MCGAHEYSVILLE,Va. (WHSV)-- The Shenandoah Music Trail has received a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts to bring professional music programs to two of the most under-served populations in Virginia, senior citizens and veterans.
Dr. Donald DePoy, Executive Director for the Shenandoah Music Trail states, “We are honored to be selected from scores of other applicants to bring Shenandoah Valley music to folks who have little or no opportunity to hear high artistic music performed live.” He goes on to explain, “This grant is specifically targeting senior and veteran facilities reporting that they have minimal or no money budgeted for music-life enrichment programs.”
These facilities typically rely on local, non-professional musicians who graciously volunteer their time but have little, if any, professional training in life enrichment program development.
The Project Grant provides a 50/50 match that makes a total of $9,200 available for music programs throughout Virginia. Ms. Martha Hills, Educational Outreach Coordinator for the Shenandoah Music Trail, is currently working with various activity directors to set up programs for their facilities.
She explains, “The Valley has an amazingly rich history in the development of American music. There are at least ten family bands in the Elkton area that can trace their musical roots back to the original settlers, and historically, the Shenandoah Valley had nationally recognized musicians before the discovery of the Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers in southwest Virginia.”
Hills continues, “I have developed fourteen programs featuring the Shenandoah Valley’s music traditions. These programs include 400 years old folk songs, mountain ballads, bluegrass, old-time country music, rural swing and a few popular tunes. Some of our programs have stand-alone or integrated DVDs to augment a particular theme to encourage cognitive stimulation and personal involvement. During our programs we make sure at some level to personally connect with every member of the audience.”
The Shenandoah Music Trail is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all volunteer, Virginia based corporation whose mission is to preserve, promote and celebrate the music traditions of the Shenandoah Valley by bringing together musicians, venues and audiences.
The Shenandoah Music Trail also receives grants from the Virginia Tourism Corporation to promote the Valley’s musicians, historical events, festivals and live music venues. DePoy and Hills work with local towns and communities to create economic opportunities from the region’s culture capital to better advance the community’s economic development efforts through societal entrepreneurship and niche marketing opportunities. They demonstrate how group collaboration can create a multitude of experiential visitor packages for individuals, families and various affinity groups to bolster and build a sustainable tourism brand.
For more information click on the sidebar of this story. www.shenandoahmusictrail.com
Picture caption: Don DePoy and Martha Hills - Performing as Me & Martha