Garth Newel Music Center Has A Long And Rich History

Warm Springs, Va – Garth Newel Music Center in Hot Springs has a long rich history that it’s adding to every day. In the 1920’s the 115 acre property was given the name Garth Newel by owners William and Christine Kendall. Garth Newel is a Welsh phrase that means new home.

In 1973, Christine Kendall met Luca and Arlene DiCecco and encouraged them to develop a chamber music study program at Garth Newel for their students. Luca was a cellist and Arlene was a violinist in a string quartet. After Christine’s death in 1981, the Di Ceccos continued their work at Garth Newel. They performed in concerts and Arlene also served as the chef preparing gourmet meals for those who came to the concerts.

Today Georgia Tennant is the Director of Operations at Garth Newel. She has worked there for more than 25 years.

“It’s a very fulfilling and rewarding job” says Tennant. “I remember when one of the first things Luca told me was that I needed to not necessarily look at this as just a job, but as a sense of ownership; to think of Garth Newel as partly mine.”

Tennant interviewed with Luca and Arlene and started work as a part time secretary, She says there wasn’t a lot to do at first. But over time Garth Newel grew, adding more concerts each year and Tennant’s job grew into full time.

“The one thing at Garth Newel, and that was another thing that was understood right from the time I went to work, was that you didn’t have one job” she says. “I was hired as the secretary, but everyone did everything. That went from the staff as well as to the musicians at the time then too.”

In her job today, Tennant works closely with Executive Director Dick Riley and Chef Randy Wyche. Garth Newel now has 10 full time employees and 1 part time employee.

“I think in order to work here and in order to be happy here, you have to be self motivated, because there’s not somebody constantly telling you what needs to be done” says Tennant.”

Garth Newel Music Center presents concerts all twelve months of the year. The 2011 season will feature over 50 concerts of classical, jazz, blues and folk music. Most of the concerts will offer optional gourmet meals and lodging is also available.

“I guess one of things for me is to see the satisfaction leave here with because it’s an experience they can’t get anywhere else” she says.

For more information about Garth Newel Music Center, call 540-839-5018 or on the web visit garth newel dot org.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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