All across N.C. this summer, long-running annual festivals offer opportunities to experience regional talent as well as touring performers from across the country. Here are just a few.
Originating in 1984 and now one of the country’s largest regional arts events, An Appalachian Summer Festival draws 26,000 people each year for a diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film. This year’s festival includes a performance by N.C.’s Eastern Festival Orchestra with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Triad Stage’s The Sunset Limited and a lecture by UNC-Chapel Hill associate professor of English Randall Kenan, Haints and Boogers: Making a Case for the Supernatural and Other-Natural in Southern Fiction. National tours include Our Broadway with Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen, k.d. lang and The Siss Boom Bang, The Manhattan Transfer and Mountain Heart with Tony Rice. For a complete calendar of programs, dates and times, visit appsummer.org.
The Stecoah Valley Center’s summer concert series, An Appalachian Evening, highlights the region’s cultural heritage with performances of bluegrass, folk and old-time mountain music in the historic Stecoah auditorium. This season’s lineup includes The Kruger Brothers, The Steel Wheels, Pop Ferguson Blues Revue, The Farewell Drifters, Dismembered Tennesseans, The Troubadours, Balsam Range, Dehlia Low, Jeff Little Trio and Blue Eyed Girl. A unique feature of An Appalachian Evening is the traditional, homemade family-style dinner available prior to the shows — reservations are required. For more information, visit www.stecoahvalleycenter.com/performance.html.
The Eastern Music Festival (EMF) at Guilford College in Greensboro celebrates its 50th anniversary season throughout 2011. One of the nation’s foremost training programs for more than 200 aspiring young orchestral and piano students between the ages of 14 and 22, it presents 100 concerts and music-related events throughout its five-week festival. The Festival Orchestra Series, led by Maestro Gerard Schwarz, features orchestral and chamber musicians including Susan Graham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Andre Watts, Stefan Jackiw, Carolina Goulding and Julian Schwarz. The EMF schedule also includes The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis and a host of other public performances. To learn more, visit: www.easternmusicfestival.org/index-splash.php