The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College ends its five-week summer sessions with a multi-theme week. Old-Time, Vocal and American Vernacular Dance Week, August 2-9, will bring arts, craft, folklore and Augusta for Kids classes to Davis & Elkins College Campus along with an array of spectacular talent for students and locals to enjoy.
The week is packed full of opportunities for the public to join in, with dances almost every night, jam sessions, concerts, exhibits, mini-courses and much more. It all leads up to the big Augusta Festival Weekend, August 8-9, featuring a juried craft fair, performances and workshops from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Elkins City Park, the Festival Concert featuring Mountain Stage with Larry Groce, two square dances and a gospel sing. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.augustaheritagecenter.org.
For anyone who wants to sample an Augusta class, there are evening mini-courses from 6-7:15 p.m., Monday through Thursday for $55. There will be Clawhammer Banjo from Scratch with Kevin Chesser, Fiddle from Scratch with Scott Prouty, Blues Dancing with Mary Christensen, New England Choral Music with Penny Anderson and Appalachian Songs from Across the Sea with Michael and Carrie Kline. Register online or by calling the Augusta Office.
The week kicks off on Sunday, August 2 with a square dance in the open air Augusta Dance Pavilion with Shane Leonard and friends and calling by Will Mentor. Admission is $6 for general public and $4 for students and AmeriCorps. Sunday evening also includes a Song Swap at 9 p.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel with Flawn Williams and friends, and a swing dance with American Vernacular Dance Week staff in Pit Dance Studio, Myles Center for the Arts at 9:30 p.m.
The last in a series of free public lectures wraps up Monday, August 3 with folklorist and musician Ron Pen presenting “That’s the Boney Part: An Appalachian Fiddle Tune Goes Viral.” The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Eshelman Science Center, room 400. A square dance will follow in the Augusta Dance Pavilion with music by Emily Schaad and Friends and calling by Will Mentor and Phil Jamison, and a swing dance with members of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Admission is $6 and $4 for students.
Audiences are in for a variety of talent as top performers of old-time, vocal and dance present two evening concerts, scheduled for Tuesday, August 4 and Thursday, August 6 in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. Alice Gerrard, Emily Miller and Jesse Milnes, Riley Baugus, Rhiannon Giddens and many more will grace the stage. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets go on sale at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 general admission or $6 students and may be purchased online at www.augustaheritagecenter.org or at the door. Square dances with music by Old-Time Week staff and Will Mentor calling will take place in the Augusta Dance Pavilion following each concert. Admission is included with the purchase of a concert ticket.
Prior to the concert on Thursday, August 6 a Craft Showcase Reception is scheduled from 6:15-7:30 p.m. in the Joni and Buck Smith Arts Forum in Myles Center for the Arts, featuring exhibits by arts, craft, folklore and Augusta for Kids participants. There will be light refreshments.
On Wednesday, August 5, the weekly Pickin’ in the Park will take place in Elkins City Park. All are welcome to play or observe old-time, bluegrass and country jam sessions. There also will be an old-time week “onion jam” on Halliehurst porch at 7:30 p.m., a vocal student showcase at 8 p.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel, a tap and percussive dance jam in the Augusta Dance Pavilion at 9:30 p.m. and a doo-wop jam in the Madden Student Center Rotunda. Vintage Restaurant will have pizza and beverages available for purchase. All events on Wednesday are free.
The week’s workshops end with student showcases and an old-time party with a flatfooting contest on Friday, August 7. The public is invited to attend the Old-Time Week Student Showcase on Halliehurst porch beginning at 2:30 p.m. and the Vocal Week Student Showcase at 3 p.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel. The afternoon wraps up with a Flatfoot Dance Contest on Halliehurst porch at 4 p.m.
The Augusta Festival officially kicks off at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 7 with a contra dance in the Augusta Dance Pavilion with caller Phoebe Williams and live music by Black Irish. The evening dance will also include square dancing and a cake walk with Old-time Week staff mega band and round robin calling. Admission is $6 and $4 for students.
On Saturday, August 8 the Augusta Festival and Juried Craft Fair will fill Elkins City Park. Performances by Emily Eagen, Laurelyn Dossett, Marv and Kathy Rietz and many more will be highlighted throughout the day. Workshops will be available for people of all ages. There also will be a pickin’ tent, craft demonstrations and much more. Admission is free. That evening, the festival concert will feature Mountain Stage with Larry Groce. Concert performers include Rhiannon Giddens, The SteelDrivers, Alice Gerrard, Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller and many more. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at the door. There will also be a Farewell Square Dance in the Augusta Dance Pavilion following the concert.
The festival weekend concludes on Sunday, August 9 with a Farewell Gospel Sing at 10:30 a.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel. All are warmly welcome in this participatory event.
To register for classes or learn more about the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College Summer Sessions, visit augustaheritagecenter.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-637-1209.
Programs offered by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College are presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.