Allegheny Echoes Receives Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help Older Musicians Develop their Talents and Skills at the Allegheny Echoes Summer Workshops Program in Marlinton.

During the last week in June the City of Marlinton is turned into one of the world’s largest heritage music schools as the Allegheny Echoes Summer Workshops Program is held all over town. As usual there will be plenty of opportunities for young and middle aged West Virginians to learn their cultural heritage. There will be instruction in all styles of string instruments, vocals and in creative writing offered to all ages.

This year, thanks to a two year grant by the National Endowment for the Arts, extra scholarships to the workshops will be available for older students to get in on the learning action. Kirk Judd, vice-President of Allegheny Echoes explains about where the grant money will go.

“They’re going to go for the most part for senior scholarships” Judd says. “We’ll provide scholarships to older students, probably somewhere around the age of 50 and beyond, folks who may be interested in the music and the culture, but coming from the opposite of the younger students just getting into it to the older students, perhaps giving them the opportunity to get more into it if they had an interest in the past or to develop new interests. Folks now are learning at every age.”

If you are one of the younger people interested in this, not to worry, there are other fund sources for workshop scholarships for you too.

To register for the workshop classes or to apply for one of the scholarships, go to their website: Without the scholarship, the full week of workshops costs $400.00 although West Virginia residents receive a $25.00 discount off that. If you want to stay at the Marlinton Motor Inn where a number of the classes will be held, you can receive a special rate of $165.00 for the entire week. Partial scholarships will pay for the workshop fees while full scholarships will cover the stay at the Marlinton Motor Inn as well.

Judd talks about the classes being offered.

“We offer classes in all levels of all stringed instruments, Bluegrass and Old Time, banjo, fiddle, guitar, base and mandolin” Judd says. “We offer a very popular vocal class every year and we offer a creative writing class every year. So any of those classes are eligible for students.”
He talks a little about the history of the event.

“This will be the 19th year of Allegheny Echoes” Judd says. “We started out at snowshoe Mountain Resort and after about seven years made the decision to move to Marlinton and it was a great decision. The town of Marlinton and the folks have really opened up and embraced us. We take over basically the Marlinton Motor Inn every year. We fill the place up with students and staff and instructors.”

He talks about some of the places the workshops are held.

“We have classes around the town of Marlinton at various places” Judd says. “”in the Municipal Building, the bank, the library, I think the fire station, some of the shelters at the park. A lot of classes (are) in tents and under cover in the Motor Inn itself”.

The students range in skill level from very proficient to raw beginner.

“We offer classes for beginning beginners and raw beginners” Judd says. “If you’ve never picked up an instrument and you want to learn how to play one, we have a class for you. It is really neat, we have been doing this, like I said, this will be our 19th year and we’ve watched kids grow up in this. We’ve watched them come from that raw beginner to really accomplished musician and they’ve graduated from college now and are out in the world. We’re really proud of the students we’ve had over the years that have gone on to develop their talent.”

Judd is appreciative of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“We’re really appreciative of the National endowment for recognizing the value of the program and were very happy to be able to offer this over the next couple of years” Judd says.
There will be a Creative Writing Workshop offered on June 26 and 27 at the Pearl S. Buck birthplace in Hillsboro as part of this program, and a future story will provide more information about that.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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