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Saturday, September 03, 2011

Music and Art in the Mountains

Visit the Peaks of Otter on Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 for a "peak" at Plein Air art. Artists will set up throughout both days in Peaks of Otter area to capture the unsurpassed beauty of nature. The Plein Air school of painting originate in France and was popular in the mid-19th century, especially with Claude Monet and other impressionist artists. The style is spontaneous, with artists painting outdoors to capture the ever-changing effect of light on their subjects . Plein Air painting is currently very popular in this area. Artisst painting at the Peaks will be happy to discuss their work and answer visitor questions.

There will also be sounds of mountain dulcimers and other Appalachian Mountain instruments hanging over the Peaks, at milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, on Saturday, September 10. Riddle on the Harp will play in the amphitheater from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The group of three local women will entertain not only with the Celtic music they so ably play, but also by using their songs to show the bridge between the Scots-Irish music of Europe and the traditional mountain music of Southern Appalachia.

After the concert there will be a ranger-led night hike. Those attending should wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather and carry a flashlight.

On Sunday, September 11, Dinah Ainsley, an accomplished mountain dulcimer player from Waynesboro, will teach a dulcimer workshop near Abbott Lake by the Peaks of Otter Lodge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will learn to play some traditional song on dulcimers that will be provided or they can bring their own.

James Jones, internationally renowned instrument maker from Sedalia, VA will have a booth nearby with many of his instruments. He'll demonstrate their use and will invite visitors to try these handmade traditional instruments.

Music in the Mountains is free and ample parking is available. For more information, call the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center at 540-586-4496.

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