This year, for the first time, the Freshwater Folk Festival will proudly present the Young Artist Showcase. Featuring young local musicians, the showcase is designed to give them an opportunity to share their talent on the festival stage.
The festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery at 400 E Main Street, White Sulphur Springs. It’ll be a fantastic fun-filled day for the whole family.
Opening the festival at 10 a.m. will be violinist Lydia Jackson. Lydia, the daughter of Travis and Jeni Jackson of Pickaway, is 14 years old. Since the age of four, Lydia has studied violin at HeartStrings Academy in Lewisburg, under the instruction of Russell Fallstad. In addition to playing in the HeartStrings Fiddle Show, she has performed at the WV Senate and the WV State Solo and Ensemble Festival in Charleston and plays flute in the Spartan Marching Band at Greenbrier East High School. Lydia will open the fest with her own rendition of “Country Roads, Take Me Home” followed by a classical piece and then the ever-favorite, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow!”
Aubrey Adkins, Ella Butler, and Kylee Fury, aka the Honey Drops, will be up next. The Honey Drops will grace the stage with their beautiful harmonies. Aubrey, the daughter of Paul and Erica Dowdy of Lewisburg, is a freshman at Greenbrier East High School. She sings in the praise band at her church and is involved with Greenbrier County YoungLife. She has taken part in multiple productions at Greenbrier Valley Theatre, and last year participated in the WV All-State Choir and the Greenbrier County Community Cantata.
Ella Butler, also an upcoming freshman at Greenbrier East High School, has been involved with the Greenbrier Valley Theatre since the age of six and to this day still enjoys performing on stage. She is a Cadet Staff Sergeant in the Greenbrier Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, and a member of the GVAC Sea Dragons Swim Team.
Rounding out this adorable trio is Kylee Fury. Along with singing, Kylee loves to read and roller skate! All three girls are voice students at Warner Music School under Susanna Robinson.
Next will be Christian Montgomery, the son of Herb and Crystal Montgomery. Christian grew up performing on the Greenbrier Valley Theatre stage and has been playing violin with HeartStrings Academy since the age of five. Now, at the age of 15, he also plays tenor and alto saxophone, electric guitar, and bass. He is a member of the WV Jazz Orchestra, plays in the Greenbrier East High School band, and loves to write and mix his own compositions. This young multi-instrumentalist will perform with a Looping Station, and one of his performance pieces will be an original composition of his!
Closing out the Young Artist Showcase will be singer-songwriters Molly Sutter and Jenna Molaro. Molly and Jenna first met and began playing music together at Bethlehem Farm in Alderson, WV – where they practice sustainable living and help community members in need.
Raised in Pennsylvania, Molly writes songs that highlight everyday life’s wonders. For three years now, Bethlehem Farm, which sits atop a hill, has been her home. While she only picked up the guitar about a year and a half ago so she could play songs around a campfire, music has always been an essential point of connection in her family.
Jenna grew up in the Chicagoland where she researched plastic pollution in freshwater ecosystems. Studying environmental science and sustainability brought her to the hilltop farm in West Virginia, where she has lived for the past year. Luckily for us, life in Appalachia inspired her to pick up a guitar and write songs with Molly.
The Young Artist Showcase will be followed by the MacArthur Inn Gang at 11:15 a.m., Billy Jonas at 12:30, Beaucoup Blue at 2:15 p.m., and The Elk River Ramblers at 3:30 p.m.
As always, there will be a big tent full of demonstrations, educational exhibits and hands-on activities related to nature and science, as well as tours of the fish hatchery, craft and food vendors, pony rides, bounce houses, and science and art activities for children. Admission is FREE!
For more info about the festival call 304-646-0602 or visit Freshwater Folk Festival on Facebook. And follow the fest on Instagram at freshwater.folk.festival.