Chapel Happenings

Interactive-Storytelling & Workshops

Saturday, Sept 17. FSU Upper Quad


10 AM

Arion BandFrostburg Arion Band

Originally organized in 1877 to accompany a singing society, the Frostburg Arion Band has participated in many interesting activities over the years. Today, Arion Band members represent an intergenerational mix of male and female musicians, each member attracted to the band by his or her shared love of the music and the desire to perpetuate the longstanding tradition of the community band.

10:50 AM

Songs of Strife and Hope

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker Sparky and Rhonda Rucker

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. Sparky has been performing for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller and author. He accompanies himself with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo and spoons. Rhonda is a musician, children’s author, storyteller and songwriter. Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo and bones add musical versatility to their performances.


Michael and Carrie KlineMichael and Carrie Kline

Michael and Carrie Kline present their music as entertainment and social history, with engaging ease and hard-hitting passion. Michael and Carrie have spent years recording music and spoken narrative in Cherokee, N.C., the Appalachian coalfields and mountainside farms, along with industrial cities from Cincinnati to those of New England. The Klines’ high-mountain harmony vocals meld with their intertwining bass lines on two guitars, with Michael’s melodic flat-picking guitar playing and Carrie’s dynamic backup.


12 PM to 2:30 PM

Appalachian Storytelling

Judi Ttarowsky
Judi Tarowsky

Judi Tarowsky was a newspaper reporter and editor for more than 25 years and told other people’s stories. Now, as a storyteller, she gets to tell her own. Judi is a native of Latrobe, PA, and grew up in New Castle, PA. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism at West Virginia University. She worked for newspapers in the Upper Ohio Valley, and also spent time writing for an advertising agency. She now lives in Weirton, WV. She discovered storytelling in 2006, and after winning first place in the inaugural Strand Theater Preservation Society Storytelling Festival Liar’s Contest in Moundsville, WV, began her study of the craft in earnest. She went on to earn a Graduate Certificate in Storytelling from the University of North Texas Library Sciences program. Since then, Judi has performed at festivals, libraries, museums, and special events in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wales. She also has produced and co-produced storytelling festivals at Prickett’s Fort in Fairmont, WV, and at Grand Vue Park in Moundsville, WV.

Rich KnoblichRich Knoblich

Rich Knoblich Rich Knoblich is the author of Talking ’Bout the Relatives. His original tall-tale book was inspired by visits to his family’s old homestead on the mountain. However, things often go haywire as he relates the shenanigans of rustic characters in modern times. Many stories incorporate family members along with friends he has made over the years. Stories take place at actual rural surroundings in West Virginia and are often based on reality, but they’re loaded with plenty of embellishment.


Katie and Otto Ross

Otto and Katie Ross

In 1993, Katie Ross and her husband Otto formed a storytelling duo called Stories by the Score. Katie tells the stories and Otto plays music. The pair won first place at the Autumn Glory Tall Tales Contest in Oakland, MD in 1997 and 1999. Later, Katie went on to be the first runner-up in the 2004 National Storyteller of the Year ontest
sponsored by the Creative Arts Institute in Blacklick, Ohio. Katie and Otto have performed for the last several years in FSU’s Appalachian Festival with Katie coordinating the storytelling events. The two have a love of Appalachian culture with its stories and its music.

Bill HairstonBill Hairston

W.I. Bill Hairston is a storyteller, old-time musician, and pastor (Westminster Presbyterian Church) living in Charleston, West Virginia. He was born in Phenix City, Alabama, and his family moved to Saint Albans, West Virginia in 1960 when he was 11. Through his storytelling, Hairston combines the Appalachian culture that he was exposed to on the Coal River, to the African-American culture that he is a part of. For 35 years, he served as music coordinator at the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee, and is currently the coordinator of the Vandalia Gatherings West Virginia Liars Contest. Hairston is an active member of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild, the Kentucky Storytelling Association, and the Ohio Storytelling Network, the National Association of Black Storytellers, and serves as the West Virginia liaison to the National Storytelling Network. He has performed in concerts, festivals, libraries, corporate meetings, conventions and schools throughout the region and the country.

Mikalena ZuckettMikalena Zuckett

Mikalena Zuckett’s love of folk tales and stories drew her first to writing. She grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia, in a family that loved to gather and tell stories long into the night. During the 1990s she discovered the West Virginia Storytelling Guild. Soon she found these past skills and experiences coming together in new ways. She then began an odyssey to find her own stories and came up with her own tellings of folk tales, Jack tales, ghost tales, historic tales, and personal tales.


3 PM

Workshop: Folk and Traditional Irish Singing

Karan CaseyKaran Casey

Karan Casey invites community members of all ages and levels of singing to join her during the Appalachian Festival. In the hour-long workshop, songs will be “teased out,” as participants listen, learn and explore together. Orality, ornamentation and voice placement, along with collecting and sourcing songs, will be discussed.

I love songs and would love for people to experience the joy of singing,” says Casey. “Singing keeps me steady and safe. Aengus, the god of love, was reputed to blow out his kisses into the air where they then changed into birds and flew around his head protecting him! I feel the same thing happens with songs, they are a balm and a comfort to me and hopefully, by extension, to the people listening or singing along.”


culture-ireland.jpg                                                                                     FSU CES Series          

This tour is kindly supported by Culture Ireland