We invite you to join us for the next CFS Gathering on Friday, March 12th, when we celebrate young performers carrying forward our musical traditions. The Young Talent Showcase gets underway at 7:30 PM in the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, in the edge of downtown Charlotte.
CFS Gatherings are family-friendly, open to the public, and free. Donations, which support the series in part, are greatly appreciated. Free surface parking is available adjacent to the Stella Center. Visitors may also park in a nearby deck after 7 PM. Parking there is free for those exiting after 8 PM. Refreshments will be served in the Cafe downstairs after the concert. A song circle, slow and fast jams, and the Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club meeting will follow. Both listeners and participants are welcome to all these activities.
Emcees for the concert will be Elene Clemens and Avery McGuirt. This year, there will be an exciting lineup of talent - with a variety of both instruments and styles:
||Tyler Mitchell, recipient of the 2009 Marilyn Meacham Price Scholarship to the Swannanoa Gathering, is the featured performer in this year's showcase. Tyler received his first acoustic guitar on his third Christmas and began Suzuki violin lessons the same year because he wanted to be "a fiddle player like Charlie Daniels." At age five, he sang a solo in church that received a standing ovation from 1500 souls. From that point on, all he wanted to do was perform. He began piano lessons at age eight, picked up the trumpet at nine, and added the electric guitar at ten. Tyler studied guitar and music theory under Dr. L. H. Dickert at Winthrop University for two summers running as the recipient of a ST-ARTS scholarship from the State of South Carolina. Now sixteen, Tyler is a junior at Indian Land High School in rural Lancaster County, South Carolina, where he was inducted into the Beta Club this year. He is a founding member of his school's jazz quartet, which performs at local arts events, coffee houses, and school functions. Tyler has mastered eleven instruments to date. He writes and conducts music for his high school marching band and performs with several groups in a variety of genres. Tyler is a vocalist and mandolin player for the Osceola Boys Bluegrass Band. In February, he performed with the Newberry College Jazz Band as a guest guitarist. A guitar student of John Tosco, he will be featured during Central Piedmont Community College's Sensoria arts celebration on the Tosco Music Party Stage on the quad on April 17th. Not totally immersed in music, Tyler is a Tae Kwon Do black belt who competed nationally at age seven. Robin and Robert Mitchell are Tyler's parents.|
||Kate Aberman is a seventh grade student at Randolph IB Middle School. She began learning to play violin in school in sixth grade. Last spring, Kate began taking fiddle lessons with Jon Singleton and is learning tunes from a variety of traditions. Now thirteen, she has been an actress since the age of four. She has performed at the Children's Theater of Charlotte, as well as doing commercials. Kate's parents are Linda McDonald and John Aberman.||
||James Barkley is nine years old and a third-grader at Park Road Montessori School. He has studied classical violin in the Suzuki Method for one year and has taken fiddle lessons with Jon Singleton for two years. His musical interests are broad and include blues, bluegrass, pop, and rock 'n' roll. James' other interests include chess, Wii video games, and figuring out how to take things apart and put them back together. His parents are Andrea and John Barkley.|
||Annika Bowers, an eleven-year-old sixth grader at Metrolina Regional Scholars' Academy, has been playing violin for two-and-one-half years. She plays first violin in the Charlotte Symphony Junior Youth Orchestra, as well as pursuing other instruments -- piano, dulcimer, and, recently, bagpipes. Annika takes dulcimer lessons with John Renwick and violin lessons with Piotr Swic, violist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. She has always been interested in fiddle music. Annika and her family connected with the Charlotte Folk Society last summer when they attended a Jamie Laval house concert. Since then, Annika has been traveling to Asheville to take lessons with Jamie Laval and has joined the CFS Celtic Jam group. She is registered for the Swannanoa Gathering Fiddle Week and hopes to attend Dulcimer Week, as well. Annika's parents are Beau and Cheryl Drake Bowers.||
||Elene Clemens is an eighteen-year-old Davidson College freshman. Early on a student of classical violin, she has developed a passion for Celtic music. She now focuses on Scottish music, in particular, and hopes to attend the Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling in Valle Crucis, North Carolina this summer. The 2008 Marilyn Meacham Price Youth Scholarship recipient and a current CFS Board member, Elene has performed in Youth Showcases and at Festival in the Park for several years, as well as coordinating the Young Talent Showcases for two years. Elene is the daughter of Mark and Bethli Miescher Clemens.|
||Covey Fitzgerald is in fifth grade at Myers Park Traditional Elementary School. Eleven years old, Covey began playing classical violin in the Suzuki Method when he was five. Covey is learning Irish tunes with Jon Singleton, his fiddle teacher. He enjoys a wide variety of music -- from country to hip hop. Covey is the son of Marshall and Kerry Fitzgerald. Marshall will back him up on the banjo.||
||Carson Hedberg is a sophomore at Myers Park High School. She is sixteen years old and has been playing the mountain dulcimer for about eight years with her teacher, John Renwick. Carson enjoys playing different types of music, especially old-time and contemporary. Besides playing the dulcimer, her hobbies include playing softball, singing in her school choir, and hanging out with friends. Carson was the 2007 Marilyn Meacham Youth Scholarship recipient and presently serves on the CFS Board as a junior member. Carson's parents are Dottie Hedberg and Steve Hedberg.|
||Siblings Polly and Glenn O'Neal are students of Jon Singleton. Twelve-year-old Glenn has been studying fiddle for three years. His favorite musical genres are bluegrass and Christian rap. Polly, aged seven, has recently begun learning to play the mandolin. Glenn and Polly are home schooled. Their parents are Skip and Claire O'Neal.||
||Sam Richardson is eleven years old and a fifth grader at Selwyn Elementary. He attended the Swannanoa Gathering last summer on a scholarship from the Gathering and has been taking fiddle lessons this year from Beth Brown Al-Rawi. He has just started bi-weekly lessons with Glen Alexander. Sam's primary instrument is the fiddle, but he has also taken lessons on mandolin and the upright bass. Laurie and Dillard Richardson are Sam's parents.|
||Natalie Royal is a nineteen-year-old singer/songwriter from Charlotte. Blending Americana, folk, bluegrass, jazz, and popular music, her lyrics and melodies are matched with guitar and ukulele accompaniment to deliver a fresh, original sound. Natalie's resume includes performances on CFS stages, the Tosco Music Party, The Evening Muse, and the Sylvia Theater, among others. She is currently attending Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee with a major in Songwriting and a minor in Music Business. Natalie is the daughter of Amy and Ted Royal.||
||Maddie Shuler is a freshman at Providence High School. She picked up her first guitar at the age of five and has been playing ever since. Maddie just released her new CD entitled Fully Alive, produced by Jim Brock. This project of original compositions showcases both her singing and her playing the mandolin and piano. Maddie's inspiration for her music comes from her personal spiritual beliefs. She is a guitar student of John Tosco. Her parents are Lynda and John Shuler.|
||Ruth Shumway began learning to play the violin at age three and is currently studying with both Ellyn Stuart of Music 4 Life and Jon Singleton at The Violin Shoppe. She is seven years old and attends first grade at Charlotte Latin School. Her performances have included the 2007-2009 MerleFest Youth Showcases, as well as competition at the Fiddler's Grove and Hoppin' John Festivals. In addition to fiddling, Ruth enjoys soccer, swimming, ice skating, and playing with her friends. Ruth's parents are Mary and Dave Shumway.||
||Blue Otis is the Lemonds Family bluegrass band. Clint, age fourteen, attends Myers Park High School. He plays banjo and studies with Bill Rippey. Vance is ten years old and attends Alexander Graham Middle School. The mandolin is his instrument and he also studies with Bill Rippey. Sarah is ten and goes to Collinswood Elementary. She plays the fiddle and takes lessons with Jon Singleton. Parents Christi and Gerald round out the band on guitar and upright bass, respectively.|
||Musical performance came early for The Whippersnappers, Emmy, Casey, and Avery McGuirt. Each began violin lessons while in preschool. Today at thirteen, fourteen, and sixteen years, respectively, classical violin study continues, but they also enjoy playing the upright bass, mandolin, and fiddle. Their dad, David, accompanies them on guitar and vocals. Mom, Patty, is chief organizer and van driver for the gang. The girls love to sing tight sister harmony and they enjoy working out their own vocal arrangements to songs the band plays. In 2008 Casey and Emmy won a shared scholarship from Swannanoa Gathering to attend Traditional Song/Fiddle Week. Avery was the recipient of Charlotte's Community School of the Arts Andrew Bradford scholarship for music study in 2006-2007 and again for 2008-2009. He won the Charlotte Folk Society's Marilyn Meacham Price scholarship to attend Fiddle Week at the Swannanoa Gathering in the summer of 2006. He was recently inducted into Tri-M, the high school honor organization for musicians. In December, Avery traveled to Limoges, France to perform with an international youth orchestra. He serves on the CFS Board as a junior member. The Whippersnappers recently completed a self-titled CD, recorded at Charlotte Folk Society member Tom Eure's Simple Tune Studio. Visit www.thewhippersnappers.net to order their CD and arrange bookings.|
Please come out and enjoy these fantastic young musicians playing in our annual showcase! Immediately after the concert, we'll take a refreshment break before the usual song circle and jam sessions get underway and the Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club holds its monthly meeting.
Our Gatherings are made possible, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.