The Rotary Club of Elkins on Monday received a taste of the talent taking part in Augusta's bluegrass and swing week at Davis & Elkins College.
Joyce Rossbach, director of the Augusta Heritage Center, attended Monday's meeting as the guest speaker. To give the Rotarians a feel for the current activities under way at Augusta, Rossbach brought in two bluegrass musicians to play a few tunes.
"I have with me two young ladies who will demonstrate to you what Augusta is all about," Rossbach said. "Our mission is to perpetuate the traditions of the Appalachian region.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Anna Patrick
Sisters Leanna and Lauren Price perform bluegrass tunes Monday for the Rotary Club of Elkins. Joyce Rossbach, director of the Augusta Heritage Center, spoke to the Rotarians about Augusta and asked the Price sisters to demonstrate to the club what Augusta has to offer.
"In order to carry on any tradition, any culture, you have to take it to your youngsters - and through our scholarship programs we are able to do that."
Twins Lauren and Leanna Price, 17, performed three of their favorite songs in front of the group. With Leanna on the fiddle and Lauren on the mandolin, the sisters performed "Wheel Hoss" and "Lonesome Moonlight." The two also sang a cappella "Oh Have You Seen that Turtle Dove."
"We came to Augusta three years ago, and we fell in love with it. We've come back ever since and plan to come back as often as we can," Leanna Price said.
In 2010, Leanna and Lauren Price first attended Augusta on a scholarship. They perform in a family band with their parents in their hometown of Sardis, Ohio. Growing up in a family of musicians, both girls said they became serious about learning the fiddle and mandolin by the age of 9.
"Everyone is friendly and willing to help you. ... It's encouraging," Lauren Price said.
"Augusta is a labor of love for anyone who is involved with it," Rossbach added.
To introduce Rossbach, Rotary program coordinator Christy Tribble explained her own family's involvement with Augusta.
"This morning I was really excited for my children," Tribble said. "I took them up to Davis & Elkins' campus and dropped them off for their Augusta music classes. This is the third year they've taken Augusta music classes, and the impact on them is tremendous.
"They go for a week and they come back and they just have developed so much as musicians. Being musicians now has really shaped their current lives."
Tribble said the six weeks of Augusta bring participants from all over the country and world.
"(Augusta) just brings a tremendous amount of people in to our area and has a very positive impact on our whole community," she said.
Rossbach encouraged all Rotarians and community members to visit Davis & Elkins College to enjoy Augusta activities.
"If any of you love bluegrass music or swing come on out to the Tuesday and Thursday concerts. They are going to be really great this week," she said.
More information is available at www.AugustaHeritageCenter.org or 304-637-1209.
Contact Anna Patrick by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.