Your Time To Shine!

Morgan County Has Talent is scheduled for Saturday, April 13th at 7 pm and we need performers! If you sing, dance, are in a band, play an instrument, juggle, do magic tricks or just something you think is an award winning talent, we want to hear from you.

Submit your video between NOW and February 28th by going to the Morgan County Has Talent Facebook page.  Practice, practice, practice. All ages and acts will be considered. Morgan County Has Talent will be held at the Berkeley Springs High School Auditorium.

Morgan County Has Talent is a co-sponsored event to benefit The Morgan County Partnership and The BlackCat Music Cooperative. Check this website and the BCMC Facebook page for updates!

 

Dad’s trumpet for a guitar!

As we continue our “Music In Your Life” series, the spotlight shines on Sir Paul McCartney. Paul’s dad played trumpet and piano and even had his own band, “The Jim Mac Jazz Band.” Jim had a upright piano in the home and encouraged Paul to take lessons, but young McCartney liked playing by ear.

On Paul’s 14th birthday, his dad gave him a nickel plated trumpet, but soon after, with rock and roll music becoming popular, he traded it on an acoustic guitar. Because he is left handed, it was hard to play, so he reversed the order of the strings. One other note from the early days, Paul wrote “When I’m Sixty Four” on his dad’s upright piano in the living room when he was about 16! John Lennon remembers the Beatles singing the song as part of an acoustic set, whenever their amplifiers broke down or the power would go out at the clubs in the early days of the band.

“From a Stutter to a Star!”

Our “Music in Your Life” series continues…

Carly Simon began stuttering severely when she was eight years old. A psychiatrist tried unsuccessfully to cure her stuttering. Instead, Simon realized when she would sing, the stuttering stopped. So, she began writing songs and learning to play the piano and guitar to help with her self- confidence. In her early teens, she teamed up with her older sister, Lucy, to form the singing duo, The Simon Sisters. Carly would embark on a solo career after Lucy got married and wanted to start a family. Carly Simon’s work has included such great songs as “You’re So Vain,” “Nobody Does It Better.” “Anticipation,” and more, earning her Grammy awards and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and The Grammy Hall of Fame.

With her 1988 hit “Let the River Run,” from the film Working Girl, she became the first artist to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for a song composed and written, as well as performed, entirely by a single artist.

BSHS Guitar Circle

The Berkeley Springs High School Guitar Circle under the direction of Steve Grigsby meets every Monday after school at BlackCat Music Shop. The club also meets two times a month during sixth period at the school. The Guitar Circle is open to established student players and students wanting to learn how to play.

Steve shares his wealth of knowledge with the group and lets the guitarists choose songs to learn and share. BlackCat Music Cooperative is continuing to install new programs for our youth with generous support from the community, fundraisers, and provided grants.

 

 

Ukuleles in Paw Paw

December 19th was the Paw Paw Schools Christmas program, and it was a good one. The elementary kids sang Christmas songs with their classes. Each grade did a wonderful job with their songs. After their performance, a quick setup was done for the band students. The high school drumline marched into the gym to a catchy cadence, with both the high school and middle school band members behind them. Unfortunately, this portion of the program had to be cut short due to it being the end of the day. However, it was a wonderful performance from all the kids who participated.

IMG_0895Then, the surprise! The fourth graders had no idea what they were about to receive. Robert Wallace,  the band director at Paw Paw, presented a ukulele to each of them! Before school starts back up for the new year, the 19 ukuleles will be tuned and ready to be part of the fourth grade music class instruction!  More photos and updates to follow!

BlackCat Music Cooperative is honored to have helped bring more music opportunities to Paw Paw. These ukuleles would not be possible without Robert Wallace. He was one of 17 teachers in Morgan County who secured a small mini-grant from Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. With those funds, the ukuleles were purchased from BlackCat Music Shop. BCMC picked up the remaining costs, supplied hangers for safe storage, and even gave Robert Wallace his own special skull-shaped ukulele in honor of Paw Paw Schools’ mascot – a pirate!  His hard work and dedication has impacted these students and you can tell that they are thriving! So, from us to him, thank you for fostering the love of music in kids of all ages at Paw Paw!

This community of people are often our forgotten Morgan County residents and we want to change that. We are striving to find more opportunities to provide music for these wonderful children and their families.