Shuck and Jive

Friday, February 15, 2008

225th Anniversary Concert Tomorrow Night!

Greg Miller of the Elizabethton Star wrote an excellent article about our Heritage Concert tomorrow night.

First Presbyterian Church, 119 W. F St., will kick off a year-long celebration of their 225th anniversary with a special musical concert on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. Performers for the concert will include the Overmountain Singers, Elizabethton, and the Skinner Family, Bristol.

The Skinner Family, who perform bluegrass music, is a “very outstanding group,” said Mary Jane Kennedy, a member of the Overmountain Singers. Kennedy recently became a member of First Presbyterian Church.

The Overmountain Singers will be performing their “Tales of Old” program, which includes Celtic music and old folk songs. Included will be songs that the Overmountain Singers perform during the pre-show of “Liberty,” formerly “The Wataugans,” at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. The Overmountain Singers will use a variety of instruments, including Native American drums, rain sticks and flutes.

Three original songs will be included in the Overmountain Singers portion of the concert. One of the group’s members, Wenny Elrod, wrote the “Blessing Song.” Kennedy wrote the other two songs, including “Rainbow on the Morn,” which she wrote two weeks after her late husband’s funeral services.

“Follow the Drinking Gourd,” a song about slaves singing about the Big Dipper and using the Underground Railroad to escape the bonds of slavery, will also be performed. Kennedy says the group enjoys performing the song in this area, because Jonesborough “was the first place to have the Underground Railroad.” Many of the Spirituals, Kennedy says, “were coded messages that were passed from slave to slave that their owners didn’t understand, and all of it was directions
in how to get away and how to escape.”

The Rev. John Shuck is the pastor. For more information, call 543-7737.

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