Sunday, September 27, 2009


As I'm sitting here on my back porch, listening to the rain, it's still so hard to believe that my Sunday nights aren't filled with music and friends and the excitement of an outdoor Bluemont concert. It always seems to go by far too quickly! I'm also hoping that all of the mailings that went out last month, will bring lots of new memberships. We're still continuing to work on our goal of $11,000 and would love your help! If a mailing missed your house, let us know! We're happy to send some information! Summer in Ashland just wouldn't be the same without the sweet music and sounds, coming from the lawn of the Hanover Arts and Activities Center.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer's End

Wow-it's the end of summer already and it feels so strange to have celebrated the last of the Bluemont in Ashland summer concerts. What a wonderful, happy evening with The Daryl Davis Band!
The music was just as I had hoped-energetic, light-hearted, and two amazing long sets! Thank you, thank you to Daryl and his band. I danced so much that I had to sit down in the grass a few times just to catch my breath-by the end of night, my legs were rubbery and my dress felt as though I had just jumped out of the shower fully clothed! Kids were dancing, two brave gentleman sang their way through 'Leroy Brown' and everyone seemed to have an enjoyable night.
Thank you SO much to all of our volunteers-Lily and Hannah Dunning took some time during intermission to give flowers to the volunteers that have given their time and talents to making this summer such a big success. We couldn't do it without you! We certainly missed Jen Chambers, my faithful co-chair and look forward to more concerts next summer!
While there are no more concert happenings to write about, I'll be writing periodically over the next couple of months to update our fundraising news-at this point, we're about $5,000 towards our $11,000 goal. I'm hopeful that more donations will be coming in as everyone around Ashland and other similar communities receive fundraising letters-we'd really appreciate your support!
We'd sure miss Bluemont next summer...thanks everyone!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Last Bluemont in Ashland concert for this summer...

I'm writing with mixed emotions as this Sunday is our last Bluemont in Ashland concert for the summer. It seems to go by so quickly-I can hardly believe that our summer of music is almost at its end. However, I can't think of a better way to end the series than with our friend, Daryl Davis and his band-get ready for some great tunes and bring your dancing shoes!
Boogie-woogie, blues, funk and rock-can you possibly pick a favorite? Well, no worries-you'll get to hear a little of everything this weekend-the Daryl Davis band brings it all and brings it all with energy enough for our whole town to enjoy! Not to mention that he's a super nice guy and did you know, he's even played with Little Richard?
Get out your gold lame and your attitude and come on over-we'll be waiting for you! Watch out too because you never know who you might meet! If you'd like to get a little hint of Daryl Davis, visit his website at out those photos! Oh boy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Lovely Evening on the Lawn

The Lindsay Family gave Ashland a look a what happens when musical talent runs in the family! It was wonderful to watch and listen as they played the french horn, drums, tuba, trumpet, piano and a coronet (I think!) with ease and truly a love for what they do. Wow-what musicians! The kids have mastered their instruments and to think that they are so young-I wonder what the future has in store for them?!
Thanks to everyone who shared in this magical night. While it was hot and humid as usual, the crowd seemed to enjoy the evening, the sweet treats from Henry Clay Elementary PTA and the sno-cones from the Knights of Columbus.
It's hard to believe that it was our fourth concert already with only one more to go. I often think of our Bluemont summer like a wedding-so much time is spent preparing and getting excited and then, it seems all too quickly, it's over. Well, almost...
Hope to see you this Sunday!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Our volunteers are the BEST!

What a day today! At 11:00 this morning, 1,300 fundraising letters sat on my dining room table, waiting to be signed, folded, stuffed into matching envelopes, stamped, sealed and mailed and at 9:00 tonight-done! Can you believe it?! Our volunteers really are the best!
Starting with coffee and a blueberry scone and in my PJs the fun began with Jen, Julia, Lee, Susan and Faith and rolled easily into the afternoon when Micheline and Jeremy joined the fun as Lee, Julia, Jen and Susan went to prepare for their exciting trip! Another knock on the door and Carolyn and Jerry came in to help with Susan later returning for more excitement as the day continued with coffee being replaced with iced tea and cranberry. Not long after, Jeremy and I found ourselves alone, signing and stamping but determined to forge ahead! Paige soon joined in and we were pleasantly surprised to find Faith and Jerry returning and Christiane coming along as well. On the homestretch, wine replaced tea and before we knew it, we were finished. I wish I could describe the wonderful conversation flow from travel to art to fundraising to movies to the environment to was wonderful!
Thank you everyone for giving your time and sharing your thoughts and helping to make this letter signing day one to remember.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This Sunday the 16th-The Lindsay Family and we'll miss you Jen!

I can't believe this Sunday will be our 4th Bluemont in Ashland concert! Yikes, that means there's only one left after this week! Well, I won't think about that too much right now-I'll just get super excited to hear some great jazz by The Lindsay Family instead!
This family of five includes a 14 year-old trumpet and piano virtuoso, a "trombone and bass-wailing" 12 year-old and a "tuba toting drummer" 9 year old with their dad on trumpet and guitar and their mom on french horn and piano. Wow! They also sing and love every minute of it, according to the reviews.
So everyone, gather your family, your friends and all the kids you can find and come check out the Lindsay Family this week. I'm sure it will be a magical night!
There will be someone missing though and things won't be quite the same-Jen, the wonderful other half of this Bluemont in Ashland team, will be cruising the waters of Alaska! We'll miss you Jen, more than can be said in this post. Send lots of postcards and we'll take lots of pictures! ox

Monday, August 10, 2009

L'Angelus-what fun!

Our third Bluemont in Ashland concert with L'Angelus was so much fun! Ashland was quite a busy place today-the last of our Children's Theatre Camp production of Peter Pan was enjoyed by all, then a mad dash to clean up and get to the cast party, followed by driving back from the country to get ready for some of the best cajun music around!
Boy, it was hot though! We were a little worried that the temperature might have kept people home, basking in the cool indoors but to our delight, many dedicated Bluemont fans braved the heat and mosquitos to join us! Not only did they come, but many spent the evening dancing up front, with friends, children and family members. Fun, yes indeed!
If you were there, hopefully, you bought a CD or two to share with your friends. I did and I can't wait to listen to it tomorrow-it may be in my frosty cool kitchen though perhaps while looking for a wonderful cajun recipe to go along with it!
Check out the photo memories of L'Angelus
Hope to see you next Sunday for The Lindsay Family!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sweet Treats!

Do you have a sweet tooth or does listening to great music on the lawn make you wish for some yummy snacks? Well, no worries! Did you know that at every Bluemont in Ashland concert, there will be a wonderful community group with a large table of all kind of treats to satisfy your cravings? We've been so excited to have PTA groups from John M. Gandy Elementary School and Henry Clay Elementary School, Mothers of Preschoolers, Knights of Columbus and the Ashland/Hanover Citizens for Responsible Growth ( just to name a few!) provide brownies, cookies, popcorn, sno-cones, popsicles, cupcakes and many other kinds of terrific snacks and desserts. All proceeds benefit the community group that's there-a super way to help local organizations earn a little extra!
This week, The Hanover Arts and Activities Center will have a table. I know there are lots of wonderful bakers and cooks in Ashland so come on over and buy as many delights as you can carry-you may even want to take some home for Monday's lunch!
See you there!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Businesses Support Us!

Many thanks to Postnet for joining the Bluemont-In-Ashland - business friends club! We are so thankful to everyone that supports us in reaching our goal of 11K this summer. Our business friends are featured in our program insert and announced at each remaining Bluemont concert. Thanks for all of your help and if you know of a business friend that would like to join the club - call 804-304-5588! Many thanks!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just a few more days until our third concert!

With the middle of the week coming tomorrow, there are only a few days following until our 3rd concert of the summer. Time-hmmmm, does it speed up in the summer even though the days are longer? Well, at least we have a great band to look forward to this Sunday!

Louisiana Zydeco musicians, L'Angelus will be bringing "the spirit of their Cajun and Irish roots with heart, wit, flair and confidence through some of the sweetest harmonies and most electrifying sounds you'll ever hear!" These three siblings in their 20's have been traveling the continent for the past 12 years, playing festivals and concerts and sharing their love of music with everyone they meet.

You can learn more about L'Angelus by visiting their website or search for their video on
We can't wait to dance on the lawn in our bare feet-can you?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Our Second Concert and What a Great TIme!

I hope, as you are reading this, that you had the chance to enjoy Last Train Home last night! They were terrific-I wished they had played all night long-two hours just wasn't long enough. Nope, not at all.

Once again, we were all worried about the weather (August is just like that I suppose) but with a final opinion from our good friend Lily Rose (running another Bluemont in Leesburg), we decided to stay outside (our favorite choice of course!) and we were rewarded with sunny weather. No one seemed to notice the high humidity as everyone enjoyed the music, danced, wandered around and chatted with friends and neighbors. The crowd was very large and there were lots of children in attendance who ran about with glow sticks and big smiles. Just lovely.

Thank you to all who helped our Sunflower Thermometer rise to about $4,900. We're almost 1/2 way to our goal and also a big thanks to those who contributed door prizes. For pictures and more details about that, visit our website. You'll find the link on this blog, somewhere on the right side column. See you next week for some New Orleans Cajun Zydeco from L'Angelus!

Check out the photo memories of Last Train Home

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bluemont Memberships

Thanks again to everyone who attended the benefit last week-you really helped kick off our Sunflower Fundraising Goal this summer! We are just over the $4,000 mark and well on our way to reaching $11,000 by the last concert!
We really need your help this summer, more than ever, to be able to continue hosting Bluemont in Ashland and this is done, in large part by your donations and memberships. In case you're wondering, your admission ($5, $4 for Bluemont friends and seniors, $2 children under 12) goes directly to fund the Artists-In-Education programs, which benefit our schools in Ashland by providing Bluemont performers at a reduced cost. How neat! So, funds from memberships and donations are what enable Bluemont to pay the performers, pay the staff, business operations, publicity, and travel expenses. With the current state of the economy, grants are being cut and federal and state money has become very limited.
Please take a minute to come over to the Friends Table and learn about more benefits of membership and donor levels. We'll be there and would love to answer all of your questions.
Thanks so much!

Last Train Home

Come early this Sunday to Bluemont in Ashland to hear Last Train Home, "one of the country's most formidable roots-rock bands". While roots-rock is at the heart of LTH's sound, don't overlook the country, bluegrass, swing, blues, folk, pop and Tin Pan Alley influences you'll find when enjoying their music! Last Train Home has played more than a thousand shows over the years, including tours of Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the Virgin Islands. You can visit to learn more about the band!
You might want to come a little early, bring a picnic dinner and enjoy watching the trains go by on the lawn as there should be quite a nice crowd!
Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Great Weather-Great Concert!

The first Bluemont concert was a terrific success! I must admit, we were a bit worried about the weather as the sky looked heavy and gray about 5:00 but after some discussion, we all decided that we were feeling lucky and to stay outside. What a great choice-the clouds rolled on and the sun came out-perfect! (Just in case: rain location will always be at the Blackwell Auditorium at Randoph-Macon College)
The crowd was quite large and very happy by the looks on all the faces! The PTA from John M. Gandy had a table full of homemade cupcakes, brownies and cookies and had sold out by the end of the night! Sno-Cones were also a big hit with all of the proceeds going to the Knights of Columbus. The Hanover Arts and Activities Center also had a table-thanks Faith for taking time to give out information (and bubbles!) and hopefully gain some new members. Thanks Town of Ashland, for setting up the stage and tent and thanks also to Carl Sloppy for helping with sound.
John McCutcheon entertained the crowd with songs and stories and seemed to enjoy himself as well-the variety of instruments were amazing, especially the hammer dulcimer.
If you were there, hope you had fun! If not, hope to see you next week!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Tonight is the first Bluemont in Ashland summer concert and we're so excited! The weather should be just perfect for an evening on the lawn, listening to John McCutcheon and watching the train go by! In case you're not familiar with John's music, here's a little backstory:

John McCutcheon has been described as a "modern folk musician", has 31 albums, 6 Grammy nominations and multiple Parent's Choice Awards. His first album in 1974 has lead to an love of the spoken word, children's books and songbook compilations. He loves storytelling and says, "If you can recognize yourself in my songs, then I've done my job."

John enjoys playing a variety of instruments including the 12 string guitar, autoharp, fancy banjo, fiddle, fretless banjo, hammer dulcimer, piano, jaw harps and an old time banjo.

I can't wait to hear what's in store! How about you?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First Concert!

It's finally here! Tomorrow night, July 26 folk singer John McCutcheon will be performing at the first Bluemont in Ashland concert. Come on over to the Hanover Arts and Activities Center in downtown Ashland at 7, bring your lawn chair and experience an evening under the stars of some great music! Come earlier and bring a picnic dinner if you like-desserts will be provided by the John M. Gandy PTA. They usually bring some sort of delicious sweeet-hmmm, brownies?cookies? Rice Krispy treasts? I can't wait to find out!

Park anywhere in town and when you arrive at the lawn, visit a Welcome table at any one of the corners (white table cloths), trade your $5 admission (or join Bluemont and come in for $4) for a raffle ticket. Bring your raffle ticket to the Friends table and enter it for a chance to win one of our terrific prizes.

Music, friends, trains, sweets, stars-does it get any better?

Friday, July 24, 2009


Wow! Thanks again to everyone who helped with the benefit last night and to everyone who attended. With your help, Jen and I were able to raise $2,679.00 for Bluemont in Ashland. Oh boy! We can hardly wait for the summer concert series to begin!

Musician and Artist contact Info

Please support the wonderful and talented musicians and artists who donated their time and work for the benefit!

Slipped Disc-Bill McElroy
Nancy Witt, Brad Camden
Gardens Unlimited 804.448.4499
Susannah Wagner Merritt, 606 Gallery 804.752.7618
Melissa Weaver Dunning
K. Bartlett Shaw
Sue Rosenberg

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know! Thanks.

Great Night!

The benefit was a terrific success and a really great time!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Jackie Frost, Chris Fuller, Frank Coleman, Jenny Valent and The Taters for providing wonderful music-the crowd was very receptive and enjoyed every minute of your performances! Bill McElroy from Slipped Disc Audio ran the sound and as always, it was perfect! Thank you Ashland Coffee and Tea for hosting the benefit in the living room of the Center of the Universe!

A million thanks as well to the artists who donated their amazing art for the auction! Every item sold (and sold well above the starting bids)! Thank you Jeremy, Cliff, Nancy, John, Bob and Todd, Dave, Susannah, Tammy, Melissa, Brad, Bart and Sue-you all were so generous with your donations-I was and continue to be humbled by your support for this wonderful organization. More info to come in the next post about how to contact any of these artists in case you missed the benefit last night.

I am grateful beyond words. oxox

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Only 5 more days until the Bluemont in Ashland Benefit!

Now, it really seems like a countdown with only five days to go until the benefit! The energy was high at the Ashland Street Party last night with lots of visitors to the Hanover Arts and Activities Center/Bluemont in Ashland booth! I've posted a little photo below in case you missed it! Visitors to the booth were very excited about the summer concert line-up and most said they would really try to make the benefit as well. Terrific!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bluemont in Ashland Website!

We're so happy that you're following our blog! If you'd like to learn more about Bluemont in Ashland, check out some photos from last summer (with more to come this summer!), and learn about Ashland members and donors, visit our website:


Ashland Street Party

This Saturday night, July 18, bring your family and come enjoy some music, food and beverages at the Ashland Street Party! Right in the heart of downtown Ashland, behind the library on the tracks at 7 p.m. We'll have a tent there with information about the Bluemont Benefit, Bluemont in Ashland and the Hanover Arts and Activities Center.
For more information about the Ashland Street Party, visit:

Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 13, 2009

To name just a few!

Jen and I are having such a great time getting ready for the benefit as well as the concert summer series. Donations for the Silent Art Auction are coming along quite nicely and I'm growing more excited every day! So here are a few of the artists who will be donating their fabulous art for this very special event:

*Jeremy Witt/Jeremy Witt Photography-black and white, silver gelatin photographs
*Sue Rosenberg/Out of my Gourd-hand painted, colorful gourds
*Dave Camden/Camden Clayworks-pottery
*Tammy Evans/Critter Hall-whimsical paper mache' animals
*John Cook/402 Photography-color photographs of his travels around Virginia
*K. Bartlett Shaw-unique hand drawn images
*Nancy Witt/Cross Mill Gallery-oil painter/author
*Cliff Earl-sculptor/painter
*Susannah Wagner-painter/jewelry designer

More to come-hope you'll be at the benefit to find out!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A little peek!

Are you excited about the benefit and are wondering what kind of music will be delighting your senses that evening?

You can take a little peek at Coleman and Fuller, Jackie Frost and The Taters by searching them on:

You'll enjoy it! Can't wait to see you at the Ashland Coffee and Tea on July 23!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More details about the benefit!

With only two weeks to go, Jen and I are even more excited about the Bluemont Benefit at the Ashland Coffee and Tea on July 23-wow!
A few more details:
*Admission: Join or renew your membership with Bluemont, The Cultural Spirit of our Communities. $25 individual, $50 family. Your membership continues to keep Bluemont in Ashland, reduced admission to the five Sunday evening concerts and helps to provide funding not only for the performers, but helps with community outreach and the Artists-in-Education program.
*Hanover Arts and Activities Center members may reserve special seating!
*Doors open at 5 with the Art Auction bidding beginning at 6 and closing prior to the Taters (about 9). Bidders MUST be present to win please!
*Food and beverages available for purchase with special "Blue" menu items, only available once a year at the benefit!
*All ages are welcome!
*Become a member of the Hanover Arts and Activities Center (HAAC) at this special event!
*Questions? e-mail Elizabeth: or Jen:
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Concert schedule

Every Sunday evening beginning at 7 pm on the lawn of the Hanover Arts and Activities Center:

July 26: John McCutcheon
August 2: Last Train Home
August 9: L'Angelus
August 16: The Lindsay Family
August 23: Daryl Davis Band

Come early and bring your family! More details to come!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bluemont Benefit!

How exciting! The second Bluemont benefit is coming together quite nicely and should be a wonderful evening of music and art! At 7 p.m. on July 23, 2009, Jen and I hope to see you at the Ashland Coffee and Tea with Coleman and Fuller, Jackie Frost and The Taters. Oh boy! What a great time with all proceeds to benefit Bluemont in Ashland ( There will be a silent art auction during intermission with plenty of local artists who have graciously donated their talents to benefit Bluemont as well. More information to come-can't wait to see you there!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wow! Summer is here!

Thank you so much for visiting our new Bluemont in Ashland blog. Yes, we're dorks but we thought this would be a great way for everyone to learn about what goes on in Ashland to bring wonderful summer music to our little town. We hope it's helpful!
Plans are underway for the second Bluemont Fundraiser to help us meet our goal of $11,000 this summer. Last year, we exceeded our $7,000 goal and we are so grateful for all of the generous and kind donations. Thank you!
The music schedule has been decided so make sure to visit the Hanover Arts and Activities Center website for more details!
See you on the lawn!