Fund for Teachers 2018

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I am thrilled to announce that this summer I will have the opportunity to study the roots of American Music through a compilation of conferences and exploration of the Blue Ridge Historical Heritage Area of North Carolina.  This...

Roots of American Music – Follow the Journey

Dear Friends, Fund for Teachers has made it possible for me to embark on an unparallelled musical adventure this summer and I hope that you and your family will join me as I discover new things about our shared musical heritage.  The plan (right now) is to post daily...

Roots of American Music – Day 1 – On the Road

Day 1 - Katy TX to Hope AR Today I embarked on a musical adventure I have been dreaming up for years!  Today I drove the most familiar part of my journey and yet by the time I got to Humble I was driving to and through places I have never been before.   As I write...

Roots of American Music – Road to Memphis – Day 2

Day 2 - Hope, AR - Memphis, TN Based on the research I have done for this trip, I knew there was no way that I would be able to experience all that is Memphis in less than a day, AND I was right!  I know for sure that Memphis will be a musical heritage city that I...

Roots of American Music – Road to Nashville – Day 3

Memphis TN - Nashville TN Day 3 - Today was all about driving and exploration and a little bit of rest before a big day in Nashville tomorrow. Interstate 40 between Memphis and Nashville is a treat. Next time I visit this area I am going to bring my hiking boots and a...

Roots of American Music – Nashville TN – Day 4

Nashville TN Day 4  - After a VERY restful night of sleep, we were able to miss most of the morning commuter traffic and hit the Ryman auditorium just as it opened at 9:00 a.m.  It was so much fun to see and hear the history of the place.  We were content with a self...

Roots of American Music – Road to Galax, VA – Day 5

Nashville TN - Galax VA Day 5 - Today I am pleased to say that I am STILL thrilled with my decision to drive for this trip rather than fly to the conferences I will begin attending next week. As I drove from Nashville TN to Galax VA, I was blessed by the beauty around...

Roots of American Music – Blue Ridge Music Center – Day 6

Blue Ridge Music Center and Galax VA This post is delayed because one of the charming truths about my cabin in Galax is that WIFI was almost entirely non existent.  My time in Galax was considerably more relaxed than previous days simply because long stretches of...

Roots of American Music – Blue Ridge Parkway – Day 7

Blue Ridge Parkway On Sunday morning I got up extra early, packed up my car and headed out toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. My goal was to use the Blue Ridge Parkway as a route to drive from Galax VA, south to Asheville NC.  My destination (Mars Hill NC) is a short 20...

Roots of American Music – Mars Hill University – Day 8

Mars Hill University Roots of American Music Conference - Day 1   WOW! What a day it has been! I am focusing my study this week on singing classes including Ballad Singing, Blues Singing and Country Duet Singing. Ballad Singing Here is a quick video about ballads in...

Roots of American Music – Mars Hill University – Day 9

Mars Hill University Roots of American Music Conference - Day 2 I am happy to say that today was another big day at the Roots of American Music Conference. Just to give you a sense of what it's like here in the mountains of North Carolina, I am including a picture of...

Roots of American Music – Mars Hill University – Day 10

Mars Hill University Roots of American Music Conference - Day 3   Day 10 (Wednesday June 27) began as an ordinary day. BUT, it did not stay an ordinary day. Ballads In ballads we broke up the SAD SAD SAD ballads by learning a tragic yet amusing ballad called the...

Roots of American Music – Mars Hill University – Day 11

Mars Hill University Roots of American Music Conference - Day 4   Ballads Today our first song had a very unique history.  The song is a ballad sung by a lady named Addie Graham.  To find out more about Addie Graham and her interesting life and contributions to our...

Roots of American Music – Mars Hill University – Day 12

Mars Hill University Roots of American Music Conference - Day 5 All day long we have been celebrating our learning!  In just a few short days I have made so many new friends from all over the place.  While social media certainly has it's drawbacks, Facebook, Twitter...

Roots of American Music – Asheville

Asheville, NC On Saturday June 30th I woke in my dorm at Mars Hill, packed my car and headed to Asheville. I stopped for a late breakfast where me and the wait staff got in a lively and entertaining discussion about humidity.  They were certain they had never...

Roots of American Music – Swannanoa NC – Day 15

Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa NC Swannanoa Gathering - Traditional Song Week - Day 1   What a treat today was! Today I attended three of the four classes I signed up to attend.  I might have attempted all four, but last week we did 3 classes and by dinner time each...

Roots of American Music – Swannanoa, NC – Day 16

Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa NC Swannanoa Gathering - Traditional Song Week - Day 2   Appalachia to the Ozarks When we arrived, Joe warned us that it would be a day of sad songs, he was soooo right! The first we had a look at was "Sinking in the Lonesome Sea" . As...

Roots of American Music – Swannanoa NC – Day 17

Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa NC Swannanoa Gathering - Traditional Song Week - Day 3 Today is Wednesday, the hottest day of the week so far and while the buildings where we have class are air conditioned, they aren't "really" air conditioned as this Houstonian...

Roots of American Music – Swannanoa NC – Day 18

Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa NC Swannanoa Gathering - Traditional Song Week - Day 4 And just like that the folks I have been sitting in class with all week have become friends!  Last night's staff concert was especially poignant and meaningful as Dr. Kathy Bullock...

Roots of American Music – Swannanoa – Day 19

Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa NC Swannanoa Gathering - Traditional Song Week - Day 5   In my post from Day 4 of Swannanoa I left off just before I went to enjoy some Contra Dancing. Here is a small clip of the dancing which took place in an unairconditioned gym...