Nowhere is the musical heritage of the region felt more strongly than here on the banks of Chestnut Creek and in the shadow of Fishers Peak. The region is nationally recognized as a center of traditional Blue Ridge Music. The music here arises from diverse ethnic groups, European and African, and has evolved over generations into distinct styles with distinct identities. It reflects community, personal values, and cultural connections to the wider world. The Blue Ridge Music Center is managed cooperatively by the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation on land that the city of Galax, Virginia donated.
Daily picking in the plaza of the visitor center, regular series of summer concerts, and special programs and concerts that showcase the musical heritage of the region are some of what visitors can enjoy here. Interactive exhibits allow children to mix and match song lyrics, mix their own version of mountain music, and hear personal stories of how music has influenced generations of Blue Ridge families. Visitors will see examples of the many stages of the evolution of the five string banjo since its arrival in America with enslaved Africans. The blending of banjo and fiddle in the culture of Tidewater plantations was the beginning of virtually all forms of American music and was the ensemble that came to frontier Appalachia.
The outdoor stage and amphitheater features regularly scheduled seasonal performances (May-October). Visit http://www.blueridgemusiccenter.org online for concert schedule.
Visitor Center phone: 276-236-5309
Visitor Center Hours 2014:
- Open Thurs. - Mon., May 10 - May 19, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Open daily from May 22 - November 2, 10 a.m - 5 p.m.
- Midday Mountain Music, noon - 4 p.m. May 10-19 Thurs. - Mon., noon - 4 p.m. daily May 22 - November 2
- Concert season May 24 - October 11
- Visitor Center
- visitor center is wheelchair accessible
- restrooms are wheelchair accessible
- exhibits are wheelchair accessible
- information is wheelchair accessible
- programs are wheelchair accessible