HARPERS FERRY — Katie Tertell founded the Appalachian Chamber Music Festival in 2021 because she has a love for music and a love for the field.
“The whole thing is my idea” Tertell said in an interview earlier this week. “For this type of festival, I had two big things to answer. One asked who it was for and the other where.”
Inspired by the beauty of Harpers Ferry and the surrounding area, Tertell has again secured multiple venues to provide a well-rounded program of performances for the second year of the annual festival.
Tertell grew up as a cellist in Northern Virginia and currently lives abroad most of the year where he serves as a teacher to cello students. Her love of both folk and traditional music formed the basis of the festival. Inspired by her friends who are also music artists, she developed the plan for the festival that she launched last year.
Organizing the event despite the COVID-19 pandemic is a bit of a challenge, Tertell said. However, their efforts have been successful in launching a program that reaches out to all live music lovers, regardless of age, tastes or background.
“The musicians I invited burn for their music.” Tertell added that the festival aims not only to offer the highest quality of music in the genre, but also to highlight local talent.
Harpers Ferry serves as the festival’s headquarters, which is heavily involved with other nearby communities, with a number of events in Shepherdstown, Charles Town, Purcellville, Virginia, Hillsboro, Virginia and Middlesburg, Virginia.
“Our slogan is ‘History, Nature, Culture,'” said Tertell. “We celebrate and elevate all things cultural that are already here.”
The festival’s mission is to combine world-class chamber music performances, collaborations and outreach with the rich and inspiring history, nature and culture of the Shenandoah Valley area. The musicians involved strive to enrich the region by sharing their love of music with their audience.
To bring the 2022 festival to life, Tertell said her organization received a grant from the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation’s Detlev and Mary Ellen Preissler Fund for the Arts, Music, Design and Nature.
“The grant will be used to help cover costs for venues and securing artists.” Tertell said the goal is to make the paid performances affordable for visitors.
In fact, some of the performances are offered free of charge, allowing more concertgoers to experience ACMF’s musical offerings. In fact, the very first event in the festival’s program is free to the public – the Festival Taster Preview at St. James Catholic Church in Charles Town on August 17 at 8:15 p.m
The 2022 festival will be held August 15-22 with eight concerts in Jefferson County and six concerts in Virginia. In addition to the concerts, two educational camps are offered as part of the festival program. A String Chamber Music Camp for ages 12-18 will be held August 15-19 at the Old Stone School in Hillsboro, Virginia. An intensive chamber music course for adults will be held August 20-24 at Shepherd University’s Frank Center.
This second season of the Appalachian Chamber Music Festival focuses on folk influences in classical music, the roots of Appalachian music, and the influence of Celtic and Scots-Irish traditions.
“Some of the concerts are more traditional, others are more family-oriented,” said Tertel. “There’s nothing like live music.”
For the full festival schedule and ticket information, visit www.appalachianchamber.org.