Have you ever noticed how fast annual events keep happening so quickly anymore? Seems like you think about them throughout the year, and suddenly they are here, they happen, and then they are gone! That’s what it is like for us here at the Cowan Community Center and our work with planning the CCMMS, hosting it, and then sitting back and thinking “Wow, this was the best one ever!” We are so pleased with this year’s event, and we want to say a great big Cowan “Thank You” to every one who helped to make it what it was.
Stacy Dollarhide did a great job in leading and coordinating all of the many details that made the week work for everyone. Her many years of experience in working with the school showed this year as expressed by so many who were impressed with the smooth flow of the entire week. Thank you, Stacy, for stepping up and assuming the many responsibilities. Stacy was assisted greatly by Beverly May, a founder of the school, and who has stayed so closely attached to it by her leadership and sharing her great wealth of knowledge about the traditional music and arts of this region. Special thanks also to John Haywood, who so willingly accepted the responsibility of serving as the faculty coordinator and doing a great job in the process.
The center was also richly endowed with a very supportive staff consisting of Summer College Interns, Youth participating in the WIA (Work Incentive Act) Program sponsored by LKLP the local Community Action Agency, and of course the usual Cowan Center Staff. The work of Rich Kirby of Appalshop is so valuable in coordinating sound for the artists and students performances and showing up where ever he is needed at the right time. Nell Fields, who for many years has served as one of the school directors, was not with us this year, but was well represented by her son, Isaac Fields. Isaac is on staff at the center this summer as a supervisor of the WIA Students, and he and the students did a super job in helping with the music school. Isaac apparently is carrying on his mother’s love and appreciation for the school and what it represents.
How could you conduct a music school without a faculty? Thanks to everyone of you instructors and teaching assistants who gave your very best to the students, and who support our work here at the center in so many ways. You have truly helped shape our program and without your skills and knowledge we would not have the program which has gained so much respect and recognition. You are to be commended for your excellent storehouse of knowledge of the traditional mountain music and the skill with which you impart the knowledge to the students. We appreciate every one of you.
Last but not least, thank you to the students who came to our school. You are the ones upon whom we are depending to learn the music, enjoy it throughout your life time, and in the process pass it on to future generations. The music, the square dance and dance calling, dulcimer making, and all of our arts will become lost without you to carry it forward. If the enthusiasm and the ability you demonstrated during the Student Recital are indicators of success, then we don’t have to worry about the loss. Students, whether you came from California, Florida, or right here in Letcher County Kentucky, we appreciate your attendance and sincerely hope you will come back next year. As a matter of fact, why don’t you go ahead and schedule it in your next year’s planner–Cowan Creek Mountain Music School, June 21-June 25, 2010?