Tag Archives: music

Dreamweavin: Counting down the days until FloydFest 16

 

There is hardly a more appropriate theme for FloydFest 16 than “Dreamweavin.” From July 27-31, the Floyd mountainside will once again transform into something even more captivating—a place where those who dream can meet to create, dance, and be inspired.

For those who will attend solely for the music, the lineup is (once again) spectacular. Thursday will feature performances from blues/folk artist Rebekah Todd & The Odyssey, Forlorn Strangers, and Anders Osborne. Enjoy the blues and folk sounds of Shakey FF16_DCLogo_wDateGraves on Friday, followed by Warren Haynes Ashes & Dust and the highly-anticipated Gregg Allman on Saturday. These are just a few of the local and well-known artists that will grace the nine (NINE!!!!!) stages throughout festival grounds over the course of five days. Plan ahead, visit the website, and make sure you get there in time to see your favorite bands perform. Give yourself time to wander a little to different stages before and after the shows you plan to see—some of the best musical discoveries happen that way.

Between performances, there will be no shortage of fun and entertainment for festival-goers. Those with an adventurous side will enjoy the guided hikes, bike expeditions, and free adventures offered at the Back Country Ski & Sport Outdoor Experience Tent. There, they will also offer equipment giveaways, discounts, and other promotions. Attendees can sign up for On The Water Floyd Float Trips by kayak, canoe, or tube. These trips are for people of all ages and will include transportation, equipment, and a fully-catered lunch with the purchase of a separate ticket for the trip.

And, if you’re just there to relax and enjoy the combination of unique sites and sounds filling the Blue Ridge Mountains, don’t worry. There will be plenty of opportunities to unwind! FloydFest features several healing arts vendors and offers massage therapy, yoga, internal martial arts, medicinal and edible herb walks.

PressShot7This is a family event. Bring your children, of all ages, to enjoy the Children’s Universe and Teen Scene. The Children’s Universe includes fun activities like a costume tent, balloon art, jugglers, face-painting, and puppets. They also host a Peace Parade and an open mic/talent show. If your child plays an instrument, encourage them to bring it along with any costume or inspiration to help “Weave the Dream!”

The Teen Scene is hosted by Social Emotional Learning Coalition, an organization dedicated to helping young people experience a deeper sense of connection and belonging with themselves, others, and the natural world. There, teens can participate in a number of activities including mixed media art workshops and painting parties, mindfulness meditation, and drumming workshops.

You can find all of the above information with a little research, but we would also like to share a few things about FloydFest that you may not know.

It is a safe, welcoming place. The people who attend are friendly (occasionally barefoot!) travelers and locals who will share your table in a beer garden or over breakfast. Within a few moments, you will be talking like old friends.

You will be inspired. Artist or not, you will leave FloydFest with a desire to make the world just a little more beautiful. You will see things differently, and even in your own backyard hammock you will find it easier to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax. To put it simply, your time on the mountain will teach you how to find peace in the real world.

Summer1You’ll crave new things. Not just adventure and music, but food. Really, really good food. There will be no shortage of delicious local choices available throughout the grounds at FloydFest. Start your morning with fresh juice, crepes, and/or Red Rooster Coffee. Keep the day going with dishes that include locally grown veggies and grass-fed beef. Trust us, the food alone will make you wish you could stay forever.

The local art, music, and friends you acquire will stay with you for years to come. We still carry our wristbands as keychains. And, the truth is, you’ll be counting down the days until FloydFest 17 on your calendar, beginning on August 1. One trip will make you fall in love with the mountain, the people, and the person you become surrounded by all of it.

Three days in Floyd are not enough. If you can, buy a five day ticket. Come camp with us and enjoy everything FloydFest has to offer! You will not regret it. Visit www.floydfest.com for more information on the lineup, the festival, and even a packing list! We can’t wait to see you there!

Extraordinary Women: LeeRay Costa

As LeeRay Costa wraps up her spring semester as a professor at Hollins University, she looks eagerly towards summer and the fourth year of Girls Rock Roanoke—a volunteer-run, community-based organization that she began in 2012. The week-long day camp is part of a larger global network called Girls Rock Camp Alliance. It is a place where girls and gender non-conforming youth form bands, write their own songs, and perform at a final showcase. They also participate in workshops on topics like women’s music history, body confidence, and stage performance. This incredible experience is changing lives right here in the Roanoke Valley.

What made you want to bring Girls Rock to Roanoke?
Our family knew about the Girls Rock concept for a long time. We watched the documentary when our daughter, Tallulah, was young. When she became old enough to attend camp, we found one in Durham, North Carolina. We planned our summer vacation around camp so she could have that experience. She played keyboard for several years, but at camp she discovered the drums. Through working with the band, she found she had a real skill for it. At the end of each day she couldn’t wait to tell us everything she had learned.
Her excitement was inspiring, and I started talking to the organizers of the Durham camp because I wanted youth in Roanoke to have these opportunities and experiences.

Photo by Siobhan Cline
Photo by Siobhan Cline

How does Girls Rock Roanoke help empower its participants?
Some people think of us mainly as a music camp, but music and creativity are mediums for developing other skill sets. For example, campers learn risk-taking, because in one week campers learn an instrument, write an original song, work with a people they may not know, and then perform their creations live on stage. We live in a culture that tries to mold girls into a certain way of being. They are expected to be cute and silent. This crushes their potential in many ways. We want to create fertile ground for their potential to grow.

Has the camp opened doors for you to explore your own interest in music?
Yes. A few volunteers, including myself, attended Women’s Rock Retreat through a Girls Rock camp in North Carolina because we thought, “If we are going to ask the girls to do this, we need to put ourselves out there and see what it’s like.” I played bass and sang for the first time. At the end of the three-day camp, we played at the Pinhook. There I was, in my 40s, up on stage singing a punk rock song called, “Hormone Whiplash.” It was scary but very empowering at the same time.

How do you balance Girls Rock Roanoke and your work as a professor?
One important factor is the support of my partner, Andy Matzner. Not only does he happily claim the label of feminist, but he truly walks the talk in sharing all the responsibilities of being in a partnership and raising Tallulah. He was the first person to encourage my dream of bringing Girls Rock to Roanoke, and he has been there every step of the way.
Furthermore, Girls Rock is a team effort. It would be irresponsible for me to take credit for the tremendous labor and deep love that many others have contributed to Girls Rock camp over the years. Our program director, Lucy Coronado, our volunteers, and our Board work year round to make camp a success. Together with our campers, they inspire me to make Girls Rock a priority.

If you would like more information on Girls Rock Roanoke, go to www.girlsrockroanoke.org.

There are two camp options available this summer: one week for ages 8-11 (July 11-15) and a second week for ages 12-16 (July 18-22). This year’s theme, “Rocking for Change” will incorporate social justice issues into camp activities. Be sure to pick up our June issue for LeeRay’s interview and the interviews of nine other extraordinary women we are celebrating this month!

Floyd Mardi Gras

Festive music and the rich smell of food fills the air as people dance under colorful lights and open sky. Couples sip their champagne with smiles as they watch the band and dancers from their seats, and men and women alike flock to where the cheerful auctioneer swings down his hammer. Right near the heart of Floyd, Virginia, the Blue Mountain School throws their annual fundraiser ball and celebration: The 7th Annual Tom Ryan Memorial Floyd Mardi Gras.

The original Floyd Mardi Gras began with a simple school project. Three students from Blue Mountain School put together a band ­ named Spoon Flight ­ for an assignment. In 2011, these students organized and performed at the very first Floyd Mardi Gras.

MG Poster Art 1For 2016, the festivities will be taking place in front of Dogtown Roadhouse on it’s annual date, February 6 (only days before the infamous New Orlean’s Mardi Gras). Beginning at 6 pm, the Floyd Mardi Gras has a wide variety of activities and entertainment for all ages. Guitarist and singer, Sol Roots, takes center place onstage, alongside other artists such as DJ RahBee and Buddhagraph Spaceship. Both a live auction ­ with “auctioneer extraordinaire” Tom O’Neil ­ and a silent auction will be taking place beside newly added gambling tables.

Prizes will be awarded for the best costume, with plenty of themed food and nearby restaurants for anyone working up an appetite. Even children can have their own share of the fun with the Kiddy Gras Pajama Party at the June Bug Center, so parents don’t have to worry about searching for a babysitter during the fundraiser. Last, but not least, is the crowning of the Floyd Mardi Gras King and Queen, which is sure to be a grand affair all on it’s own.

With great music, delicious food and a plethora of familiar and new activities, it’s easy to see why the Blue Mountain School predicts this will be the “biggest, most diverse Floyd Mardi Gras” yet.

Written by Madison Correiro

Putting the Fun Back in Family Road Trips!

On family road trips, do you spend the entire drive listening to the music your kids prefer, playing their favorite games and generally doing everything you can to keep them content – and peaceful – in the car?

It happens with the best intentions, but too often parents sacrifice their own enjoyment to keep the kids happy, thinking they can’t please everyone. Fortunately, with some creativity and the right travel “tools,” it’s possible for everyone to enjoy the drive.

Here are some ways parents can reclaim their fun on the family road trip:

* Expand musical horizons. Sure, you want everyone to connect with each other in the car and enjoy all the sights they’ll see. But it’s also okay to set aside some non-talk time. Pop in music they’ve never heard of and introduce the kids to different musical genres. There are a variety of songs out there that are kid-friendly. Do some research before your trip– you may even find a few new songs to enjoy yourself!

* Find an audio book that appeals to all. Bestsellers, non-fiction, self-help and children’s titles – audio books offer a great way for everyone to participate in the fun, including the driver. Look for material with age-appropriate content if you’ll all be listening together. “Borrowing” books through an exchange service is a great way to access a variety of titles. Cracker Barrel offers a service that allows you to get an audio book at one  location and return it at any other Cracker Barrel in the country. When you return the audio book, you’ll receive a full refund less an exchange fee of $3.49 for every week you kept the book. Visit www.crackerbarrel.com to learn more.

* Introduce kids to games from your childhood. Playing games is a great way to pass time in the car, but if you dread the thought of playing one more princess- or shape-shifting-robot-themed game, why not introduce the kids to games you loved as a child? Many require nothing more than your imagination, like group storytelling or license-plate bingo. Others like the low-tech classic peg game or Simon, the original electronic memory game you played as a kid, travel well in the car and provide challenging fun for all ages.

* Pack a snack bag with everyone in mind. Everyone will get hungry on the road, so if it’s not yet time for a stop, a snack bag can save the day. Pack with balanced nutrition and broad appeal in mind. Travel-friendly options like fruit and whole-grain snacks can be appetizing and satisfying. Be sure to toss in a few sweet treats for some extra fun. Look for nostalgic options that will appeal to kids while reminding adults of their own childhood, like Moon Pies or Cracker Jacks. 

Whether you are packing up to go visit a family member over the weekend this fall, or preparing early for a holiday getaway, these tips are sure to help your trip be a little less stressful for everyone involved!

Lazy Summer Afternoons

We have to be honest— after an amazing weekend on the mountain, our minds and hearts are still in Floyd. Whether you are missing FloydFest like us or you just need a little relaxation and reprieve from Monday, here are a few great products to enjoy from the comfort of your hammock:

unnamed-6Recharge your body with a nutritious smoothie as you relax. Daily Harvest’s ready-to-blend ingredient packs work with any blender. Add water or milk and enjoy the beauty of no prepping, no mess, and no leftovers! Also, because they are frozen, you won’t need to add any ice and can enjoy their blends whenever you want. These ingredient packs are also free from sweeteners or preservatives— so you can be sure you are putting only the best nutrients into your body. Visit their website, www.daily-harvest.com, to choose a few blends and start a subscription today.

Protect your skin with Vi Derm SPF 50+ Sun Protection. It provides broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection with 10% Zinc Oxide and 7.5% Octioxate, Aloe Barbadensis Gel, Pueraria Lobata Root extract and Chamomille to soothe your skin. The included Green Tea extract protects from UV damage and inflammation. This lightweight formula dries weightless on the skin. For more information, go to www.vipeel.com.

51mlX8WegtL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Take a trip back in time with Behind Every Great Man: The Forgotten Women Behind the World’s Famous and Infamous by Marlene Wagman-Geller. This book tells the remarkable stories of forty captivating females who stood behind their legendary partners, often at the cost of their own careers, reputations, and happiness. The untold stories include spouses of Alfred Hitchcock, Salvador Dali, Nelson Mandela, Ian Fleming, Bernie Madoff and more. Through fame and its attendant ills— alcoholism, infidelity, mental illness, divorce, and even attempted murder— these powerful women quietly propelled their men to the top and changed the course of history.

And, if you’d rather spend your afternoon listening to music while reading— check out some of our favorite bands from the weekend:
Annabelle’s Curse
First Aid Kit
Skribe
Chamomile and Whiskey

So relax and enjoy your summer afternoon– we won’t judge you if you pretend you are on the mountain too!

Children’s Music Celebrating Gender Freedom and Expression

Is your family getting tired of hearing the same children’s music? Are you looking for music that will not only entertain but also educate them? Consider introducing them to Chana Rothman, a singer/songwriter whose debut children’s album, “Rainbow Train,” celebrates gender freedom and expression.

2138114Chana is also an award-winning music educator and mom to two children (ages 1 and 4). Born in Toronto and formerly based in Brooklyn, she now lives/works in Philadelphia and her music is played and sung in communities around the world. Chana’s most recent project, “Rainbow Train,” is born of her experience as a family musician and music educator – seeing a need for music that celebrates healthy gender expression both for her own kids and family and for all kids and all families.

Chana was inspired to write and record this album based on her own experiences and that of her son, who, as an early toddler, experimented with his gender expression. With this album, Chana aims to affirm and celebrate the many different ways to express gender; attach a relatable voice to a growing gender-freedom movement; open a dialogue based on respect, honesty, and kindness; and provide a usable, danceable tool that can create social change. “Dress Up and Dance” is a particularly notable track that both children and parents can relate to and perhaps use as a tipping-off point for a conversation on individuality and being respectful of others.

“Rainbow Train” is available now!  Visit her website or Facebook page for more information on Chana and download tracks from the album here.

Ten Days of Mom: Blue Ridge Music Festival Tickets!

Ten Days of Mom: DAY EIGHT!!!

thefestival

Country music fans, listen up! Today, we are giving away two tickets to BOTH days of the Blue Ridge Music Festival on May 30-31!

This is a Mother’s Day gift that mom will remember for years to come! The lineup this year includes big names like Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, and the Charlie Daniels Band. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the show starts at noon on both days.

Visit our Facebook page for details on how to enter! Good luck!

Local Women Making A Difference

harvesterteamgirlsThe Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount is more than just a great place to enjoy a concert with your family. It is the result of a dream—shared by many people in Franklin County—to unite a community in support of great music. Each individual contributing to this venue is passionate about its success. Assistant General Manager, Sheila Silverstein, has been instrumental in bringing on new volunteers to assist with operations essential to each performance.

“You can’t find better people than our volunteers. They are my heart,” says Silverstein. “This is a group of people who have passion for their purpose. They make a great team, and they give 110 percent at every show.”

Since its opening in April, more volunteers (both men and women) have joined the initial group. Many of them, like Juanita Dudley, view one another as family. “I am a retired school teacher,” she adds, “and this is my way of giving back to the community. I have met so many great people here.”

Other volunteers, like Nancy Bell, report to their shifts following their full time jobs. Bell, Director of the United Way in Franklin County, has a 30 minute drive at the conclusion of her shift. However, the time spent travelling and volunteering is a sacrifice she is willing to make. She explains, “I began volunteering at the Harvester because I knew that, for it to succeed, those of us who love music would have to be committed to it.”

Donna Winge, volunteer coordinator for the Harvester, agrees, “My husband and I began volunteering at the second show. We knew the importance of making the Harvester a success because of the economic potential it has for the entire county.”

Franklin County residents are not the only ones interested in the variety of entertainment offered at this unique venue. People from surrounding counties and states attend each show, drawn to the spectacular lineup and welcoming atmosphere. The volunteers and staff realize that hospitality is important to making the experience a memorable one for patrons.

“We have a great time here on every shift,” says volunteer, Allison Nunley, “and I love seeing all of the guests enjoy it as much as we do.”

Visit www.harvester-music.com for more information on the talented musicians scheduled to perform this month. Not only will you enjoy a great show, you may find a new favorite spot to visit with your friends and family.