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Back from Black Mountain Music Festival and I have to say it’s the best festival I have been to. Great instructors, beautiful country and fall foliage, good food, excellent performances from the instructors, and most of all wonderful to be with other musicians. It was a magical time indeed.

Had to watch for Black Bears. Fortunately, I didn’t run into any, but others reported seeing some right there on campus. On the last day while packing the car a flock of wild turkeys landed in the yard. What a site and a thrill! I ended up walking through 10 of them to go to the lodge, they behaved themselves, but were watching me closely.

One magical moment I do want to share was a group of young people that performed for us. This was unexpected and such a delight to have been able to experience the performance. They were part of an organization, Ethno, that started in 1990. Young musicians from around the world are selected to gather and teach each other music from their respective countries. They only have a few days to learn the music and then perform them. They were learning each other’s music without sheet music. Oh my, yes, we could do that too!

From what I gathered the organizer of the festival found out they were staying at the YMCA away from our location. Don Pedi was asked to join them and teach them a song or two. I was talking to Don earlier that day and he mentioned that he was asked to play with a special group, but wow, I did not even have a concept of the treat we were in for. That night we were told a group was there to perform. I guess around 30 or so young adults from all over the world took stage to play for us. Some were singers then they had guitars, a horn section, drums, fiddle, and many other instruments. They played several songs from around the world including a piece from America, one from Estonia, and one from Africa. Then Don Pedi took the stage with them and played some old timey tunes he taught them. That’s how Don has learned most of his music from other musicians over the years without sheet music.

This was such an outpouring of musical friendship and collaboration amongst nations. I have goose bumps just writing this down. Don was so kind, humble, and you could tell it was an honor for him to play with the young group. Not only did it bring nations together, but generations with Don and the audience too. We most definitely gave them a standing ovation, well deserved.

Fall is here, and we are cooling down. Getting ready for Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends and our Christmas gigs and party. This year is our recovery from 2+ hard years for the world and our club. As the young folks showed us at Black Mountain, we can come together with Music.

We are all so blessed indeed.

Keep the Music in the Air! NancyJ


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