Article Published: Sep. 8, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 8, 2011
The Forget-Me-Nots and the Mountain Laurels are anything but a bunch of wallflowers. The ladies in these two string ensembles are not ones to fade into the background; rather they make bold statements with vibrant arrangements of Celtic and folk music.
The Forget-Me-Nots and the Mountain Laurels brighten the Jones House porch for Friday’s Concert on the Lawn. The outdoor concert series is sponsored by the Watauga County Arts Council.
Though they’re only teenagers, the Forget-Me-Nots are veterans of the Concerts on the Lawn. Violinists Willa and Ledah Finck and friend Maura Shawn Scanlin, accompanied by guitarist David Finck, have been regulars of the series for the past several years. David, who is Willa and Ledah’s father, said the Jones House performances have been particularly special.
“There’s just so many people who have seen them grow up playing there, and it’s like we’re all a big family,” he said. “It’s a unique and fun thing about their growth to be able share that with those people.”
David, wife Marie Hoepfl, and Maura Shawn’s parents, Dennis Scanlin and Charlene Trestain, were instrumental in getting the young women of the Forget-Me-Nots involved in music. At the respective ages of 2, 3 and 4, Willa, Maura Shawn and Leda were introduced to the violin via the Suzuki method.
Now approaching high school graduation, the young women have two albums and several years of performances behind them. What lies ahead is up to them, but David hopes they will continue being involved in music.
“They’ve come a long way, but I think they’re still driven to keep going further,” he said. “I encourage them to stick with it as long as they have a love for it and it continues to feed their souls.”
The Forget-Me-Nots open the Concert on the Lawn with original, Celtic-infused fiddle tunes. The Mountain Laurels follow at 5:45 p.m. with world folk music. It will be the group’s first appearance at the concert series.
In 2009, five women brought together their diverse musical backgrounds to form the Mountain Laurels. Traditional Appalachian folk, Celtic and classical are the core influences of the group, but its members also have experience in pop, rock, gospel and bluegrass.
Guitarist Elaine Gray said there is a wonderful synergy amongst the Mountain Laurels.
“In this particular configuration of the band, there’s such a variety of styles and backgrounds that come together in this blend,” she said. “It’s certainly a relaxed and creative environment to use in bringing all of our experience together.”
The Mountain Laurels are Connie Woolard on hammered dulcimer, Rhonda Lorence on violin, Elaine Gray on guitar, Suzi Mills on vocals and bass and Lauren Hayworth on vocals, banjo and whistle.
Starting at 5 p.m., the Concert on the Lawn is a free event. It takes place at the Jones House Community Center, located at 604 W. King St. in downtown Boone. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for the lawn.
Celebrating its 19th season, the Concerts on the Lawn series is sponsored by MPrints, Footsloggers, Stick Boy Bread Company, Melanie’s Food Fantasy, Mast General Store and the Downtown Boone Development Association.
Next week marks the last week of the 2011 Concert on the Lawn music series. The final concert of the summer features old-time music from Matt Kinman and bluegrass from Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney.