It’s been 44 years since 400,000 people descended on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in upstate New York, making history with the Woodstock Festival.
Now, Virginia is preparing for its own outdoor rock event - one that could swamp rural Nelson County or charm visitors and locals alike. The Interlocken Festival set for September 5th through the 8th on an estate halfway between Charlottesville and Lynchburg.
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.
When the weather gets warmer, some people start thinking of higher elevations - like the ski resort Wintergreen which is now hosting a festival of music, art, wine and food.
Wintergreen Performing Arts will offer 232 events in 28 days, including Saturday and Sunday concerts by the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra, conducted by Mei-Ann Chen and Joseph Caballe-Domenech. There will also be 24 pop-up concerts by 31 young musicians who will play outside Chroma on Charlottesville’s downtown mall -- and in the produce department.
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.