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Music in the Valle

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: May. 8 | Modified: May. 8
Music in the Valle

The Mountain Laurels, from left, featuring guitarist Elaine Gray and violinist Rhonda Lorence, perform at Valle Crucis Community Park. Not pictured is bassist and vocalist Suzi Mills. The trio will return to the park for this summer’s Music in the Valle series.

Photo submitted



• May 23: The Forget-Me-Nots (Celtic Folk)
• May 30: Carolina Crossing (Bluegrass)
• June 6: The Neighbors (Bluegrass)
• June 13: Sound Traveler (Eclectic Acoustic)
• June 20: The Mountain Laurels (Celtic Folk)
• June 27: Brother Gravity (Acoustic Rock)
• July 4: Watauga Community Band (Concert Band)
• July 11: The Sheets Family Band (Old Time)
• July 18: Worthless Son-in-Laws (Southern Indie Rock)
• July 25: The Lucky Strikes (Classic Jazz)
• Aug. 1: Rescue Jack (Acoustic Rock)
• Aug. 8: The Major Sevens (Early American)
• Aug. 15: Dashboard Hula Boys (Eclectic Acoustic)
• Aug. 22: Zephyr Lightning Bolts (Old-Time)
• Aug. 29: Red June (Acoustic Americana)
• Sept. 5: Folk and Dagger (Acoustic Folk Rock)

Since its humble beginnings as a volunteer-led effort to bring old-time and traditional mountain music to a sleepy mountain community, Music in the Valle has grown as one of the area’s premier destinations for a foot-tapping good time.

Music the Valle is a summer-long series of picturesque evenings under the clear Carolina sky with the soothing sounds of Appalachian musicians.

The series begins on May 23 and runs through Sept. 5. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. May 23 through Aug. 8. Start times for concerts Aug. 15 through Sept. 5 then change to 6:30 p.m.

Admission is free, but a suggested donation of $5 is greatly appreciated.

Valle Crucis Community Park executive director Caroline Gandy said the series began as a volunteer-orchestrated jam session on Friday evenings in the park and “just sort of grew from there.”

The concerts also serve as a fundraiser for the park, as a huge chunk of its operational funds comes from the generosity of concertgoers.

Previously, Gandy said the series usually takes home anywhere from $5,000 to $6,000 annually.
Sponsors pay for the cost of the band each week, while the park picks up host duties.

Each concert is also family-friendly driven fun, which allows the parents to enjoy an evening of music, while the kids take advantage of the nearby park amenities.

What makes the concert series special is the atmosphere that goes with an evening of skillfully performed eclectic mountain music.

Elaine Gray, guitarist for The Mountain Laurels, said her group would be making an appearance for its fourth consecutive year.

Like other musicians, Gray spoke highly of the park and its atmosphere come show time.

“It’s such a beautiful location, and it captures the essential sound of the mountains right there in the valley,” Gray said. “Every time we play there, we are blessed with good weather. Good people come out, and it’s a joyous place to experience music in the mountains. It’s always been a wonderful event.”

“I think the setting is the most unique thing about the series,” Gandy said. “The park doesn’t get any more beautiful than it does at sunset.”

For more information, call (828) 963-9239.

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