ELKINS - An evening of local talent is in store as the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College hosts the first monthly square dance of the season Friday, September 14 in the Augusta Dance Pavilion on the college campus. Live old-time music will be provided by the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble String Band with calling by Tyler “T-Claw” Crawford.
The Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble, a student performance group led by String Band Director Emily Miller, is dedicated to bringing live traditional music and dance to audiences in West Virginia and beyond. Composed entirely of students attending D&E, the String Band features fiddler Branson Raines, a junior from Asheville, North Carolina; fiddler and mandolin player Ben Zorn, a senior from Chicago, Illinois; fiddler and banjo player Jim Mclaughlin, a sophomore from Wheeling; and guitarist Johnny Henline, a sophomore from Elkins.
“It is a joy to kick off the fall season of dance with the Appalachian Ensemble String Band, and T-Claw,” said Augusta Events Coordinator Becky Hill. “This dance is guaranteed to get you to laugh, holler, make new friends and see old friends. This is a high energy, family friendly evening not to be missed, and is a great vibe for beginners.”
Crawford grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and fell into the vibrant old-time music revival community after moving to the Pacific Northwest. Aside from calling for many of the country’s traditional square dance communities, he also has called at festivals including Dare to Be Square, Clifftop, Augusta, Seattle Folklife, Portland Gathering and Yarra Junction in Australia. Crawford now resides in Elkins.
The dance starts at 8 p.m., with a beginning workshop at 7:45 p.m. All dances are beginner and family friendly. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and AmeriCorps members, and free to Davis & Elkins students, faculty and staff. Participants do not have to come with a dance partner and listeners are welcome.
Elkins is part of the Mountain Dance Trail, a heritage tourism project of Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College. The project preserves and promotes 15 local community square dances from the Virginia line to the Ohio border. The Mountain Dance Trail hosts a square dance almost every weekend somewhere in West Virginia. The next Augusta Heritage Center Dance is scheduled for October 26 as part of the Annual Fiddlers Reunion. The 2018 Mountain Dance Trail schedule is available online at www.mountaindancetrail.org and in the brochure. For more information, call the Augusta Heritage Center at 304-637-1209.
Programs offered by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College are presented with financial support from the WV Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts and the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Local support is provided by the Randolph County Commission.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.