An Appalachian Summer Festival

By Frank Ruggiero (

Article Published: Jun. 26 | Modified: Jun. 26
An Appalachian Summer Festival

Nickel Creek returns to the High Country for a July 14 performance at An Appalachian Summer Festival.

Photo submitted

The first day of summer was June 21, but the calendar runs differently in the Appalachian arts community.

For many, summer is heralded with the start of An Appalachian Summer Festival, one of the Southeast’s premier arts celebrations.

Founded 30 years ago at Appalachian State University as a small chamber music series, the decades have seen the event blossom into one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast, as noted by the Southeast Tourism Society.

With a lineup that showcases national, regional and local acts in music, theater, visual arts and beyond, the festival brings an ever-expanding variety of entertainment to the High Country, starting in late June and running through July.

All Appalachian Summer Festival event tickets can be purchased by calling or visiting the Schaefer Center box office at (800) 841-2787 or (828) 262-4046. Tickets can also be purchased online at The popular “Pick 5” ticket discount offers a break on the price for various festival events when the tickets are purchased in multiples of five.

For videos, images and detailed information about each performance, visit

Festival Kick-Off

Outdoor Fireworks Concert: Little Big Town – June 28
The 30th anniversary festival season kicks off with headlining country band Little Big Town in Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday, June 28, at the annual Outdoor Fireworks Concert. Known for such hits as “Tornado,” “Boondocks” and its 2012 CMA Single of the Year, “Pontoon,” Little Big Town is a chart-topping group made famous by its four-part harmonies. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and is followed by one of Boone’s biggest fireworks displays. Tickets are general admission and discounts are offered to Blue Ridge Electric members. For more information, visit

Schaefer Popular Series

This summer’s Schaefer Popular Series is comprised of big-name musical talents, including Michael McDonald, Matthew Morrison, Nickel Creek and Sheryl Crow.

Michael McDonald – July 5
Five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald will kick start the popular series at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, July 5, at 8 p.m. A former member of The Doobie Brothers, McDonald lent his soulful sound to such classics as “What a Fool Believes” and “Takin’ It to The Streets,” along with solo hits, like “I Keep Forgettin’,” and two highly-acclaimed Motown covers albums. For more information, visit

Matthew Morrison with the Greensboro Symphony – July 12

Matthew Morrison, also known as Mr. Schuester on the TV series, “Glee,” will perform Saturday, July 12, at 8 p.m. at the Schaefer Center, with the Greensboro Symphony. Having starred in Broadway shows “Footloose,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Hairspray” and “The Light in the Piazza,” Morrison will share his Broadway-inspired singing talent with the High Country. For more information, visit

Nickel Creek – July 14
Grammy Award-winning band Nickel Creek comes to the festival to perform music from its latest album, “A Dotted Line.” The band’s first U.S. tour since 2007, the roots-music will perform at the Schaefer Center on Monday, July 14, at 8 p.m. For more information, visit

Sheryl Crow – July 24
Sheryl Crow will close out the Schaefer Popular Series on Thursday, July 24, at 8 p.m. at the Schaefer Center. This nine-time Grammy winner produced such hits as “Everyday is a Winding Road,” “The First Cut is the Deepest,” “All I Wanna Do” and her collaborative duet with Kid Rock, “Picture.” Her most recent album, “Feels Like Home,” is Crow’s first country album. For more information, visit

Theater and Dance

World-renowned dance groups Pilobolus and Dance Theatre of Harlem and the highly acclaimed theater company, Triad Stage, take the Schaefer Center stage this festival season.

Pilobolus – July 3
International entertainment brand Pilobolus returns to the festival July 3 at 8 p.m. at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Featured on the likes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and the Academy Awards, Pilobolus explores the human body as the most expressive, universal and magical of media. Pilobolus is back by popular demand after selling out previous engagements at the festival. For more information on Pilobolus, visit

Triad Stage: ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ – July 10

Triad Stage brings William Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well” to the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on July 10 at 8 p.m. Directed by the company’s artistic director and Boone native Preston Lane, “All’s Well That Ends Well” is a wild journey of risks, magic, war, traps, betrayal and true love. For more information on this performance, visit

‘The Making of a Ballet Dancer’ – July 18
Free Workshop Event

The night before taking the stage for its festival debut, the Dance Theatre of Harlem hosts an interactive presentation, “The Making of a Ballet Dancer,” in the Schaefer Center. This free event starts at 6 p.m. Friday, July 18, and is an informal presentation on the art and science of classical dancing that is geared toward all ages. For more information, visit

Dance Theatre of Harlem – July 19
The unique and powerful entity that is Dance Theatre of Harlem performs at the Schaefer Center July 19 at 8 p.m. Performing ballet works “Lark Ascending,” “Black Swan” and “past-carry-forward and Return,” Dance Theatre of Harlem continues to break down barriers and inspire millions. A pre-show Q&A with members of the company will take place at 7 p.m. For more information on this performance, visit

Classical Music

An Appalachian Summer Festival’s classical music programming features Sir James Galway, Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, National Youth Orchestra of the USA, Rosen-Schaffel Competition and more.

Broyhill Chamber Ensemble – June 29; July 1, 20, 22
Led by artistic director and violinist Gil Morgenstern, the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble returns to the festival with the Reflections Series International. Listed in The New York Times Summer Stages 2014 as a must-see summer concert, this series presents an alternative to the conventional approach to chamber music programming. Performance times are at 8 p.m. on June 29, July 1, 20 and 22 at the Rosen Concert Hall. For more information on the program for these concerts, visit

Eastern Festival Orchestra with Sir James Galway – July 6
The Eastern Festival Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Gerard Schwarz, returns to the festival on July 6 at 8 p.m. in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Featured soloists include world-renowned flautist and guest conductor Sir James Galway and the winner of the 2013 Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists, Shane Rathburn, alto saxophone, of Burnsville. For more information on the program for this evening, visit

Hayes School of Music Faculty Showcase Concert – July 9
Performing faculty members of the Hayes School of Music, professional musicians, as well as accomplished professors, showcase their musical talents in Rosen Concert Hall on July 9 at 8 p.m. Presenting a diverse program of solo and chamber music, this showcase concert is comprised of three of the school’s celebrated ensembles: Ensemble 322, the New River Brass Ensemble and Inalare. For more information on this concert, visit

Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists – July 13
Free Event

In partnership with the Hayes School of Music, the festival proudly presents the fourth season of the Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists. On Sunday, July 13, at 1 p.m, seven selected finalists will take the stage in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts to compete in a public performance for a cash prize and the opportunity to return during the following festival season to perform with conductor Gerard Schwarz and the Eastern Festival Orchestra. For more information on this competition, visit

National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America with Gil Shaham, violin – July 26
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together 120 of the brightest young musicians, ages 16 to19, from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United State of America. Under the direction of conductor David Robertson, the National Youth Orchestra is joined by Gil Shaham, violin, at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on July 26 at 8 p.m. High Country local and member of the Celtic trio, The Forget-Me-Nots, Willa Finck of Banner Elk is a member of the 2014 National Youth Orchestra. For more information on this performance, visit

Global Cinema Film Series

Featuring some of this year’s most celebrated independent films from around the world, the festival presents the Global Cinema Film Series.

Prior to each film, film advisor Dr. John Pfeifer will host a discussion and share behind-the-scenes information about the film. All films are to be screened in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m. For more information and to view the trailers to these films, visit

‘The Rocket’ – June 30
Ahlo, a 10 year-old boy, is believed to be bad luck after a string of disasters happens to his family, including losing their home and being forced to move. In a plea to prove he is not cursed, Ahlo enters the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival.

‘The Lunchbox’ – July 7
A government accountant who is nearing retirement pays for his lunch to be delivered at work from a local restaurant, but his order is mixed with a meal prepared by Ila, a housewife who thought she was making lunch for her husband. The mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects Ila to an older man in the dusk of his life, as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox.

‘Like Father, Like Son’ – July 15
Six years into raising their only child, Keita, Ryota and Midori are told that the child they have raised is not theirs at all — that a hospital error switched two baby boys at birth. Soon Ryota and Midori are meeting their biological child for the first time, along with the family that raised him, and must make a life-changing decision and choose their true son or the boy they raised as their own.

‘Jappeloup’ – July 21
Pierre Durand abandons a promising legal career and throws himself into his true passion – show jumping. After gambling everything he has on a young horse, Jappeloup, who no one else had faith in, Durand must regain Jappeloup’s confidence and build a relationship with the horse, all with the help of his family.

Free Family Fun Night: ‘The Jungle Book’ (1967) – July 25
Take your family on a thrilling adventure with Mowgli, as he journeys deep into the jungle and learns “The Bear Necessities” of life from happy-go-lucky Baloo the bear. Free popcorn will be served!

Tickets for the Global Cinema Series are $10 and general admission. Those who purchase a ticket to each film will receive 10 percent off each ticket. All Appalachian Summer Festival event tickets can be purchased by calling or visiting the Schaefer Center box office at (800) 841-2787 or (828) 262-4046. Tickets can also be purchased online at

Visual Arts

Visual Arts Programming at Appalachian Summer Festival Features Art from South Africa
In partnership with the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, the festival showcases the visual arts through exhibitions, workshops, artist lectures, Family Day and the 28th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk.

Summer Exhibition Celebration
Free Event, Open to the Public
On Friday, July 11, from 6 to 10 p.m., the TCVA is celebrating summer and the new exhibition, “TWENTY: Contemporary Art from South Africa.” With live music and a chance to meet some of the artists, the public is invited to take a tour through the six galleries at the center.

‘TWENTY: Contemporary Art From South Africa’
Opening July 11, this exhibition celebrates the 20th year of South Africa’s democracy. Depicting a slice of South African life through contemporary art, this exhibition explores issues of social conditions, like land issues and HIV/AIDS and juxtaposes these with positive aspects, including the Mandela years and the influence of traditional craft on contemporary South African art.

‘Ivan Fortushniak: In Christ Alone’
Heavily influenced by early modern American art of the 19th century, the motivation behind Ivan Fortushniak’s recent work is his belief of the dire state of man and the human need for what the Gospel offers.

‘Legacy, Tradition, Reinventions – Penland Resident Artists’
Penland School of Crafts, located just 45 miles from the Turchin Center, is one of the most unique artistic educational facilities in the nation. This exhibition houses works created by current participants of the school’s resident artist program.

Workshops at the Turchin Center offer the opportunity for participants to learn a new technique or hone an existing skill. Below are the workshops offered during An Appalachian Summer Festival.

• Action Figures (ages 6-11) – July 3, 9 a.m. to noon
• Salt Glazing – June 30 to July 2 and 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Self-Reflection (ages 12-16) – June 30 to July 3, 1 to 4 p.m.
• Plein Air Painting – Getting Started – July 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Kid’s Art Week (ages 7-12) – July 14 to 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Discovering Your Inner Artist – July 21 to 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lunch and Learn Lecture Series
The Lunch and Learn Lecture Series are interactive and informative lectures that give an insider’s look at the festival programming and beyond from experts in the field. Lunch and Learns are held every Wednesday throughout July from Noon to 1 p.m. in the TCVA Lecture Hall. These are free events; just bring a bagged lunch to enjoy during the lecture.

• July 2: ‘TWENTY: Contemporary Art from South Africa,’ with Hank Foreman
• July 9: ‘Give My Regards to Broadway’ with Keith Martin
• July 16: Penland Resident Artist David Eichelberger
• July 23: ‘Education Takes the Stage’ with Christy Chenausky

TCVA Family Day
Saturday, July 12, 1 to 4 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Themed entirely around the new exhibition, “TWENTY: Contemporary Art from South Africa,” TCVA Family Day celebrates the culture of Africa through art activities. Discover how children live, work and play in South Africa. Admission is free to this event.

Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk
Saturday, July 26

10 a.m. at the Catherine Smith Gallery at the Schaefer Center; free and open to the public
The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition is a national, juried competition to showcase the best of large-scale, contemporary American sculptures on the campus of Appalachian State University. Join competition juror Wayne Trapp and the sculpture artists on an outdoor tour of the 10 selected pieces from the 28th Rosen Sculpture Competition. The tour begins and ends at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, followed by light refreshments and an announcement of the top three sculptures at an award ceremony.

For more information on all of these events and more, visit or

Additional Images

Nickel Creek returns to the High Country for a July 14 performance at An Appalachian Summer Festival.
Photo submitted

Sheryl Crow closes out An Appalachian Summer Festival's Schaefer Popular Series with a performance July 24.
Photo submitted

Pilobolus brings modern dance to the Schaefer Center July 3.
Photo by Nadirah Zakariya

Grammy-winning recording artist and Doobie Brothers alum Michael McDonald will perform July 5 in Boone.
Photo by Danny Clinch

Dance Theatre of Harlem brings modern ballet to the Schaefer Center stage July 19.
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Matthew Morrison, from the hit TV series, ‘Glee,’ will bring Broadway to Boone July 12.

Little Big Town kicks off An Appalachian Summer Festival June 28, with the annual Outdoor Fireworks Concert.
Photo submitted

Facebook Fans
Home » Community Events » An Appalachian Summer Festival
Local Business Marketplace

Find more businesses on

Attorneys · Automotive · Health Care
Home & Garden · Hotels & Lodging Restaurants
Retail · Recreation · Real Estate & Rentals · Services

Banner Elk My Hometown
Boone My Hometown
ASU Sports