While old-time traditional and bluegrass music thrive and dominate the area, attempts to add classical music to the mix ran into usual financial roadblocks Monday with Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival cancelling its 12-day music event scheduled for 2015.
“We have not been able to reach a level of financial support that allows us to move ahead with hiring musicians, recruiting Fellows and financing the festival,” the VBRMF said Monday in a prepared statement. “Consequently, on December 22nd the VBRMF Board made the difficult, though responsible, decision to cancel the festival scheduled for this coming June.”
Those who have donated to the planned events will get an option to receive partial or full refunds or decrease of cancel their pledges and have until January 20 to make a decision.
VBRMF may try “to move ahead with its mission and music endeavors. A greater focus on music education, especially the support of local young people, and smaller projects nvolving classical and classical/heritage music will continue to be our passion.”
Cancellation of the season brings a second attempt to create a summer classical music festival to an end. In 2011, the National Music Festival pulled the plug after a debut season and left town for Maryland with both the event and money raised from local contributors for a second year. It debuts its fifth season May 31- June 13 at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.
While classical is facing financial problems in the Blue Ridge Mountains, both old-time music and bluegrass continues to thrive with expanded plans for the Chantilly Bluegrass Festival in Floyd. FloydFest is revamping its schedule along with a renewed focus on local music for the summer and new venues in Patrick and Franklin County are adding events.
In the mountains, the music may be classic — it just won’t be classical.