For residents and travelers in the western parts of Virginia and North Carolina, and east Tennessee, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a landmark of many years’ duration. The road runs more than 450 miles through the Appalachian Mountains, through both the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky ranges.
Close to the VA/NC border, the National Park Service constructed a live music venue along the Parkway called the Blue Ridge Music Center, which hosts concerts throughout the season (May-October) featuring both bluegrass and old time music indigenous to the region, and major touring artists.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has recently announced a new Director of Music Programming for the Center. Richard Emmett, previously the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Facility Operations for the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, NC, will assume this newly created position with a mission of expanding the reach of The Music Center’s offerings.
Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, has high hopes.
“This incredible facility has had a long history of great performances, and we are confident that Richard’s deep experience will allow us to continue to grow the Music Center’s presence with the regional community and Parkway visitors alike.”
The Music Center is considered part of both states’ music tourism efforts, coordinating with Virginia’s Crooked Road and North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Music Trails efforts. It also houses the The Roots of American Music Museum which displays artifacts and stories of regional music, and offers lectures, demonstrations and workshops.
You can find more details online.