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Allegheny Mountain String Project—empowering the next generation

Allegheny Mountain  String Project Director, Jaime McCardle
Thomas Wilmer

The Allegheny Mountain String Project offers life-enhancing and transformative opportunities for students living in rural Virginia counties of Allegheny, Bath, and Highland Counties.">

Come along and discover how Jaime McCardle, co-founder of the Allegheny String Project and some of her students share their passion for music, as they perform at the Garth Newel Music Center.

Afterwards will visit with one of the student’s mother, Laura Whitmer who shares her pride and support for 8 year-old daughter Savannah’s passion for playing the violin.

Whitmer also provides some context about their distinctive life in the region—the family lives at the Boys Home of Virginia, where Laura’s husband serves as the program director.

I’m your host, Tom Wilmer. Regretfully, Co-founder Gretta Sandberg was out of town—hopefully next time!

The Allegheny Mountain String Project offers a comprehensive string music education program, including private lessons, chamber music ensembles, and a youth orchestra to all children of school age within driving distance of activities in Alleghany, Bath, and Highland counties.

The core values of AMSP align with the NAfME standards of excellence. AMSP students learn a wide variety of musical styles, based on the guidelines of the American Music System that includes American & Appalachian folk songs and fiddle tunes for early instruction.

Students learn to improvise and learn by ear as well as read music. They play Bach and Bluegrass both. 

Many students work through the Mark O’Connor Method books that provide historical information for each piece that gives the music context.

Scholarships are available via the Alleghany Foundation, Bath County Arts Association, the Community Foundation of Central Blue Ridge, the Highland County Arts Council, the Bolar Ruritan Club and private donations.

Activities take place at Garth Newel Music Center in Hot Springs, the Highland Center in Monterey, and the Clifton Forge School of the Arts in Clifton Forge.

Credit Allegheny Mountain String Project

If you would like to make a donation, please contact
Garth Newel Music Center at 540.839.5018.

Donations can also be mailed to:
PO Box 240, Hot Springs, VA 24484

For more information or to join the Allegheny String Project program, please contact:

Jaime McArdle, instructor, Bath & Alleghany Counties

Gretta Sandberg, instructor, Highland County

This project is funded in part by the Alleghany Foundation, the Bath County Arts Association and the Highland County Arts Council.

Credit Allegheny Foundation

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Winner of the 2016, 2015, 2013 Lowell Thomas Award
Credit SATW Foundation
Winner of the 2016, 2015, 2013 Lowell Thomas Award

Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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