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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

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Nancy Werking Poling posted an event

Nancy Werking Poling at Black Mountain Library

June 15, 2019 from 3pm to 4pm
Can women rescue the planet from ecological disaster?Nancy Werking Poling will launch her new novel, WHILE EARTH STILL SPEAKS, set in WNC. She'll tell the stories behind the story: How did Mary (more crone than virgin) get into the narrative? And Mary Surratt, a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth?See More
Jun 10
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Apr 13
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8
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"luv ya Renea ... Kephart bio finally done after 40 years ... free at last ... free at last... great god almighty ... free a last!"
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Connie Regan-Blake posted an event
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Connie Regan-Blake Storytelling at Hendersonville Public Library at Henderson County Public Library - Main Branch

June 13, 2019 from 6pm to 7pm
Join Connie Regan-Blake for a family oriented evening of stories at the Hendersonville Library.See More
Apr 1
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Connie Regan-Blake’s 14th Annual Summer Storytelling Retreat & Adventure at StoryWindow Productions

July 14, 2019 at 10am to July 20, 2019 at 4pm
Come to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville for 7 days of story-listening & story-telling along with coaching, community & supportive exploration. This 14th annual workshop welcomes all levels of expertise, from beginner to experienced teller. Participants discover ways of being in the world that nurture your creative flow while developing skills to: Find, create, learn, and polish storiesEffectively integrate voice with image,…See More
Apr 1
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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
Please 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.” Here are the tellers for our April 6th “Slice of Life” performance.  Christine Phillips Westfeldt, Kyra Freeman, Steve Tate, Alberta Hipps and more! The event is hosted by the …See More
Apr 1
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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,…See More
Apr 1
Rap Monster posted a blog post

Stealth Hazy - 'Gun Clap'

Stealth Hazy - Gun ClapI got 80 rounds with a beam on it riding dirty I'm smoking chronic top off hear that system pound 808 thats subsonicI double down quadruple upstraight droppin with no cutwilt chamberlain on the reboundand you a fan just starstruckI…See More
Mar 26
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event

Connie Regan-Blake’s 14th Annual Summer Storytelling Retreat & Adventure at StoryWindow Productions

July 14, 2019 at 10am to July 20, 2019 at 4pm
Come to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville for 7 days of story-listening & story-telling along with coaching, community & supportive exploration. This 14th annual workshop welcomes all levels of expertise, from beginner to experienced teller. Participants discover ways of being in the world that nurture your creative flow while developing skills to: Find, create, learn, and polish storiesEffectively integrate voice with image,…See More
Mar 2
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Montreat College Friends of the Library Celebrate National Library Week at Graham Chapel, Gaither Hall, Montreat College, Montreat, NC

April 9, 2019 from 3pm to 5pm
Patti Callahan, author of the recent novel Becoming Mrs. Lewis, and Don W. King author of Out of My Bone: the Letters of Joy Davidman, A Naked Tree: Love Sonnets to C. S. Lewis, and Yet One More Spring: a Critical Study of Joy Davidman, will co-present on their works about Joy and her husband C.S. Lewis.  The event is free and open to the public on April 9, 2019 in Graham Chapel, Gaither Hall, Montreat College.Reception and Book signing to followSee More
Feb 8
William Roy Pipes posted a discussion

TWO NEW APPALACHIAN NOVELS

I have, just released two Appalachian Novels.OUT OF THE SHADOWS, begins deep in the Appalachian Mountains of in WNC. It is partly a true story about a young man who ran away from home at the age of fifteen. He meets another runaway, and they fall in love.A journey where he faced adversaries, but also success as he walked, hitchhiked, and made his way across the country.GONE LIKE A CANDLE IN THE WIND, is a story of three young people growing up in a farming community in the Appalachian…See More
Jan 28
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Main Show

The Main Show: a story-poem stage presentation(part of  Living Poem)See video of Act 1, Scene 1: The SettingPrologue Narrator:   Don’t listen, children, and do not hear.(A monster is coming and there’s no escapeWithin this story, and no good way to tell it, Except to gaze at the horror as at a flower,A disaster streaming off extremes it breedsEverywhere and in our…See More
Jan 26
Don Talley posted a discussion

Hollywood Pictures Inc in Fairview

In the 1920's it seemed the whole country was caught up in excitement about films and Hollywood.    Asheville and Western North Carolina were well aware of the hoopla of Hollywood.   In fact, Hollywood (or at least filmmaking) was already beginning to come to Western NC.I recently stumble across an article from the Jun 6 1926 issue of The Asheville Citizen Times which mentions that Hollywood Pictures Inc, was planning to film just south of Asheville, near Fairview.  But....was this really…See More
Jan 23

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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