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Grand Old Opry stars The Isaacs perform at Hendersonville Rising.

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Hendersonville Rises

Local Music Stars Give Back At Tornado Relief Concert

Hendersonville is a caring community that takes care of its own.

During times of crisis, citizens come together to help their neighbors in need. From volunteer time to cash and material donations, generosity abounds across the City by the Lake.

This caring nature has been demonstrated time and time again, most recently in the aftermath of a destructive tornado that wrought havoc last December. In the days following the event, the scope of the devastation became frighteningly clear. Hundreds of homes and businesses were impacted by the tornado, with damage ranging from missing roofs and shattered windows to total destruction.

While feelings of despair and anxiety soon set in, they were countered by the rallying cries of neighbors coming to each other's aid. Within hours after the storm had passed, the sound of chainsaws was heard all across the city as locals sprang into action to help those in need.

Since then, Hendersonville’s resiliency has been evidenced in many other ways. From opening a temporary tornado relief center at the Streets of Indian Lake to hosting citywide cleanup events, people from all across the community have risen to the occasion through an outpouring of financial and volunteer support.

The tornado relief efforts reached new heights on the evening of Jan. 30, with a Hendersonville Rising benefit concert held at Premier Event Centre. During this event, a star-studded lineup of local entertainers came together to help raise funds for those impacted by the storm.

Under the direction of emcee and News Channel 5 Meteorologist Bree Smith, over twenty artists took the stage for nearly six hours before a capacity crowd. The show featured performances by such notable entertainers as Dillon Carmichael, The Isaacs, T.G. Sheppard and Kelly Lang, Jimmy Fortune, Chris Golden, Tim and T.J. Watson, Morgan Myles, Ronnie McDowell, Josh Mirenda, Rockland Road and Ron Artis II. In addition to the entertainment, a special silent auction was held to raise additional funds.

“During our Hendersonville Rising concert, our city’s rich musical heritage was on display for a great cause,” said Hendersonville Parks & Recreation Director Andy Gilley. “The stars turned out in droves to help their friends and neighbors rebuild their dreams.”

While most major concert events require months of planning, Hendersonville Rising came together in less than three weeks. The genesis for the event came about in an early January meeting between Gilley, Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Kathleen Hawkins and Parks Special Events Coordinator Wade Evans. During their get-together, the trio tossed about a variety of ideas to help raise additional funds for tornado relief. After considering several different options, they agreed that the concert offered the most promise.

At first, there was concern as to whether or not a truly epic event could be realized in just a couple of weeks. However, based upon his past experience, Andy was confident that it could be done.

“I have put together several concerts over the years, and have made a lot of music industry contacts,” said Andy. “I know all of the local Hendersonville stars, and I know that they can be counted upon to help our community.”

Along with lining up a cast of performers, the team also needed to secure a venue. After considering their options, they contacted Barry Lee, the manager of the Premier Event Centre. After hearing the details of the concert, Barry immediately offered up his facility to host the concert.

Due to time constraints, the concert was originally patterned after other Hendersonville Hometown Jam shows, which typically featured a small slate of performers. However, word about the show spread like wildfire among local entertainers, creating a steady outpouring of requests to participate.

“We had so many singers and musicians wanting to be a part of the show that we couldn’t finalize the line up until right before the event,” said Kathleen. “We didn’t even have to ask them to perform – they eagerly volunteered to help Hendersonville get back on its feet.”

When the concert date arrived and the venue doors were opened, over 800 music lovers settled in for an evening that they will long remember. Despite the hurried preparation, Hendersonville Rising proved to be one of the most successful events ever held in the city. It will forever be known as the concert in which funds were raised, memories were made, and hope was restored.

Just two weeks before Christmas 2023, disaster befell the Hendersonville community. At 5 p.m. that day, a devastating EF-2 tornado left a trail of destruction across much of the city as it followed a path that stretched from Madison to Gallatin.

During the storm, over 130 Hendersonville businesses were damaged, with 74 of them suffering catastrophic losses. Many of the businesses had to close, resulting in major financial harm for the owners and leaving more than 300 people without jobs.

In the aftermath, Hendersonville citizens banded together to help jumpstart the long recovery process. Events and fundraisers were held across the city, including the Jan. 30 Hendersonville Rising concert, which raised over $140,000 to help businesses impacted by the storm.

  • Ron Artis II performs a bluesy composition during Hendersonville Rising.
  • Josh Mirenda talks with the crowd during his performance.
  • Dillon Carmichael brought his hometown sound to Hendersonville Rising.
  • Morgan Myles rocked the audience with style.
  • Rob Arthur performs before the enthusiastic crowd.
  • Grand Old Opry stars The Isaacs perform at Hendersonville Rising.
  • Tim and T.J. Watson and Mark Dreyer are having a great time during Hendersonville Rising.
  • Hometown fan-favorite Chris Golden sings one of his hits.
  • Hendersonville Rising raised over $140,000, including a $10,000 donation from Slim Chickens.
  • Country music legacies Twitty and Lynn perform during Hendersonville Rising.
  • Jesse Keith Whitley sings one of his hits at Hendersonville Rising.
  • A crowd of over 800 music fans attended Hendersonville Rising.
  • Portland hometown singer Ronnie McDowell gets up close and personal with the audience.
  • Rockland Road brought their special blend of harmonies during Hendersonville Rising.
  • Local legends T.G. Sheppard and Kelly Lang are having a great time at Hendersonville Rising.