The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will join in the celebration of FestivALL Charleston with an acoustic guitar and original song contest on Saturday, June 23, in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. Registration will begin at 4 p.m. and the contest will kickoff at 5 p.m. The contest is free and open to the public.
The contest is an open mic session for amateur songwriters and acoustic guitarists of all ages. Songs will be judged and awards will be given in a youth (17 years and under) and an adult (18 years and over) category. Prize monies include $125 for first place, $100 for second place and $75 for third place in both age groups.
Contestants will play one original song only, no longer than five minutes in length. They must use an acoustic guitar; electric guitars and pickups are not permitted. Entrants will play in numerical order and may be accompanied by one person. The Cultural Center will have a piano available for the accompanist, if needed. Contestants will be scored on originality, cohesion, performance and overall presentation.
Blues and jazz guitarist, composer and educator Chuck Biel of Charleston; bluegrass and old-time musician, and two-time national flat pick guitar winner Robert Shafer of Charleston; and classical guitarist, arts-in-education presenter and professor of applied music Jane Marie Rosenbohm of Parkersburg will serve as judges. Ron Sowell, Charleston musician, singer/songwriter and music director for public radio’s Mountain Stage will perform as emcee for the contest.
The Cultural Center also will be the venue for a master dance class focusing on jazz, musical theater and modern techniques on Saturday, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. The class is open to advanced students for $20 per person; the observer’s fee is $10. The master class instructor will be Robbie Mackey, a native of Georgia, who now makes his home in Orlando, Fla., where he directs and choreographs for the Walt Disney Company. During his 10 years with the company, Mackey has worked with such stars as Tony Bennett, Tommy Tune, Patti LaBelle, Rita Moreno, Ben Vereen and the New Kids on the Block. He also has traveled internationally to teach, choreograph and dance in France, Japan and Canada and enjoys teaching master classes nationally with Dance Olympus, Dance Masters and Rhee Gold’s American Dance Awards.
Class size is limited and reservations are required. For more information or to pre-register, contact Nina Denton Pasinetti at (304) 343-6015 or (304) 545-6945. If space is still available, students may register on Saturday at 9 a.m.
The final event at the Cultural Center will be a dance concert on Sunday, June 24, at 3 p.m. Charleston Ballet, the River City Youth Ballet Ensemble from Charleston, and the West Virginia Dance Company from Beckley will present the premiere performance of a new work by Mackey entitled “Bohemian Rhapsody,” set to music of the same name by the rock band Queen. The concert is free and open to the public.
For more information about FestivALL Charleston activities at the Cultural Center, contact Pat Cowdery, events festival coordinator for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, ext. 130, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
You can view an interactive map of all the FestivALL activities at http://media.cnpapers.com/festivall/.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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