ELKINS - The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College is poised to offer another summer filled with music, dance, crafts and a genuine good time in the tradition of the Appalachian Mountains.
At the conclusion of the sessions, "Mountain Stage with Larry Groce" will bring its weekly radio program to D&E to celebrate the Augusta Heritage Festival on Aug. 9.
Now in its 31st season, "Mountain Stage" will present a diverse showcase of artists and the audience will participate in a recording that will be heard nationwide on National Public Radio and overseas on the "Voice of America." The lineup of performers and tickets for the concert in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium will be announced soon.
The five-week Augusta sessions feature some of the top music and dance instructors in their genres from the United States and abroad. New this year is an expanded offering during American Vernacular Dance Week, Aug. 3-10, with a focus on "Tapping into Flatfooting."
The 2014 Augusta catalog and class registration are now available online at augustaheritagecenter.org.
"We are very much looking forward to welcoming the instructors and students to Augusta this summer," said Interim Director for the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College Beth King. "The coordinators for each of the weeks have done an amazing job creating a wonderful lineup of teachers. We are very fortunate to have musicians of this high caliber all gathering here at Augusta on the College campus."
Each year instructors and students come from throughout the world to experience the talents Augusta has to offer, and this year is no exception.
"We have master artists from our home state of West Virginia and from across the country and world," King says. "Our students come from Elkins and other nearby communities, and as far away as Belgium and Spain."
The summer sessions kick off with Cajun/Creole Week and Early Country Music Week, July 6-11, and are followed by Blues & Swing Week, July 13-18; Irish Week, July 20-25; Bluegrass Week, July 27 to Aug. 1; Old-Time Week, Vocal Week and American Vernacular Dance Week, Aug. 3-10. Augusta for Kids will take place Aug. 3-8. Also planned throughout the summer are evening mini-courses in music, instrument repair, dance and history. The Augusta Festival in Elkins City Park caps off the sessions, Aug. 8-10.
Cajun/Creole Week is a nonstop gala of music and dancing and a mid-week party featuring Cajun gumbo. Classes are available in accordion, bass, fiddle, guitar and cooking, in addition to pottery, blacksmithing, instrument repair and chair making.
Early Country Music Week explores the art from its roots. Class include songwriting, fiddle, vocal, and steel, acoustic and electric guitar.
Blues & Swing Week combines two sub-genres of jazz that allows participants to learn style, technique and repertoire with classes in vocal, accordion, bass, dance, fiddle, guitar, harmonica, percussion, piano, songwriting and ukulele. Additional craft classes include screenprinting, instrument repair and stained glass.
Irish Week continues the tradition of bringing the world's finest instructors to immerse students in the very best of craft, folklore, music and dance. Classes feature fiddle and piano, fiddle and button accordion, flute whistle, guitar and bouzouki, banjo, dance and bodhran, as well as creative writing.
Bluegrass Week offers participants a chance to discover the music's roots and distinctive sound with classes in banjo, bass, dobro, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and songwriting.
Old-Time Week features real mountain-style folk music with classes in fiddle, banjo, dulcimer, guitar, mandolin and bass, plus pottery, songwriting, letterpress printing, instrument repair, broom making, white oak basketry, crankies from scratch, storytelling and folk arts for kids.
Vocal Week lets participants express themselves through melodies, harmonies and poetry as instructors embrace harmony.
American Vernacular Dance offers an opportunity for solo and social dancers from many backgrounds to come together to cross train in support of personal dance goals. Classes are available in flatfooting, West African, tap, Afro-Caribbean and square dance calling.
Augusta for Kids is open to youth ages 8-12. Participants in the Folk Arts class will explore visual art and other heritage crafts through the creation of artwork.
Music enthusiasts won't want to miss twice weekly performances by class instructors some of the top musicians in their field and special guests. Dances in the Augusta Pavilion follow, and are hailed by many Augusta alumni as can't-miss-events.
"We invite everyone to take a look at the classes and mini-courses we're offering, and to join us for the concerts every Tuesday and Thursday evening," King says. "The Augusta office is happy to answer any questions."
To register for classes or learn more about the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College summer sessions, visit augustaheritagecenter.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-637-1209.
Programs offered by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College are presented with financial support from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.