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Shepherd to host 16th annual Appalachian Heritage Festival

ISSUED: 23 September 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd to host 16th annual Appalachian Heritage Festival)

Shepherdstown, WV--The Performing Arts Series at Shepherd University will sponsor the 16th annual Appalachian Heritage Festival on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1. This year's festival will pay tribute to West Virginia singer-songwriter and pioneering woman of bluegrass Hazel Dickens, who passed away last April.

Recipient of an honorary doctorate from Shepherd University and a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award, Dickens was recognized as one of the most authentic voices of Appalacia who captured the struggles of working people. Her music will be celebrated by a variety of artists over the weekend.

Friday's concert will feature harmony singing from Dickens' friends and recording partners Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz, with special guest Karen Collins; old-time string band music from The Young Napoleons; and a reading of the 2011 West Virginia Fiction Competition winning story by James Koenig. Saturday's concert features Dickens' friend singer Elaine Purkey, Patent Pending Bluegrass Band, and award-winning storyteller Adam Booth. Both concerts will be hosted by singer-songwriter John Lilly. Friday night and Saturday concerts start at 8 p.m. in the Frank Center Theater.

In addition to the concerts, the festival also features free workshops in Shepherdstown. This year's schedule features a lecture-demonstration on Appalachian music led by Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz at 3:30 p.m. on Friday at Reynolds Hall on King Street.

Workshops will be held Saturday afternoon at the Shepherdstown Opera House, located at 131 West German Street including: a sing along with Elaine Purkey, John Lilly, and more festival artists in the "Songs and Memories," at 1 p.m.; and at 3:30 p.m., Shepherdstown's master storyteller, Adam Booth, will offer a storytelling workshop.

Tickets are available for purchase at the Shepherd University Bookstore, by calling 304-876-5219, or online at www.shepherdbook.com. Festival passes including admission to both concerts are available for $20 general admission; $15 seniors and Shepherd staff; and $5 for kids under 18. Single concert tickets are $15 general admission; $10 seniors and Shepherd staff; and $5 for kids under 18. Concerts are free to Shepherd students with Rambler ID.

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Hazel Dickens

Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz

John Lilly

Patent Pending

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