Global, local culture meet in Performing Arts Series

Article Published: Aug. 19, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Global, local culture meet in Performing Arts Series

The Red Clay Ramblers open ASU's 2010 Performing Arts Series with a Sept. 17 concert.

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The Appalachian State University Office of Arts and Cultural Programs puts together a series of dance, theater and music performances for the year.

This performance schedule, known as the Performing Arts Series, brings groups from varied backgrounds and faraway places to Boone, both as an outreach to the university's student population and to the community.

"The Performing Arts Series supports the university's teaching mission by presenting a diverse array of music, dance and theater events designed to enrich the cultural, educational, and economic landscape of the campus and surrounding region," said Denise Ringler, director for the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs. "In recent years, a major goal has been to bring classroom learning alive for students, by presenting artists that complement and breathe life into the classroom curriculum."

This year is no exception; the series has three performances lined up for this fall.

On Sept. 17 at 8 p.m., the Red Clay Ramblers, a North Carolina string band, will take the stage.

The Ramblers play old-time mountain music, well-known to this region and important to the history of Appalachia, as well as everything from rock to gospel.

They have made appearances on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" and on many national television shows, as well as touring around the world and working on Broadway, earning them a Tony Award.

On Oct. 29 at 8 p.m., Farthing Auditorium will host the fusion of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Del McCoury Band.

The two are touring together for the first time, but the Preservation Hall Jazz Band brings New Orleans jazz to the table, while the Del McCoury band brings its bluegrass history.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band (named for the music venue in New Orleans) has a long history, going back to its charter members, some of whom played with jazz forefathers like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong.

The Del McCoury Band has won numerous awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, and has performed at diverse venues with many different collaborators during the past 50 years.

Final on the fall agenda, the North Carolina Symphony visits Boone on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m.

The symphony performs 175 times a year at venues all across the state, and can be heard each month on the radio, WUNC 91.5 National Public Radio.

With both the Red Clay Ramblers and the North Carolina Symphony, the Performing Arts Series has orchestrated a matinee program for all of the elementary schoolchildren in Watauga County.

"For members of both the campus community and surrounding region, we strive to create memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities that promote the power and excitement of the live performance experience," Ringler said.

In the spring, there will be four performances: January will hold a theater performance by the LA Theater Works titled The Real Dr. Strangelove: Edward Teller and the Battle for the H-Bomb.

In February, Brazil's Bale Folklorico de Bahia will bring traditional folk dance, influenced by the traditions of Africa and South America.

The Russian National Ballet will visit in March to perform "Chopiniana" and "Romeo and Juliet," and in April, Acoustic Africa brings world musicians together who have individually achieved world success.

One of the goals of the program is a new outlook for those who see these performances.

"We strive to provide a window on the world through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists, and to showcase some of the finest artists of our region," Ringler said.

Tickets go on sale on Aug. 24 at 9 a.m., and more information can be found at the Performing Arts Series website,

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