Folk School JAM Program Passes on Appalachian Musical Traditions to Local Teens

On Friday, April 8, high school students in the Folk School JAM Program played a concert in the Community Room to celebrate the conclusion of the first session. Under the direction of Johnny Scroggs (guitar) and Peggy Patrick (fiddle), students spent 12 weeks learning traditional Appalachian music as part of the Folk School JAM program. We recently sat down with Program Director Hannah Levin to find out more about this wonderful program preserving traditional Appalachian music in our local high schools. Read on to find out how you (or your teen) can get involved!

Johnny Scroggs leads a guitar lesson

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A Fiery Demonstration: Glass Blowing with Tony Prince

Blown glass ornaments
Blown glass ornaments by student Dylan Goodson
Tony Prince shapes a glass blown swan with the heat of the torch.
Tony Prince shapes a glass blown swan with the heat of the torch.

What do swans, jellyfish, marbles, icicles, and ornaments have in common? These design shapes are just a few of the incredible student projects you could see this week in “Intro to Glass Blowing,” co-taught by Alex Greenwood and Tony Prince. Using tabletop torches, students are learning the craft of manipulating tubes and rods of borosilicate glass into unique glassblown ornaments and small vessels.

Last night, I attended Tony’s demonstration in the studio. Many Folk School folks packed the room, eager to see the torch in action and the experience the excitement of moving glass. Tony explained that glass material comes in many forms: a solid rod, a hollow tubing, and thinner colored rods and that there are many ways to use and connect the different types of glass.

Everyone looked on while Tony lit the torch and prepared the tube to make a hollow swan. When the glass tube was hot enough, Tony blew into the tube and the body of the swan rounded out like magic! He made it look so easy. Tony described it like blowing bubble gum or blowing up a balloon. Continue reading A Fiery Demonstration: Glass Blowing with Tony Prince

Alice Russell’s QOV of Awesomeness

This past weekend, instructor Alice Russell taught a Quilting class. She brought some samples of her quilting, including this beautiful quilt she recently created for the Quilts of Valor Foundation​ which provides quilts to heal and comfort our service members and veterans. We think that’s pretty awesome! Go Alice!

Julie Johnson and Alice Russell hold up Alice’s “Quilt of Valor”

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Sugar in the Gourd

Sugar in the Gourd on the Folk School stage earlier this week with Erich fiddling and Bonnie on the banjo! Host Sarah is tapping her toe and considering running upstairs to get her mandolin. You never know when a spontaneous jam will spring up at the Folk School. Catch Erich fiddling for the dance this Saturday night!

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Frolicking Last DMW Dance

Last night’s contra dance for Dance Musicians’ Week was a frolicking fling of fun, friendship, and fancy footwork… what a wonderful week! A big thanks to all the instructors, students, and dancers – you could really feel the love and camaraderie in the air last night.

Instructors: David Kaynor, Peter Siegel, Naomi Morse, & Sue Songer
Calling:  David Kaynor
Music: A mix of the instructors and a handful of students.
Location: Keith House Community Room at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.
Tune: “Liza Jane”