ELKINS – The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College invites the public to Wednesday Night Pickin’ as it moves to The Joni & Buck Smith Arts Forum in Myles Center for the Arts on the campus of Davis & Elkins College for the winter season. Jam sessions include country, gospel, old-time and bluegrass music.
Visitors, beginners and seasoned musicians are all welcome to attend the weekly sessions. There is no admission fee.
Margo Blevin-Denton, who served as Augusta’s director for 26 years, remains active in Pickin’ throughout the year. She notes, “Once more the very popular ‘Pickin’ in the Park’ Wednesday night jam sessions ended for their outdoor season on September 26, following a tradition that has been going on for more than 30 years. After Forest Festival, Pickin’ continues at Myles Center for the Arts on the Davis & Elkins College campus. It is open to all who want to participate or listen. The country music jams generally run from 5 p.m. to around 8 p.m., and the old-time music jams usually start around 6:30 p.m. and end around 9 p.m.”
Pickin’ has a strong tradition of being open to listeners and beginners. Beth King, Augusta Heritage Center director, adds, “Beginning musicians and listeners are always welcome. It is a wonderful opportunity for musicians of all levels to learn new tunes. You often see musicians breaking a tune down, bit by bit, so others can learn it. It is how so many of the tunes are passed along and kept alive. And, that is very important.
“There are people who have been coming for years as well as people who are just beginning to play,” King said. “One of my favorite things to see is the wide span of ages. From high school and college age musicians to master musicians who have been playing for decades, they are all there playing music together.”
For more information on Wednesday night Pickin’ and Augusta’s other public events, visit www.augustaheritagecenter.org or call 304-637-1209.
A Center of Excellence for 45 years, the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College offers several weeklong programs featuring instruction in many traditions of music, dance, craft and folklore. Concerts, dances, a summer festival and other heritage arts events are part of the Augusta experience. The Augusta Heritage Center is also home to significant collections of field recordings, oral histories, photographs, instruments and Appalachian art.
Programs offered by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College are presented with financial support from the W.Va. Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts and the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Local support is provided by the Randolph County Commission.