HARPERS FERRY — Katie Tertel founded the 2021 Appalachian Chamber Music Festival because she has a love for music and a love for this area.
“This whole thing is my imagination” Tertel said in an interview earlier this week. “For such a festival, I had to answer two big things. One was asking who it was for and the other where he was.”
Inspired by the beauty of Harpers Ferry and the surrounding area, Tertell has once again secured multiple venues to offer a well-rounded schedule of performances for the second year of the annual festival.
A cellist, Tertel grew up in Northern Virginia and currently lives abroad most of the year, serving as a student cello instructor. Her love of both folk and traditional music helped form the foundation of the festival. Drawing inspiration from her friends who are also musicians, she developed the plan for the festival, which launched last year.
Organizing the event despite the COVID-19 pandemic offered a bit of a challenge, Tertel said. However, her efforts were successful in starting a program that reaches out to all live music lovers, regardless of their age, taste or background.
“The musicians I invited are passionate about their music,” Tertel said, adding that the festival aims not only to bring the highest quality music to the genre, but also to highlight local talent.
Harpers Ferry serves as the headquarters for the festival, heavily tied to other nearby communities, with a number of events in Shepherdstown, Charles Town, Purcellville, VA, Hillsborough, VA, and Middlesburg, VA.
“Our slogan is ‘History, Nature, Culture,'” Tertel said. “We celebrate and elevate all the cultural things that are already here.”
The festival’s mission is to combine world-class chamber music performance, collaboration and outreach with the rich and inspiring history, nature and culture of the Shenandoah Valley region. Participating musicians strive to enrich the region by sharing their love of music with their audiences.
To help bring the festival to life in 2022, Tertel said her organization received a grant from the Detlev Foundation and the Mary Ellen Preissler Community Foundation for the Arts, Music, Design and Nature.
“The grant will be used to offset the cost of venues and providing artists,” Tertel said, mentioning that the goal is to make ticketed shows affordable for attendees.
In fact, some of the performances will be offered free of charge, allowing more concertgoers to tap into ACMF’s musical offerings. In fact, the first event on the festival list will be free for the public – the Festival Taster at the Catholic Church of St. James at Charles Town on August 17 at 8:15 p.m.
The 2022 festival will take place August 15-22 with eight concerts in Jefferson County and six concerts in Virginia. In addition to the concerts, two educational camps are offered as part of the festival program. A string chamber music camp will be held August 15-19 at the Old Stone School in Hillsboro, Virginia, for those ages 12-18. A chamber music intensive for adults will be held at Shepherd University’s Frank Center from August 20-24.
This second season of the Appalachian Chamber Music Festival will focus on the influence of folk music in classical music, the roots of Appalachian music, and the influence of Celtic and Scots-Irish traditions.
“Some of the concerts are more traditional and some are more family-friendly,” – said Tertel. “There’s nothing like live music.”
The full festival schedule, as well as ticket information, can be found at www.appalachianchamber.org.