Vintage Valle Music
· May 18 The Junaluska Gospel Choir and Pilot Light
· June 15: Amantha Mill and Sarah & Mark McGuire
· July 20: Carolina Crossing, Damascus, and Tommy Brown’s Jack Tales
· Aug. 17: Turkey Tracks Trio, Kraut Creek Ramblers and the Pineola Bell Ringers
Jinx Miller, an elder at Baird’s Creek Presbyterian Church, was
looking for a fun and entertaining activity to encourage more fellowship with the church’s
“I was attending a workshop on small churches, and the whole theme was reaching out and getting to know everyone and making them feel welcomed,” Miller said. “I kept thinking to myself, ‘What is that I loved?’ Well, I love music. I’m not a musician myself, but I know a lot of people who play instruments.”
During a birthday celebration at a local church, Miller watched admiringly as congregation members began to move to one side of the church as they picked up instruments and began playing fun tunes.
Miller had found her neighborly outreach activity: Sunday afternoon jam sessions.
“My whole philosophy is based on the old times on Sunday afternoons, before there were movies and NASCAR races,” she said. “People would just walk down to their neighbors, pick up a banjo and start playing. Then, someone else would come along and start playing. They would just sit there and pick and sing.”
As summer slowly creeps into the High Country, the church’s congregation is making plans for the third annual Vintage Valle Music series.
“We don’t have a front porch, but we do have a place where people can sit with their neighbor and play music,” Miller said. “We aren’t after big names, just local people who want to pick, sing and share music.”
This summer’s lineup features some familiar tunes that quickly became congregation favorites as the season wore on.
“The Junaluska (Gospel) Choir was just dynamite,” Milller said. “They really raised the roof. They had us dancing in the aisles, and Presbyterians don’t usually dance in the aisles like that.”
The group was the season’s closer for the past two years, but will instead open this year’s lineup on May 18.
Pilot Light, a praise band from Lees-McRae College will follow the choir during the afternoon jam session.
“We are not limiting it to just religious music, but also secular music if it’s in good taste,” Miller said.
To mix up the entertainment, the church has also invited Tommy Brown to spin some of his famous Jack Tales stories.
“It’s just a variety of clean entertainment to sit down and listen to on a Sunday afternoon,” Miller said.
As the summer progresses, the church will also hold a fundraiser in the form of a nonperishable item food drive and a school supplies drive for western Watauga County. Donations, while not required, are greatly appreciated.
Baird’s Creek Presbyterian Church is located at 2174 N.C. 194 in Vilas. For more information, call (828) 297-4089.