Monday, July 13, 2015

Performing with the Steel Wheels at Red Wing Roots

This adventure started, as many good adventures do, with a phone call. I've had the kids' summer camps planned out for a while, but there were still a few holes, so when I got a call from Frances' violin teacher I was torn about what to do.

On one hand, it sounded like a great opportunity for Frances. When the camp director/violin teacher calls you personally to say that your child would really benefit from the camp it's hard to say no. It really pulled at my mommy heart.

On the other hand, the camp was more expensive than most of the other camps, and with it being last minute we really hadn't budgeted for it. I swallowed my pride and asked for permission to make payments instead of paying it all at once, and since that was agreeable to the camp folks we went ahead and got her registered.

That's about when things got bigger. This was not just a violin camp, it was a violin camp with a fiddle workshop. The fiddle workshop had come about because a local bluegrass band was partnering with the camp. That partnership had come about because the local band wanted the violin/fiddle camp kids to play at a show with them. And the show turned out to be the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, held down the road in Mt. Solon, Virginia.

I had vaguely heard of the band and the music festival, but I hadn't paid much attention. Once I started looking into it the whole things seemed quite exciting and I was looking forward to attending the music festival on Friday. (We got discounted tickets for Friday, but we wouldn't have been able to hang out for Saturday and Sunday anyway.)

Frances really enjoyed the violin camp and once I listed to them perform on Tuesday when I picked her up, I was in tears. There's just something about listening to beautiful music and knowing that your child is up there playing it that I can't quite describe. This audio clip is from their second day together:

She went through her week of camp and then we moved on to another week. She had sewing camp last week, and once again I was totally taken aback and amazed with her sewing skills. On Friday of last week, her sewing camp had a fashion show to show off their creations and then we left to grab lunch, find Uncle Alan, pick up Ben from school, and get Ken from work. Only then could we head to the festival!

We drove down the road and arrived and checked in about 5 minutes before it started raining. Thankfully, the stage she was to perform on was under a large tent. We were able to set up our blankets and dry out in a comfy spot.
 We listened to one other band perform before it was time for her to warm up and get in place.

Henry got to go on stage to help with a song too!

The Steel Wheels played part of their set themselves, and then invited the violin students to join them for the last few songs. It was just as beautiful to listen to them Friday as it was the week before.

After her performance, we headed over to one of the other stage areas and set out our blanket again before grabbing dinner and enjoying the afternoon sunshine. It wasn't too hot or too cold and with the lovely music, beautiful scenery, and wonderful company, I really couldn't have asked for a better evening. We hope to go again next year, and maybe camp out for the whole weekend.

Natural Chimneys State Park, Mt. Solon, VA


  1. First, that park looks so cool!!! We'll have to hit it up next time we're in your neck of the woods. And second, what an awesome camp! I'm glad you were able to make it work out for Frances :)

  2. Kristi - Finding NineeJuly 13, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    What a fabulous experience for her (and you!). That park looks absolutely gorgeous!!

  3. Ah, I want to go there!
    And I love the photo of your three boys making funny faces.
    This seems like a great experience for you and Frances.

  4. That picture of all your boys, hilarious! What an amazing outdoor venue! I think your daughter will remember this experience for a long time to come.

  5. Wow! Great pictures! Looks like you had an amazing time!


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