Tune Travelers Takes Pocahontas Kids Around The World Without Leaving The County

Marlinton, WV – Pocahontas County elementary and middle school kids have an opportunity to travel the world through music beginning October 6th. And they don’t even have to leave Pocahontas County. Former Opera House Vista volunteer Jennie Terman explains.

“Tune Travelers is an afterschool program that we’re starting at the Opera House” says Terman. “They’re world music workshops for fourth through eighth graders.”

Terman says they’re bringing in world music groups from all over West Virginia.

“They’re going to give a school performance during the day for all the elementary and middle schools in the county” says Terman “and then after school from 5 to 6:30pm a workshop at the Opera House for a smaller group of kids, whoever wants to participate in those afterschool workshops.”

The Tune Travelers program will bring in six groups, one each week. The seventh week, on November 17th, will feature the kids showcasing what they’ve learned during the workshops. Terman says although the workshops are geared towards kids, parents are welcome to come too.

“A lot of adults have seemed pretty interested in it” she says “and we’ve been going to all of the county elementary and middle schools to kind of promote the workshops. Although the kids seem really interested in it, a lot of the teachers are [asking] can we come too?”

Terman emphasizes that the workshops will be hands-on. She says that at least three of the six groups are youth based, so the performers will be close in age to the kids in the workshops.

On Wednesday October 6th, Heidi Mueller and Bobb Webb will teach the kids about the Mountain Dulcimer.

On October 13th, the West Virginia Highland Dancers, a Scottish group based in Elkins, will teach the kids about Celtic traditions and music.

On October 20th, they travel to Africa for drums and dance, presented by a group of high school girls form the Greenbrier Academy for Girls.

On October 27th, a group from the West Virginia University World music center brings Latin rhythms to the Opera House.

On November 3rd, it’s off to Japan for a program on Japanese Taiko (tie-co)drums. Terman says these drums are made from a huge piece of hollowed out wood and require the musician to reach over their head to play the drum. The WVU Taiko Ensemble will lead the workshop.

On November 10th, the Teal Steel Band from Frankfort Middle School in Ridgeley will teach the kids all about Caribbean steel drums.

Terman says grants from Challenge America and the Plum Creek Foundation paid the way for the workshops. Pocahontas Music is also involved – music teacher Lois Airgood is one of the facilitators in the Tune Travelers program.

Terman says parents will have to get their kids to the Opera House, but the workshops are free of charge. For more information, contact the Opera House at 304-799-6645 or visit pocahontasoperahouse.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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