News release from Haywood Community College, shared Oct. 24.

CLYDE — Haywood Community College recently received a $20,000 matching grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership to develop and implement an Appalachian Heritage Arts Music Program at the college.

Music heritage is identified as one of the core interpretive themes for the partnership, focusing on traditional music with significant history in the region.

The Appalachian Heritage Arts Music Program is designed for individuals to be able to explore the rich heritage of Appalachian music from the novice to those with career ambitions. Continuing education classes are being offered in HCC’s Creative Arts Building in a dedicated space equipped with state-of-the-art theater, surround sound and recording capabilities.

According to the its website, the mission of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership is to protect, preserve, interpret, and develop the unique natural, historical, and cultural resources of Western North Carolina for the benefit of present and future generations, and in so doing to sustain our heritage and stimulate improved economic opportunity in our region.

Classes in the HCC Appalachian Heritage Arts Music Program include guitar basics, introduction to the banjo and getting started on the fiddle. Students learn the basic chords, songs and tunes as they discover the techniques of folk, bluegrass, gospel and country traditions. As the program grows, other courses will be offered such as: beginning and advanced old time bluegrass and clawhammer banjo; bluegrass, folk and bass guitar; mandolin; fiddle; dulcimer; dobro; Appalachian clogging and dance; learning to sing shape note and traditional music; jamming and group dynamics; sound and recording technician; and navigating the music industry.

Haywood Community College would like to express appreciation to the Haywood County Arts Council and the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce for writing letters of support to the college for this new initiative.

For more information about HCC’s Appalachian Heritage Arts Music Program, call 828-246-9233 or email

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Angie Newsome was the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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