One of the nation’s top music festivals gets underway in Floyd this weekend, and a Charlottesville-based band will use the event to launch an unusual tour – designed to entertain and raise awareness about one of America’s biggest environmental problems.
Some bands partner with tobacco or liquor companies, credit cards or energy drinks to provide the cash needed for their tours, but a Charlottesville group called the Infamous Stringdusters decided to make theirs a musical mission. Bass player Travis Book, who hails from Nelson County, explains.
It’s no secret that opera in America is struggling. In 2008, only eight percent of adults said they liked opera, and only two percent had been to one in the past year, but here in Virginia that could be changing thanks to summer programs designed to build the base for opera.
It’s not unusual for opera goers to give long and enthusiastic ovations – for cast members to take bow after bow, but people who love this complex art form fear their audience may not always be there.
While many of their peers are swimming, biking, hiking or just goofing around this summer, more than three dozen high school students from around the state have gathered in Charlottesville this week for a vocal labor of love - rehearsing and performing one of the most complex works of choral art ever. A Mozart marathon now underway.
Judith Gary is music director for the Virginia Consort, a singing ensemble in Charlottesville and one of five music professionals behind a remarkable summer experiment.
Floyd, Virginia is better known for Mountain music than for classical concerts, but a new Music Festival will bring the two together for eleven days this spring --- all over town.
David Stewart Wiley is the artistic director and conductor of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival. He says Floyd is an ideal setting for the festival; its variety of venues for a full schedule of performances and workshops, its scenic backdrops, and because of a certain resonance between classical and mountain music.