2019 Stellar Evening planned

Doug Van Gundy and Annie Stroud collaborate to share old time fiddle music from the Greenbrier Valley and will be playing at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s Stellar Evening on Dec. 7.

Great food, historical drama, old time music, and friends – old and new – will combine to make this year’s Stellar Evening, a fundraiser for the Greenbrier Historical Society, a very special place to be on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Billed as the first big party of the holiday season, each of the historically themed tables will accommodate six guests. Catered by Blackwell’s, the dinner will recreate historic dishes and be accompanied by a choice of wines and beers.

During the coming year, 2020, the North House will celebrate its 200th birthday. Getting a head start on those festivities, award winning author and director, Pamela Barry, has created a historical drama featuring John and Charlotte North, well-known early residents of the house.

The State Fair’s WVU Building will sparkle with holiday decorations and ring with the old-time fiddle music of Annie Stroud and Doug VanGundy.  Originally from Greenbrier County, West Virginia, Stroud grew up surrounded by traditional music and dance. She got her first taste of old-time and Irish music traditions from Suite Contra Band, the Lewisburg dance band her parents played in throughout her childhood. Though trained classically starting at age 9, she fell in love with old-time music and dance through regional folk festivals. She played with the Seaside Farmers in Homer, Alaska, and after returning to West Virginia formed The Allegheny Hellbenders which continues to play square dances and shows around West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Hellbenders released their debut album in the summer of 2019. In 2018, Annie had the opportunity to spend a year with Doug Van Gundy as a WV Folklife Apprentice focusing on the fiddle tunes and styles of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley, specifically the playing and repertoire of Mose Coffman, Lee Hammons, Henry Reed, and the Hammons Family.

Van Gundy may be better known for his writing since he directs the MFA writing program at West Virginia Wesleyan College but he also plays the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and harmonica in the old-time string band, Born Old, and has won many awards for his fiddle and banjo playing.

A Silent Auction will afford guests the opportunity to bid on dinners in historic houses, unique textile items, art work, specially guided theme tours of the area, and much, much more.

All proceeds go to support the ongoing educational and preservation activities of the Greenbrier Historical Society. By sponsoring Stellar Evening, businesses and individuals help GHS in its mission to share the diverse history of the Greenbrier Valley through educational programs, field trips, exhibits, and events. Sponsorship also helps preserve the incredible history of the area which GHS holds in its archives and collections. Those interested in a sponsorship should contact Nora Venezky to discuss levels and logo placement at director@greenbrierhistorical.org or by calling 304-645-3398. More details are available and tickets can be purchased on their web site at http://www.greenbrierhistorical.org/stellar-evening.html

Margaret Hambrick, President of the Board of GHS, said, “Please join us for this truly unique holiday experience showcasing the history of the Greenbrier Valley.”

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