The Hatleys to perform at Concerts on the Pier

The Concerts on the Pier returns in Summer 2023 as a concert series. The second concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on Lake Tillery, near Goat Island (the last cove before the southern dam on the Stanly County side of the lake). It will feature The Hatleys.

People can listen to the free concert from their boats, from shore, or by watching the live stream on the Stanly County Arts Council’s Facebook page. If interested in shore seating, individuals can email the Stanly County Arts Council to reserve a spot at

The Hatley Family of Stanfield represents five generations of music. The bluegrass/gospel group consists of a father, his four children and one daughter-in-law.

Patriarch 86-year-old Ervin Hatley has been playing the fiddle for more than half a century and continues to perform when able. His three sons, Gary, Ronnie and Donnie, play guitar, banjo, and mandolin/fiddle, respectively, while daughter, Teresa, joins in on bass and Gary’s wife, Sandy (from Seagrove), adds dobro on some numbers.

Growing up singing a cappella in church, the group is known for its tight four-part harmony. The group specializes in bluegrass gospel, but also offers instrumentals and bluegrass standards.

The family began playing when the two oldest boys were teenagers. Competing in area fiddlers’ conventions and band contests, they were frequent winners. As their popularity spread and the younger siblings joined in, they started performing for festivals, concert halls and churches. They have appeared across the southeast from West Virginia to Mississippi.

This year, the Hatleys celebrate 43 years performing together as a family band. They have recorded four CDs, two bluegrass gospel, one a cappella gospel and one bluegrass Christmas project.

“It is a privilege for the Arts Council to have The Hatleys, a well-loved, bluegrass band, perform on our behalf. Although they are local, they have been able to spread their talents well beyond the borders of Stanly County. We also know how many musicians were also trained and are still being taught by this talented family. We are so appreciative for all that they do for the arts in Stanly County,” said Renee VanHorn, executive director of the Stanly County Arts Council.

Concert on the Pier is the brainchild of Austin Coats, host and performer of Concert on the Pier. When the Covid pandemic hit, Coats returned to Stanly County from New York City. In Fall 2020, Coats determined that performing from a pier for boats or for an audience socially distanced on shore would meet the needs to hear live music while being performed in a safe environment.

Two more concerts happen this summer, Aug. 12 with Jack Burns and Sept. 9 with Joy Almond.

Donations will be accepted again on behalf of the Stanly County Arts Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to encourage and promote broad-based cultural and educational activities in the arts throughout Stanly County. The

“We are so grateful to the Coats for their strong support of the arts in Stanly County. This unique fundraiser has become our favorite. I hope everyone will find a way to Goat Island on Lake Tillery, either by boat, by car, or by viewing on Facebook, to enjoy the musicality of The Hatleys and support the mission of the Stanly County Arts Council. We are so blessed in Stanly County to have so many talented artists, and are fortunate that this unique venue and concert series can highlight these artists,” said VanHorn.

The Stanly County Arts Council was founded in 1974. It continues to promote and support all art forms in the community. Its mission is to encourage and promote broad-based cultural and educational activities in the arts throughout Stanly County.

The Stanly County Arts Council is supported by private donations and by the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.