Archiving Appalachia is a new non-profit organization in West Virginia dedicated to preserving regional traditions of old time and bluegrass music by offering educational opportunities to learn the music, especially for children.
But their work will be directed to all ages, and anyone who loves Appalachian music and wants to play it.
The organization is the handiwork of Megan Darby McKnight, and her husband Luke, who have been setting their plan into action over the past year. Megan has been involved in bluegrass education for many years at the college level, and wants to reach out into the community to share what she has learned about bluegrass.
She tells us that as President of Archiving Appalachia, their goal is to help young people find life opportunities through music.
“I have had a fair share of experience working with young children through various seminars and music youth camps. We want to embrace, celebrate, and promote traditional music and Appalachian traditions and heritage.”
Luke McKnight not only has many years experience playing bluegrass and country music, he has a pedigree as well. He is the grandson of mandolin legend Jesse McReynolds, and played with his band when he was younger. Since moving to Glenville when he and Megan were married, he has joined the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department, who have agreed to host a weekly jam sponsored by Archiving Appalachia.
They invite everyone in the region to join them on Thursday evenings from 6:00-8:00 p.m. for a traditional music jam at the Glenville station of the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department. People are welcome to come to pick and sing, or just to visit and listen. There is no entrance fee to the jam, and everyone who is interested will be gladly received.
Luke says that he and Megan hope to not only teach folks about their shared heritage, but also look for ways to assist those in need.
“When I first returned back to Glenville, West Virginia, I was honored to join the Gilmer Volunteer crew. The community is very welcoming and we have a true need not only to keep the music alive, but to also work together for those in need. I was once a career fire fighter, so we figured when the chief offered the facility, what better place?”
The station is located at:
Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department
606 West Main Street
Glenville, WV 26351
The McKnights also wanted to express their gratitude to the people who have assisted them in getting Archiving Appalachia off the ground.
“A special thank you goes out to all of those who have supported us by donating teaching tools, instruments, and especially funding. An additional THANK YOU goes to the family of Richard Dress, Eddie & Martha Adcock, Sam Jackson, the family of Col. Jim Peva, and the Neuroradiology Section at Wake Forest School of Medicine in memory of Michael Patrick Sweeney.”
Anyone seeking additional details about Archiving Appalachia is invited to contact them by email, or through either Megan or Luke’s Facebook pages.