagues here at Peace.”

Dr. Buckner was 86.

The full obit is here.

Funeral Service Information:

Friday, January 19, 2018
1:00 p.m.
Pullen Memorial Baptist Church
1801 Hillsborough St.,
Raleigh, NC

Reprinted with permission from

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RIP Alex Ewing, Chancellor Emeritus of the UNC School of the Arts

In a long article in the Winston-Salem Journal, author Lynn Felder notes the Dec. 27 death of former UNCSA chancellor Alex Ewing, 86. The story is here.

He served as chancellor for a decade, starting in 1990, during which time he shaped the lives of countless artists in all disciplines whose ongoing work constitutes his legacy.

The article states that a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 520 Summit St., Winston-Salem.

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RIP Jane Hawkins Raimi – Memorial Jan. 6

Pianist Jane Hawkins (1950-2017), Professor of the Practice and former Chair of the Department of Music

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Department of Music mourns the passing of Jane Hawkins (September 17, 1950—November 27, 2017). A member of the piano faculty since 1978, she was Chair of the Department of Music from 2010-2014. She also served two terms as Director of Performance.


Born in Swansea, South Wales, Jane Hawkins began her career in the United States after graduating with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied both cello and piano. Recognized as an inspired and significant collaborator in her work with instrumentalists, vocalists and artists of various disciplines, in recent years she appeared in the United States with the Dorian Wind Quintet, the Chicago Symphony Chamber Players, and the American Chamber Players at the Library of Congress, among others. She concertized in Europe and China with Duke University’s Ciompi Quartet. Other tours included South Africa and Canada.

A beloved teacher and mentor, Professor Hawkins taught both piano and chamber music, sharing her love of music with generations of Duke students. She was a founding member of Durham’s Mallarmé Chamber Players and an active and enthusiastic contributor to the North Carolina musical community.

“Jane will be remembered in so many ways,” said Stephen Jaffe, Interim Chair of Music.  “At Duke, she was a teacher-performer admired by countless students of piano and chamber music, and she was also admired as a funny and very agreeable colleague, who when the time presented itself, took on the role of leading the Department of Music, the first performer and first woman to do so in forty years. She had a way of bringing us together by reminding us that our enterprise could be shared and celebrated.  Especially, Jane was a fine musical artist—a superb collaborative pianist in chamber music and in the intimate song literature at which she excelled—I can think of her performances of Fauré’s Piano Quartet Op. 15, Schubert’s Winterreise, and Mozart’s ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio, K. 498, for clarinet, viola and piano among many other works she set her hands to playing. Taken together, perhaps it was all of the elements of her generous personality–the talent, the loving-kindness, and the humor that attracted so many friends to want to work with her.”

“We are heartbroken by this loss, and send our warmest wishes to Fred Raimi, her daughter Lisa, and son Daniel and their families. Jane will be sorely missed by her students, friends, and colleagues.”

Professor Hawkins is survived by her husband Frederic Raimi of Durham, also a member of Duke’s faculty in Music; daughter Elise Raimi and her husband Jeremy Graham of Spokane, Washington; son Daniel Raimi and daughter –in-law Kaitlin Raimi of Ann Arbor, Michigan; and two grandchildren, Hayden and Zeni Jane Graham.

…. Memorial donations may be sent to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, or a charity of your choice in Jane’s honor.

(Reprinted with the permission of Duke’s Department of Music.)


Memorial details announced Dec. 17 by Daniel Raimi:

“…On Saturday, January 6th [there wil be] a memorial service celebrating the life of … Jane Hawkins Raimi. We will begin in Nelson Music Room at Duke University with a brief program of music and a few speakers. We will then move downstairs to the reception area where there will be time to eat, drink, and share some of your favorite memories of Jane.
“In line with what she would have wanted, we are going to keep things fairly informal. However, it is important that you RSVP using the link below so we can plan for the proper amount of food and drink. We also invite you to share this … with others who would like to be there to celebrate Jane. Please RSVP by Dec. 30th.
3:00 – 5:00 PM
Nelson Music Room
East Duke Building
1304 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC 27705
“Hope to see you on January 6th.”
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Here, There, and Everywhere

Now it’s Philadelphia, as one of that city’s top critics gets his tent folded for him by his big commercial paper. So we’re hardly alone here, in NC, as dailies in Raleigh and Durham and Winston-Salem and Charlotte have given up reviews. You may read about the latest collapse, in Phila., here:

Meanwhile, if you care about the services CVNC provides and if you want us to carry on, please contribute now. To do so, click here.

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Another One Bites the Dust

Another critic bites the dust – an exceptional writer in Cincinnati – just before their revamped hall reopens. (Sound familiar? It happened here, in Raleigh, 16 years ago – and local arts groups are still looking for space and coverage, too.)

Read the Cincinnati story here:

Listen, folks, we’re not kidding: if reviews and robust calendar services mean something – anything – to YOU, now’s the time to step up and contribute to the platforms – like CVNC – that are still in business. When they’re gone – remember Spectator? – remember classical concert reviews in Independent? – it’s too late to save them.

Donate today, Donate now.

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An Update from CVNC

September 6, 2001: Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC) was officially incorporated in North Carolina. Here’s a little update on CVNC’s activities.

At our last meeting, CVNC’s Board of Directors approved a new Advisory Board to help us improve communications with the arts community we serve. In alphabetical order, the new people are composer and conductor William Henry Curry, ethnomusicologist and cellist Jonathan Kramer, vocalist and teacher Waltye Rasulala, and concertmaster and pedagogue Yang Xi.

Have you responded to our homepage question asking “Who reviews your favorite performing artist or group? It used to be your local newspaper. Is this still true?” The News & Observer no longer publishes cultural reviews, effective September 1. (Their long-time critic rejoins us while he continues to do previews for the daily….) The Charlotte Observer abandoned their reviews earlier this summer. This is happening all over our state (really everywhere!).

We hope we can press on, but funding remains a challenge.

Local and state grants provide 25-30% of our funds each year. This year we have received grants from the following agencies and organizations:
NC Arts Council: $8,500 – this funds roughly 70 reviews
United Arts of Raleigh & Wake County: $2,300 – this funds roughly 18 reviews
City of Raleigh Arts Commission: $10,300 – this in effect funds 82 reviews (although it’s actually operating support…)

Foundation gifts from donor-advised funds include:
Winston-Salem Foundation: $1,000 – this funds 8 reviews at the UNCSA

This adds up to 178 reviews we could publish in 2017-18. In recent years we have published as many as 450 reviews. The shortfall in funds is equal to 272 reviews.

The difference is up to you.

Please consider a tax-deductible gift. If you work for a company that matches your contributions, please tell us. If you are a presenter, please advertise with us – and then invite your patrons to consider supporting us, too.

We must have increased financial support from our readers to provide the statewide calendar services and reviews you have come to expect.

Now’s the time! We are all in this together.

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NCAC Celebrates 50 Years of Service



The celebration includes tributes from 50 artists who share their NC arts stories and reflect on why public funding for the arts matters. See

The council has published and will update a calendar of events all over that salute the arts and the NCAC’s influence. See (And note that presenters are invited to share individual listings with CVNC for its statewide calendar throughout the year. Instructions are here:

Podcasts enliven the proceedings. See

YOU may participate in or support this work. To learn how, click here:

For much more information, see

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