TFAC’s PacJAM program welcomes new director

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tryon Fine Arts Center’s flagship traditional music program, Pacolet Junior Appalachian Musicians, will start the summer on a high note, representatives said.

Julie Moore will join the organization as program director, taking over from Rebecca Osteen’s direction and leadership.

Moore comes to the position eager to build the growing program of classes for students and adults in traditional Appalachian instruments such as guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin, representatives said.

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“This is a tricky age,” she said. “On the one hand, people are immersed in technology and connecting with others ‘online,’ but on the other they are losing touch with people in their own neighborhoods or even in their own homes.”

Moore sees the deep necessity of keeping community real and tangible, and loves how bluegrass and old-time music serve as a binder between both family and community members.

“Creating music together – for the joy in it; keeping traditional songs alive because they are fun and not so hard to play – those are very simple, but powerful acts,” Moore said.

Born and raised near Landrum, Moore is trained classically as a cellist and is a certified Suzuki music teacher, but has worked mostly in world music.  As the Adjunct for World Music at Furman University, she delights in showing students the amazing similarities between traditions across the globe, and the astounding differences.  Her scholarship in West African music and its role in the slave trade led to work as a consultant on A&E’s 2016 remake of “Roots,” and has given her opportunities to lecture at colleges from Howard University to Wake Forest.

She and her husband also facilitate an annual camp for adults in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, where traditional West African music and dance are taught by former members of Guinea’s national ballets. The camp – which accepts 110 participants – has been sold out for the last several years. 

Her three oldest children have all participated in PacJAM, and her baby is just waiting until he is old enough to hold a pick.

PacJAM offers a summer camp in traditional music and Appalachian culture July 16-20, with a 10-week semester of classes for children and adults starting Sept. 12. Registration and more information is available at

-Submitted by Michelle Fleming