Appalachian Spirit plans Spring Showcase

Appalachian Spirit will perform its Spring Showcase at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. The event, presented by the Davis & Elkins College Fine and Performing Arts Department, is free and open to the public.

The band is under the leadership of Augusta’s Folk Arts Coordinator Gerry Milnes and includes Rebecca Wudarski, a sophomore from Davis, on guitar; Kaia Kater-Hurst, a freshman from Toronto, Ontario, on banjo; and Scotty Leach, a freshman from Centralia, Wash., on fiddle. Sisters Melissa and Rene Denise, both sophomore nursing students from Montrose, will sing traditional Appalachian ballads.

The dancers are directed by Matthew Kupstas, administrative assistant for Augusta Heritage Center and the Center for Sustainability Studies and adjunct instructor of Heritage Arts. The group include team captain Conner Berkey, a senior from Brandy Station, Va.; Ashley Stitely, a junior from Philippi; Cassidy Dickens, a sophomore from Madera, Calif.; Millie Omps, a senior from Paw Paw; Barbara Fellenstein, a senior from Fredericksburg, Va.; and Kater-Hurst. Special guests include Susan Krakoff, Appalachian Spirit alumnae and office manager for the Office of Student Life, and Katy Dillon and the Highland Dancers.

Appalachian Spirit focuses primarily on the music and dance traditions of the Appalachian region, and includes some other music and dance traditions as well.

Appalachian Spirit recently was named the “People’s Choice for Entertainment” for its performance at the 2013 Ramps and Rail Festival in Elkins.