Augusta Bluegrass and Vocal Week slated
ELKINS — The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College will wrap up its summer session on a high note with Bluegrass and Vocal Week, July 21 – 26. Throughout the week, the Davis & Elkins College campus will be filled with dances, jam sessions, concerts, exhibits and mini-classes, all leading up to the Augusta Festival Weekend, July 26 – 27.
Admission into the evening dances is $7 for the general public, and $5 for students with ID. Concert admission is $12 for the general public, and $6 for students with ID. Most other events are free. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.augustaheritagecenter.org or call the Augusta office at 304-637-1209 to request a public events rack card.
Area residents who want to sample an Augusta class, but are unable to attend all-day sessions will have opportunities with evening mini-courses. Classes scheduled from 6-7:15 p.m. Monday, July 22 through Thursday, July 25 are: Appalachian Ballads with Elizabeth LaPrelle, Clawhammer Banjo from Scratch with Kevin Chesser, Mountain Dulcimer from Scratch with Kathy McArthur and Traditional Irish Dance: Soft Shoe, Jigs & Reels from Scratch with Madalyn Humphrey. To sign up, call the Augusta Office at 304-637-1209.
The week kicks off Sunday, July 21 with a Bluegrass Welcome Party on Halliehurst porch at 8:30 p.m., and a song swap led by Don Friedman, Flawn Williams and friends at 9 p.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel. Both events are free.
Two presentations are scheduled for Monday, July 22. At 7 p.m., Jennifer Lackey will give a lecture titled “History of the Spinning Wheel” in The Joni and Buck Smith Arts Forum in Myles Center for the Arts. The free event is sponsored by the West Virginia Humanities Council. At 8:30 p.m., John Roberts will present a talk titled “British & American Ballad Traditions” in Robbins Memorial Chapel. A square dance will follow at 9 p.m. in the Augusta Dance Pavilion with music by Grant Flick and the Flicktones and calling by Becky Hill. Late night jam sessions will fill campus.
Audiences are in for a variety of talent as top performers of bluegrass and vocal week present two evening concerts on Tuesday, July 23 and Thursday, July 25. Sam Gleaves, Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, Kimber Ludiker, Joe Newberry, Tyler Grant, Mark Panfil and others will grace the stage. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets go on sale at 6 p.m. Tuesday’s concert will be held in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium, and Thursday’s concert will take place on Myles Plaza. A craft student reception will be open prior to Thursday’s concert from 6:15-7:15 p.m. in The Joni and Buck Smith Arts Forum. Tickets are $12 general admission or $6 for students with ID and may be purchased online at www.augustaheritagecenter.org or at the door.
A honky-tonk karaoke dance featuring vocal week participants will take place after Tuesday’s concert in the Augusta Dance Pavilion, admission is included with the purchase of a concert ticket.
The weekly Pickin’ in the Park will take place Wednesday, July 24 in Elkins City Park. Also on Wednesday, a vocal student showcase is scheduled for 8 – 10 p.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel, and a doo-wop jam in Madden Student Center will start at 10:30 p.m.
The three-week summer session ends Friday, July 26 with student showcases. The Bluegrass Participant Showcase is set for 1 p.m. in Madden Student Center, and the Vocal Week Final Gathering will follow at 3 p.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel. The Augusta Festival officially kicks off at 8 p.m. with a square dance featuring music by Grant Flick and the Flicktones, and calling by Tyler “T-Claw” Crawford in the Augusta Dance Pavilion.
The Augusta Festival and Juried Craft Fair and West Virginia Fiddle & Banjo Contest will fill Elkins City Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 27. Included will be performances by Elizabeth LaPrelle, Val Mindel and others, workshops, a pickin’ tent, craft demonstrations and art activities for children. There is no admission fee.
That evening, the festival concert will feature Mountain Stage with Larry Groce at 7:30 p.m. in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. Performers include Big Possum String Band, Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer & Sam Gleaves, Jody Carroll and the T-Mart Rounders. General admission tickets are $25. Student tickets are $15 and are available with student ID at the Box Office on the night of the concert only. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission to the dance in the Augusta Dance Pavilion after the concert is included with ticket purchase. Music will be by Bob Smakula and Red Run. To purchase tickets, call the Augusta Office at 304-637-1209 or visit www.augustaheritagcenter.org or www.dewv.edu/arts-entertainment.
A Center of Excellence for over 46 years, the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College offers several week-long programs featuring instruction in many traditions of music, dance, craft and folklore. Concerts, dances, a summer festival and other heritage arts events are part of the Augusta experience. The Augusta Heritage Center is also home to significant collections of field recordings, oral histories, photographs, instruments and Appalachian art.
Programs offered by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College are presented with financial support from the WV Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts. Local support is provided by the Randolph County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Randolph County Commission.