Letter from the Center Director, Mrs. Carol Ison

March 1, 2016

To:  Cowan Creek Mountain Music School Participants

Re:  Summer of 2016

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since the idea of starting a music school at the Cowan Community Center actually took place.  Thanks to Beverly May for bringing the idea all the way back from Ireland and wanting to find a place to duplicate the idea in Kentucky. Luckily, she was willing to bring the idea back to Cowan, and with her experiences, our collaboration with Appalshop and the help of some really fine folk… well, as the saying goes, “the rest is history.”  And what a history it has been!

This year, as we celebrate fifteen years of the school, we are determined that it will be the biggest and best ever.  Don’t we say that every year?   Of course, that can’t happen unless you, the students, the faculty, the parents and grandparents, and everyone who has cheered us on through the years are back with us.

I am just writing to extend my invitation to all of you to be sure and plan to be with us this summer.  We are excited that we have two new staff positions this year in the form of a new Artistic Director, Kevin Howard, and a new Program Director, John Goad.  In terms of replacements, Kevin is replacing Anna Roberts-Gevalt, and John is replacing Stacy Dollarhide.

Yes, that is quite a change, and we want to say that we extend heart-felt thanks to both Anna and Stacy for the endless hours they gave to making CCMMS the success that it is today.  In particular, I want to say thanks to Stacy, who has been the “rock” of the school since its beginning fifteen years ago.  For many years she has carried the bulk of the responsibilities on her own, and for that we are grateful.  She has just determined that at this stage of her life, she needs to relinquish this position to someone else.  You will find that when you communicate with the center for registration or other matters, her replacement, John Goad, will be very effective.

We also know that Anna brought the school forward during her term as the Faculty Director, now called the Artistic Director.  We are very grateful for what she brought to the school, but she will be with us yet again as this year’s Beginning Fiddle Instructor, so you will still be able to interact with her.  Kevin Howard, her replacement, is a local artist and fine young man who is already taking responsibility for shaping this year’s school into a wonderful experience for all of you.

Nell Fields and I are still on the scene, and we’re both looking forward to seeing and greeting all of you this summer.  We have a long way to go in terms of getting everything ready, but we are well into the process.  I hope you are making your plans to be a part of the 15th year of the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School.  Please feel free to get in contact with me, John Goad, or Kevin Howard if you have any questions or comments.

My best to all of you,

Carol Ison, Director
Cowan Community Center
Telephone:  606-633-9831 or 606-634-3683
E-mail:  cison@tvscable.com

Announcing our new Artistic Director!

The folks on Cowan Creek are very excited to introduce Cowan Creek Mountain Music School’s new Artistic Director, Kevin Howard! Kevin is a prominent local musician and recording artist with June Appal Records in Whitesburg, KY. We look forward to the talent, know-how and vision Kevin is bringing and will continue to bring to the school and its students. Here’s a few words from the Director himself:

“It’s my honor and privilege to be this years artistic director of the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School. We plan to make this year as great as years past and continue on our tradition of passing on the mountain music of Eastern Kentucky to a new group of people.” -Kevin Howard, CCMMS Artistic Director

Please join us in welcoming Kevin Howard to the CCMMS family!

Position Available at Cowan Creek Mountain Music School (FILLED)

The Cowan Community Action Group, Inc. (CCAG, Inc.) is looking for someone to fill the position of Program Coordinator for the Mountain Music School, an annual, week-long workshop in June that focuses on eastern Kentucky traditional musical heritage.

The Program Coordinator is responsible for working with the Artistic Coordinator on all logistic details concerning the Mountain Music School, with support from Cowan Community Action Group, Inc. and volunteers. The position is contracted for $2,000 or as negotiated with CCAG, Inc. To apply, contact Randy Wilson at rwilson@hindmansettlement.org or (606) 594-9360. Applications are due by December 5, 2015.

Update: This position has been filled.