Highland County Arts Council Presents 2018-2019 Concert Series – Part 2


In Part 1 of this story, Clair Myers of the Highland County Arts Council had just finished the 2018 concert schedule at the Highland Center.  He picks up now with the 2019 lineup.  Avoiding the potential snow of January, the first show begins with local resident Lew Freeman and friends.

Dr. Myers says, “Come February, we have a duo with a piano who will celebrate Valentine’s with a program called, ‘Hooray for Love,’ and they are two really outstanding vocalists, and it will be a great way to celebrate the day after Valentine’s Day.  And then for the Maple Festival, the Highland County Arts Council is doing two performances during March, one is with Tyler Hughes, who is a one-man, folk, Appalachian, traditional singer musician.  He also is an award-winning flatfoot dancer, so I’m not sure how much flatfoot and story he will add to that night with his dulcimer and mandolin and guitar and whatever else he plays.  And then the second weekend of the Maple Festival, we have Wayne Henderson and Helen White coming.  They were here last year.  They have a great following in Virginia.  Wayne has a festival down in Western Virginia, and he’s an outstanding guitar builder and is recognized for that, and he was one of the folk artists of the Virginia Humanities organization, so he’s really well-respected, and they do a great program of traditional music and talking about where it came from, et cetera.

“And then after that in April, we have a group called After Jack, which is a trio of women who do traditional – although they call it ‘hot folk,’” Dr. Myers says with a laugh.  “So, it’s folk songs and traditional Appalachian song brought up to date they say, but they’re really great, and they’re brand new to the Virginia Commission for the Arts, as is the May performance by Bobby Blackhat Band, which is a blues group, which I think is probably the first time in Highland County that that’s happened, and he who leads them, Bobby Blackhat, has a great reputation as a musician, songwriter, actor, et cetera, so it should really be an exciting evening up at The Highland Center.  And then we finish June with two performers from The Crooked Road.  The Crooked Road, it started out as actually following a road down in Western Virginia, with stops along the way at theatres or country stores and what-not, and having performances by traditional Appalachian performers, and the two that we have coming are Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones.  She’s a fiddler and says that she learned her music from studying with the 80 and 90-year-old southern fiddlers, and she’s been touring nationally and internationally, and Carl Jones is a banjo and guitar player, who also has a really wide reputation as a songwriter, as well as a musician.”

That’s the overall program for the Highland County Arts Council’s 2018-2019 Concert Series.  To learn more about dates and times, tickets or donations, folks can contact Claire Sax at The Highland Center at 540-468-1922 or visit www.highlandcountyartscouncil.org.

Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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