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Last two weeks of New Harmonies

The crowd gathers for the New Harmonies Street Dance Saturday, Aug. 25 on Trade Ave. in downtown Landrum. The event was sponsored by the City of Landrum and the Landrum Area Business Association. (photo by Barbara Tilly)

“People want more!” said Landrum Librarian Lee Morgan after the first four weeks of free concerts in Landrum, part of the New Harmonies Smithsonian traveling exhibit.
The performances reflecting American diversity – gospel, Celtic, Appalachian folk and Western – have attracted more than 2,000 music lovers since Aug. 5. An additional 700 have toured the interactive Smithsonian exhibit at the Landrum Library, which will continue through Sept. 15.
“This exhibit has gotten rave reviews,” said Morgan.  “For some, this is the first time they have visited this wonderful library.”
The exhibit focuses on distinct cultural influences on American music, including county Western, zydeco, bluegrass and protest songs, to name a few.
On Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., the East Tennessee State University student bluegrass band will perform at the outdoor stage at the Landrum Library. Then, on Friday, Sept. 7 at 8:30 a.m., the student old time band from East Tennessee State University will perform in the Landrum High School auditorium.
On Saturday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m., the Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers will give a lecture/performance on “The Music of Early America: A Focus on Folk Hymns in the Shape Note Tradition” at Landrum United Methodist Church. The group is composed largely of Mars Hill College choir alumni and music faculty. This event is sponsored by the Susan Patricia Hodge Foundation.
The final week of the series will feature Gingerthistle (Ben Seymour and Becky Cleveland) at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9 at the library; Jay Lichty at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at the library (sponsored by the Mary F. Kessler Fund/Polk County Community Foundation) and the Firecracker Jazz Band at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13 at the library’s outdoor stage. For more information, visit www.infodepot.org.
“New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” is a collaboration among the Smithsonian Institute, The Humanities Council of South Carolina and the Spartanburg County Public Libraries.
The Landrum Library is sponsoring the free concerts and lectures with help from a grant and partnerships with local individuals, families, foundations and organizations, including Jackson Grove United Methodist Church, Landrum Friends of the Library, Landrum United Methodist Church, Mary F. Kessler Fund at Polk County Community Foundation, Spartanburg School District One, the City of Landrum, the John F. Petty Family and Petty Funeral Home, the Landrum Area Business Association, the Susan Patricia Hodge Foundation and Whitney Blake.
For more information, contact the Landrum Public Library at 864-457-2218.
– article submitted by Ellen Henderson

Lee Morgan of the Landrum Library greets the audience at the New Harmonies Street Dance. The event featured Bruce Greene, preservationist and nationally recognized old-time fiddler, along with musicians Doug Rostick, Don Pedi and Robert Burns. (photo by Barbara Tilly)