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Music & Arts

  • HoustonFest opens Friday in Galax

    Each year HoustonFest is presented by the Galax Volunteer Fire Department and a small army of community volunteers. It’s done all in memory of banjo prodigy and volunteer firefighter Houston Caldwell.

    This year’s festival will be held on June 9-10 in Galax’s Felts Park. Caldwell passed away in 2010 at age 18.

  • Rex concert featues old-time, Irish traditions

    The Rex Theater will host the best of old-time and Irish music on Tuesday for a special concert and CD release.

    Old-time musical traditions in the Blue Ridge Mountains have musical roots from many places in the world. Scots-Irish settlers to the area brought their music over a 150 years ago and influenced the sound of old-time music here today. This concert brings together two traditions of Irish and old-time music and two great bands: the Galax Bogtrotters and Irish musicians Randal Bays, Owen Bays and John Coyne.

  • Local music festivals receive state funds

    Staff Report

    Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) recently awarded sponsorships to 32 Virginia music festivals, including five in the Twin County area.

    VTC awarded a total of $245,448 as part of its 2017 Music Festival Sponsorship Program.

    The 32 awarded music festivals bring in nearly 483,000 in attendance and more than $11 million in ticket sales, with an estimated economic impact of $46.8 million to communities across the Commonwealth, the VTC reported.

  • GHS production of 'Hairspray' opens Friday

    Anyone looking for high-low culture (and a good dance number) this weekend in the Twin Counties need look no further than the Galax High School auditorium, where students will be recreating Civil Rights-era Baltimore in the hit musical “Hairspray,” based on the John Waters film of the same name.

  • 'Thunder in the Hills' play returns

    HILLSVILLE – “Thunder in the Hills,” the popular play by Frank Levering, returns to the historic Carroll County Courthouse this month. The play, which originally debuted in 2012 for the centennial commemoration of the Carroll Courthouse Shooting, had multiple sellout performances then and again in 2014.

  • 'Thunder in the Hills' returns to courthouse

    HILLSVILLE — The Carroll County Courthouse drama “Thunder in the Hills” returns to the historic courthouse during April.

    This play, which was a sellout for multiple performances in 2012 and 2014, tells the story of the tragic shooting that occurred in the courtroom on March 14, 1912 and of the consequences of the shooting.

    Local playwright Frank Levering wrote the play in 2012 for the centennial commemoration of the event.

    Many of the cast members from the past play will reprise their roles for this year’s performances.

  • String band class raising money for instruments

    INDEPENDENCE ― Instructor Eddie Bond has seen several young musicians come a long way through the Grayson County High School String Band program; and says he is encouraged to see so many of the newer generation so interested in keeping a part of the area’s history alive.

    But as the interest expands, so does the need for equipment. Fortunately, an upcoming event at the high school could help put fresh new instruments into the hands of their students.

  • 'Mountains of Music' to expand

    Staff Reports

    The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, announced its third annual Mountains of Music Homecoming event will take place June 9-17, 2017, in more than 50 communities throughout 19 counties in Southwest Virginia.

    Galax’s two-day HoustonFest is one of the featured performances, and Hillsville will host one of the celebration’s new “feastivals,” which combine farm-to-table food with live music.

  • Dance conservatory to present 'The Nutcracker'

    The magic and beauty of The Nutcracker will return to local stages Dec. 10 and 11 with The Conservatory of Dance and Theatre’s 12th annual production of this classic holiday ballet.

    The Nutcracker ballet is timeless; from the dancing, to the characters, to the famous musical score, to the costumes and set designs.

    Appropriate for children of all ages, the conservatory has always promoted its version of The Nutcracker as a ballet “for children, by children.”

  • Return of the 'Parasite'

    There was a time when Frank Levering of Cana was more than just a stage director, playwright and orchard owner.

    There was a time when he made a monster.

    This Saturday night, that creature crawls out of cinematic obscurity to terrify audiences again, as the Friends of the Sidna Allen House hosts a fundraiser featuring a screening of “Parasite,” co-written by Levering.

    The movie will be shown at the historic Rex Theater in Galax on Oct. 29.