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April 11th Gathering Celebrates "Passing It On"
Arts and Science Council
Arts and Science Council
NC Arts Council
NC Arts Council

CFS Gatherings are made possible, in part, through a Cultural Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council and the Grassroots Program of the North Carolina Arts Council (a state agency).


by Elene Clemens

This month's Gathering will feature younger folks in the annual Folk Society Young Talent Showcase. All acoustic musicians under the age of twenty-one were invited to perform. This year, there are a variety of performers lined up, with styles ranging from bluegrass to Celtic. They will each play a short set to give a taste of the type and style of music that they play.

Please join us on Friday, April 11, at 7:30 PM in the Bryant Recital Hall of the Sloan-Morgan Building on the Central CPCC Campus, 1220 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte. Free parking is available in the CPCC Staff and Theatre Parking Deck, accessed off Fourth Street, between Charlottetown Avenue (formerly Independence Boulevard) and Kings Drive. A short refreshment break follows the concert. Afterwards, all are invited to join a song circle or one of several jam sessions. Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly, open to the public, and free. Donations are greatly appreciated, however.

Ben Brearley is twelve years old and in sixth grade at Charlotte Country Day School. He has been playing the fiddle for two and one-half years, learning bluegrass and country from Jon Singleton. In addition, he takes classical violin lessons from Elaine Johns at his school. He used to take drum lessons. In addition to enjoying music, Ben plays baseball with the Youth League at Myers Part Trinity, playing shortstop and pitcher. He also enjoys being with his friends outside.

Malcolm Dodson is a sixteen-year-old sophomore at Northwest School of the Arts. Under the tutelage of Jon Singleton, Malcolm has been playing acoustic folk guitar since 2006. His musical influences are varied: everything from Jack White of the White Stripes to Gnarls Barkley to Bob Dylan. His hobbies include drawing, skateboarding, and swimming.

Cameron Faryadi
Cameron Faryadi
 

Cameron Faryadi, fifteen years old, has been taking bluegrass fiddle lessons from Glen Alexander for six years. Cameron enjoys performing in fiddle competitions, where he has won numerous awards. Cameron also takes classical violin lessons, and enjoys computers, reptiles, and teasing his younger brothers. He is home schooled.

 

Maddie Howard is a senior and class valedictorian at Northwest School of the Arts. She has been singing with her mom, Salem Macknee, since she could talk. Maddie served two terms as a junior member of the CFS Board and she won the Marilyn Meacham Price Scholarship in 2003. She's looking forward to attending Georgetown University in the fall (if she gets $40,000 worth of scholarships a year), where she plans to major in linguistics.

Zach Lemhouse is a senior at Clover High School in Clover, South Carolina, where he sings with the state champion Choraliers, the Chamber Singers, and the Barbershop Singers. He has taken classical violin lessons for eleven years, and two years ago discovered his passion for the fiddle. He likes to play Scottish, Irish, old-time, and Celtic fiddle tunes. Zach enjoys fiddling at Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park for their historical and educational programs. He attends the Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling during the summer; and he is always ready to jump into a jam.

In the family band Blue Otis, Clint Lemonds is twelve years old and has studied the banjo under Jon Singleton for two and one-half years and attends A. G. Middle School. Vance Lemonds is nine and has studied the mandolin with Jon for three years and attends Collinswood Elementary. Sarah Lemonds is eight and has studied Suzuki violin under Sarah Slechta with Community School of the Arts and also studies with Jon to tweak the band's bluegrass sound. Sarah also attends Collinswood Elementary.

photo by Abby Bowers
The Whippersnappers
Musical performance came early for The Whippersnappers, Emmy, Casey, and Avery McGuirt. Each is trained in classical violin, but each has also branched in other musical directions. Avery studies bluegrass fiddle, his sister Casey the mandolin, and Emmy the upright bass. Their father, David, backs them up on guitar. Avery was the recipient of Charlotte's Community School of the Arts Andrew Bradford scholarship for music study in 2006-2007 and won the Charlotte Folk Society's Marilyn Meacham Price Scholarship in 2006. In the summer of 2007, Avery took home two ribbons for his fiddling at Fiddler's Grove. And most recently, he won first place for Most Promising Talent competition at the Mt. Pleasant Fiddler's Convention. This spring The Whippersnappers will have their big television debut in a performance on New South Crossings, an innovative TV series by WTVI, the Firebird Arts Alliance, and the Levine Museum of the New South. Performing in church sanctuaries and on festival stages, The Whippersnappers play bluegrass, gospel, and even a jazz tune or two. They've performed at the Tosco Music Party, Festival In The Park, the NODA street festival, CSA's Children's Arts Festival, Green Mountain Park Resort, Levine Museum of the New South, Flatrock Music Festival, Whippoorwill Music Fest, The Classi-Kool in the Park series, Charleston's Breath of Spring Festival, Blues, Brews & Barbecue, and many churches and occasional picnics and family gatherings.

Jacob Benjamin Nielsen, has been playing the guitar for almost three years. His teacher is Mr. Art Meehan. He is in the fifth grade and enjoys reading and math. In addition to playing the guitar, Jacob runs cross country, and his favorite sport is soccer.

Maddie Shuler
Maddie Shuler

 

Maddie Shuler is a seventh grade honor student at South Charlotte Middle School. She picked up her first guitar at age five and has been playing ever since! Maddie writes her own music and plays a variety of instruments. Her writing inspiration comes from her own spiritual beliefs, and she hopes to make music her career. She performed at the January 2008 Tosco Music Party at Halton Theater. Maddie wishes to thank John Tosco for his inspiration, and the Charlotte Folk Music Society for this wonderful opportunity!

 

Isabelle Young is a fiddle student taught by Jon Singleton. Last year she attended the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College. She has been playing the fiddle for about two years. She is thirteen and goes to school at Piedmont Open Middle School, where she plays in the orchestra.

Performers are all invited to play in a jam session after the concert itself, so stick around after the show!

Elene Clemens
Elene Clemens

Editor's Note: This year's Young Talent Showcase was ably coordinated by Elene Clemens, a junior member of the Folk Society Board. Elene, sixteen years old and a junior at Cannon School, was given the opportunity to organize this event in part because of her love for fiddling, and also as part of earning her Girl Scout Gold Award. She has been a Girl Scout for ten years. The Gold Award is the highest achievement within Girl Scouting and requires a commitment to community service and action through leadership.