West Virginia Governor's Mansion West Virginia Culture Center
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin welcomes NASAA Leadership Institute participants for a reception at the governor's mansion. Guests then stroll to the nearby West Virginia Culture Center, where they enjoy dinner and entertainment in the Great Hall and a performance at the West Virginia State Theater. The West Virginia State Museum Shop, featuring juried artists and artisans from the state, is open for the evening.
The Dueling Fiddlers
TDF: The Dueling Fiddlers
TDF presents a bold new genre, violin rock, where classical training combines with sizzling energy and TDF's improvisational, multistyle approach to live performance. From his many years as a first-chair orchestral musician to his ground-breaking and "positively pyrotechnic" fiddle playing with his group, Pianafiddle, Adam DeGraff has performed for millions of concertgoers throughout his career. Hailed for his "glorious strength" and "elegance" by the New York Concert Review for a performance at Carnegie Hall, Russell Fallstad was a founding member of the critically acclaimed Fry Street String Quartet. Follow TDF on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/duelingfiddlers
Appalachian Children's Chorus
Appalachian Children's Chorus
Founded in 1990 with 12 children, the Appalachian Children's Chorus now has five choirs in Charleston and two in surrounding counties, with 180 children enrolled. The group's mission is to provide a quality music education, artistic excellence and extraordinary opportunities. Named the Official State Children's Chorus of West Virginia as well as the Ambassadors of Music for West Virginia, the choir has traveled nationally and internationally. It has appeared at Carnegie Hall; the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; Disney World's Epcot Center and The Greenbrier in West Virginia. The group has performed for West Virginia's governors and for the president of the United States.
Ryan Hardiman is a singer, actor and graphic designer. He works in several theatres in Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia, and Ashland, Kentucky. His three most recent roles were Katurian in The Pillowman for Charleston Stage Company, John Proctor in The Crucible for Kanawha Players in Charleston and Jack in Jack the Ripper for Charleston's Contemporary Youth Arts Company. Hardiman was the winner of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra's Symphony Idol contest. He continues to frequently perform with the symphony, and is planning a CD project focusing on his singing.
Bobby Taylor is a fourth-generation West Virginia fiddler. He plays several styles of old-time and contest fiddling, getting his early start from the legendary Clark Kessinger. In 2003, Taylor received the FOOTbridge Award, presented by FOOTMAD (Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance), for his contributions to old-time music. He was presented the 2010 Vandalia Award, West Virginia's highest folklife honor, by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Taylor has coordinated West Virginia's Vandalia Gathering contests in Charleston since 1979, and has coordinated the Appalachian String Band Music Festival contest since 1990. He currently judges extensively and presents historical showcases on fiddle styles with his old-time band, Kanawha Tradition.
Matt Jones is a country music singer/novice songwriter from Shady Spring, West Virginia. He began singing in his local church at the age of 5, which would eventually instill a passion for creating and performing traditional country music. In 2008, Jones worked with some of the best-known and respected songwriters and musicians in Nashville while recording his debut album, Too Country.
Thursday, October 20
Barbecue Dinner and Art Walk
Leadership Institute guests are treated to local music, art exhibits and visits to specialty shops during Art Walk in downtown Charleston, just a few blocks from the conference hotel. Enjoy a barbecue buffet, visit with some of the area's popular artists, and stroll to art galleries, a locally owned bookstore, and clothing shops. While you're here, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has a variety of outdoor arts activities in store.
Steve Himes and The Blue Notes
Steve Himes is one of the driving forces in The Blue Notes and is the leader of The Steve Himes Connection. He leaves an indelible mark on listeners with expressive ballads, solid funky grooves, unrestrained riffs, smooth vocals and a generous helping of zaniness. The Blue Notes, which includes McDonald Cary on organ and Chris Hudson on drums, play jazz and blues in the style of great organ trios such as Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff, as well as Brazilian, funk, hip-hop and other modern styles. In 2005, the band released its debut CD, The Blue Notes, followed by Out of The Blue in 2007.
Mark Davis is a percussionist and singer well known to rock and pop audiences around West Virginia. He performs with the VooDoo Katz and the a cappella group Barebones; many fans know him as the drummer for the legendary band Crazy Jane. In 2006, Davis studied percussion at the African International Center of Music and Dance, University of Ghana, West Africa. An adjunct professor of music at the University of Charleston, he is a certified Orff instructor, which comes in handy on his day job as an elementary school music specialist. The Orff method encourages children to use their natural intuition in rhythm and melody. Davis's first solo CD, Kente Quilt, is a musical blend of his experiences in Appalachia and Africa.
The No Pants Players
The No Pants Players
The No Pants Players came into existence in 2001 and consist of local and community theater personalities who share a love for the beveled edge of improvisational comedy. The fast-paced nature of their performance forces every member of the troupe to rely upon the abilities and instincts of their fellow players. Over the years, the troupe has been through many changes and members, but its goal has remained the same: to entertain the Charleston and Kanawha Valley communities with live improv comedy.
Amanda Jane's Street Spectacular
Amanda Jane's Street Spectacular
Amanda Jane's Street Spectacular brings the theater to the street and the street to the theater by incorporating fire spinning, pantomime and vaudeville into performances rooted in traditional Middle Eastern hand drumming and belly dance. Pixie brings a comedic and lyrical sensibility to her dancing and specializes in fans of fire. Amanda Jane loves American cabaret and old Hollywood belly dance. Dave Bragg and Duane Swanson move between original songs and on-the-spot improvisation. When she is not dancing in the streets, Amanda Jane is painting watercolors that are exhibited in galleries throughout West Virginia.
Rob Cleland was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia. His earliest art experience that he can recall was drawing a volcano at a friend's house. Cleland attributes his love of art to his dad, who would pay him two cents for a black-and-white drawing and five cents for a color drawing when he was little. Cleland has studied art at West Virginia University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He primarily works in printmaking and painting, and his artwork is exhibited in several galleries in Charleston.
Friday, October 21
Closing Session: Kathy Mattea, Keynote Artist
Kathy Mattea, born in South Charleston, West Virginia, is a Grammy award-winning country music and bluegrass singer. Since 1983, she has recorded 17 albums and charted more than 30 singles on Billboard and Hot Country Songs charts. Raised in a mining family and sensitive to mining concerns, Kathy is also an environmental activist who raises awareness about mountaintop-removal mining. Her 2008 album Coal, which she calls a tribute to "my place and my people," gives voice to the emotional, physical, economic and political issues inherent in mining, as well as to people's close connections with each other and with the land. Renowned as one of Nashville's most spiritual singers, she is both critically and commercially acclaimed for her blend of vocal warmth, courage and power.
Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia
The West Virginia Symphony, with guest cellist Julie Albers, plays for Leadership Institute guests during the closing reception at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences. The spacious Clay Center houses performing arts, visual arts and sciences under one roof and is one of only a few of its kind in the country.
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra
West Virginia Symphony Orchestra Grant Cooper, Artistic Director and Conductor
Guest Artist: Julie Albers, Cello
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra is West Virginia's premier performing arts organization, presenting more than 50 concerts annually to audiences throughout the Mountain State. Programs include the Capitol Conference Center Symphonic, ZMM Pops and City National Bank Family Discovery Concert Series; performances by the Montclaire String Quartet; collaborations with the Charleston Ballet and other West Virginia arts organizations; and a nationally award-winning education program. The symphony's home is the world-class Maier Foundation Performance Hall at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston.
American cellist Julie Albers is recognized for her superlative artistry, her charismatic
and radiant performing style, and her intense musicianship. She was awarded the Grand Prize at the XIII International Competition for Young Musicians in Douai, France. Albers made her major orchestral debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1998, and thereafter has performed in recital and with orchestras in the United States, Europe, Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand. In 2001 she won second prize in Munich's Internationalen Musikwettbewerbes der ARD and the Wilhelm-Weichsler-Musikpreis der Stadt Osnabruch 2001. In 2003, Albers was named the first gold medal laureate of South Korea's Gyeongnam International Music Competition. In 2006, Albers began a two-year residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two. She is currently active with the Albers String Trio and the cello quartet CELLO.