The future is bright at MHM
Each Memorial Day weekend at Fiddler's Grove, the fullness of spring also means a Union Grove meadow is full of old-time musicians.
The jubilant hum of fiddles and banjos, guitars and dulcimers, autoharps and harmonicas wafts across the meadow like lilac in full bloom. There are oldtimers and young folks, groups and individuals, master musicians and also those finding their first musical inspiration.
A highlight of the festival is the naming of the "Fiddler of the Festival," which is awarded by a panel of judges, who are seasoned, old-time fiddlers. Back in 2007, this panel made a somewhat surprising selection for this prestigious award: They selected a 9-year-old.
This award was not a consolation prize and not in a child's division, but rather out of a field of many great fiddlers; it was meritorious selection based upon talent.
This fiddler's name is Samantha Snyder, and she's still fiddling. She's fiddling in her family band, the Snyder Family. And her brother, Zeb, has also started piling up musical trophies. He won a Henderson guitar at the Wayne Henderson Festival in 2007, and he has also won championships in North Carolina and Virginia.
In addition to Samantha and Zeb, the Snyder Family Band includes Bud and Laine Snyder, Samantha and Zeb's father and mother. Bud Snyder plays the bass fiddle, and Laine Snyder sometimes chimes in on vocal numbers, thereby contributing to a unique three-part family harmony. The youngest family member, Owen Snyder, 4, is currently taking classical guitar lessons.
Since 2007, the Snyder Family Band has been featured at MerleFest, at the MusicFest 'n Sugar Grove and at many other festivals and concert halls throughout the southeast.
The Snyder Family will appear on Mountain Home Music this Saturday, June 4, at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium. Starting time is 8 p.m.
Musician, storyteller and PBS host David Holt said he is often asked about the future of mountain music. As a fan of the Snyder Family, he once said, "The future looks bright to me."
Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the Mast Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred's Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Rydell Music Center in Boone, and at Pandora's Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street, downtown Blowing Rock.
Tickets may also be purchased online though the Mountain Home Music website, http://www.mountainhomemusic.com. For more information, visit the website or call (828) 964-3392.
Mountain Home Music is affiliated with the Blue Ridge Music Trails, a project of the North Carolina Arts Council.