ELKINS - Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble hits the road for their Spring Tour beginning Friday, April 13 with show dates scheduled throughout the month in Floyd, Virginia, Marlinton, West Virginia, and Elkins. The Ensemble will present several new works and a selection of pieces they perfected throughout the year.
The student performance group includes both a string band and a percussive dance team under the direction of Emily Miller and Will Roboski. The group 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.
For their first stop, on Friday, April 13, the Ensemble will perform at the legendary Floyd Country Store in Floyd, Virginia, as part of the The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. A 60-minute gospel set by the string band will be followed by an additional set of their repertoire with the dancers. Admission is $5 and the show will start at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Friday Night Jamboree. To learn more, visit www.floydcountrystore.com
“The Ensemble's string band has been working hard this year and have learned new tunes, songs and dance steps, and we are looking forward to bringing these musical gems to audiences,” said String Band Director Emily Miller.
The Appalachian Ensemble will return to campus on April 20-22 to teach workshops, perform and help organize the Davis & Elkins College Dance Festival. This event brings local, regional and national artists together on the College campus for three exciting days of concerts and workshops. Individual workshops and the 8 p.m. Friday concert in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium cost $10. A Festival Pass to attend nine workshop sessions and the concert is available for $50. To learn more, visit www.dewv.edu.
On Friday, April 27 the Ensemble will hit the road for their annual performance at the Pocahontas County Opera House. The show is slated for 7:30 p.m. and admission is $10. To learn more, visit www.pocahontasoperahouse.org
On Saturday, April 28 the Ensemble will perform from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the 10th annual Ramps and Rail Festival at the Elkins Depot. Admission is free. To learn more, visit www.elkinsdepot.com
The Appalachian Ensemble is made up of students from around the country who receive scholarships to represent Davis & Elkins College and perform traditional music throughout the region. String Band members are fiddler Branson Raines of Asheville, North Carolina; guitarist Johnny Henline of Elkins; fiddler Jim McLaughlin of Wheeling, West Virginia; bassist Devon Rose of Benwood, West Virginia; fiddler and mandolin player Ben Zorn of Chicago, Illinois. Dancers in the Ensemble are Jonathan Callahan of Harrisonburg, Virginia; Katharine Manor of Rockville, Maryland; Eli Lucchesi of Alma, Michigan; Alina Soltis of Saline, Michigan; Alison Riley of Huntington, West Virginia; Nina Stump of Buckhannon, West Virginia; Elizabeth Brown of Roanoke, Virginia; Rebekah Brown of Roanoke, Virginia; Katie Little of Beckley, West Virginia; Cierra Merril of Clarksburg, West Virginia; Carmensita Woodward of Elkins; and Tiffanie Toler of Elkins.
This will be the last tour for the Appalachian Ensemble for the 2017-2018 season. Their Spring Showcase will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3 in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. Admission is free.
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.