Irish and Appalachian Folk Music

From sound to melody, Irish music has played a vital role in shaping traditional mountain music. We hear its influence in a pipe-like drone of a cross-tuned fiddle, and in the fast-paced rhythm of any good old-time tune.” This is a quote from Katherine James’ senior project for the Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s school. Katherine is one of our graduating high school seniors at BRIMS this year (Sean Deighan is the other), and you can easily see how the local traditional music scene in the Charlottesville area has shaped her musical interests. As part of the project, Katherine organized three lively hands-on demonstrations at Rockfish Elementary School with local area musicians, Kim and Jimbo Cary, Pete Vigour and Alex Caton. The demonstrations were great fun for all involved and reminded me just how fortunate we are to have such gifted instructors in our community. This is a perfect example of why traditional music continues to thrive today. Alex and Pete were Katherine’s fiddle instructors while growing up (and Kim and Jimbo informally at local jams) and they pass on this tradition to their students and eventually, their students do the same for the next generation. This passing on of music (and culture and wisdom) is a beautiful gift. We should take the time to enjoy and appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *