The Surry Arts Council brings some of the top musical acts in the Southeast to Mount Airy, particularly groups known on the beach music scene.
Among those are groups or individuals that were nominated for this year’s 2017 Carolina Beach Music Association awards, including for entertainer of the year, top group album and male vocalist.
Now, the concert series itself is among those on the verge of winning an award.
That’s because the Carolina Beach Music Association has nominated the Surry Arts Council’s series for Concert Series of the Year for 2017.
“We are so excited,” said Tanya Jones, SAC executive director. “We always try to put together a strong series, and we take the Carolina Beach Music Association awards into consideration when we are planning the summer series. To have them nominate us is such an honor.”
The local series began in 2005, with a handful of concerts that Jones said earlier this summer might draw upwards of 300 people on a good night.
“We used to think 200 or 300 was a great crowd,” she said during an interview in May.
The bar has risen significantly since then, with some concerts now drawing more than a thousand fans, all looking for a little relaxation and enjoyment listening to the live music and taking to the dance floor.
The number of concerts has grown, too. This year, the series began in April and ran through the Mayberry Days festival in September, with two to three concerts most weeks.
Several of the performers nominated for awards were featured in the Blackmon Amphitheatre 2017 Summer Series, including Entertainer of the Year nominee Tim Clark (The Tim Clark Band), Craig Woolard (The Embers featuring Craig Woolard), Jim Quick (Jim Quick & Coastline), and Gary Lowder (Gary Lowder and Smokin’ Hot) among them.
Others included Group Album of the Year nominees Blackwater Rhythm & Blues, The Catalinas, Midnight Allie, Band of Oz, and Gary Lowder and Smokin’ Hot.
Female Vocalist nominees were Allie Privette (Midnight Allie), Karen Clayton (Castaways) and Stacy Danner (Summerdaze); Male Vocalist nominees were Albert “Redd” Cottle (The Tams), Craig Woolard, Gary Lowder, and Jim Quick.
Song of the Year nominees included “Be with The One That You Love” (The Embers featuring Craig Woolard), “Everyday Love” (Band of Oz), and “Should Have Been Loving You” (Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot).
“The mission of the CBMA Awards is to promote Carolina Beach Music, its influences and offshoots, and the unique Carolina lifestyle,” the Surry Arts Council stated in announcing its nomination.
“The further overall purpose is to keep beach music alive by getting young people involved in the fun, clean-cut music; to give the music its deserved recognition, respect and credibility; and to bring diverse people together in an upbeat, harmonious manner. “
The annual awards honor winners in various categories including performers, songwriters, radio personalities, promoters, events and series.
“The awards have become an icon of Carolina beach music and the home of this southern tradition,” the local agency said.
Members of the Carolina Beach Music Association are responsible for nominations as well as voting for the winners. For additional information, or to become a member, visit www.cammy.org.
For additional information about the Blackmon Amphitheatre Summer Series, visit www.surryarts.org or call Tanya Jones at (336) 786-7998.