An Appalachian Summer
Celebrating its 26th year in 2010, An Appalachian Summer Festival once again brought a wide range of talented performers and artists to the High Country. About 22,000 local community members and seasonal residents attended this year’s festival, as well as visitors from across the state and nation.
The recession caused a decrease in performing arts ticket sales across the country, but An Appalachian Summer Festival completed the season with only a minor decline in ticket sales. A few of the artists featured in last year’s festival are highlighted below.
Janis Ian and Karla Bonoff
An Appalachian Summer Festival began July 1 with a concert by songstresses Janis Ian and Karla Bonoff. The two artists teamed up to present, “Songs of a Generation,” a celebration of song featuring two of the most powerful songwriters who came of age in the 1960s. Ian and Bonoff have both written hit songs and won various awards.
July 7, 14 and 25
Broyhill Chamber Ensemble
The Broyhill Chamber Ensemble returned to An Appalachian Summer with three performances in July at the Rosen Concert Hall. The Broyhill Chamber Ensemble is the longest standing feature of the festival. Under the artistic direction of Gil Morgenstern, the ensemble has presented the country’s most acclaimed chamber musicians performing both historical and new pieces.
Amy Sedaris, actress, author and comedienne from Raleigh, performed at Farthing Auditorium July 9. Sedaris began performing in the legendary Chicago comedy troupes Second City and Annoyance Theater in the 1990s. Since then, she has written books and plays and appeared frequently on The Late Show with David Letterman. Sedaris is also known for her collaborations with brother and author David Sedaris.
Golden Dragon Acrobats
Colorful and versatile costuming, traditional and modern dance and athleticism all came together in a performance by the Golden Dragon Acrobats on July 10. Based in Atlanta, the Acrobats have performed their 2,500-year-old art form in more than 65 countries. In 2005, the Acrobats made their Broadway debut to a sold-out audience at the New Victory Theater.
July 11 and 18
Eastern Festival Orchestra with Pianist Barry Douglas
The Eastern Festival Orchestra returned to An Appalachian Summer Festival with performances July 11 and 18. The orchestra features some of the most extraordinary orchestral and chamber musicians from around the world. Guest pianist Barry Douglas, the festival director, was the featured soloist during the concert. World-renowned conductor Gerard Schwarz directed the orchestra.
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company brought minimalist music and stunning choreography to the festival on July 16. The New York Times called Lar Lubovitch one of the 10 best choreographers in the world. Lubovitch was among the first to employ minimalist music in modern dance works and change how choreography relates to its musical score. The New York-based dance company has performed in all 50 American states and more than 30 foreign countries.
Award-winning Broadway performer Patti LuPone came to Farthing Auditorium July 17. In her show, titled “The Gypsy in My Soul,” LuPone performed songs associated with her Broadway career as well as some of her personal favorites. LuPone completed her training with the first class of the Drama Division of New York’s Julliard School and went on to play a variety of roles both on and off-Broadway and on tour throughout the United States.
Todd Wright Jazz Orchestra
Todd Wright, the director of jazz studies at ASU, performed at the festival’s fundraising event, “Jazz Beneath the Stars at Westglow,” July 29. The Todd Wright Jazz Orchestra is an 18-piece jazz orchestra comprised of some of the region’s most talented musicians. The orchestra performs a wide range of dance music. Tickets to the performance included dinner, valet parking and a night of dancing under the stars.
Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys with Cherryholmes
Classic veterans of mountain music, “Dr. Ralph” Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, performed July 30 with Cherryholmes, a bluegrass band. Stanley has been performing professionally since 1946 and was the first artist of the new millennium to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2000. Four-time Grammy Award-nominated Cherryholmes, a family band that brings Celtic and jazz roots to the bluegrass scene, joined Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys on the Farthing Auditorium stage.