Mountain Music School Offered06.20.2005
BIG STONE GAP, VA — Mountain Empire Community College will offer its first Mountain Music School from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. August 1-5.
The college already serves as one of the area's cultural centers for Appalachian crafts and music. MECC's annual Home Craft Days has been the premier festival celebration of the region's culture and music for the past 33 years.
Currently, MECC offers classes for students and adults interested in learning "claw-hammer" banjo styles and guitar. More recently, the college broadened the program, offering classes in string band, shape-note singing, beginning and intermediate fiddle, and traditional ballads.
The newly established Mountain Music School will bring together students of all ages for a week of learning, music, and fun. It is dedicated to the preservation and continuation of Appalachian music and culture, and will offer "ear training" classes in beginning "old-time" fiddle, claw-hammer banjo, and folk guitar. A string-band class will also be offered if there is enough interest. Classes will be added in the future as may be requested by students.
Faculty from MECC's traditional music program will teach classes during the Mountain Music School, including well-known local musicians Todd Meade, Ron Short, Joan Short, and Steve Souther. Students will also be treated to class visits and afternoon concerts by "Papa Joe" Smiddy, Rich Kirby, Johnny Osborne and Todd Meade, and the Ridgewood Boys (Rick and Chris Saenz).
Area residents, as well as other visitors to MECC, also have the opportunity to be treated to performances by these musicians since all afternoon concerts will be open and free to the general public.
The school will conclude on Friday afternoon, Aug. 5, with a celebratory student/instructor concert open to family and friends of students and faculty.
All students will receive a Mountain Music School t-shirt, and will have the opportunity to attend the world-famous Carter Fold Music Festival in Hiltons on August 5 and 6.
Musicians ages 10 and older may enroll in the Mountain Music School. Tuition is $150. A limited number of youth scholarships are available. In addition, a limited number of instruments including banjos, fiddles, and guitars will be loaned to students. Class size is limited, so early registration is encouraged. To enroll, call (276) 523-7489 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.