News And Events

2022 National Shakespeare Competition

The 39th Annual English Speaking Union's Shakespeare competition was held at the Village Chapel of Pinehurst on Saturday, February 19. 11 students from local high schools performed a sonnet and monologue from the 16th-century collection. Our judges were Rev. John Jacobs of the Village Chapel, Carolanne Marano, and Jonathan Drahos of Shakespeare in the Pines and Uprising Theater Company. 
It was great to see the students perform live this year. We had a repeat winner in Kara Sparks of Pinecrest. The first runner-up was Jillian Mann of Pinecrest and third place went to Leah Jones of STARS. 
Kara will perform virtually in the ESU National semi-final, along with 55 students from across the country.  If chosen as one of the 10 finalists, she will have the opportunity to compete in NYC at the Lincoln Center. 
Our congratulations to all of these fine students, and all the best to Kara as she moves on in the competition.
If you'd like to watch the competition, please use the link below. Our thanks to Steve McKenzie of the Village Chapel for recording the event. 

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Social Fall Festival


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ESU Sandhills Branch Holds Shakespeare Competition

The annual ESU Sandhills Branch Shakespeare Competition took place on Saturday February 13 at 3 pm at the Village Chapel of Pinehurst.  
This year's competition, like most everything, required some pivoting.  It was done via a live Zoom feed. We had 3 volunteer judges, Rev. John Jacobs, Allis Rennie, and Joyce Reehling.  They were together in the Village Chapel viewing the live feed from the participating schools on a large screen with a wonderful sound system.  
We had 14 participants—3 from O'Neal, 3 from STARS, 2 from Union Pines, and 6 from Pinecrest.  Once again, the use of the Village Chapel was kindly donated by Rev. Jacobs.  We could not have done it without his wonderful facility and the help of his IT support, Steve McKenzie.
The students did not miss a beat, and all had fantastic performances.  After they each performed a Shakespeare monologue and sonnet,  the judges had the challenging task of choosing a winner.  
The first place winner was Kara Sparks from Pinecrest.  The second place winner was Savannah Telemeco from Union Pines.  The third place winner was Jillian Mann from Pinecrest.  
The competition has been recorded and can be viewed on Youtube using the following link:

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2020-2021 Season

With the health and safety of our members as a top priority, the current season is "on hold" until State guidelines indicate that it is safe to return to our normal meeting format. Until we are able to safely and comfortably gather together again, please take advantage of the Online Happy Hour Series. Further details are available at this link.


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ESU Sandhills 2019-2020 Season:
Celebrating 40 Years of Education, Entertainment & Inspiration

The ESU Sandhills Branch was founded in 1979. During the following 40 years, we welcomed a diverse group of speakers, including:  journalists, an astronaut, a number of Cabinet Secretaries, a former Governor, a TV commentator and, perhaps, a spy.

Please join us – in our 41st year – as we continue our mission of bringing topical, thought-provoking and entertaining programs to our members.  You just never know what you're going to learn!

You can download a copy of our Season booklet by clicking here.

Sep 17, 2019
Happy 40th Birthday to ESU Sandhills
Pinehurst Country Club
4:00-6:00 PM
Join us for a Garden Party with Audrey Moriarty as she describes Pinehurst's evolution over the past 40 years.
Plus, learn more about the upcoming year's programs.
Friends are welcome!

Oct 16, 2019
Pinehurst Country Club
6:00-9:00 PM
Lynne Olson - Bestselling author
Madame Fourcade's Secret War

Nov 20, 2019
Pinehurst Country Club
6:00-9:00 PM
Scott Mason - The Tar Heel Traveler from WRAL
"Stories and Back Stories of North Carolina"

Dec 18, 2019
Pinehurst Country Club
6:00-9:00 PM
Dr. Mardy Grothe - the "Quotesmith"
"Wit and Wordplay in our Mother Tongue"

Jan 15, 2020
Pinehurst Country Club
6:00-9:00 PM
Stephen R. de Angelis - Russian historian
"The Rise of Vladimir Putin and his Engagement of the Presidencies of Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump"
Click here to see pictures

 Feb 19, 2020
Pinehurst Country Club
6:00-9:00 PM
Kory Stamper - Lexicographer and author of Word by Word"
"A (Very) Brief History of the English Language"

Mar 11, 2020
Pinehurst Country Club
6:00-9:00 PM
Dr. Matt Farina - MD and Civil War Historian
"Civil War Medicine: Myth and Reality"

Apr 9, 2020 - CANCELLED
Pinehurst Country Club
6:00-9:00 PM
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - Professor of Ethics at Duke University and author
Think Again - How to Reason and Argue in a Polarized World

May 6, 2020 - CANCELLED
Pinehurst Country Club
6:00-9:00 PM
Shaun Jay - Magician
"Why the World Needs Magic Now"
(He will also perform roving illusions)


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The English-Speaking Union

Sandhills Branch

Sandhills Branch Landmark Photo