Green Creek helps raise funds mountain style

Published 11:38 am Thursday, November 9, 2017

GREEN CREEK – Mountain dulcimers, mandolins, cake walks, reels and old style Appalachian family fun filled the Green Creek Community Center Saturday, Nov. 4. The Pacolet Jam chapter of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (PacJAM) held a fundraiser to keep alive traditional music through an after school lesson program.  

PacJAM teacher Gaye Johnson said they had at least 100 people attend the dance Saturday night. “We wanted to reach out to the community and have a social event involving families and children like they did back in the day,” said Johnson.  

Dancers line up for a popular reel dance. (photo by Catherine Hunter)

The Blue Ridge Rounders Band from Greer played old time Appalachian style music from 7 to 9 p.m. Professional dance caller, Jennie Wakefield, called line and circle dances as well as the ever popular Virginia Reel. The highlight of the evening included the old-fashioned cakewalks. For a $2 donation, dance attendees could try their luck in winning a scrumptious homemade cake of chocolate, carrot, fudge or other colorful flavors. 

Emmalyn Rathbone helps her grandfather, Phil Johnson, pick out a delicious cake as his prize for wining a cakewalk. (photo by Catherine Hunter)

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The Pacolet Junior Appalachian Musicians Program Director Becky Osteen said the funds would go to help continue the lessons for area children. The Junior Appalachian Musicians program is designed to teach children through the Southeastern U.S. to play and sing Appalachian style music. Local classes are held after school at the Tryon Fine Arts Center. 

The program provides mountain dulcimers, mandolins, guitars, banjos and ukuleles for the children to learn. They also allow the children to lease an instrument while they become familiar with the music and decide what type instrument they wish to play.  

The Pacolet Jam chapter is open to children ages 8 to 16. Osteen said they have recently started offering adult classes and ukulele classes for children as young as 6 or 7.  

In addition to enjoying the music and dance Saturday night, those attending were able to sign up for raffles with such prizes as adult and youth lesson scholarships, tee shirts and an Amahi ukulele.  

For more information about the Pacolet Jam chapter of the Jr. Appalachian Musicians visit