ELKINS - The Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble is hitting the road for a spring mini-tour Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18. The Ensemble will present a selection of pieces they’ve perfected throughout the year.
The student performance group includes a string band and a percussive dance team under the direction of Emily Miller and Will Roboski. The Appalachian Ensemble presents traditional music and dance from the Appalachian region and beyond, focusing on the intersections of different American vernacular forms and their roots, ranging from old-time music and flatfooting to jazz music and tap dance, to Irish Sean nós dance and numerous traditional American styles of harmony singing.
On Friday, February 16, the Ensemble will perform two shows for students at Braxton County High School. The group has performed similar shows for local high school and elementary school students in recent months.
The group travels to Asheville, North Carolina, on Saturday, February 17, for the annual collaboration with East Tennessee State University and Warren Wilson College’s String Band ensembles. The event will include workshops and music jams.
The tour wraps up on Sunday, February 18 with a 1 p.m. performance in Governor Hulett C. Smith Theater. The event is free and open to the public. There is a question-and-answer session planned with the Ensemble and directors after the show to discuss the unique traditional music and dance program Davis & Elkins College offers and to meet the students behind the performance.
Members of Appalachian Ensemble’s string band are fiddler Branson Raines, a sophomore from Asheville, N.C.; bassist Devon Rose, a senior from Benwood, W.Va.; fiddler and mandolin player Ben Zorn, a junior from Chicago, Ill.; fiddler and banjo player Jim McLaughlin, a freshman from Wheeling, W.Va.; and guitarist Johnny Henline, a freshman from Elkins. The dancers in the Ensemble are sophomore Elizabeth Brown of Roanoke, Va.; freshman Rebekah Brown of Roanoke, Va.; senior Jonathan "Yoni" Callahan of Harrisonburg, Va.; sophomore Katie Little of Beckley, W.Va.; senior Eli Lucchesi of Elkins; junior Katharine Manor of Rockville, Md.; sophomore Cierra Merrill of Clarksburg, W.Va.; junior Allison Riley of Huntington, W.Va.; senior Alina Soltis of Saline, Mich.; freshman Nina Stump of Buckhannon, W.Va.; sophomore Tiffanie Toler of Elkins; and freshman Carmensita Woodward of Elkins.
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.