Concert series unites music and nature

August 16, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - In a way, Bill Weis says, he hates to see the free "Music in the Cedars" concert series publicized.

He enjoys the lack of crowds and traffic.

But what Weis, a regular visitor to the concerts, finds appealing about the mostly acoustic concerts will probably draw others to visit as well - the friendly, outdoor surroundings and chance to meet other local folks while taking in the sounds of good musicians.

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society, which manages Yankauer Nature Preserve north of Shepherdstown, began the series in 2004. In previous years, the concert series has been held in August, but this year the series has expanded into September.

Each Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. a concert is held, rain or shine, at Yankauer's covered pavilion, which is surrounded by cedar trees, wildflowers and the sound of crickets.


"I love being outside," says Betty Jo Rockwell, who recently performed at Yankauer with her husband Scott. The pair performed original songs as well as folk favorites such as Bob Dylan's "I'll be Your Baby Tonight."

"The audience is very attentive and there's always plenty of good effects with the crickets and birds," she says.

The concert series was started to attract more people to the preserve so they could discover its uses and programs, says Jeff Feldman, a volunteer with the local audubon society. The park features hiking, picnicking, summer camps, school programs, wildflower walks and bird hikes.

Partial schedule

6:30 p.m. Tuesdays

Aug. 21: Steve Cifala, guitar

Aug. 28: The Dilettantes, acoustic folk songs

Sept. 4: Michael DeLalla, fingerstyle guitarist/composer

Sept. 25: The Rolling Coyotes

If you go ...

WHAT: Music in the Cedars concert series presented by Potomac Valley Audubon Society

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 25

WHERE: Yankauer Nature Preserve, north of Shepherdstown, W.Va.

COST: Free

DIRECTIONS: From Hagerstown, take Md. 65 (Sharpsburg Pike) south to Sharpsburg. At the stop sign, turn right on Md. 34 (Shepherdstown Pike). Follow Md. 34 across the Potomac River and into West Virginia, turning right shortly after the bridge onto Shepherd Grade Road. Follow Shepherd Grade Road past the National Conservation Training Center and continue another mile or so to Scrabble Road. Turn right on Scrabble Road and go about two miles to Whitings Neck Road. Turn right on Whitings Neck Road. Yankauer Nature Preserve is down the road on the right. There is a sign and a gravel parking lot. A path leads to the pavilion.

MORE: The pavilion has benches and a few picnic tables nearby. Visitors may bring blankets, chairs and picnic suppers, but are asked to carry out everything they bring in because the preserve does not have trash pickup.

The concerts are handicap accessible.

For more information, go to, e-mail or call 304-676-3397.

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