D&E’s Appalachian Ensemble Performing in Cultural Exchange Program

Date Posted: 

Monday, October 6, 2014

ELKINS - Appalachian Ensemble, the Davis & Elkins College student string band and dance group, will perform in two public concerts as part of an international cultural exchange program. The first performance, which will also feature Romanian artists, will be presented at noon Wednesday, October 8 in Madden Student Center on the College campus.

“We are very excited to work with this group of artists and are looking forward to collaborating with them,” says Rebecca Hill, director of Appalachian Ensemble. “It’s not every day an opportunity like this comes up.”

Appalachian Ensemble was recently invited to participate in the Common Notes partnership funded by the Museums Connect program of the American Alliance of Museums and the U.S. Department of State. The exchange is organized by Clay Center for the Arts in Charleston, W.Va., and will also involve a performance there from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Davis Park on Friday, October 10.

The October 8 concert is free and open to the public. Those attending may bring a lunch or purchase food at Cadillac Daddy Café. The performance will feature Romanian artists Dumitru Pasare and Constantin Argint, with an opening set by Appalachian Ensemble.

Pasare teaches music at Constantin Brailoiu Arts High School in Targu-Jiu, Romania and at Valachia University in Targoviste, Romania. A folk music artist specializing in pan flute, he also plays piano, violin, accordion and other Romanian folk instruments. In 2011, he received his Ph.D. in music at the National Music University in Bucharest, Romania.

Argint teaches Romanian Folk Music at Targu-Jiu Folk Arts School in Romania. Also a folk artist, he has won multiple awards in Romanian music competitions. He plays violin, accordion, piano and contrabass.

Members of Appalachian Ensemble are bassist Devon Rose, a freshman from Benwood, W.Va.; fiddler Scotty Leach, a sophomore from Centralia, Wash.; fiddler Tessa Dillon, a freshman from Saint Albans, W.Va.; banjoist and dancer Kaia Kater-Hurst, a junior from Ontario, Canada; guitarist Rebecca Wudarski, a junior from Davis, W.Va.; and percussionist and dancer Matthew Olwell, a sophomore living in Elkins; and dancers freshman Marina Madden of Charlottesville, Va., freshman Katharine Manor of Rockville, Md., senior Will Roboski of Lansing, Mich., freshman Eli Lucchesi of Elwell, Mich., and freshman Alina Soltis of Saline, Mich.

Common Notes: Connecting Folk Traditions through Technology is a partnership between Alexandru Ştefulescu Gorj County Museum in Târgu Jiu, Romania and Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, W.Va., funded by Museums Connect. Now in its seventh year, Museums Connect is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the American Alliance of Museums, which pairs museums in the United States with museums abroad for a cross-cultural exchange that brings people, especially youth, together to open a dialogue through community projects, partnerships with local or tribal governments and schools and local events.

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.