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Appalachian’s Winter Folk Festival Features Music, Films and Lectures

BOONE-Folk music and its heritage are celebrated Feb. 7-10 during the Winter Folk Festival at Appalachian State University. The week includes a residency by photographer, filmmaker and musician John Cohen, a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers.

Activities include films, discussions and a concert. For further information, visit or contact the Center for Appalachian Studies at (828) 262-4089.

Cohen’s documentaries “The End of an Old Song” and “Carnival at Q’eros” will be shown free of charge in Greenbriar Theater in Plemmons Student Union on Monday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. Admission is free. A discussion will follow featuring Cohen and Appalachian faculty members Kevin Balling, Jeff Boyer, Cece Conway, Leon Lewis and Joe Murphy.

Released in 1972, “The End of an Old Song” was filmed in the mountains of North Carolina. “Carnival at Q’eros” was filmed in the Peruvian Andes.

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m., “The High Lonesome Sound” and “Dance with the Incas” will be shown at I.G. Greer Theatre. A discussion follows with Cohen and Appalachian professors and filmmakers Kevin Balling, Cece Conway, Renee Horst, Tom McLaughlin and Joe Murphy. “The High Lonesome Sound” focuses on the songs of church-goers, miners, and farmers of eastern Kentucky. “Dance with the Incas” documents Huayno music of the Andes. Admission is free.

Cohen will conduct the workshop “Documenting and Living Mountain Heritage” Wednesday, Feb. 9, from 2 to 5 p.m. in Greenbriar Theater. The films “Q’eros: The Shape of Survival,” a look at the life of the Q’eros Indians of Peru, and “Musical Holdouts,” which survey American traditional music, will be shown. Discussion will be led by Cohen, Jeff Boyer, Cece Conway and Joe Murphy. Admission is free.

Cohen will speak as part of the Appalachian Humanities Program Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Table Rock Room. Titled “Celebrations and Ritual from the Mountains of Peru and Appalachia to Black Mountain and the Skyscrapers of NYC,” the slide-illustrated lecture features Cohen’s photographs.

Activities on Thursday, Feb. 10, begin at 1 p.m. in Greenbriar Theater with a showing of the documentary “Madison County Revisited: Martha King and Rob Roberts.” Cohen and his documentary students from UNC Chapel Hill will lead a discussion following the film.

The Winter Folk Festival Benefit Concert begins at 7 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is $10 for nonstudents and $5 for students. Advance tickets are available by sending a check payable to ASU, to C. Conway, Department of English, Box 32052, Boone, NC 28608-2052.

The concert includes performances by Cohen, Alice Gerrard, Alex Hooker’s Fever City Boys, The Lost Faculties, Low Gap Visitors, Phil Jamison, Round Peak Visitors, and Dave Haney and Lisa Baldwin.

Proceeds will benefit the Appalachian Heritage Council, the Department of English’s research and welfare committees, the Mountain Banjos, African Roots and Influences Exhibit, and the Black Banjo Gathering to be held April 7-10 on campus.

For additional information, visit or contact the Center for Appalachian Studies at (828) 262-4089. Information is also available by emailing,, or

The event is made possible by support from Appalachian’s Humanities Series, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, Appalachian Heritage Council, APP Films, Blue Ridge Folklore Institute, Hughlene B. Frank Visiting Writers Series, Appalachian Studies and the Center for Appalachian Studies, Hayes School of Music, Reich College of Education, Belk Library, and the departments of anthropology, history, and theatre and dance.