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Joe Manchin III, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release : April 9, 2009

 Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-2003 ext. 365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov

Melissa Jacobs, Pipestem Resort State Park,  (304) 466-1800 melissajacobs@wvdnr.gov, www.pipestemresort.com

Late Spring and Summer fun planned at West Virginia’s Pipestem Resort State Park Amphitheater

            Pipestem State Park, located minutes off I-77 in southern West Virginia, features a variety of amphitheater shows and entertainment in late spring and summer. “We’re gearing up to let folks know there is plenty to see and do right here in West Virginia,” said event coordinator Melissa Jacobs. “And it won’t break the family budget.” 

            Many of Pipestem’s amphitheater shows are free of charge, while others are either $6 or $10 for adults. “If you purchase advance tickets, you get an even better rate!” said Jacobs.

Pipestem is a year-round destination and features two lodges, two golf courses, stables, swimming, fishing, an aerial tramway, restaurants, cabins, camping, a lookout tower and a variety of special events and interpretative programs. Birding and wildlife programs are key elements on the interpretative schedule. Special events include ballroom and line dancing weekends, Nature Writing Workshop with noted author Colleen Anderson, dinner theaters, holiday events, Irish Road Bowling, and a 10-K Pumpkin Run. For more information regarding Pipestem’s special events, go to www.pipestemresort.com and click special events or daily activities.

Here is the Pipestem summer amphitheater lineup for 2009:

May 30, 2009 – Summers Area K.I.D.S.

            A dramatic stage performance by youth from the Summers County area. 
The 2009 show is ANNIE.Jr.  Price: A

June 6, 2009 – East River Mountain Town Band

            Hear a great community town band perform an eclectic mix of classical, popular, and patriotic concert band music. The ensemble of 60+ members is directed by Mel Saunders.  The concert is free and Pipestem visitors and the general public are welcome.

            About Mel Saunders:  Saunders retired in June 2007, after 33 years as an instrumental music teacher in Mercer County.  He spent the first six years of his teaching career at Central Junior High School in Bluefield, West Virginia, and 27 years as Band Director at Bluefield High School. His Bluefield High School bands received consistently high ratings over the years, and the Beaver Marching Band was well known for its traditional "8 to 5" marching style.

            A 1974 graduate of Concord College in Athens, W.Va., with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree; he then graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., in 1997 with a Master of Music Education degree. His degree thesis was "The History of Town Bands in Selected Regions of the United States, 1890-1942" and he was a major factor in the formation of the East River Mountain Town Band, which Saunders founded and conducts. This community band, in its 11th year of existence, currently numbers 60+ members, with musicians from four counties in the two Virginias.

June 13, 2009 – The Grass Stains

            From Southern West Virginia, "The Grass Stains" are an innovative, upbeat style bluegrass band that picks it the way it should be, from the heart.  The "Stains" put years of experience to good use performing traditional bluegrass and “Newgrass” music mixed with an occasional Bluegrass Gospel number.
Bluegrass concert. Price: A

June 20, 2009 – West Virginia! Birthday
8th Annual Bluegrass / Gospel Festival

            Bands, featuring the Midnight Ramblers and more, start playing at 1 p.m. and continue through the evening.  Watch the Pipestem Web site for a list of groups performing. Price A.

June 27, 2009 – Champion Liar Bil Lepp

            For a fun-filled evening of stories, truth stretching and fun, join author and nationally recognized storyteller, Bil Lepp. A storyteller for more than 15 years, Lepp tells tales on subjects ranging from his dachshund, "Buck-dog," to his fourth-grade teacher, who he swore was a superhero. Open to the public and free of charge.

July 4, 2009 – East River Mountain Town Band (tentative)

            An encore performance by this community band featuring an eclectic mix of classical, popular, and patriotic concert band music.  Admission is free.

July 9, 2000 – “Wings of Wonder” – Birds of Prey

            Presented by Ron and Wendy Perrone of Three Rivers Avian Center, attendees will learn about raptors, habits and habitats and see live birds.  A free program to attend, this is one of 12 presentations by TRAC in West Virginia state parks this summer.

July 11, 2009 – Hans Creek Grass

            From Monroe County, W.Va, this is a traditional bluegrass group that will make you want to move your feet. These locals play from the heart and let loose with songs such as, "Good Hearted Woman" and "Great Balls of Fire."  Rebecca, the teenage fiddle player, will entertain as well as impress.
Bluegrass concert.     Price: A

July 17, 2009 – Lou Maiuri & Appalachian Dancers

            Square or line – you’re invited. Lou Maiuri was teaching dance long before Dancing with the Stars debuted or Travolta and Swayze made dance popular again.  Maiuri is a dance instructor of traditional Appalachian dance and modern line dancing. He has won many awards, including three national championships.  He is the director and founder of Appalachian Country Cloggers.
Bringing traditional dance and instruction to our state parks is a labor of love for Maiuri – his love of people and his love for dance is obvious when you attend one of Lou’s dance events. No previous dance experience (or rhythm) necessary. Come join us for tradition – let’s dance! FREE.

July 18, 2009 – The Collegians

            An evening performance that includes beach music and rock n roll oldies.  Entertaining for more than 30 years, this band, known for "Carolina Beach Music," has become well diversified in musical styles and still provides plenty of good shaggin' tunes and some infectious "Soul" and R&B grooves. This band is an exceptional show band with great music for great evening entertainment at Pipestem Resort. Price: B.

July 25, 2009 – Hillbilly Gypsies

            If you missed this group at North Bend State Park’s Bluegrass Festival in May 8 and 9, don’t miss The Hillbilly Gypsies at Pipestem. A West Virginia native string band, this group specializes in playing their own homegrown style of Appalachian old time music, mixed with a hard drivin' bluegrass sound. In addition to their original material, The Hillbilly Gypsies play an eclectic mix of traditional and not-so-traditional bluegrass standards and catchy old fiddle tunes.

They perform in the old fashioned style, around a single vintage style large diaphragm microphone. This "Old Timey" approach adds a high energy barn party atmosphere to their show. Watching the whole band work around the mic is like taking a trip back in time.

            Formed in 2001 from a chance meeting in Morgantown, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been pickin' and grinnin' ever since.  More than just a bluegrass band, the Hillbilly Gypsies are a close-knit family. Price: B

August 1, 2009 – The Van-Dells

            The Van-Dells are an oldies show group specializing in 50s and 60s Rock and Roll. They sing a cross section of oldies and combine a unique blend of comedy, choreography, tight harmonies and costume changes. Come out for all the fun, and bring your dancing shoes. The Van-Dells are: Stacy P. Todd (better known as Duke), Mark Barnett, Glenn Bowles and a five piece band. The show is in two parts: the first show is the personas of the final graduating class of Van-Dell High School. Dressed in letter sweaters, the group combines comedy with songs from the Rock and Roll era of the 50s. The second half takes the audience on a nostalgic trip through the "Glitter and Gold" period that made the 60s famous. When The Van-Dells hit the stage, it is nonstop action from start to finish. Price: B

August 8, 2009 – Mixed Nuts          

            These guys are fun and great musicians. They reside in southern West Virginia and play originals as well some rock and roll favorites from Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix to name a few. You can't help but move your feet.  Price: A

August 15, 2009 – Everett Lilly and the Lilly Mountaineers

http://www.thelillymountaineers.com/ for more info and photos.

            West Virginia natives and masters of bluegrass music, the Lilly Brothers, Everett and Bea, and Don Stover were pioneers in bringing professionally performed southern Appalachian music to the upper northeastern region of the United States.

            Originating from Clear Creek, a community near Beckley, Everett and Bea began their career by singing in churches and at area shows. Everett toured with Flatt & Scruggs in the early 1950s, participating in fourteen influential recordings that included classic duets with Lester Flatt.

            The Lilly Brothers had become the first bluegrass act to take their music north when they relocated to the Boston area, performing at the popular Hillbilly Ranch for an amazing 16-year gig, seven nights a week, 50 weeks a year! The Lilly Brothers were also the first bluegrass band to do a professional tour of Japan and, on their next tour, invited Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys to come along. On October 17, 2002, the Lilly Brothers & Don Stover proudly became the 20th Inductees into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Honor, the highest honor that Bluegrass can bestow.

            Everett Lilly has passed his love for music on to his sons, who carry on this family tradition by performing in the band now known as the Lilly Mountaineers. With the addition of the hot young West Virginia current banjo champion Rad Lewis, Everett Lilly and the Lilly Mountaineers tour throughout the States, as well as internationally. Price: A

August 22, 2009 – Oldies Rock ‘n Roll Weekend

Classic Car Show in the Afternoon – open to the public

            Featuring more than 300 street rods, classics and bikes. Open to the public.

August 22, 2009 – Oldies Rock ‘n Roll Weekend


Rick K and the All-nighters at the Amphitheater – 8 p.m.

            One of the most exciting performers on the music scene, Rick K. has transferred that enthusiasm and "love of the music" to his ever-growing audience of fans at shows across the country. His distinct vocal style and charismatic stage presence have earned him rave reviews at major fairs, casinos, nightclubs and special events. In addition to his own headlining shows, Rick K. has appeared with major acts such as George Jones, the Temptations and Chubby Checker. Growing up in the hills of West Virginia, music runs through Rick's bloodlines, as his grandmother is an accomplished gospel and jazz pianist. His father played drums for several successful recording groups in the late 50s and early 60s. Rick started early in his teen years playing drums and singing in local country and rock n' roll bands. His love of various styles of music was enhanced by performing with school and church choirs. Rick received All State Choir honors and was voted Best Musician in his high school band. By age 20, Rick had left the drums behind and was fronting his own band, Rick K. & the Allnighters. This melting pot of musical tastes boiled into the high-energy rock ‘n' roll oldies, pop, and country sounds that mark Rick's music today. Rick is a strong advocate against the danger of drugs and alcohol. He is married with three beautiful daughters and you can find the “K” crew at many a performance.
Price: B

Pricing information for Pipestem Resort amphitheater events

  • Price A:  $6 adult, $3 child 6-12: free for kids 5 and younger
  • Price B:  $10 adult, $5 child 6-12: free for kids 5 and younger

Advance tickets available for Price B events

  • Advance fees are: $8 adult; $4 child 6-12
  • No refunds on advance ticket purchases.
  • Prices subject to change as additional events are added.

Amphitheater event general guidelines

  • All shows, unless otherwise stated, begin at 8 p.m. and end at approximately 10 p.m.
  • The amphitheater has 525 seats; bring your blankets for great seats on the hillside.
  • No alcohol allowed.
  • All shows are litter free.
  • Coolers are permitted, but subject to inspection.
  • Refreshments available.
  • Schedule is subject to change as events are added. Phone (304) 466-1800 for details.
  • www.pipestemresort.com

About Melissa Jacobs

            Jacobs is new to the event coordination scene at Pipestem Resort but certainly not new to the state. A Marshall University alumna with a degree in Education, this Summers County resident served as a rafting guide for 15 years, with nine summers on New and Gauley rivers, and six summers working in Montana, Oregon, Arizona and Alaska. She is President of the Summers County Humane Society and likes to hike, be out of doors and travel. She spent a summer at the South Pole in 2002-2003.

            “I have to say, Pipestem is great,” Jacobs said. “And to be working in the state park system organizing events and working with Jim Phillips, our park naturalist, and meeting our guests, is wonderful.’  Jacobs started in her position at Pipestem in October 2008.