Music & Arts

  • Radio station changes name, format

    If you tune in to 1360-AM on April 1 and hear “Stairway to Heaven” instead of “Amazing Grace,” it’s not an April Fool’s Day prank and you’re not having a flashback to the radio station’s format from the 1970s.

    At noon on April 1, the Galax station is changing its format from gospel to classic rock, and its call letters from WWWJ to WCGX, “The Cat.”

    The new station will launch by playing Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

  • Art school plans program to help veterans

    Chestnut Creek School of the Arts’ Woodworking Studio will soon be the site of yet another community development effort, and this time, says Director Christina Pollins, the focus will be on veterans.

  • Dori Freeman: Rising Star

    The video on YouTube is arresting. A slender, pale young woman in a tank top and jeans, sitting partly in a shaft of light, leans back into her seat, pulling the hand that turned the camera on down to rest on her thigh before she kicks into the song.

    It’s a hard-luck tale of the kind so prevalent in American folk and old-time mountain music, about poverty and its accompanying hardships. She sings it a cappella, accompanying herself only with rhythmic slaps against her denim-clad legs.

  • Music center drawing more fans to parkway

    Staff Report

    More than 35,000 patrons visited the Blue Ridge Music Center near Galax last year to explore the Roots of American Music exhibit, listen to Midday Mountain Music and plan their parkway journey at the visitor center during the May through October season.

    Total concert attendance at the amphitheater was 6,130, an increase of 10 percent from the 2014 concert season, said Rita Larkin of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, which coordinates programming at the center.

  • NEA supports music center, Crooked Road

    Staff Reports

    A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will support the 2016 “Roots of American Music” summer concert series highlighting traditional music at the Blue Ridge Music Center near Galax.

    The NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $15,000 to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

  • Conservatory presents 11th annual 'Nutcracker'

    Treat yourself and your family to one of the holiday season’s most treasured and adored performances, the Conservatory of Dance & Theatre’s annual ballet, “The Nutcracker.”

    Holiday magic envelops the stage at Galax High School as the dancers of the Conservatory and the Galax Youth Ballet bring to life iconic choreography from the wondrous waltz of the snowflakes to the pristine Sugar Plum Fairy variation. Under the artistic direction of Barbara Johnson, the Conservatory will perform its 11th annual “Nutcracker”.

  • Art school opens new woodworking studio

    Chestnut Creek School of the Arts’ Woodworking Studio enjoyed its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday afternoon after eight years of anticipation, planning and effort, as Galax Mayor C.M. Mitchell welcomed all and CCSA Director Chris Pollins-Shackelford thanked everyone who worked to bring the studio to the city.

    After the ceremony, everyone headed inside for a look at the airy, light-filled space during a reception that featured a woodworking-themed cake from Horton’s Supermarket and live music from the Barr family.

  • Gingerbread art a feast for the eyes

    The 15th Annual Gingerbread Art Show will be on display in the main lobby of the Galax Public Library from now until Dec. 19.

  • Galax's mandolin reign comes to an end

    At this year’s Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention, 491 mandolin players who stood in line, registered, waited in the sweltering heat and then played four songs together, left proud in the knowledge that they had helped set a new Guinness record for “World’s Largest Mandolin Ensemble.”

    Though paperwork had to be verified, nothing seemed any different from the last time the record was broken in 2012, also at the convention.

    Unfortunately, however, this year the Guinness World Records officials chose to disagree.

  • Fries fiddlers' convention is Aug. 14-15

    FRIES — The 49th Annual Fries Bluegrass and Fiddlers Convention will be held Friday and Saturday at the old Providence Elementary School Grounds/Jamie Hyatt Arena.

    The arena is at 56 Bainbridge Road in Fries, at the intersection with Spring Valley Road.

    Friday night’s competition will begin at 7 p.m. and includes guitar, old-time fiddle, bluegrass fiddle, old-time banjo, mandolin, Autoharp, flatfoot dance, bluegrass bands and old-time bands.

    Saturday’s Youth Competition will begin at 3 p.m. and includes all adult categories.