Presenting a rich culture

September 30, 2004|by KATE COLEMAN

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The Appalachian Heritage Festival at Shepherd University will open with a concert Friday evening. There will be music and dance, and North Carolina Poet Laureate Fred Chappell will continue in his role as the festival's writer-in-residence, reading from his work and presenting an award to the winner of the West Virginia Young Writers Contest.

There will be an open jam session and several workshops Saturday, and another concert Saturday evening will wrap up the weekend. The program includes Lost Creek String Band featuring 16-year-old champion fiddler Jarred Nutter.

Rachael Meads, Shepherd's director of student development and the university's Performing Arts Series at Shepherd, thought the Appalachian Heritage Festival would be a "one-time thing" when she helped start it several years ago. Presenting the richness of traditional Appalachian culture and challenging stereotypes people have about it were among the original goals.


People loved it, Meads said, and the festival has continued.

The Schedule includes:

Friday, Oct. 1

· 8 p.m. - festival showcase with John Lilly, Fred Chappell, Reed Island Rounders String Band, Joe Shewbridge and Footnotes dance team at Frank Arts Center Theater, Shepherd University

· 10:30 p.m. - open jam session at Mecklenburg Inn, 128 E. German St.

Saturday, Oct. 2

· All day - open jam session at McMurran Hall lawn, German Street

· 11 a.m. - community sing led by festival artists at McMurran Hall lawn

· Noon - "Herstory: A West Virginia Girl Looks at Her Past Present and Future," Katie Frederick at Reynolds Hall

· 1 p.m. - workshop: how to release your own music at Reynolds Hall

· 2 p.m. - workshop: Appalachian dance exhibition and flatfooting at O'Hurley's General Store, 205 E. Washington St.

· 3:30 p.m. - workshop: introduction to harmony singing, Phil and Ann Case at Reynolds Hall

· 3:30 p.m. - workshop: old-time fiddle & banjo, Reed Island Rounders at O'Hurley's General Store

· 8 p.m. - showcase concert: John Lilly, Reed Island Rounders, Phil and Ann Case, Lost Creek String Band with Jarred Nutter at Frank Center Theater

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