Meet Alleghany JAM's New Program Director!

Alleghany JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) has hired a new Program Director. Fiddler, Erynn Marshall will be joining the non-profit that provides instruction in traditional music and dance to children after-school.

Photographed by Susi Lawson

Photographed by Susi Lawson

Erynn Marshall begins this January at the JAM House (formerly the Senator’s House) on Main Street in downtown Sparta. Marshall will step into the position previously held by Samantha Sawyer Wilhelmi who has accepted a new job dancing at the Hatfield and McCoy Theater in Pigeon Forge.

Marshall has been teaching traditional music for 25 years in schools and through private instruction. Growing up in a musical family, she began learning music at age eight in elementary school at a program similar to JAM.

“I really enjoy working with and teaching young people,” says Marshall. “Sharing the music and the history of the tunes brings generations together.”

Marshall was Music Program Manager at the Blue Ridge Music Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway for five years (near Galax). She directed the BRMC concert series and assisted in the curation of the Roots of American Music museum. Local visitors and tourists would often request that she play her fiddle or dance for them.

In the last two years, Marshall, and her multi-instrumentalist-husband Carl Jones, have performed in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and China. She also coordinates the Swannanoa Gathering Old-Time Week - a summer music camp at Warren-Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina. When not touring Erynn has also participated in the Galax JAM program as a substitute teacher.

“I look forward to meeting and working with all the students in Alleghany JAM and being a service to the JAM program in any way I can. It is such a inspiring program. JAM helps young people learn about, carry on and take pride in the music and dance heritage of this area,” Says Marshall. “It will be an honor to work for this local non-profit that does such good for kids and the community.”