8th Annual Mountain Music School kicks off at MECC
Big Stone Gap, VA – More than 90 students of all ages plucked, strummed, and fiddled today as Mountain Empire Community College’s Mountain Music School kicked off its 8th annual session.
MECC’s Mountain Music School is a week-long event dedicated to the preservation and continuation of Appalachian music and culture. Students from age 10 and up learn to play an instrument of their choice, including beginning "old-time" fiddle, claw-hammer banjo, folk guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, and dog house bass. In addition, a string-band class for intermediate/advanced musicians is being offered for students who want to expand their skills in a group setting. Students who do not have an instrument are provided one for the week at no cost.
Faculty for this year’s school includes well-known local musicians Todd Meade, Ron Short, Chris Rose, Audie Ratliff, Tyler Hughes, Cory Brown, Steve Souther and others. Students will also be treated to class visits and afternoon concerts by master musicians.
“We are thrilled to have the largest enrollment in the history of Mountain Music School,” said Sue Ella Boatright-Wells, MECC’s Dean of Workforce Development. “Our instructors are musicians that have played old time music for years and are willing to share their expertise with eager students, both young and old. Many instructors take a week of vacation from their regular jobs to come and instruct these students.”
Ms. Boatright-Wells added that for the first time, a former Mountain Music School student is also serving as an instructor. Tyler Hughes, who has been a student for the last six years, is now instructing the string band class.
All afternoon concerts, held at MECC’s Goodloe Center at 1 p.m., are free and open to the public. Mountain Music School will wrap-up on Friday at noon in MECC’s Goodloe Center with a celebration and student/instructor concert open to family and friends of students and faculty.
For more information on Mountain Music School, please contact Amy Greear, MECC’s Coordinator of Community Relations at (276) 523-7480 or by email at email@example.com.