PacJAM-in’ at TFAC

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2020

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PacJAM at the Tryon Fine Arts Center is inviting you to come out and play! September 15 marked the start of the 7th season of the Pacolet Junior Appalachian Music program. Youth and adults alike are invited to learn music in a properly distanced community setting while enjoying the beautiful views from TFAC’s lush amphitheater and landscaped spaces.

This 6-week outdoor session teaches beginner classes on Tuesdays with Woody Cowan and Gaye Johnson. 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the amphitheater, adults will learn the basics of guitar or ukulele in a jam setting. Beginning youth meet from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and take a 45 minute instrument class, as well as participate in a 45 minute storytelling/beginner’s jam session. Ukulele is for ages 6-7; students 8 and above will learn guitar or mandolin. Guitar classes are extra-special this year, with recording artist and frequent Prairie Home Companion guest Gaye Johnson leading the learning.

On Wednesdays, intermediate and advanced youth and adults meet. Adults will form a set list with Bob and Amy Buckingham at the semester’s start, and work to assemble several classic tunes on fiddle, mandolin, claw hammer banjo, guitar, and ukulele. With sheet music and YouTube tutorials for additional support, the adult class will raise one’s musical comfort level in jamming and creating arrangements. Plus, it’s FUN!

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Advanced and intermediate youth meet Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., for band class and instruction on mandolin, fiddle, banjo, or guitar. Bob and Amy Buckingham & Phil Jenkins teach these sessions. In season’s past, they enjoyed touring with the advanced band in an array of performances. These teachers can’t wait to continue to work with the “veteran” band, while also starting a new “rising stars” band.

Class size is limited, but registration for many instruments is still possible. There is a fee, with limited scholarships and instrument rental available. To register and pay in full online, please visit For questions regarding the PacJAM program or TFAC’s Covid-19 protocol, please contact PacJAM program director Julie Moore at, visit, or call Executive Director Marianne Carruth at 828-859-8322 ext. 211.

Submitted by Marianne Carruth