Summer is in full-swing and Alleghany JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) is too -getting ready for the Alleghany JAM Camp July 17-19th for youth (ages 8 and up including teenagers). It’s a great opportunity for young people to try an instrument for the first time (and JAM supplies any instruments needed for free) or for experienced players to join a stringband with other young musicians, have fun and bring their music to the next level. “JAM Camp is one of the ways we keep the kids playing music and inspired over the summer,” says Program Director, Erynn Marshall. “When I was a kid you could tell a big difference in ability between the kids who played music over the summer and the ones who put their instruments away until fall when school started again. “ Alleghany JAM is always making it possible for children to have many chances to learn, play traditional music and meet other children who play music as well. Some become life-long friends, play in bands or make music for their own enjoyment, their families or the community.
Alleghany Jam Camp consists of three days of music classes, jams, and fun games for kids Wednesday – Friday, 11am-4:30pm on July 17-19th. Daytime activities all happen at the beautiful Alleghany JAM House (formerly the Senator’s House) at 360 N. Main St in Sparta, NC. The camp winds up with the kids heading down to the Alleghany Fiddlers Convention at the Fairgrounds at 4:30pm Friday to play a few tunes to kick off the opening ceremonies. Three great teachers are teaching the kids and teens this year at camp: Lucas Pasley from Sparta, Caroline Beverley from Elkin, and for the first time dancer/banjo player Julie Shepherd-Powell from Boone, NC. Classes being taught for beginners or experienced players include: fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, singing, stringband, and flatfoot dance. Alleghany JAM has kept fees much lower than other camps: only $75 per child or $50 for those requesting financial assistance or with more than one family member attending. All lunches are included. Students can register online at www.alleghanyjam.com or call (276) 237-6866 get info or registration. Those interested should contact Alleghany JAM very soon so we can order free lunches for your child or grand-child and plan what classes they will participate in. It will be fun for all kids and teens and help ensure the traditional music of our region will continue for generations to come!