Arts in Community
AGAR in the Schools, 2020-2021
Thanks to a special program through AGAR, Staunton River Middle School fourth grader, Liam Bartell, learned about medieval instruments this year, and created his own unique design.
The instruments on a table were
part of the instrument collection AGAR lent to the schools for the students to learn about unusual instruments, many homemade, from all over the world.
In two Bedford County Schools, Staunton River and Liberty Middle School, AMHERST GLEBE ARTS RESPONSE, INC (AGAR) presented a series of music and music history programs. Students watched an AGAR-produced-and-presented video of early music, “In Fortune’s Hands: Troubadours Past and Present” a virtual concert originally presented in AGAR’s Chamber Music series, performed by David McCormick and Brian Kay of Early Music Access Project. On February 8 and 15, 2021, AGAR presented David McCormick, who met virtually with four groups of students. Those sessions were recorded and two of the recordings were shared with eight other groups of students at Staunton River and Liberty Middle Schools. McCormick taught students the difference between materials used to make vielles and baroque and modern violins, played music of the medieval period, and showed students how music was written down then and now.
Gifted Resource Teacher Angela White introduced themes of students creating ideas for and building their own instruments. AGAR suggested that Ms. White borrow our World Music instrument collection for two exhibits that could go from one school to the other. The instruments ranged from a Chilean rainstick and an African djembe to Native American and Uzbek hand drums, Tibetan singing bowls to a Middle Eastern homemade oud. The collection also included turtle rattles and numerous shaking instruments from all over the world, made from bones, beans, gourds, and animal nails, These were shown to 46 fourth and fifth grade students in the two schools' gifted classes.
These students then began an instrument-making project, a STEM project, with Ms. White. The students used the engineering process for designing, building, testing, and presenting a product, their own instrument. The project also asked them to compose an original piece of music for their own instrument, and to create a musical notation suitable for their instrument. The stem classes reach 46 "officially" gifted students in the two schools, and other AGAR music activities also reached an additional 58 students.Ms. White told AGAR in late May, 2021, “This musical project that AGAR brought to my students was a highlight this year, especially since, due to COVID-19, they could not go on field trips, or have live visitors in the school. The different parts of this project gave them connections to the broader community.”
AGAR NEWS 2018-2019
- The winner of the Inaugural Mary Lynn Brown Performing Arts Award Scholarship to a senior graduating from Amherst County High School (ACHS) who plans to study performing arts is Za'Marae Morgan. Mr. Morgan will attend the University of Lynchburg. The scholarship was presented on May 16, 2019, by AGAR Board Member Linda Zabloski and Mary Lynn Brown’s grandson, Miller Brown, who graduated last year from ACHS and attends Virginia Commonwealth University. Mary Lynn Brown was a beloved Board member of AGAR and a fan of performing arts (both those produced by AGAR and those presented by ACHS) who passed away this year.
- Lynch’s Ferry Magazine has published a major article in their Spring/Summer 2019 issue about magician Benjamin Rucker, known nationally and internationally as “Black Herman” and his family, the Ruckers of Amherst County, Virginia. The Rucker family has owned and operated restaurants and boarding houses in the Town of Amherst since at least 1910. The article was assembled by AGAR's Lynn Kable, Memories and and photos were provided by members of the Rucker/Brown Family: Carl “Buddy” Brown, Charles “Skippy” Brown, Kelvin Brown and Tyrone Brown. Archival research was performed by: Lynn Rainville, PhD, Sandra Esposito, Melodie Fletcher, and Lynn Hanson. Video assistance was provided by Edward Kable, with additional program assistance from the Board of Directors and Advisors of Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (AGAR) and the Program Committee and Board of Directors of the Amherst County Museum and Historical Society. Copies of Lynch’s Ferry, a Journal of Local History can be obtained from Blackwell Press, 311 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg, VA 24504. Tel. 434-847-0939.
- AGAR has been awarded a planning grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for the summer and early fall of 2019. The grant will provide funding for the Board of Directors to work with Scott M. Williamson, former CEO and Artistic Director of Opera Roanoke, on planning for the next five years.
AGAR in the Community
Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (AGAR) has collaborated with numerous Amherst County Amherst arts, humanities, educational and civic organizations, and has acted as a fiscal agent for non-profit community arts projects in Amherst County. Our aims are to increase the availability of arts and humanities programs to everyone interested.
John Langston and Emma Thom performing in Chekhov's
“The Proposal” 2018.
COUNTY AND TOWN CELEBRATIONS:
AGAR applied for and provided artistic and fiscal management for a grant to Amherst County’s Sesquibicentennial (250th) Celebrations of the Founding of Amherst County in 2011 from Greater Lynchburg Community Trust to bring music and dance groups including the Warpipe Pipe and Drum Corps, Bear Mountain Monacan Youth Dancers, Proffitt and Sandidge Blues, Amherst High School bands and choruses, and historical cultural presentations by the Cardinal Lacemaking Guild, Monacan Storyteller Luci Curry and the Amherst Art Society. Also in conjunction with Amherst County’s 250th birthday, AGAR presented showings and live discussions by students who had attended Bear Mountain Indian Mission School (closed in 1964) at the Monacan Tribal Hall and Ancestral Museum. At the Clifford Ruritan Club, formerly the Clifford School (closed in 1969) AGAR showed a film about the old school and former students discussed their experiences. In 2011 AGAR also showed its film about Amherst Training School at the Legacy Museum for African American History in Lynchburg and the Virginia History Forum at Virginia Military Institute (VMI). In conjunction with the Town of Amherst’s 100th Anniversary in 2010, AGAR presented a live discussion and showed its film about Amherst County Training School at the Amherst County Museum in conjunction with the official anniversary and showed the film and produced an exhibit for Founder’s Day at the Amherst County High School.