Junior Appalachian Musicians ‘JAM’ out to traditional favorites

The Junior Appalachian Musicians got a chance to showcase their bellowing pipes, instrumental talent, and dance moves at their last concert on May 6. It was a mix of multiple talents put on by a wide-age range of students and program volunteers. The audience could be seen bobbing their heads, tapping their feet, and clapping along to the Appalachian bluegrass-style of music that conjures nostalgia and home state pride alike. 

The concert featured eight songs with a brief intermission to acknowledge reward recipients. The eighth and final song of the showcase was “My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge Mountains,” which the group introduced as their theme song as it references their home state and JAM members delivered it with passion and enthusiasm.

JAM is in its third year of serving the Cashiers, N.C. area and offers classes to students in grades 3-12 in guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin; with opportunities to explore additional instruments within the program. The Blue Ridge Chapter of JAM in sponsored by Mountain Youth Charities, a 501c3 organization. Students are charged tuition, but with the generous help from donors, many students are able to attend tuition-free.

Mountain Youth Charities is holding a Barn Dance and BBQ at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 2 at the Sawyer Family Farmstead located at 240 Chimney Pond Rd., Glenville, N.C. This event raises funds for the education and enrichment of Blue Ridge students and other youth in the community. To learn more about JAM, and/or to donate directly, click HERE.

Article by Maggie Burd
Photos by Brian O’Shea
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