Besides the April 14 opening at which Georgia First Lady Mrs. Sandra Deal will appear, the events schedule is highlighted by appearances of singer-composers India Gaylean and Jule Medders, the Dalton Dulcimers, the Calhoun Community Chorus, and the Georgia String Band Festival. One, the Dalton Dulcimers, will stage its performance outside Calhoun, on April 25 at the Dalton First Methodist Church to continue the legacy of local composers Charles Earnest Moody of Calhoun and A.J. Showalter of Dalton.
Showalter wrote the tune and refrain of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” a song that gained national recognition as part of the classic World War II movie, “The Human Comedy.” It was performed in moving fashion by soldiers riding a troop train on their way to combat in foreign countries. Even viewing audiences joined the singing during what was, no doubt, the most patriotic period in our country’s history and accentuated in that movie.
Mrs. Galyean and Medders. Calhoun muscians-composers of renown, will perform a salute to the musical heritage of the Chitwood and Medders family at The Harris Arts Center, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. This is a ticketed event ($10 adults, $8 students and seniors) and kicks off the live entertainment schedule of the touring Smithsonian exhibit. The Community Chorus will offer a musical salute to “Show Business” at the arts center, April 27, 28, and is also a ticketed event ($15 general public, $10 Harris Arts Center members).
The always-anticipated String Band Festival, which will feature our local music heritage, is set for Friday, May 12 beginning at noon and will take place at the Northwest Georgia Fairgrounds. Admission is $10. Dates and times of other events may be found accompanying this article. The exhibit, featuring kiosks and historical photos and posters, along with interactive opportunities, is free.
Meanwhile, a special guest at the Dulcimer Program will be Dalton musician Paul Byrum. The event is free and open to the public, but donations to the church’s music ministry will be accepted.
Dalton Dulcimers was founded in 2009 as an outreach of Dalton First United Methodist Church. It is a satellite of the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association. There are currently 21 members and besides the mountain dulcimer, instruments played include the mandolin, violin/fiddle, guitar, autoharp, bowed psaltery, and the penny whistle. Byrum performs Celtic, old-time, and gospel hymns on both the Appalachian (mountain or lap) dulcimer and the hammered dulcimer, as well as other instruments. He is the 2004 Mid-Eastern Regional dulcimer champion and has competed in the mountain dulcimer national championship held in Winfield, Kansas.
As part of the program, hymns written by two local composers, the late Misters Moody and Showalter, will be performed. A native of Calhoun, Charles Ernest Moody was a member of the Georgia Yellow Hammers, and he was the choir director at Calhoun First Methodist Church. A prolific gospel songwriter, he is probably best known for two songs, "Kneel at the Cross" and "Drifting Too Far From the Shore."
Showalter was born in 1858 in Virginia, but moved to Dalton as a young man and was principal of the Southern Normal Musical Institute for many years, beginning when it opened in 1880. He was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Dalton. He produced "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" upon hearing from two friends whose wives had died.
New Harmonies in Georgia is led by Honorary Chair Sandra Deal, First Lady of Georgia, and Chair Rose Lane Leavell. New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music has been made possible in Calhoun by the Georgia Humanities Council in partnership with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, Georgia Council for the Arts, and Georgia Department of Economic Development.
New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the U.S. Congress.
The full schedule of New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music Follows:
• Saturday, April 14. Opening day for the exhibit New Harmonies in Georgia. HAC. Free.
2 p.m. Ribbon-cutting by Georgia’s first lady, Sandra Deal.
3 p.m. Keynote by Dr. Jamil Zainaldin, president, Georgia Humanities Council. Fiddling folklorist Mick Kinney, champion
buck dancer Jay Bland, and local musicians perform old-time music.
• Saturday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. India Gaylean and Jule Medders Present the Musical Heritage of the Chitwood and Medders Family. HAC. $10 adults; $8 students and seniors.
• Wednesday, April 25, 3 p.m. Dalton Dulcimers.
Chapel, 1st United Methodist Church, Dalton, Ga. Free-will offering. Traditional musicians and music.
• Friday & Saturday, April 27–28, 7:30 p.m. Community Chorus, “Show Business.” HAC. $15 general public, $12 HAC members.
• Sunday, April 29, 3 p.m. How Many In Your Quartet?
HAC. $5. Barbershop Quartet singing by the award-winning Gordon Central High School quartet and others.
• May 5, 10:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Shape Note Singing.
Harmony Primitive Baptist Church. Free-will offering. Singing with dinner on the grounds.
• Friday, May 11, 7:30 p.m. Georgia String Band Festival. Performance and Conversation Featuring Local Music Heritage. HAC. Free.
• Saturday, May 12, noon till ?. Georgia String Band Festival.
Northwest Georgia Fairgrounds. $10. String band, fiddle, banjo, and buck dancing contests; jamming at the fairgrounds; concessions.
• Saturday, May 12, all day. 50th Anniversary Celebration, Founding of New Echota State Historic Site. New Echota. $6.50, $4.50.
• Wednesday, May 16, noon. Lunch and Learn.
Bartow History Museum, Cartersville, Ga. $5.50, $4.50, free to members. Laney House with a musical timeline of the career of Clayton McMichen (1900–1970), award-winning fiddler and entertainer.
• Saturday, May 19, 1:00–3:30 p.m. United Shape Note Singers.
Allen Chapel AME Church. Free-will offering. Traditional seven-note singing.
This schedule is subject to addition and modification.