folk

The Blue Ridge Irish Music School in Charlottesville has been celebrating Irish culture for 21 years.  Teaching Irish dancing during a mask wearing pandemic hasn't been easy with multiple concert cancellations and switching to an online teaching platform. 

A new podcast is available on our website called We Made You A Song – it’s a collaboration between WMRA and Harrisonburg’s The Steel Wheels - detailing the band writing and recording songs that were commissioned by fans of the band during the pandemic.  WMRA’s Tina Owens recently spoke with the group’s lead singer and host of the podcast Trent Wagler.  She asked him to describe how this idea was created.

Pat Jarrett / VA Folklife

During the COVID-19 pandemic, artists and performers have been losing work and many have taken their craft online.  The VA Folklife Program recognized this and started the TRAIN program, which pairs master artists with students online. 

Veteran Charlottesville songwriter, Ellis Paul, was on the road during the Unite the Right rally two years ago which erupted in deadly violence.  Coming back home to a city in mourning prompted him to pen “The Battle of Charlottesville” as a historical document of the incident.  WMRA’s Chris Boros spoke with Ellis Paul who described why this song was something he had to write.

VA Folklife Showcases Apprenticeship Portraits

Aug 2, 2019
Pat Jarret / VA Folklife

Portraits from the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program will be on display starting August 2 at 292 North Gallery in Harrisonburg. The fifty-six portraits were made between 2012 and 2018 by VA Folklife Digital Media Specialist Pat Jarrett.

This weekend (July 12-14) is the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, celebrating roots music with artists like Lucinda Williams, The Wood Brothers, and Tim O’Brien.  The festival is organized by Virginia’s The Steel Wheels - they headline the event every year.