Alleghany Junior Appalachian Musicians (AJAM) spent this year recording their second full length CD release “Alleghany Jammin’ 2011-2018”. The project features 20 advanced students from the 2017-2018 school years being backed up by 10 members of the staff as well as by Helen White and Wayne Henderson. The CD project allowed the students to experience in a professional recording studio and work with Wes Easter who is one of the best sound engineers for acoustic music in our region. The CD’s final track is a “live track” of 20 of our beginner students singing as a group which we recorded at Alleghany JAM in the classroom (totaling 40 students on the CD).
“The students showed a lot of enthusiasm for this project and worked hard to create a great recording. It also serves as an archive of the last ten years of music being played at Alleghany JAM,” reports AJAM Board Chair, Deborah Sherrill. “Instructor Caroline Beverley did a great job producing the CD. Board member Kate Irwin did all the graphic design for the cover. This was a once in a lifetime experience for Alleghany JAM students to be able to go into a recording studio and perform- it’s really special.”
On December 9 from 2:00-4:00 pm, AJAM students will perform selections from the CD at Horizon Bistro located at 38 South Main Street in Sparta. CD’s will be for sale at the event, and beverages and desserts will be available to purchase. The Board of Directors for Alleghany Junior Appalachian Musicians would like to invite everyone to come support these students as they promote this new project.
Alleghany JAM is an after-school program that partners students in grades 3 through l2 with talented area musicians to mentor young people in the traditional music ("old-time") and the cultural heritage of North Carolina mountain communities. Core classes are offered in guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin. In addition, students are offered a choice of either singing or traditional dance (clogging). They are also immersed in the genre of "old-time" music, culture, and history in monthly enrichment classes. Teaching emphasizes ear-training which replicates the experience of one generation passing on musical traditions to the next. Students are coached in appropriate stage presence for performances and encouraged to participate in regional fiddler's conventions. AJAM currently meets at the Senators House located next the Sparta Elementary School. More information can be found at alleghanyjam.org.