1) MerleFest 2015 Volunteer Applications Open Oct. 1
Beginning October 1, MerleFest, presented by Lowe’s, will begin accepting online applications for its popular volunteer program for the 2015 festival. MerleFest 2015 will take place April 23-26. Volunteer applications will be accepted online at www.merlefest.org/volunteers. Those who prefer a hard copy application may request one by emailing [email protected] or calling 336-838-6262. Anyone wishing to volunteer should complete an application early because slots fill up quickly. The Volunteer Opportunities section of the MerleFest website, www.merlefest.org, provides additional details about volunteering at MerleFest. With over 800 individuals participating each year, MerleFest volunteers are considered vital to the success of the festival. While some come from the surrounding community to help out, volunteers for the festival also come from all over the world, many of whom make their work at MerleFest an annual event. An obvious benefit to being a MerleFest volunteer is admittance into the festival: each volunteer receives free entry for each day a shift is worked (usually three to five hours long); volunteers may work one, two, three or all four days of the festival. In addition to being an exciting opportunity to experience a world-renowned festival of music, moments and memories up-close, the vast network of volunteers who support MerleFest help make the festival a highly successful fundraiser, as well. As the festival benefits Wilkes Community College, volunteers – while working on campus – get to experience the buildings, gardens and instructional programs that the monies raised through MerleFest make possible each year. Lee K. Cornett, the MerleFest volunteer coordinator, urges music fans to consider the MerleFest volunteer program. “Volunteering is a great way to give back. And, it is so much fun to volunteer at MerleFest – you walk on campus and feel the excitement in the air,” says Cornett. “It’s a special homecoming, meeting new friends and seeing old ones that you only see once a year at the festival. At the end of the day, you feel like you have made a difference and been a part of something really big.” “MerleFest is recognized around the world as one of the best festivals ever. But most of all, it is known for being family-friendly entertainment, something that always made Doc Watson, who helped found the festival, proud.” Cornett added. MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming ofmusicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.
2) Watauga County Parks and Recreation Accepting Registration for Basketball Leagues
Watauga County Parks and Recreation is now accepting team registration for adult league basketball. Three leagues are offered: men’s church, men’s open and women’s open. The registration fee is $475 per team. Teams are guaranteed 14 games. The registration fee must be submitted with the team registration for by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3. Games will begin the week of Nov. 10. Teams will play weekday evenings at Old Cove Creek Gym. Teams must wear reversible jerseys with a number on the front and back. Participants must be 16 years of age or older and must be residents of Watauga County, full time college students or employed full time in Watauga County. Additional restrictions are placed on Church League participants. To register or for more information call 264-9511. Watauga County Parks and Recreation is also seeking registration for Mountaineer Boys and Girls Basketball. Children must be in 5th or 6th grade and attend school in Watauga County to be eligible. The program is designed to teach participants the fundamentals of basketball in a stress-free environment. When numbers permit, teams are formed by school district. Teams meet approximately three times per week for games and practices. Practices begin in early January and games will begin mid to late January. Games are played on Monday-Friday between 5:30 and 8 p.m. and Saturday mornings between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The recreation department will provide each child with a reversible team jersey which is his to keep at the end of the season. The registration fee is $55 per participant and must be submitted with registration application. All participants must be registered with Watauga County Parks and Recreation no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19 for boys and Oct. 3 for girls. For more information, contact Watauga County Parks and Recreation at 828-264-9511.
3) ASU Men’s Basketball Announces Home Game Times
Appalachian State University men’s basketball revealed game times for all 12 of its regular-season home games on Tuesday. Appalachian will face non-conference foes Hampton (Nov. 24) and Hofstra (Dec. 7) at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. All of the Mountaineers’ Sun Belt Conference contests will be played as doubleheaders with the Appalachian State women’s basketball team. Men’s contests will start at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 3:30 p.m. on the weekends for all league contests. All women’s league games will start at 5 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends. Season tickets for Appalachian’s inaugural season in the Sun Belt can be purchased now by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 828-262-2079 or by ordering online at appstatesports.com/tickets. Single-game tickets will go on sale in early October. For the most up-to-date game times, fans should visit appstatesports.com. All game times are subject to change per the potential for televised contests. The Dec. 21 contest at Alabama will be televised on the SEC Network. No other television arrangements have been finalized. Fans can catch their first glimpse of the Mountaineers in an exhibiton with Lees-Mcrae at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6.
4) Heirloom Apple Tasting and Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Fundraiser
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) announces the first HomeGrown Workshop of the Fall: an Heirloom Apple Tasting will take place on Sunday, October 5 from 3-5pm at the Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The HomeGrown Workshop Series consists of seasonal workshops that promote sustainable living and self-sufficiency in our High Country Region. Each workshop features a local expert in our area. All proceeds benefit Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA). On Sunday, October 5, join local apple farmer, Bill Moretz, of Mortez’s Mountain Orchard, for a tasting and discussion about the heirloom apples growing in our High Country region. Bill Moretz will share his knowledge and harvest of old apple varieties that are grown in the Appalachian region. In addition to explaining the history and the subtleties of each variety, apple samples will be available for tasting and comparing. Over time only a handful of apples have made their way into grocery stores, however at points throughout history there have been thousands of different varieties produced for eating, cooking, or fermenting. Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and Bill Moretz are excited to share the varieties that have been made popular again. “We feel that this event is a wonderful opportunity to give people a chance to learn about the importance of preserving these varieties and a chance to compare them side-by-side,” said BRWIA Executive Director, Carol Coulter. Participants will sample multiple apple varieties as well as bread, cheese, and beer samples provided by Stickboy Bread Company, Heritage Homestead Dairy, and Blowing Rock Ale House. A donation of $15 for one person or $25 for two is encouraged for this class. It will take place from 3pm – 5pm on October 5 at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 381 East King Street. The event is sponsored by NC Cooperative Extension, Watauga. Go to http://www.brwia.org/homegrown-workshops.html to register and pay. Participation is limited, so act now to reserve your spot!
5) Classic Works for Wind Ensemble Performed Oct. 5 at Appalachian
Symphonic classics written for wind ensembles will be performed Sunday, Oct. 5, at 3 p.m. at Appalachian State University. The free concert will be presented in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on campus. Dr. John Stanley Ross will conduct the 58-member Appalachian Wind Ensemble along with guest conductors Dr. Charles Isley and Gus Perry. Dr. Drew Leslie from the Hayes School of Music will be featured. The concert opens with the popular circus march “Entry of the Gladiators” by Julius Fucik. Composed in 1987 for orchestra, the work was later arranged for wind band. Next on the program is Etic Whitacre’s “October,” written about the composer’s favorite month. “Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always make me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing,” Whitacre wrote about the composition. “The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics – Vaughan Williams and Elgar – as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.” The composition was premiered in 2000. Guest trombonist Dr. Drew Leslie will be featured on Launy Grondahl’s “Concerto for Trombone,” written in 1924. The work combines traditional and modern styles from Grondahl’s native Scandinavia. The wind ensemble will perform the N.C. premiere of Bruce Tippette’s “Ablaze.” Tippette wrote the piece during his senior year at Appalachian. “I wanted to compose a rhythmically complex and taxing piano solo for my composition recital. Several years later, during my final month of graduate school, I took a look back at this piano solo, titled “Ablaze,” and decided to rework it as a Wind Ensemble piece,” he said. “The final product is a rhythmically complex and taxing piece, intertwined with lyrical melodies, unable to be performed on the piano. The wind ensemble provides the ultimate flourish of colors that I was unable to achieve on the piano alone.” Dr. Charles Isley will conduct one of his favorite compositions – Carmen Dragon’s arrangement of “America the Beautiful.” Isley was director of bands at Appalachian from 1958 to 1978. During that time, he developed the band program, hosted the Northwest District Band Clinic 15 times, and became one of the founders and the first director of Cannon Music Camp. In retirement, Isley worked in the instrumental music program in Watauga County Schools, helping develop a county-wide program in orchestral strings. He served for two years as band director at Watauga High School. The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the inspiration for British composer David Bedford’s tone poem “Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves,” included on the wind ensemble’s program. While composing “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Coleridge had written about a storm off the Cape of Good Hope in which, “The Sea was then very much tossed, and the Wind carrying off the Tops of the waves made a kind of Rain, in which Rays of the Sun painted the Colours of a Rainbow.” A progression of eight chords forms the basis of the work which features minimalistic techniques and creative percussion writing, including the use of eight tuned wine bottles. Also on the program is “Four Scottish Dances” by Malcolm Arnold. The movements capture the essence of Scottish dance styles – a slow strathspey, a lively reel, a Hebridean folk song and a lively Highland fling. Gus Perry will direct the ensemble’s performance of “Rolling Thunder” by Henry Fillmore. Perry is a former band director and department chair at Miami Dade College and was a friend of Fillmore. He is a former president of the Florida College Music Educators Association. “Roaring Thunder” is another circus march that captures the high-paced excitement that occurs under the “big top” and highlights the ensemble’s trombone section.