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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.

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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Tale of Ononis

The Tale of Ononis by Rob Neufeld Part 1: The Making of a Celebrity ❧  Hare Begins His Tale  Ononis was my region’s name.People now call it Never-the-same.I’ll start with the day a delivery came. The package I got was a devil’s dare,Swaddled and knotted in Swamp Bloat hairAnd bearing, in red, one word: “Beware!” Bloats are creatures from the Land of Mud Pies,Wallowing in waste with tightly closed eyesUntil fears bring tears and the bleary bloats rise.   ❧  Hare’s Colleagues  I asked my boss,…See More
Friday
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event

Drop Your Troubles: A Solo Storytelling Performance with Connie Regan-Blake at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

December 1, 2018 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Join this internationally renowned storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she transforms a packed theater into an intimate circle of friends with old-timey charm, wisdom, and humor. We’ll also welcome the Singer of  Stories, Donna Marie Todd, who will perform her original story, “The Amazing Zicafoose Sisters.” Connie’s last two shows at BMCA have sold…See More
Nov 6
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Explore the Landscapes of Story and Telling at Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies

January 23, 2019 at 10am to February 27, 2019 at 12pm
A Storytelling Offering in Asheville, NCWednesday Mornings 10am-12pmJanuary 23 – February 27, 2019 This winter Connie is excited to offer a learning opportunity to warm-up your storytelling voice and creativity!  Join her in Asheville, NC at Lenoir-Rhyne University for six story-work sessions with a weekly format that allows for skills to grow over time while encouraging a consistency in discovering, revisiting and refining your stories. During these weekly sessions participants are invited…See More
Nov 6
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event
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Explore the Landscapes of Story & Telling at Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies

January 23, 2019 at 10am to February 27, 2019 at 12pm
A Storytelling Offering in Asheville, NCWednesday Mornings 10am-12pmJanuary 23 – February 27, 2019 This winter Connie is excited to offer a learning opportunity to warm-up your storytelling voice and creativity!  Join her in Asheville, NC at Lenoir-Rhyne University for six story-work sessions with a weekly format that allows for skills to grow over time while encouraging a consistency in discovering, revisiting and refining your stories. During these weekly sessions participants are invited…See More
Oct 28
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake presents A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

April 6, 2019 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Join nationally celebrated storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she hosts her workshop participants in an enchanting evening of storytelling in “A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories.” The event will be hosted by the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, just a short drive from Asheville nestled in the picturesque mountains surrounding the area. Call the Center for advance tickets (828) 669-0930 or order…See More
Oct 28
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake's Taking Your Story to the Stage Workshop at StoryWindow Productions

April 5, 2019 to April 7, 2019
The focus of this “Taking Your Story to the Stage” 3-day workshop is on storytelling performance. Each participant is asked to come with a story that is almost “stage-ready.” Set in Connie’s home tucked in the beautiful mountains surrounding Asheville, NC, this workshop provides a supportive, affirming…See More
Oct 28
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Let’s say every word is precious

Let’s say every word is precious (Part of Living Poem) Let’s say every word is precious.Say every word is precious.Every word is precious.Every word precious.Every word.Word.--Rob Neufeld, Oct. 16, 2018See More
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Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Oct 12
Nancy Sutton replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Metamorphoses
"Poignant in so many ways!   "
Oct 3
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses (Part of Living Poem)Hear audio: Metamorphoses%20181004_0192.MP3 So Apollo committed the first rape.He’d come back from exterminating Python,The Bane of Humanity, now his arrow-victim,And stopped to mock…See More
Oct 2
Joan Henehan replied to Joan Henehan's discussion on Reading Living Poem
"Fantastic, that will be very helpful."
Sep 22
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

First Drumbeat

First Drumbeat(Part of Living Poem) The time has come.Call it a drum,Or a crumb,What’s left of life. I used to tell a jokeWhen my life was wide,And I was a stud,And not a dud—I knowI’m not a dud.  I’m a dude,A dad.  But everyone mustRebut the dud chargeAt summing up time. Oh yeah, the joke,A trademark one for meIn that it’s not funny. I used to say I’ll never retireFrom writingBecause if I’m ever…See More
Sep 22
Rob Neufeld replied to Joan Henehan's discussion on Reading Living Poem
"Thanks for the prompt, Joan!  I have attached the whole work in progress as a doc at the bottom of the table of contents page: http://thereadonwnc.ning.com/special/living-poem"
Sep 22
Joan Henehan replied to Joan Henehan's discussion on Reading Living Poem
"Is there a way from this website to print everything or might you send me such a document to bayjh@icloud.com?"
Sep 22
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event
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Julia Nunnally Duncan at Marion Branch McDowell County Public Library

October 24, 2018 from 4pm to 5pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be launching her new poetry collection A Neighborhood Changes (Finishing Line Press, 2018) at a book presentation and signing to be held at the McDowell County Public Library in Marion on October 24.See More
Sep 21
Rob Neufeld replied to Joan Henehan's discussion on Reading Living Poem
"This could be interesting--thanks!  I'm at 828-505-1973 (my home business office).  And RNeufeld@charter.net."
Sep 20

Spirit of Lamar Stringfield attends Asheville Symphony

Lamar Stringfield’s spirit looks over the Asheville Symphony’s 50th

by Rob Neufeld

Brooklyn-born Aaron Copland won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1945 for his ballet, “Appalachian Spring.” Eighteen years earlier, Lamar Stringfield of Asheville had won a fellowship from the Pulitzer Prize jury for “the student of music in America who may be deemed the most talented and deserving.”

Stringfield, the committee noted, already had forty-one compositions to his credit, “many of which have been constructed by the use of folk music that has been preserved by the mountaineers of Western North Carolina.” The fellowship would yield his orchestral suite, “From the Southern Mountains.”

He was ahead of the curve.

“It is surprising that Stringfield’s name is not better known and his influence better acknowledged, in Appalachia at least,” wrote Douglas Nelson in his 1971 Chapel Hill dissertation, The Life and Works of Lamar Stringfield (1897-1959).

The Asheville Symphony acknowledges Stringfield as it opens its 50th anniversary season, September 18. Included with the program will be a book of memories, written by Arnold Wengrow from interviews with long-time participants.

Stringfield had been alive when the new Asheville Symphony had begun as an application for incorporation in 1958. By the time of its first concert in 1961, he was already two years dead.

The new organization took its name from the one that Stringfield had organized in 1927, when he had twenty-four musicians combine for a big, conducted sound. Five years later, he left to establish the North Carolina Symphony, the first state symphony in the country.

Stringfield’s historic achievements depended upon the development of great musicians, the presence of strong conductors, and an inclusion of contemporary orchestral music—principles that the current Asheville Symphony carries forward. The roots of this movement rest in Asheville.

Stringfield and his bunch played instruments a lot when he was a boy here. During World War I, when he was twenty, he played cornet and flute for the North Carolina Regimental Band, composed mostly of boys from Western North Carolina.

“The bandsmen,” Nelson writes, “served also as first-aid litter bearers assigned to the Medical Corps with the duty of picking up the wounded.” Joseph DeNardo, Stringfield’s bandmaster, recalled in an Oct. 22, 1967 issue of the Asheville Citizen-Times that the band members had brought in casualties from the front in France at the rate of one every fifteen minutes.

It was during this period—when a release from horror was necessary—that Stringfield switched from cornet to flute, made remarkable progress in his playing, and began composing music.

He asked DeNardo, “If you take mountain music, would it be all right to put it into art song?”

Stringfield subsequently studied in Paris and conducted in New York. He won a prize for his flute and string quartet piece, “Indian Legend,” based on Cherokee themes. He performed Charles Griffes’ “Poem for Flute and Orchestra” at the Institute of Musical Art (now Julliard), featuring an American work for the first time in the school’s history.

Then, on June 1, 1927, the announcement: “Come to the Plaza Theatre,” appeared on invitations from Stringfield for the first performance of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. Among other things, he’d be conducting, “Mountain Song” from his suite, “From the Southern Mountains.”

Stringfield went on to pioneer many fields of musical endeavor: a folk institute, music therapy, collaborations with vocal mountain music, an amateur symphony orchestra, and a national symphony society. In 1942, he put his effort—seventy-six hours a week—toward successfully ending World War II by working in an airplane factory.

The post-war period was Stringfield’s time of decline. He applied for teaching jobs, and was denied because he didn’t have a teaching degree. He continued to compose music, including songs for Hubert Hayes’ outdoor drama, “Thunderland,” but failed to get good income from it by promoting his song, “Daniel Boone,” as a pop single.

His health worsened. He began to feel hopeless about his influence. At the same time, the incorporation papers went in for “The Little Asheville Symphony Inc.” (“Little” was removed from the name in 1961.)

Stringfield died on January 21, 1959, and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.

BOX
The Asheville Symphony, conducted by Daniel Meyer, opens its 2010-11 season, Sept. 18, with the music of Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty”; the Szymanowski Concerto No. 1, featuring virtuoso violinist Nicolas Kendall; and Hindemith’s modern “Symphonic Metamorphosis.” In Stringfield’s American spirit, the Symphony also performs at Asheville’s Labor Day festivities. Also in his spirit, it reaches out to children with its “Making Music Happen” programs in schools. Visit www.ashevillesymphony.org or call 254-7046.

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Those of us who grew up enjoying a special trip once each year on school buses on steep mountain roads to hear a live orchestra owe a special vote of thanks to Stringfield for his part in organizing the North Carolina Symphony.

The traveling ensemble, the "Little Symphony," the members of which traveled in vehicles almost as luxurious as school buses, brought a first experience with a live orchestra to many mountain children. I have my program from the first concert I heard as a child. It has been through so many moves that it is frayed and worn, but it is a treasure with happy memories.

As a young music teacher in Texas, I was surprised to learn that the suburb of Dallas where I taught had no children's concerts. I thought that every school system was a privileged as I had been! Those childhood experiences provided a role model which influenced my hard work to make such concerts happen in two school systems during my career.

Thanks to the Asheville Symphony for providing the possibility of renewing our acquaintance with the music of a proud mountaineer. Thanks, too, for the article, Rob.
As a youth in the 1950's, I remember having an annual performance in our school by the North Carolina Symphony. The Lamar Stringfield Music Club of Rutherfordton was responsible for this, if I remember correctly. There had been an active music club in Rutherfordton between 1930-1940, but it ceased to exist for a few years in the early forties because of economic conditions brought on by the Depression. The club was reorganized as the "Lamar Stringfield Music Club" in March of 1949. Mrs. Mary Stringfield Oates, a niece of Lamar Stringfield, was a charter member of the new club which affiliated with the National and North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs. Mrs. Oates still lives in Rutherfordton.

Lamar Stringfield served in World War II doing research on music and sound rehabilitation before working in the airplane factory. After the war, he set up a laboratory/studio/workshop in Charlotte where he developed the "perfect" flute. Most flutes today use his design.

The Norris Public Library in Rutherfordton has some interesting scrapbooks from the Lamar Stringfield Music Club.
So good to know that others remember the "Little Symphony" concerts for elementary students. We were so fortunate to have this asset in our state. Stringfield's influence on at least a generation of kids goes on. With all the other influences he had, this was surely one of the most lasting.

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