New Guest Artist Series to Feature ‘Hank & Pattie’

Promotional photo of musicians Hank and Pattie.

WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Music Department is preparing for the first concert of a new Guest Artist Series it started to broaden students’ musical horizons and deepen their understanding of musical styles.

On Feb. 13, the college will welcome Hank Smith, a banjo player from Raleigh, and Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw, a fiddler from Greenville, to the Craig F. Goess Student Center’s Davenport Multipurpose Room. The performance is open to PCC students and employees and will feature bluegrass songs infused with a mixture of musical styles, including classical and Motown, that some have termed “soulgrass.”

“While some of the music sounds old school and some sounds fresh and new, their overall musicianship, vocal harmonies, impassioned delivery and innovative arrangements captivate all generations of music lovers,” PCC Music and Drama Coordinator Michael Stephenson said.

Stephenson says Smith’s and Kinlaw’s “authentic and unique reflection of American music” is just what he was looking for from the Guest Artist Series, which was established through a $1,600-NC Grassroots Arts Grant PCC received from the North Carolina Arts Council. The funding allows Pitt’s music department to bring in professional musicians from the region for performances and educational activities that benefit students, employees and community members.

“We want to inspire and empower PCC students through encounters with accomplished musicians, who will share their artistic life experiences to offer valuable insights and encouragement to the next generation of musical talent,” Stephenson said. “The goal is to establish a vibrant and inclusive musical education environment at Pitt Community College.”

The NC Grassroots Arts Grant PCC received is part of a collective effort to ensure a diverse and inclusive cultural landscape in North Carolina through support for arts programming in each of the state’s 100 counties.

Future Guest Artist Series concerts will feature musicians Carlo and Marlo Rouse and jazz/rock performer Devin Frasier.