There’s nothing quite like the sound of summer music in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Those of us who have some sweet down time during the long days of summer get to fill those relaxing hours with some of the many blissful things to do in Blowing Rock NC. Taking in a concert or two on a serene night mid-summer is one of the many pleasures of the North Carolina season.
The Appalachian Summer Festival, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, is a popular annual celebration that has been happening faithfully in July the past thirty-five years in Boone. To think this festival began as a small chamber music celebration and now many folks attend, heading to the diverse venues within the campus to catch an eclectic spectrum of music and dance. There’s also theatre, film and visual arts happening within this vibrant academic community—no wonder this joyous festival has been selected as part of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast.”
Make sure you pin the 2019 summer schedule in a prominent spot on your bulletin board:
- June 29; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Ben Folds with the Winston-Salem Symphony conducted by Jacomo Bairos. Ben Folds is a talented pianist, lyricist, composer and conductor who will open the festival with genre-bending music.
- June 30; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; The Trio Takes Form in association with Reflections Series International will wow you with music spanning from Haydn to Beethoven to Mendelssohn. Violinist Gil Morgenstern returns for his 35th year as Artistic Director of the ensemble.
- July 2; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; Broyhill Chamber ensemble: Bridging the Classical and Romantic Divide in association with Reflections Series International. For the first time take part in“Tuesday Talks with the Dean;” pre-concert insightful remarks by Hayes School of Music Dean James Douthit who will illuminate the end of one compositional era and the beginning of a new one, featuring works by Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.
- July 6; 10 am;Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; the Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists. This Classical Music event, in association with the Hayes School of Music, is in its 9thyear, and proudly launches many of the state’s most promising young artists.
- July 13; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Patti LaBelle, the queen of rock and soul, is also amulti Grammy Award-winning superstar singer and actress. There is nothing like seeing this performer live, belting out Lady Marmalade, When You Talk About Love, New Attitude, orOn My Own.
- July 14; 7 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Maestro Gerard Schwarz with the Eastern Festival Orchestra presents an evening of symphonic music, featuring soloists Awadagin Pratt, piano, and Morgan Short, harp, playing Beethoven, Ravel and Debussy.
- July 18; 7 pm; Mark E. Ricks Athletics Complex; the Eastern Festival Orchestra presents Awadagin Pratt, Tapas and Tesla, an evening of chamber music by the renowned quartet in an intimate café with note worthy and savory food. Sip, dine and socialize while overlooking the panoramic views of the football stadium.
- July 19; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Chris Botti, multi Grammy Award-winning master trumpeter and composer will deliver an evening of stunning jazz, pop and rock. Botti is the largest selling instrumental artist in the U.S.
- July 28; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble: The Four Bs in associationwith Reflections Series International; works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and contemporary composer Vytautas Barkauskas’ homage to Bach.
- July 30; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble: Potpourri in association with Reflections Series International; “Tuesday Talks with the Dean” will begin with James Douthit’s enlightening remarks, followed by Robert Schumann’s piano quintet, Ernő von Dohnányi’s Serenade, and a seldom-heard work by Sergei Rachmaninov.
- August 1; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Punch Brothers’bluegrass quintet–mandolinist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher. The Punch Brothers’ critically-acclaimed T Bone Burnett–produced 2015 release, The Phosphorescent Blues,will put you in the mood for this magical night.
- August 3; 7:30 pm; Holmes Convocation Center; The Temptations’ Concert and Dance Party; you won’t be able to sit still while listening to original member Otis Williams and singers Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Larry Braggs and Willie Greene Jr. crank out their popular hits–My Girl, Ain’t Too Proud, Papa Was a Rolling Stone and I Can’t Get Next to You.
No wonder why folks looking for things to do in Blowing Rock NC make sure this festival is on the top of their list. The Appalachian Summer Music Festival is one of the country’s top regional arts festivals, celebrating the most prestigious music, dance theatre, visual arts and film. The mission of the festival is to promote young American artists and to support the university in enhancing the cultural life of the Appalachian community through affordable access to its programs, as well as strengthening the local economy. “Artistic Excellence, Innovation and Engagement” is the festival’s vision. This is accomplished throughout the summer’s lectures, exhibitions, tours and workshops, as well as all the student internships and jobs to encourage learning and involvement with the arts. Come visit the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Broyhill Music Center, Valborg Theatre, Holmes Convocation Center, and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and discover the community’s commitment to the arts.
Life at The Coves Mountain River Club allows folks to frequent these summer concerts with ease and then return to their idyllic homes for a good night’s sleep. When you call The Coves home, it’s possible to spend a day wandering the majestic peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking, kayaking, rafting or biking, before heading out for a night on the town. There are many things to do in Blowing Rock NC that will bring you and your family and friends together. Summer in the mountain towns of the High Country means continuous concerts and festivals. Make this the summer you discover the charming life in the North Carolina mountains!
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.