Whitetop Mountain Band at St. John's Summer Concert Series

Article Published: Jul. 28, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Whitetop Mountain Band at St. John's Summer Concert Series

The St. John's Episcopal Church Summer Concert Series presents the Whitetop Mountain Band on Sunday evening, Aug. 7.

Hailing from the tallest mountains in Virginia, the Whitetop Mountain Band carries on a generations-old musical tradition.

The Whitetop Mountain Band's history stretches back to the 1940s and Albert Hash. Hash was a well-known fiddler and luthier with a tremendous impact on the old-time and bluegrass music scene. In the 1970s, Hash's brother-in-law, Thornton Spencer, and his wife, Emily Spencer, joined in.

Today's band features Thornton and Emily with their daughter, Martha, and Jackson Cunningham, Spencer Pennington and Debbie Bramer.

Their versatile repertoire includes fiddle and banjo instrumentals, old-time ballads, original compositions and four-part mountain gospel songs.

Over the last several years, the band has played at the Carter Family Fold, FloydFest, MerleFest, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Band members have also toured and performed in the United Kingdom playing in venues in Wales, England and Ireland.

The concert begins at 5 p.m. at St. John the Baptist of the Lower Watauga Episcopal Church in Valle Crucis. Admission is $10 for adults. Children under 12 are admitted free.

To get to St. John's, take N.C. 194 in front of the Original Mast General Store. Proceed west to Mast Gap Road, and turn left onto Mast Gap. Travel about half a mile, and turn left onto Herb Thomas Road. Follow that to the end.

Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged. For more information, call Holy Cross Episcopal Church at (828) 963-4609.

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