Performing Arts Series at Shepherd
24th Annual Appalachian Heritage Festival
Musicians performing during the festival and at the Showcase Concert on Saturday, September 21, include Chelsea McBee and the Whomevers, Corey Harris, and The Main Line Gravy Soppers.Shepherdstown native McBee performs old-time West Virginia banjo tunes, as well as vocal harmonies with her mother, TeresaMcBee, and sister, Melody Massimino.
McBee has been performing and writing since 2006. While there are many artists and styles of music that have influenced McBee, the beauty and history of Appalachia remains the strongest.
Corey Harris, a blues guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader, has recorded many old songs from the blues tradition, while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock, and West African music. In 2003, Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film “Feel Like Going Home,” which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The annual grant described Harris as an artist who “forges an adventurous path marked by deliberate eclecticism.”
Old-time string band The Main Line Gravy Soppers features Rebecca Adams on clawhammer banjo, vocals, and dance board; Jeffrey Adams on guitar; Shepherd professor Jason Miller on fiddle, vocals, and banjo; Jørgen Miller fiddle; and Gary Baker on stand-up bass. The band’s songs range from fast raucous vaudeville numbers to haunting old fiddle tunes.
Saturday, September 21:
- 11:30 a.m., Reynolds Hall, “Rise Up Singing: Story-Songs, Sacred Music, and Songs of Struggle,” a community sing of old-time, gospel, country, and bluegrass.
- 1 p.m., Reynolds Hall, “The String Band Tradition in Appalachia,” an introduction to the old-time string band tradition with The Main Line Gravy Soppers.
- 2:30 p.m., Reynolds Hall, “Roots of the Blues in Appalachia,” Corey Harris will lead a workshop tracing the role that the blues play in Appalachian music.
- 7 p.m., Showcase Concert, Frank Center Theater, featuring Corey Harris, Chelsea McBee and the Whomevers, and The Main Line Gravy Soppers. Tickets are $15/general public, $10/ senior citizens and Shepherd employees, $5/children, and free to Shepherd students with a valid Rambler ID. Tickets are available by emailing email@example.com or calling 304-268-8581.