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BANNER ELK— A full summer celebrating the life and legacy of Presbyterian minister the Rev. Edgar Tufts will kick off June 9 and will feature a free gallery exhibit in Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theater. There will also be a reception in the adjacent Miller Commons on the campus of Lees-McRae.

From 3-5 p.m., enjoy historical photographs of the college before an exclusive performance by “From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story” cast members. The event will host members of the Tufts family for the community to meet as well and food and refreshments will be provided.

One of three performances in the 2019 Lees-McRae Summer Theatre season, “From the Mountaintop: The Edgar Tufts Story” recounts the life of Tufts — who arrived to the region in the late 1800s as a seminary student to organize a church. He later established the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, Lees-McRae College, Cannon Memorial Hospital and Grandfather Home for Children.

The musical, written by Janet Barton Speer with songs and lyrics by John Thomas and Tommy Oaks, follows Tufts from his early struggles as a motherless teenager to his triumphs in Banner Elk.

Speer shared her excitement for the upcoming summer events.

“It’s going to be thrilling to revisit the Edgar Tufts story through photographs, walking tours, special events by the institutions he founded, and of course, the new musical,” Speer said. “His life and legacy have much to teach us about how to live our lives today.”

The show will premiere July 11 in Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theatre with additional performances July 12, 13, and 16 at 7 p.m. There will also be afternoon shows July 14, 16 and 17 at 2 p.m.

Tickets can now be purchased online, by mail request or at the box office beginning June 19.

The summer’s celebrations will also include historical walking tours of Banner Elk. July 8-17, visitors and High Country community members can discover a new side of Banner Elk’s most important locations such as the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, the gravesite of Edgar Tufts, the Historic Commons at Lees-McRae College and so much more.

Tour times are daily July 8-17 at 12:30 p.m. and additional tours are offered July 11-13, and July 16 at 5:30 p.m. All tours begin at Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theatre. Those interested may sign up for a tour at the Hayes Auditorium box office starting June 19.

Learn more about the full 2019 Lees-McRae Summer Theatre lineup, ticket prices and more at www.lmc.edu/community/summer-theatre/index.htm.

Learn more about Banner Elk’s Heritage of Service Celebration at www.bannerelk.com/heritage-celebration.

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