Greetings from Carol Ison



Dear Cowan Creek Mountain Music School Friends,

“Ain’t it Funny How Time Slips Away”?  Those words from Willie Nelson’s classic hit of 1997 ring in my ears today as I begin this letter.  One year seems to bleed right into another, and here we are in the midst of planning our 17th Annual Cowan Creek Mountain Music School.  It seems we didn’t even get to fully celebrate our 15th year!  Anyhow, the facts are, the 17th Annual CCMMS is on schedule for June 25th– June 29th, 2018.  We are happily anticipating another great week.  How about you?  Are you wintering well and looking forward to another week here on Cowan?

It’s been a hard, but a good year for the Cowan Center.  Financially, we have struggled at times, but in the midst of it all, we have had some great programs and events.  One of our bright spots is that the Center applied for a Levitt Amp Music Series Grant with the city of Whitesburg as our primary partner.  There were 15 cities across the nation that were awarded the grant, and we were one of them.  I hope by now most of you have seen the news.

What this means is that the grant provides for ten concerts to be held in Whitesburg on the Mountain Heritage Village Festival Theater grounds and is free to everyone.  There will be one each Thursday night beginning in May, and each one will feature a well-known and reputable group from a variety of genres.  These groups will be paid with funds from the grant.  The city and county are very enthusiastic about this, and of course Cowan Community Center is elated because we submitted the winning proposal.  I share this with all of you because it may be that during the week you are here for the school, perhaps you may somehow be involved with it.

Not only during the week you are here, but you may be part of a group that can be considered for one of the ten concerts.  Just a bit of information for you to be considering.

As always, we are looking at any and all ways to make our school retain its quality and even surpass what we have offered previously.  Not sure yet what that means in terms of offerings, but we know that is one of our commitments to ourselves, to not rest on our laurels and think we can’t improve.  So, if you have suggestions you would like to make up front, please feel free to make those known.  Send your ideas to me, Kevin Howard, Stacy Dollarhide, or Beverly May, who continues to have a strong presence in the planning of the event.

One personal interest I have concerning this year’s school is a five year old great granddaughter who received a new fiddle for Christmas.  She asked Granny Carol last year at the end of the school to get her one for Christmas.  Of course I did, but my granddaughter is disappointed because she cannot yet play even one little song.  I know there is one song she definitely has to learn because my granddaughter’s name is Eliza Jane.  What can you expectfrom a child with that name and an interest in a fiddle?  Maybe some of you very gifted and talented instructors can squeeze in a few minutes to fan Eliza’s interest and launch her into a musical heritage.

That’s about it from me now, but rest assured all of us here at Cowan including Kevin Howard, Artistic Director, Stacy Dollarhide, Program Coordinator, Nell Fields, Chairman of our Board, Beverly May, one of the Founders of the School, Valerie Horn, Coordinator of Grow Appalachia, myself, Carol Ison, Director of the Cowan Community Center, and all of the folks who help make the school work are looking forward to another good year.  We hope you are as well, and we will look forward to greeting you and extending our Cowan hospitality to you as we have now for 16 years.

My Very Best to You,

Carol Ison, Director
Cowan Community Center

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