Formed in 2009 by Cruz Contreras, The Black Lillies is an Americana outfit from Knoxville, Tennessee, that pulls elements from pop, blues, rock and country to create a progressive, bluegrass-infused brand of folk music. After releasing its debut album Whiskey Angel, in 2009, the band earned critical acclaim from independent music publications across the US as well as a slot at that year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The Black Lillies crossed over into a mainstream audience with the released its third studio album, Runaway Freeway Blues, in 2013.
The first American orchestra to receive state funding on a continuous basis, the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1932. In its early years, the Symphony served as a WPA project and has continued to serve North Carolina with performances statewide and dedication to providing the state's children with solid musical education. The Symphony was awarded Raleigh's 2007 Medal of Arts on its 75th anniversary of producing exquisite classical music.