Orchestra Appalachia Kicks Off Performance Season

Courtesy Video

Lindsey M. Foster, Editor

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  • Local musicians Jim and Lynn White performs at Leo Scott Pavilion.

  • Susan Blankenship plays guitar and sings while audience member listens at Leo Scott Pavilion.

  • Emily Walker, sophomore, plays guitar at Leo Scott Pavilion.

  • Three local musicians play alongside Rachel Blankenship-Tucker and Julio Salazar at Leo Scott Pavilion.

  • Stewart Warner, sophomore, plays bass at Leo Scott Pavilion.

  • Julio Salazar, senior, plays mandolin at Leo Scott Pavilion.

  • Ryon Johnson, junior, plays with Susan Blankenship on bass. Jeff and Emily Walker plays guitars at Leo Scott Pavilion.

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Sounds of music have been brought to Ferrum College with performances by the Orchestra Appalachia program.

“The group’s mission is to celebrate the rich musical traditions of Appalachia, including old-time, bluegrass, gospel, blues, and related genres,” said Emily Blankenship-Tucker, Instructor of Performing Arts and Director of Appalachian Folk Music.

Orchestra Appalachia has been having performances outside of Franklin Hall every first and third Monday of each month–which is part of “Musical Mondays” that is sponsored by the Department of Music.

“This year there are a lot more opportunities to do performances,” said Ryon Johnson, junior.

These jams are held by the program as a promotion for more people to join.

“We want to promote a sense of community and hope that everyone will feel welcome and invited to participate or just come and enjoy the music,” said Blankenship-Tucker.

The Orchestra Appalachia program has also held weekly Monday performances at the Leo Scott Pavilion at the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at 7 p.m.

“Everyone is welcome to play, sing, dance, or listen,” said Blankenship-Tucker.

Touring season kicked off for the Orchestra Appalachia program on Sept. 15 performing at the Franklin County Agricultural Fair.

“A lot of the students can take this very far if we really put a lot of time into it,” said Stewart Werner, sophomore. “I think it went great.”

The season will continue when the musicians perform Sept. 28 at the International Bluegrass Music Association conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“This is a lot bigger than things we’ve done in previous years, but I think we’re gonna do alright,” said Werner.

To see Orchestra Appalachia perform, catch them in the quad for their upcoming lawn jams on Oct. 3, 17, and Nov. 7 during community hour and their Monday performances at the Leo Scott Pavilion.