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Heifetz Institute announces 20th anniversary Festival of Concerts

newspaper-headerThis summer, a record 95 students from 22 states across the nation and 15 countries from around the globe will descend on Mary Baldwin College to participate in the 20th Anniversary Heifetz International Music Institute and its 2016 Festival of Concerts.

From the Opening Concert and Convocation on July 2 to the Grand Finale and Farewell Feast on August 11, the Institute’s world-class faculty performers, alumni Artists in Residence, and brilliant young students will present no fewer than 45 public concerts, symposia, and special events, in and around historic downtown Staunton, Virginia, named one of “the Best Small Towns in America” bySmithsonian magazine.

“Our 20th Anniversary is a moment for us to celebrate this milestone accomplishment for the audience-focused, communicative mission of the Institute, as unique today as when we started in 1996,” notes Founder & Artistic Director Daniel Heifetz. “More importantly, this summer represents a significant new chapter in the Institute’s growth – with a concert every day of the week  – as well as the evolution of our now-five-year partnership with Mary Baldwin College, including the launch of the HeifetzPEGprogram, modeled after MBC’s acclaimed Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, and our joint Take Your Seat! campaign to refurbish our ‘home arena’ of Francis Auditorium.”

The Institute has lined up a number of guest artists, noted alumni, speakers, and special events to celebrate its 20th Anniversary Season, as well as a brand new series: the Heifetz Summer Symposium, aseries of free public lectures by notable figures in the world of music, medicine, and journalism, will kick off Monday, July 4th, at 7:30 pm in the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Theatre and continue every Monday night thereafter, preceded by a short “prelude concert” by the youngest Heifetz performers.

Monday the 4th of July will also feature the start of Heifetz at the Temple House, free noontime concerts held every Monday in the historic synagogue in the city’s downtown, as well as a Heifetz InstituteFourth of July concert at Monroe’s Highland, the Charlottesville home of Founding Father James Monroe, the nation’s fifth president.

Audiences will get their first look at the freshly-refurbished James D. Francis Auditorium, (replete with new seats, carpeting, lights, and more, thanks to the joint Heifetz/MBC Take Your Seat! campaign) onTuesday, July 5 with the start of the Stars of Tomorrow concert series, taking place on Tuesday,Wednesday, and Thursday nights during the course of the summer Institute. Stars of Tomorrow concerts are mainly devoted to solo performances by the Institute’s students in collaboration with our faculty pianists.

The Celebrity Series Happy Hour Concerts will return again on Fridays, offering “pairings” of notable Virginia beverages with great music. The “Happy Hours” feature local wineries, retailers and gourmet food purveyors offering tastings and nibbles every Friday afternoon starting at 5 pm, before concertgoers settle in to hear an extraordinary concert by Heifetz faculty and guests at 6 pm.

The renowned nine-time Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet will take center stage at the openingFriday night Celebrity Series concert, on July 8, the Institute’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Concert & Dinner,featuring locally-sourced provisions from Barren Ridge Vineyards, Mike Lund Food, Three Notch’d Brewing Company, Shenandoah Hops, and Paris Cake Company.

The Festival’s Saturday night Heifetz Hootenannies will have a new home in 2016 – the big new “Heifetz Tent” on Mary Baldwin College’s Page Terrace. The wildly popular new series features Heifetz students “stretching out” in informal multi-genre jam sessions ranging from classical to blues, jazz, folk, roots, and pop, often in collaboration with surprise guest artists. The first “Hoot” with be An Evening With Chic Street Man and Friends on Saturday, July 9, featuring the beloved bluesman and Heifetz Institute Communication Training teacher.

Also back for a second season will be the HeifetzSunday Matinees, taking place in Francis Auditorium at 2 pm. Wrapping up the weekend, these delightful programs showcase the talents of the students, faculty, and Artists in Residence. The 2016 series begins on Sunday, July 10, with a program called “Mostly Mozart,” featuring violinist and Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar co-director Shmuel Ashkenasi joined by a select group of students and alumni.

For a complete listing of the 2016 Festival of Concerts visit Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the Heifetz Box Office and Gift Shop located at 107 East Beverley Street, Staunton, or at the door prior to each performance.


About The Heifetz International Music Institute

Founded 20 years ago in 1996, The Heifetz International Music Institute is held on the campus of Mary Baldwin College, located in Staunton, Virginia for six weeks each summer. The Institute is highly selective, as hundreds of the most brilliant and deserving young string players (violin, viola, and cello) from all over the globe apply to the Institute for only 80 openings.

In 2015, students from 12 countries and throughout the U.S. were admitted to the Institute for studies with world-renowned faculty, participation in the Institute’s “Celebrity Series,” “Stars of Tomorrow” “Heifetz Hootenannies,” and other festival performances, instruction in the Institute’s signatureHeifetz Performance and Communication Training©, featuring classes in Voice, Public Speaking, Drama, Wellness, Movement, and Freedom of Expression, in addition to intense private lessons and chamber music coaching. In 2012, the Institute formed a partnership with Mary Baldwin College and moved to Staunton.

Heifetz On Tour, the Institute’s National Program of Outreach and Career Development, consists of year-round concerts and residencies throughout the country, forming partnerships with school systems and cultural institutions in both major cites and rural areas, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Jamestown, RI Arts Center.

For more information visit

Lime Kiln Theater presents Walker’s Run in concert

lime-kilnLime Kiln Theater’s Summer 2016 concert series continues on Saturday, July 2, as Walker’s Run will perform with opener Dori Freeman. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30. To celebrate the holiday weekend, parking areas will open at 5 p.m. for tailgating.

Advance tickets are $15 and are on sale now Tickets will be $20 at the door, with cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover all accepted.

Lime Kiln Theater’s summer concert series is sponsored by Devils Backbone Brewing Company and Charles W. Barger & Son Construction. Devils Backbone beer, Kind Roots Café food, and Rockbridge Vineyard wine are available for purchase at all shows. The Walker’s Run concert is presented by Attochron, The Jefferson Florist and Garden, Kappa Alpha Order and Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe.

Nearly 20 years ago, guitarist and songwriter Brennan Gilmore began gathering musicians who, like Gilmore, had grown up in the rich traditions of Appalachian music and fused them with a wide range of other musical influences. The musical collective ofWalker’s Run has mutated and evolved over the years and now includes fiddler Nate Leath, mandolinist Daniel Knicely, percussionist Nick Falk and original bassist Zack Blatter. Will Lee, a founding member with Knicely of the legendary Virginia newgrass band Magraw Gap – a major influence on the younger generation of musicians – will be joining the band for this special evening of music. The new lineup of Walker’s Run stretches even further beyond the realm of traditional Americana, incorporating African, jazz and punk influences.

The self-titled first studio album from 24 year-old Dori Freeman announces the arrival of a wonderful new talent. A quintessential Americana album, Dori Freeman has its own unique sound while also drawing from many different genres. Freeman says the distinct sound of the record, produced by acclaimed singer/musician Teddy Thompson, came about organically. “We just wanted it to sound genuine,” she says. “To be current and sincere.” That sincerity is palpable on the album, made up of songs full of longing, wit and haunting vocals from Freeman, who sings in a seemingly-effortless but layered, sensual way, causing each word – and note – to take flight.

Lime Kiln Arts, Inc. is a non-profit (501c3), operating at Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington. It opened in 1984 and is rooted in and inspired by the magic of a natural, outdoor theater. After a brief hiatus that started in 2012, Lime Kiln Theater is thrilled to present its third straight summer season of live music featuring local, regional and national acts.

For more information, visit Lime Kiln on the web at, or check out our Facebook page

Arts and the Parks at the Virginia Quilt Museum

virginia-quilt-museumIn recognition of the National Park Service Centennial, the Virginia Quilt Museum kicks off a month-long celebration of Arts and the Parks this First Friday, July 1, from 5:00-8:00 pm.

For children, North River Librarian Bly Brown will share adventure-story times beginning at 6:30 or 7:15, followed by chalk drawings on the alley.  Meanwhile, Virginia game-warden-turned-author Frank Mundy will offer up truth-based tales from the great outdoors guaranteed to entertain the rest of us!  Frank will also have his books available for signing.

Admission is free during First Friday events.

Be on the lookout for more ways to celebrate “Arts and the Parks” with us each week during July!


About the Virginia Quilt Museum

The Virginia Quilt Museum was founded in 1995 and exists to celebrate quilting in Virginia.  The Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit funded solely through private donations, memberships, and revenue from admissions and museum shop sales.  The Museum receives no federal or state funding.

Lime Kiln Theater announces An Evening with Gillian Welch

lime kilnLime Kiln Theater has announced an addition to its Summer 2016 concert series, as Gillian Welch will perform on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8.

Advance tickets for An Evening with Gillian Welch are $30 and will go on sale at on Friday, June 10, at 10 a.m.Tickets will also be $30 at the door, with cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover all accepted.

Lime Kiln Theater’s summer concert series is sponsored by Devils Backbone Brewing Company and Charles W. Barger & Son Construction. Devils Backbone beer, Kind Roots Café food, and Rockbridge Vineyard wine are available for purchase at all shows. An Evening with Gillian Welch is presented by Carilion and VelocityCare.

An Evening with Gillian Welch will also feature longtime musical partner Dave Rawlings. This is what we know: Gill and Dave met at Berklee College of Music; Gillian was studying songwriting, while Dave studied guitar; they met at an audition for a country band. Together, they moved to Nashville, Tenn., where most of their work together has been produced. Since then they have influenced and inspired new generations of country and folk singers, songwriters and players. They have earned the slavish admiration of many of the most lauded and loved voices of the Americana milieu now living – and some who have since deceased (rest their souls). They’ve had their songs recorded by the likes of Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Solomon Burke. Gill and Dave’s body of work is deeply rooted in the world it has sought to portray in song: the American South.

Lime Kiln Arts, Inc. is a non-profit (501c3), operating at Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington. It opened in 1984 and is rooted in and inspired by the magic of a natural, outdoor theater. After a brief hiatus that started in 2012, Lime Kiln Theater is thrilled to present its third straight summer season of live music featuring local, regional and national acts.

For more information, visit Lime Kiln on the web at, or check out our Facebook page at

Shenandoah National Park sponsors Centennial Celebration Concert Series

shenandoah national parkShenandoah National Park is sponsoring a free concert series in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.

Performances will be held both in Shenandoah National Park and in neighboring communities. The featured musicians have created original compositions especially for the NPS Centennial to celebrate national parks as places for inspiration, recreation, and renewal.

Here are the next three concerts in the series:

Sing Across America, Shenandoah Valley Childrens Choir
Monday, June 20, 7:00 p.m., Byrd Visitor Center, Shenandoah National Park
The renowned Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC) will perform Children’s Earth Anthem, a song written and composed in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday and other selections in Shenandoah National Park. TheChildren’s Earth Anthem, written by Louise Phillips and composed by Charles Eversole will be performed by children’s groups across the country in 2016. Shenandoah is happy to have the wonderful talent of the SVCC to perform the anthem as well as the perennial favorite, Shenandoah. The 30-minute concert will be followed by a Ranger-led evening walk in the meadow at 7:30.

Music in the American Wild, Eastman School of Music
Friday, June 17, 2016, 7:00 p.m. The Theatre at Washington, Washington, VA
Saturday, June 18, 2016, 1:30 p.m., Byrd Visitor Center, Shenandoah National Park
Music in the American Wild is a new music initiative honoring the centennial of the National Park Service. During the summer of 2016 seven Eastman School of Music-affiliated performers will premiere eleven brand new, distinctly American works inspired by the history and wonder of the national parks in the majestic natural theaters of the parks themselves.

National Park Soundscapes, Jill Haley
Saturday, October 1, 2:00 p.m., Byrd Visitor Center, Shenandoah National Park
Sunday, October 2, 3:00 p.m., The Wayne Theater, Waynesboro, VA
National Park Soundscapes is a concert program celebrating the centennial year of the formation of the National Park Service. Composer Jill Haley will be joined by guitarist David Cullen in an instrumental concert of music written about 12 National Parks, including Shenandoah National Park. The music will be performed on oboe, English horn, guitar and keyboard, and will include selections that also feature Mesa Verde National Park and Badlands National Park.

OASIS announces plans for First Fridays in July

oasisOn First Friday, July 1st, OASIS will host a reception for the exhibit titled  “ Jewel Yoder Hertzler: Recent Paintings.”

The First Friday reception, from 5-8, will include light refreshments, live music by Mel Lee and Jim Gaskins on fiddle and other instruments. The  reception is free.

“Jewel Yoder Hertzler: Recent Paintings” can be found at OASIS from July 1 through August 31, 2016.  Join us for this terrific show by this talented artist!

Kids summer arts activities continue in July.  This summer, the program is sponsored, in part, by the Arts Council of the Valley.  The July activities are:

OASIS is a co-op gallery, where over 35 local artists and artisans exhibit and sell their work.  OASIS Fine Art & Craft is located at 103 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg.  For more information, call 540-442-8188, and email, website, and at Facebook as OASIS-Art-Gallery-Harrisonburg-VA.

HDR selects Grand Marshal for Valley Fourth parade

harrisonburgHarrisonburg Downtown Renaissance has selected the Bicycles for Refugee program organizers and participants as the Grand Marshals for its Valley Fourth parade.

Valley Fourth is a much-anticipated annual event that attracts more than 10,000 people to a full-day of festivities celebrating the Fourth of July and the spirit of community. The parade will be held on Monday, July 4, at 6:00 p.m. on Main Street in Downtown Harrisonburg. This year’s parade theme is “Many People, One Community.”

“We see downtown as Harrisonburg’s living room. It should be a place where everyone feels welcome and sees it as an extension of their homes. This year’s parade theme celebrates the rich diversity of our community and the welcoming nature of the Friendly City,” says Andrea Dono, HDR’s executive director. “Having Bicycles for Refugees lead the parade will help showcase Harrisonburg’s diversity in a meaningful way and celebrate this community initiative’s inspiring mission and great work.”

Harrisonburg is designated as a refugee resettlement area, and there are 51 languages spoken by students in its public schools. To bring attention to the diversity of Harrisonburg, HDR is launching a diversity initiative that seeks to bring community groups and individuals together to find ways to make downtown as inclusive as possible.

Last month, HDR announced its partnership with the Arts Council of the Valley and Harrisonburg Tourism on a public art project that takes a cue from the “Love” sculpture downtown and will bring additional “Love” installations in different languages throughout the city.

A coalition of a dozen partners led by Church World Service (CWS) Immigration and Refugee Program and the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) runs the Bicycles for Refugees program. Cycling skills and safety are taught by volunteers to program participants who receive a free bike, helmet, bike lock, and tire pump.

Since many refugees do not have driver’s licenses or cars, access to bicycles gives them independence and transportation to employment. CWS works with new refugee families and directs them toward this program. “It is great that the City of Harrisonburg is making this effort to showcase our welcoming community and what it has to offer,” says Rebecca Sprague, CWS’ Community Program Coordinator. “We live in a city that is so supportive of each other at all levels – schools, neighbors, government, organizations, and businesses. Church World Services is thrilled Bicycles for Refugees is going to be involved in the Valley Fourth parade.”

SVBC helps organize the program and accepts donations to sponsor bikes, locks, and pumps for its participants. Its members volunteer to teach refugees how to ride bikes and follow bicycle-related laws. “The only reason this program has been successful is because of the synergy of partnerships among so many people who care to reach out, donate, and volunteer their time,” says Ritchie Vaughan, the program’s coordinator. “We couldn’t do it alone and thank Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance for inviting Bicycles for Refugees to be the Grand Marshal.”

Join the Parade

The parade route travels south on Main Street, from the Rockingham County Administration Building to the City Municipal Building. HDR is encouraging more community members to enter the parade. Parade participants are encouraged to design a parade entry or float that displays a patriotic theme and/or promotes the diversity of the Harrisonburg community. Entry forms are available at The deadline for entries is July 1.

In addition to the parade, Valley Fourth attendees can expect to enjoy a full day of activities, including Beers ‘N Cheers in the Park, live music, children’s activities, a fireworks finale, and more! Many restaurants and other businesses will be open downtown as well.

Valley Fourth, organized and presented by Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, is the largest community celebration in Harrisonburg, drawing more than 10,000+ residents and visitors to downtown each year. All Valley Fourth activities are made possible by local businesses, organizations, and volunteers.



Visit Stonewall Jackson Inn

stonewallNamed after the famed Southern general of the Civil War, the Stonewall Jackson Inn and its knowledgeable owner serve as an homage to a few of the brave men and women who had a significant impact during that era. A time of political and social revolution, the years surrounding this eventful war, both before and after, helped shape our young country into the great nation that it is today.

History aside, this restored mansion is the perfect place to bring a loved one and get away for a night (or two!) of fun and relaxation. Whether you decide to lounge around on the grounds for comfort and conversation, or make the short walk to Downtown Harrisonburg for a delicious meal and some live entertainment, you are sure to find what you’re looking for in a vacation when you stay with us.

The Inn features ten unique, beautifully furnished rooms. Sometimes it can be hard to pick just one!

Barefoot Puppets presents Trickster Tales at Court Square Theater on July 4th

Barefoot Puppets HippoFor the fourth consecutive year, Richmond’s Barefoot Puppets bring their beautiful puppets, delightful characters and imaginative storytelling back to Harrisonburg for a special July 4th performance at Court Square Theater.

Barefoot Puppets presents Trickster Tales, a 45-minute performance starring Anansi the Spider in two traditional folktales of the Beluba and Ashanti peoples. In addition to Anansi, you will meet Elephant, Hippo, Namibi the Python, Osebo the Leopard, a swarm of angry hornets and an even angrier Sky-God! Colorful scenery, original music, lots of puns and an eleven-foot stage create a wonderful backdrop for the antics of these expressive rod and hand puppets. It’s a high-energy show with fun for all ages!

Barefoot Puppets have been performing original works since 1997 when founder and director, Heidi Rugg, began building puppet shows from the basement of her home in Richmond, Virginia. From these humble beginnings, the company has grown significantly and now tours nationally to libraries, schools, and theaters while continuing to create enriching new works for children and their families.

Please visit or call (540) 433-9189 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Monday, July 4th with show times at 11am, 1pm, and 4pm
Tickets are $5.00 in advance, or at the door
Free for ages 3 and under

Court Square Theater is located at 41-F Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg.

Spotlight: Steeles Tavern Manor

steelesTucked into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley lies Steeles Tavern Manor Bed & Breakfast and Alpine Hideaway Cottages. Innkeepers Melissa and Ray Alexander invite you to our property located on 50 picturesque acres in a peaceful country setting with a spring-fed pond, walking grounds, babbling creek and mountain views.

Ideally situated midway between the country’s “Best Small Towns” of Staunton and Lexington, guests can visit many attractions such as Crabtree Falls and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Historic Lexington, Staunton’s theatre, renowned Central Virginia wineries, The Virginia Horse Center, Natural Bridge, antique shops, and hiking trails which all are within twenty to thirty miles of our property.

More online at