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Arts & Entertainment

Registration continues for Dulcimer U, a residential program at Western Carolina University that draws dulcimer enthusiasts from across the country for a week of classes, concerts, jam sessions and fellowship.

WCU’s 13th annual summer dulcimer conference will be held Sunday, July 15, through Friday, July 20, and will be hosted by Larry and Elaine Conger of Paris, Tenn. Named the national champion dulcimer player in 1998, Larry Conger is the author of eight books of dulcimer arrangements and has been featured on numerous recordings. Elaine Conger is a former classroom teacher and backup singer for country music artist Faith Hill.

The Congers have designed a dulcimer program that should appeal to players of all ages, skill levels and musical tastes, said Bobby Hensley, associate director of continuing education at WCU. “Their experience as classroom instructors and nationally sought-after performers makes Larry and Elaine the very best at what they do,” Hensley said.


Author Marshall Frank will be at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva on Thursday, July 12, at 7 p.m. for a talk based on his books and experiences as a police officer.

Frank’s most recent book is a thriller entitled “The Upside to Murder.” The novel follows a respected Miami physician as he tries to protect his daughter, already the victim of a horribly violent crime and now having to relive it as the case moves to trial.

Much of Frank’s writing is inspired by his 30 years as a police officer, including his years as a homicide detective in Miami-Dade County. His previous books include both novels and non-fiction, including a memoir entitled “From Violins to Violence,” which chronicles his early life as the step-son of a Miami Beach mobster.


The Ole Mater Farm will hold its first benefit of the season this Saturday, July 7, featuring the region’s top bluegrass bands. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Savannah Fire Department.

Sylva band Mountain Faith will host the event. The group has recently been nominated for Emerging Band of the Year and Song of the Year with Southern Gospel’s awards.


America, an English-American folk rock band who became a musical sensation in the early 1970s, will be in concert at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $27 each.

America is best known for hits such as “A Horse with No Name,” “Sister Golden Hair,” and “Lonely People.” They reached the number one spot with several of their hits and won a Grammy for best new musical artist. America celebrated 40 years in the music industry when they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier this year.

Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell are the front men for America. They are joined by band members Michael Wood on guitar, Will Leacox on drums, and Rich Campbell on bass.


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