Charlotte Folk Society logo celebrating 30 years

Dedicated to promoting the ongoing enjoyment and preservation of traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, crafts and lore in the Carolinas Piedmont,
since 1982.

Come and Gather!
Young Ballad Singer Elizabeth LaPrelle Sings with Old Soul June 14th

The final Gathering concert in celebration of our 30th anniversary season features traditional Appalachian ballad singer Elizabeth LaPrelle. She first performed for CFS in 2006 and we are very pleased to present her again. Please join us when the music gets underway at 7:30 PM in the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, in the edge of downtown Charlotte. Doors open at 7 PM. Visitors may use free parking in a deck adjacent to the Stella Center. Accessible entry and an elevator are available through the ground floor door on the parking lot side of the building.

Elizabeth LaPrelle

Elizabeth LaPrelle

Twenty-six-year-old Elizabeth LaPrelle is exceptional in her devotion to and mastery of the ancient art of a cappella Appalachian singing. She keeps the old mountain ballads and songs with a sense of conviction, honor, honesty, and emotional force that evokes the great Appalachian ballad singers of generations past. Elizabeth's voice, stark and unaccompanied, can lift and carry the listener away to another time.

Sheila Kay Adams, a seventh generation ballad singer from Madison County, North Carolina describes the impact of Elizabeth LaPrelle's singing: "Anyone can learn the old ballads. There are numerous collections in libraries and books that are available on-line. But, Elizabeth is interested in the feel, the sound, the ornamentation of these songs. She is, in my opinion, one of maybe a handful of young singers able to capture the rhythm, the intensity, the breaks and sighs, that make this style of singing authentic. The only problem I have while listening to Elizabeth is that I'm always listening through tears. She reminds me so much of my older relatives - the same profound feeling for the ballad, yet with such a clear voice."

Elizabeth LaPrelle

Raised in Rural Retreat, Virginia, Elizabeth learned to sing from family and friends who taught her various singing styles, exposed her to recordings of ballads and old-time music, and encouraged her to sing their own favorite folk music. She has been performing Appalachian ballads and old-time songs and winning prizes for her singing at fiddlers' conventions since she was eleven. Her magnificent voice, respect for the songs, and her authentic mountain sound and style brought her to the attention of first Ginny Hawker and then Sheila Kay Adams. Fiddlers' conventions gave her a chance to perform for mountain audiences who encouraged her interest in the traditional music of her region. In 2005, she took first place in the Folk Song Competition and received the Most Promising Talent Award at the prestigious Mt. Airy Fiddler's Convention.

At the age of sixteen, Elizabeth was chosen by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress as the first recipient of an award from the Henry Reed Fund for Folk Artists. She has appeared on Prairie Home Companion, been interviewed and profiled on NPR, performed in concert all over the country and on the East and West Coasts as part of the Music From the Crooked Road Tour. Elizabeth graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in Southern Appalachian Traditional Performance. She has performed and taught at many prestigious workshops, including the Swannanoa Gathering Old-Time Week.

Freeman Williams Trio

Elizabeth LaPrelle

Elizabeth, with co-host Anna Roberts-Gevalt, writes for the Floyd Radio Show, Views from Buffalo Mountain. Taking its cues from variety entertainment of days gone by (and a certain NPR inspiration), the Floyd Radio Show mixes rapid-fire comedic advertisements, melodramatic skits, and pieces of Floyd history with the world-class music that lies thick on the ground in Southwest Virginia. Listen online at 7 PM on the first Saturday of each month, September through May, at

Elizabeth has three recordings of Appalachian ballads and old-time songs to her credit: Rain and Snow (2004), Lizard in the Spring (2007), and Birds' Advice (2011). She was also featured on The New Young Fogies, released last summer, a collection of newly performed old-time songs and tunes by the latest generation to carry forward the music.

Elizabeth LaPrelle

Elizabeth will perform with her old-time band, The Fruit Dodgers. Expect a good dose of ballads, songs, and traditional Southern harmonies, with the addition of old-time tunes played on banjo, guitar, and fiddle. The Fruit Dodgers (Amy Davis, Sandy Newlin LaPrelle, Jim Lloyd, and Jon Newlin) are highly accomplished, well-known old-time musicians in their own right.

Monthly second-Friday Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free; donations are appreciated and essential to presenting our concerts in the Great Aunt Stella Center. Refreshments, a song circle, jam sessions, and an Appalachian dulcimer group follow the hour-long concert; visitors are welcome to join in or simply listen.

CFS 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.
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