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September 2019

North Carolina Ghost Lights and Legends

September 6 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Liston B. Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies, 147 Bailey St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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Join author Dr. Charles “Fritz” Gritzner for a talk about his book North Carolina Ghost Lights and Legends (Blair 2019), which discusses the luminous phenomena of “ghost lights” in North Carolina. These lights reportedly shine, blink, burn, dance, or float throughout the state and there are scary and fascinating stories associated with them. The lights attract many visitors to the state, each hoping to see a ball of fire floating over a cemetery or a jack-o’-lantern illuminating a corner of…

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The Folklore of Appalachian Ballads

September 24 @ 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm
Liston B. Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies, 147 Bailey St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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Saro Lynch-Thomason (L), Illustration of "Thomas the Rhymer" by Scottish Artist Katharine Cameron (1874 – 1965) (R) In this presentation, Ms. Lynch-Thomason will explore the folklore embedded in several Appalachian ballads. The story-songs brought to Appalachia by Scottish, Iris h, and English colonizers in the 18th and 19th centuries have much to reveal about historic beliefs and traditions from the North Atlantic region. Ms. Lynch-Thomason will sing several ballads and discuss what they can tell modern listeners about animal lore,…

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Harvest Party Celebrating Appalachian Studies and the Heritage Garden

September 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Community Life Pavilion & Fire Pit, 265 Cascade St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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Harvest Party

Curious what a candy roaster squash is? What about an heirloom vegetable? Want to find out how you can learn more about the rich history and culture of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains where Mars Hill is located? Join us for food, fellowship, and fiddling (with musician Lillian Chase) to celebrate the harvest of the Mars Hill University Heritage Garden and learn about the Appalachian Studies Minor Program!

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October 2019

Bascom Lamar Lunsford “Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival

October 5 @ 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
Upper Quad / Lunsford Commons, College St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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An all-day festival celebrating regional music and dance traditions. The event is the second oldest folk festival in Western North Carolina and was named in honor of co-founder Bascom Lamar Lunsford, a musician and folklorist who dedicated his life to collecting and promoting the music of the Southern Appalachians. Through his work he became known as the “Minstrel of the Appalachians.” The festival, which is now in its 52nd year, brings out the region’s finest musicians and dancers. Numerous performances,…

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Dance Workshop

October 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Upper Quad / Lunsford Commons, College St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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$5 – $10 30 tickets left

Information Coming Soon.

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Fiddle Workshop with Roger Howell

October 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Upper Quad / Lunsford Commons, College St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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$5 – $10 11 tickets left

Join multi-instrumentalist Roger Howell as he teaches fiddle tunes and styles unique to Madison County and the region. All tunes will be played in standard tuning. Students should be at an intermediate to advanced level. Class size is limited, so please make sure to register early. About Roger Howell: Roger has always lived in Madison County, and for the past half-century has resided on Banjo Branch. It was on Banjo Branch, in early childhood, that he first grew to love the music…

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Guitar Workshop with Jerry Sutton

October 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Upper Quad / Lunsford Commons, College St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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$5 – $10 15 tickets left
Jerry Sutton, with guitar

This workshop will focus on right and left hand guitar techniques, picks, strings, and the importance of rhythm. Students will learn a few fiddle tunes and songs. Students should bring a capo, tuner, and a means of recording (optional). Workshop is for advanced beginner to intermediate students. About Jerry Sutton: Jerry is in the middle generation of a multigenerational family of musicians. He is the son of the late fiddler Grover Sutton, and the father of Leesa Sutton Brandon and Grammy Award-winning…

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Traditional Mountain Music for Mountain Dulcimer with Don Pedi

October 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Upper Quad / Lunsford Commons, College St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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$5 – $10 11 tickets left
Don Pedi, with dulcimer

Participants will learn a selection of songs, tunes, and ballads from Madison, Yancey, Mitchell, Buncombe, Haywood, and Jackson counties. The pieces will come from such sources as Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Tommy Hunter, the Wallin Family, Mary Jane Queen, and more. Students should be at an intermediate skill level, but adventurous novices are welcome. Bring a working dulcimer and a flexible pick. About Don Pedi: Don Pedi is a traditional mountain musician. He shares songs, tunes, and stories in a warm, often humorous and always entertaining manner.…

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Shaped Note Workshop with Laura Boosinger

October 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
James Thomas Black Box Theatre Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States + Google Map
Laura Boosinger,with banjo

This workshop will focus on learning the seven-note shaped-note scale. Our text will be William Walker’s Christian Harmony, which was first published in 1866. Many old hymn favorites will be sung, including “Prayer Meeting” (“Sweet Hour of Prayer”), “Coronation” (“All Hail the Power”), and “New Britain” (“Amazing Grace”). No experience is necessary – just bring your voices and some water! About shaped notes: The addition of shaped-notes to religious texts was introduced during the 18th century in New England in an effort to restore…

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Banjo Workshop with Jake Owen

October 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Upper Quad / Lunsford Commons, College St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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$5 – $10 11 tickets left
Jake Owen, with banjo

This workshop will focus on clawhammer banjo technique. Jake will bring some banjos that he has constructed for folks to check out. Bring your banjos and we will play a tune or two! All skill levels are welcome, and Jake will be happy to answer banjo-related questions. About Jake Owen: Jake grew up in Madison County and has been playing clawhammer-style banjo for over 30 years.  His parents played old time music, and his wife and kids also play. He has…

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Music of the North Carolina Textile Mills

October 21 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
100 Athletic St
Mars Hill, NC 28754 United States
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Photograph by Lewis Hine: Rhodes Mfg. Co., Lincolnton, N.C. National Child Labor Committee, November 1908.

Photograph by Lewis Hine: Rhodes Mfg. Co., Lincolnton, N.C. National Child Labor Committee, November 1908. In this presentation, Saro Lynch-Thomason will present and discuss the music produced by textile mill workers in the heyday of North Carolina's textile industry. In the early decades of the 20th century, numerous New England fabric companies moved their plants to the American South, with North Carolina swiftly becoming host to dozens of new textile mills and mill towns. The Southern and Appalachian peoples who…

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