Union County residents can hear classical music with a twist during a festival later this month.
The inaugural New South Music Festival will feature local, national and international musicians over three days in Monroe and Waxhaw.
Festival founder Don Kerr, a Union County farmer, said he hopes the festival will make classical music more accessible by presenting it in a modern way.
"We have in this country too much of an idea that classical music is only for the elite, educated and wealthy," he said. "The goal is to explain the beauty and values of classical music to everybody."
Kerr enlisted the help of the Union Symphony Orchestra as well as renowned composer Daniel Thomas Davis to bring the festival to fruition.
Davis, who was raised in Waxhaw, said he's excited to share with his hometown everything he's learned while performing around the world.
"It's a very special thing for me to be able to do this kind of work back home," he said. "It's pretty rare and precious."
The first night's performance in Waxhaw, titled "Evening Echoes," will feature classical music with tinges of blues, folk, gospel and Latin.
On the second night, musicians will perform new and classical interpretations of traditional music from the United States and other countries.
The second concert, which will be in Monroe, is titled "Song Journeys."
Sunday's concert, titled "Spring Visions," will be in Waxhaw.
Award-winning singer Jacqueline Horner will perform on all three nights.
Horner won a Grammy for Best Classical Music Crossover Album in 2011 with the female a cappella group Anonymous 4.
Davis will present the world premiere of a blues infused piece based on "Shenandoah," an American folk song, on all three nights.
Davis said the festival will appeal to regular as well as novice concert goers.
"We want the music to be relevant to a wide range of people," said Davis, adding that he hopes the festival becomes an annual event. "This is a way to bring the community together. It's such a pleasure to be a part of that."