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Weekend In Entertainment: Charlotte Checkers, Morehouse Glee Club & More!

Charlotte Checkers
Charlotte Checkers
Charlotte Checkers celebrate the franchise's first-ever Calder Cup

On tap this weekend we have the Queen Charlotte Fair, opening night for the Charlotte Checkers and a food truck competition. Oh, and the world-renowned Morehouse College Glee Club. They're in town tonight to perform with the Charlotte Symphony.

Dr. David Morrow is the glee club's director for the concert.

"We are doing a variety of music -- sort of going back and forth between the symphonies," Morrow said. "It’s a very equal concert. There’s symphonic music that will be done just by the symphony. There are things that the glee club is going to do by itself, including our signature song “Betelehemu” -- which is a Nigerian Christmas song that we do every year. We’ve been singing it since about 1965. It’s a very exciting piece. On the second half, we are doing most things together. And it includes a wonderful piece by Joel Thompson called the “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed.” 

Joining Gwendolyn Glenn to talk about this elite group of all-male singers and more is Billie Jean Shaw, a reporter for NBC Charlotte. 

Gwendolyn Glenn: Hi Billie Jean. 

Billie Jean Shaw: Hi Gwen. 

Billie Jean Shaw
Credit Billie Jean Shaw
Billie Jean Shaw, reporter for NBC Charlotte.

Glenn: Well Morehouse’s Glee Club is performing tonight for one night only. Tell us more details.

Shaw: Sure. So Morehouse is a historically black, all-male college out of the ATL so they're known for a lot of things like their excellence in education, famous alumni -- but they're also known for their glee club. They’ve actually traveled all over the world from Africa, the Caribbean to Russia and Poland. So the glee club was formed back in 1911 and they've had many notable performances, including Super Bowl XXVIII, opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games, and they performed at none other than Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's funeral. (Also) President Jimmy Carter's inauguration and they've made regular appearances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. So tonight they'll join the full Charlotte Symphony Orchestra for a special collaboration led by resident conductor Christopher James Lees.

Glenn: And remind us, exactly what is a glee club?

Shaw: So, a glee club is a group of singers that perform short choral works a.k.a. glee's by trios or quartets. And matter of fact, if you've ever seen the hit show "Glee" on Fox that may be a good comparison for you and the concert.

Morehouse College Glee Club.
Credit Charlotte Symphony
Morehouse College Glee Club.

Glenn: And it’s tonight at 7:30?

Shaw: Yes, at the Belk Theater in uptown. And this is my favorite part -- all proceeds from this show will provide scholarships for students in the Charlotte area attending Morehouse College.

Glenn: Well, that's a great cause. Now, moving on to Friday, which will be the opening night for the Charlotte Checkers -- Charlotte's professional ice hockey team.

Shaw: Yes, so Friday is opening night for the Checkers' 2019-2020 season, and it is a big deal because it will feature the banner-raising ceremony in honor of the team's first-ever American Hockey League championship last year. So, fans you really need to be there by 6:30 p.m. for the beginning of the ceremony. And it will feature video tributes, an appearance by the championship trophy and, of course, the raising of the 2019 championship banner.

Glenn: All right. Go, Checkers! Now on to the food scene. There's going to be the Charlotte's Best Food Truck competition this week. Tell us how that's going to work?

Shaw: So everyone loves a good food truck right?

Glenn: Right. 

Shaw: Well, this food truck competition is being put on by the Black Business Owners of Charlotte and it's happening uptown this Saturday. Everything's going down from 3 - 6 p.m., so you have a lot of time for this. Guests have to buy some tokens and you're going to use those tokens to sample bites from each of the trucks. And then this is the fun part: You get to vote for your favorite burger, cultural dish, dessert, and signature dish. And if you're a foodie like me or you're just looking for something different and tasty, this is definitely the place you need to be.

Glenn: Any idea of what food trucks will be participating?

Shaw: Yeah, Gwen, they haven't announced the lineup just yet, but I'm sure they're going to be some popular trucks everyone is familiar with from around the area.

Glenn: And finally, there's the Queen Charlotte Fair that runs throughout the weekend. A fun family-friendly event in Concord.

Shaw: Yeah. So it's fall. And you know that means it's fair season. There's a lot of them happening -- like the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem. You also have the State Fair in Raleigh and now the Queen Charlotte Fair in Concord. This fair has a lot going on, like the Wall of Death that showcases antique Harley Davidson motorcycles, and a four-wheeled racing go-cart and they're all driving on a vertical wall. Twelve feet, at that. 

Glenn: Wow. Scary. 

Shaw: Yes. And there's also the Hot Diggity Dog Show featuring trained dogs and trained pigs. And this fair also has helicopter rides on tap for a low fee. There's a circus stage act and there's also a theme night. So, this Saturday is college night and it's 50% off if you have a valid school I.D.

Glenn: Sounds like a lot of fun there. A nice fall weekend ahead of us. Thanks Billie Jean. 

Shaw: Thanks, Gwen. Appreciate it. 

Glenn: Billie Jean Shaw is a reporter for NBC Charlotte. 

Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.