Augusta heats up with concerts

ELKINS – The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College is kicking off its Summer Concert Series with evening performances today and Thursday featuring the talents of guest master artists for Early Country Music and Cajun/Creole Week. Both concerts take place at 7:30 p.m. in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. For pricing information, visit augustaheritagecenter.org or call 304-637-1209. Dances in the open-air pavilion are scheduled after each

concert.

The performances are part of Augusta’s five-week summer session of music, dance and craft classes which continue through Aug. 8 and are capped off with the Augusta Festival on Aug. 8-10. Concerts following each week’s theme are performed every Tuesday and Thursday evening.

Highlighting today’s concert are performances by Early Country Music Week Guest Master Artists Roy Harper and Johnny Bellar, along with Cajun fiddler Courtney Granger, and Early Country musicians Ginny Hawker and Friends, and Emily Miller and Jesse Milnes. John Lilly will serve as emcee.

Harper has devoted his life to preserving country songs of the past. Inspired by Jimmie “The Singing Brakeman” Rodgers, Harper is unrivaled among living singers in his mastery of country vocal styles from the 1920s. In the 1960s he began a prolific recording career that has produced 23

albums.

Bellar is the 2005 National Resonator Guitar Champion and has performed with the Stoneman Family, appearing with them on “Hee Haw,” “Ralph Emery Show” and “Tommy Hunter Show.”

After intermission, a special tribute to world-renowned Cajun fiddler Al Berard will be presented by Jason Frey, Joel Savoy, Charlie Terr and Eric Frey, Gina Forsyth, and Guest Master Artist for Cajun/Creole Week Sheryl Cormier and Friends. Berard, who passed away earlier this year, was a founding member of the Grammy-nominated Basin Brothers. He had long shared his talents with Augusta.

Thursday’s concert will feature Cajun/Creole musicians Jesse Lege and Friends, Preston Frank and Ed Poullard on accordion, and David Greely on vocals, along with Early Country musicians Karen Collins, John Lilly, Thomas Bryan Eaton, and Bill Kirchen and Friends. Lilly will again serve as emcee.

To register for classes or learn more about the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College summer sessions, visit augustaheritagecenter.org, email augusta@augustaheritagecenter.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 D&E website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.