TFAC hosts N.C. ballad singer in free program Oct. 14

Published 6:39pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tryon Fine Arts Center will host Betty Smith as she presents “Women in Traditional Song: What the Songs Say about Women and the Women Who Sang Them” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. This one-hour presentation is the final in a series of three lectures in the humanities provided free of charge by North Carolina Humanities Council at TFAC.
Music City News of Nashville, Tenn. calls Smith “one of the great ballad singers of North Carolina.”
Smith has performed, taught and shared the music of the south for more than 40 years. Her book “Jane Hicks Gentry: A Singer Among Singers” was awarded the Willie Parker Peace Award, and her one-woman play “A Mountain Riddle” won the Paul Green Award given by the North Carolina Society of Historians. She is the recipient of the Brown Hudson Award, the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Award and the Outstanding Contributions to Appalachian Literature Award.
From “Lady Isabel,” who took care of her own salvation, and the “Farmer’s Cursed Wife,” who ruined Hell, to “Little Margaret,” who took her own life, and “Little Omie Wise,” whose life was taken from her, Smith explores with her audience the roles women play in traditional ballads and songs. The women who sang them were carriers of the culture, not performers. They sang songs as they went about their daily chores and rocked their babies. Smith also looks at why certain songs stayed alive and why women chose to sing them – indeed, why some women are still singing them.
This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Since 1990, the N.C. Humanities Council has provided free access to interesting speakers on a wide range of topics to audiences across the state, through its Road Scholars program.
For information on the Road Scholars program, visit www.nchumanities.org. For information on the series at Tryon Fine Arts Center, call 828-859-8322 or visit www.tryonarts.org. Tryon Fine Arts Center is located on Melrose Avenue in Tryon.
– article submitted
by Marianne Carruth

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