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Noteworthy – Justin Davis

Persistence, determination, talent and an abundance of faith are words that come to mind when I think of Justin Davis. A big man with a big heart, Davis is one of Pickens’ great success stories.

Davis spent his early years in Tate, moving to Jasper while still in school.

He began piano lessons when he was in sixth grade. He recalls that Bay Cagle was his first teacher. He joined a youth choir and a band. During his high school days, he played strings, piano and percussion while developing a beautiful tenor singing voice. Continue reading

Finding the Light

‘A Celebration of Light’

Make plans to attend the performance by the youth of Creative and Performing Arts Academy for the holidays on December 13th at 3:00pm.

From Director, Lexi Klupchak:

“As the holidays approach this year it seems that humanity is shrouded in a dark spector of extreme illness, racism, poverty and war. That is why you should come join a really amazing group of kids from Jasper, GA on December 13th at 3PM. Over the course of just a few classes these kids have discussed the state of the world and created a show that reminds us to look for the pockets of Light that still exist and that connect us all, across the world. To bring some light, laughter and warmth into your holiday season, please come join these remarkable kids for their show: Celebrations of Light.”

‘A Celebration of Light’ by the Creative and Performing Arts Academy, will be held at Tater Patch Players Theater.  Admission is donations at the door to Creative and Performing Arts Academy.

Expanding horizons, musically speaking

Anon Ensemble Casual Classics

Casual Classics Concert Series is bringing another engaging musical experience to Jasper with the April 14th performance of Anon Ensemble.  The free community concert will begin at 7:00pm at Fellowship Presbyterian Church on Bent Tree Drive.

Atlanta-based Anon Ensemble is a trio dedicated to expanding the horizons of chamber music. The unique instrumentation (flute, viola, bassoon) lends itself to many different styles of music. With only one existing work for this combination prior to the group’s formation, Anon has created imaginative new arrangements which are both exciting and accessible. The group commissioned composer Eva Kendrick to write their signature piece, Juntos, which means “together” in Spanish. Presenting chamber music in a
way that is fresh, modern, and relevant, Anon is committed to maintaining a broad worldview and incorporating music from different cultures into their performances, championing the work of living composers and seeking out interdisciplinary collaborations. They are also dedicated, both individually and as a group, to outreach and music education. An all female ensemble, Anon serves as mentors to young women through their performing and teaching, encouraging them to aim high.

The members of Anon have performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Sarah McLachlan, Transiberian Orchestra, and many others. Anon will serve as the Ensemble in Residence at the 2013 Atlanta Chamber Music Festival.  Visit for more information.

The Casual Classics Concert Series is an ongoing project of Jasper Muse, Inc., a non-profit based in Pickens County.  The final concert to finish out this season will be The Border Collies with Celtic music on May 12th.



Franklin Pond returns


On Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM, Franklin Pond String Quartet returns to the Casual Classics Concert Series.   This patron supported series brings world class musicians to Pickens for free concerts available to the public.

“The Franklin Pond String Quartet returns to amaze our patrons with their command of classical literature. All are members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and instructors in the Franklin Pond Summer Chamber Music program in Atlanta, a unique experience for exceptional young classical musicians. They will be joined by ASO principal flutist, Christina Smith.”

Casual Classics Concerts – Season 8
All Concerts are at Fellowship Presbyterian Church
389 Bent Tree Drive, Jasper GA 30143
Questions: 404-281-0790

The music of Appalachia: an American treasure

The music of Appalachia was shaped by Native American, English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish and African influences. The early settlers came from the northern latitudes of Europe. It was mostly Scotch-Irish and English who brought their Gaelic and balladeer music to the mountains.

When coal mining became a major industry in the mountain region, African-Americans began migrating to this area. This cross-pollination of musical culture created the unique Appalachia sounds and music.

Life was hard in the Appalachian Mountains, and money was short. For many, there was no power, no telephone, no television and little transportation to go to town for entertainment. For them, gathering family and friends on the porch to sing after chores were done was a way of life.

Read the full article: The music of Appalachia: an American treasure – Smoke Signals.

How a magical evening happened

Photo: Mari Livsey,

A magical evening? Sometimes it happens. The Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse Pickens (PCAP) accomplished just that in October.

The 19-year-old nonprofit agency, which provides educational and referral services to families in Pickens County, had cut its staff by 80 percent due to shrinking grants. Sixty at-risk families were dropped from its active list. Even with these draconian measures, red ink permeated the ledgers, and funds would run out in six months. An impact event was needed to raise enough money to keep the doors open.

How about an exquisite dinner dance right down the middle of Main Street in Jasper? What an absurd idea! The visionaries on the board were ecstatic, others skeptical. An event of such magnitude just could not afford to fail. If it did the doors would close immediately.

Read the entire story of how this amazing event was pulled off by dedicated volunteers:  A magical evening in Jasper – Smoke Signals – by Dennis Santucci.

Riverside Chamber Players in concert

The Riverside Chamber Players, sponsored by Jasper Muse, are bringing their exuberant style back to Jasper along with two new works.

The Monday, February 4 concert starts at 7 pm at New Lebanon Presbyterian Church, 389 Bent Tree Drive, Jasper.

For more details, see the web page.



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