HARRISONBURG — The Shenandoah Music Trail recently won a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts totaling $9,200.
The money will help the McGaheysville-based organization take its musical history programs on the road and visit senior centers and veterans hospitals.
The Shenandoah Music Trail is a nonprofit volunteer organization with a mission to preserve, promote and celebrate the music traditions of the Shenandoah Valley.
The group also works with and receives grant money from the Virginia Tourism Corp. to promote Valley musicians, historical events, festivals and live music venues.
“We’ll visit across the spectrum,” said Donald Depoy, the organization’s executive director. “Everything from adult day care facilities [to] long-term rehab centers to veterans hospitals. We’ll play them all.”
DePoy said those facilities tend to have little or no money to fund quality musical programs, and the organization hopes to fill that void with hourlong programs.
He and his wife, Martha Hills, educational outreach coordinator for the trail, have developed 14 programs featuring the Shenandoah Valley’s music traditions.
“These programs include 400 years of old folk songs, mountain ballads, bluegrass, old-time country music and rural swing,” Hills said in a press release. “During our programs, we make sure at some level to personally connect with every member of the audience.”
DePoy said the only stipulation to the grant was that funds be used for shows outside of the area.
“We can’t play local shows with the grant,” he said. “Basically, it has to be outside Harrisonburg. We’re looking at shows in places like Fredericksburg and beyond.”
In addition to their work as part of the Shenandoah Music Trail, DePoy and Hills also perform together as part of the band Me and Martha.
For more information, visit www.shenandoahmusictrail.com .
Contact Megan Applegate at 574-6286 or firstname.lastname@example.org