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Music & Arts

  • HoustonFest is one of Stanley's last stops

    This year’s HoustonFest music festival in Galax’s Felts Park will feature two distinctive sounds from the beloved “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” film soundtrack.
    In 2001, both Ralph Stanley and The Whites were hand-selected from among bluegrass music’s finest to participate in the soundtrack and appear in the film. Both artists took home Grammy awards when the soundtrack won Album of the Year.

  • Jack Tales & Square Dances

    By SHAINA STOCKTON, Staff
    Visitors to Crossroads Institute were asked to put away their cell phones and iPads last Thursday and take a journey back to a time when people entertained themselves.
    Old-school entertainment was the latest discussion in the Bluegrass Gravy and River Quilts program, which is held for free each year at the Crossroads main building. This year’s series began on March 20, with a discussion about churches and gospel music history. On March 27, the group discussed the evolution of the local school systems.

  • New director will guide music center

    The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has appointed Richard Emmett as director of music programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax.
    Just a few weeks into his new position, Emmett has spent his time meeting local talent, familiarizing himself with his surroundings and learning everything he can from his predecessor, Erynn Marshall.
    Walking into his office, Emmett immediately pointed to one of his favorite perks about his new job: a window that overlooks the natural beauty found along the parkway.

  • Art school added to Crooked Road

     

  • Married musicians find perfect harmony

    Carl Jones and Erynn Marshall found their lives and musical careers entwined for years before they both ended up in Galax.
    At festivals and events from Canada to Georgia, they found their encounters repeating like the chorus of a song.
    The married couple is looking forward to passing down their love of music to other aspiring musicians. They will offer a series of music classes to the community through Chestnut Creek School of the Arts this year.

  • Stained Glass Masterpieces

    While some take ideas spun by their muses to a canvas or a sketchbook, artist and teacher Frank Plichta takes a cutting tool to sheets of stained glass, slicing and splicing the pieces to form mosaic masterpieces.
    In the glass-cutting studio inside Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (CCSA) in Galax, an hour before his first class of the year, Plichta stayed busy filling recycled pizza boxes with supplies for his students as he talked about when he first picked up the hobby.  

  • Cana musician nominated for Grammy

    About two weeks before Christmas in 2013, bluegrass musician James King received a late night phone call from his record producer, Ken Irwin, in the middle of a shopping trip with his wife.
    When he answered, his producer asked, “What are you doing right now?”
    “Christmas shopping,” King told him.
    “Well, you need to go to the CD section and look for that Grammy you’ve been nominated for,” said Irwin.

  • Chad Tate: Monster Master

    Stepping into Chad Tate’s studio is like entering a comic book supervillain’s lair.
    You’re surrounded by the faces of mutants, aliens and fantastic creatures. There’s a “lab” where these colorful creatures come to life, a wall full of plans sketched out on paper and a garage with what looks like The Joker’s hot rod parked in the corner.
    But, the only scary thing inside is the amount of talent the sculptor and artist has on display.

  • Potter shapes a new life in mountains

    HILLSVILLE — The talent of “throwing pots” earned Ann Childress a career with the National Park Service, but the wheels continue to turn into her retirement.
    The Childresses lived in a lot of different places when she worked for the park service, but it wasn’t until they returned to the Blue Ridge to be close to her husband’s family that she had a studio dedicated to her craft.

  • Dance conservatory presents classic holiday ballet

    The tradition continues with The Conservatory of Dance & Theatre’s annual production of “The Nutcracker.”
    This family favorite will bring the holiday season to life with the magic of waltzing snowflakes, beautiful dancing, fanciful characters and a thrilling trip into the Land of Sweets.