Benefit Concert for Pick and Bow Scheduled in Dahlonega
Valerie Smith and her Liberty Pike band will appear live in concert Saturday, March 3, as a fundraiser for Georgia Pick and Bow.
The concert, which is being held on the University of North Georgia campus, will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will take place in Gloria Shott Auditorium located in the Nix Fine Arts Center. The event is being made possible in part through a grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts. Concert tickets, which are priced at $15 each, can be purchased through Eventbrite.com, and more information about the concert and the Pick & Bow program can be found at GeorgiaPickAndBow.org.
Pick & Bow is an after school program based in Dahlonega for young people grades 4 through 12. Students are taught by top music instructors who are skilled in playing traditional string instruments. The program's goal is to help preserve the traditional "roots" music of North Georgia with classes at schools across Lumpkin County, as well as a summer camp.
Valerie Smith has been known as an artist whose styles range from bluegrass, blues, and gospel music. She received her Bachelors of Music at the University of Kansas City in 1989, then taught in Missouri and Tennessee. She is heavily involved in music instruction and she and her band members will present workshops for Pick and Bow students during her weekend in Dahlonega.
While residing in Nashville, Tenn., Valerie became interested in songwriting and recording arts. Charlie Louvin from the Louvin Brothers became her mentor and arranged for her to perform on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Smith's duet with Louvin was included on her debut CD, "Patchwork Heart".
During the release of that album, Red Clay Halo, a song written by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings and performed by Valerie, would reach the Bluegrass Unlimited Radio Survey, Country Music and Americana reporting charts and remained on the list for five years. It was voted by the bluegrass community to be one of the top 60 songs of the decade.
Smith has received two awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, for Recorded Event of the year (2001) for Follow Me Back to the Fold, and in 2006 for the compilation of Follow Me Back to the Well. She has been included in all three recordings from the Daughters of Bluegrass musical group.
The International Bluegrass Music Museum, Owensboro, Ky., commissioned Valerie to create a special program to teach large groups of students about the bluegrass genre and its history. "Bluegrass in the Schools" and "American Roots Music" continue to be presented throughout the United States, Europe, UK, and Canada, where Valerie performs frequently.