Local music traditions may be old, but they’re far from gone

Published 12:33 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

Students 6 – 16 years old are wrapping up another season of learning to play music by ear, all through traditional songs of the Appalachian region.


For nine years, Tryon Fine Arts Center’s (TFAC) Pacolet Junior Appalachian Musicians (PacJAM) has been the only group string-music program in Polk County.  “PacJAM’s success is seen in the accomplishments of our oldest students,” Program Director Julie Moore explains. “Those in our two student bands – youth who have been with PacJAM nearly from the start – have evolved into mature, sought-after musicians. And our newer students are inspired by seeing how much can be learned – with time and practice – through our program.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

PacJAM pairs the regions’ finest Old Time and Bluegrass musicians with eager students to learn two styles of banjo, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and fiddle. Context is added with singing, and “jam” classes, where youth learn what it feels like to be in a band.

PacJAM’s spring 2022 semester concludes on April 27 with a free public recital in TFAC’s Peterson Amphitheater from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.. All PacJAM students will be performing. The concert will close with tunes from the two PacJAM house bands – Muddy Boots and the Clover Pickers.  

PacJAM’s summer camp will be held from June 13 – 17  at TFAC. Fall 2022 PacJAM activities begin in September. For more information contact Julie Moore at pacjam@tryonarts.org. 




Submitted by Debra Torrence