Cherokee and mountain heritage celebrated in concert and art show

by Apr 9, 2012A&E, Happenings0 comments

     The Peacock Playhouse is delighted to present BYNA: Life Songs of a Southern Appalachian Woman of Cherokee Descent on Saturday, April 14 at 4:30pm with a pre-concert art show by Cherokee artist, Faren Sanders Crews, at 3:30 p.m.

     Inspired by their mountain heritage, Clay County natives and brother and sister, librettist, Delilah Davenport Elsen and composer, Rudy Davenport, have joined together to create a major work of music based on their memories of their grandmother, Lura Ledford.  BYNA is Lura, and the work reflects the spirit, the beauty and the romance of a not-so-long-ago life in these treasured mountains.

     BYNA is a passionate woman who loves deeply – her husband, her family and the changing beauty of the mountains, whose peaks and valleys have sustained and renewed her through love and loss.   Byna’s era was from the 1900s – 1970s/80s.  Her life story as part-Cherokee outdoorswoman unfolds as, in songs and music, Byna recalls the simple joys and heartfelt sorrows from a lifetime of living.  She tells us of an afternoon she sat under the hemlocks making baskets with her full-blood Cherokee Grandmother – of hearing her Daddy play his fiddle – of the quilt her Mother made – of riding a horse across Bell Mountain the morning she left home to marry…and recalls one spring day “when childhood seemed t’rise up from the fields.”

     The BYNA ensemble features soprano Rebecca Turner, pianist Mildred Ann Roche, oboist Kelly Vaneman and cellist Kenneth Law, fresh from a performance of BYNA at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC.

     Other events being held in conjunction with this special performance are an art show by Cherokee artist, Faren Sanders Crews, a full blood Cherokee and self taught artist, beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the Playhouse lobby; a viewing of the wood sculpture of a Cherokee basketweaver (who has been named “Lura”) by craftsman and Cherokee historian, Darry Wood, on display at the Clay County Historical and Arts Museum from 2 pm – 4 pm; a workday with students from WCU to prepare for the construction of an authentic Cherokee cabin at the Cherokee Heritage Park, sponsored by the CCCRA.

     Tickets for BYNA are $15. for adults, $8. for students and are on sale now by calling the Playhouse at 828-389-2787 or visit the box office Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. til 2 p.m.  This performance is sponsored by the Clay County Historical and Arts Council and supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

– The Peacock Playhouse