The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music! 

We invite you to join us to make music together, to enjoy performances, and to learn about how music can change the world for ourselves and others.
April 10 - 15

Coordinated by Friction Farm:
Aidan Quinn and Christine Stay
With Tret Fure

Daily during Music Week, you will enjoy opportunities for group and individual participation and instruction in songwriting, guitar, voice, ukulele and more. You can venture in lightly, explore something new, or dig in deeper and hone your craft. There will be plenty of music appreciation sessions: history through the lens of song, discovering fun, unexpected musical connections across genres, song circles and concerts. We will also incorporate music into morning reflections and make musical connections to nature and art.

Friction Farm combines storytelling, social commentary and humor to create songs of everyday life, local heroes, and quirky observations. Their lyrically rich, harmony-driven songs earned them spots as Kerrville New Folk Finalists, Falcon Ridge Emerging Artists, and South Florida Folk Festival Songwriter winners. Friction Farm’s latest CD, “Evidence of Hope”, which debuted at #10 on the Folk Radio Chart, witnesses the collision of strong political polarity with personal kindness, the intersection of fragility and breathtaking beauty.

Tret Fure began her professional music career in her teens. By her twenties she was playing guitar and touring with Spencer Davis. Her solo career blossomed as she became well known in women's music. Tret is a prolific writer whose heartfelt lyrics and impressive fingerpicking keep her songs on the folk radio charts.
Friction Farm wrote a song about The Mountain for the 2021 Annual Meeting. Please listen to the song here. It is inspiring, about some of the ways The Mountain is very special, and the chorus,

"We can, we can, make a difference if we try. 
We can, we can, change the world, you and I."  
2 Sessions: May 22 – 26 or June 26 - 30

Grammy-nominated folk musician and songwriter, John McCutcheon, leads two sessions of an intense, intimate songwriting Master Class at The Mountain. 

Join other songwriting lovers for this remarkable event at a remarkable place. In between sessions enjoy breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains, healthy, delicious homemade food, and camaraderie.

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist John McCutcheon has been at the forefront of American folk music since the late '70s, covering a wide variety of traditions including Appalachian dulcimer and fiddle music, topical protest songs, and children's albums. Proficient on numerous instruments including the hammered and mountain dulcimer, fiddle, guitar, banjo, and jawharp, McCutcheon has also performed widely as a storyteller, written several books, worked as a social and labor activist, and produced albums for other artists.
Tales from the Grove
A Concert & Dinner Event -
Inspired by The Mountain's Ancient Oak Forest

-Friday, August 12, 3:00-

Tales from the Grove 
Original composition for piano and bassoon
By Amber Ferenz Spuller
Geology of the Area by Bill Jacobs
Tour of the Ancient Oak Grove
Dinner at The Mountain (optional)

The Tales from the Grove composition has five parts: Roots and Rain; Leaves and Branches; The Trees and Owls Stargazing; Scherzo- Mycelium Music; and Tree Spirits and Wind: A Love Story. This performance will take place in The Mountain's Treehouse; a second-floor conference room with large windows overlooking the ancient oaks.
Amber Ferenz Spuller is a bassoonist, composer, and a member of the Asheville Symphony and the Greensboro Symphony. As a shaman and a healer, Amber, as well as Terry, believe that the ancient oak grove is a spiritual place. 

In addition to the concert in honor of these ancient trees, the program will include a presentation by geologist, Bill Jacobs; author of Whence These Special Places -The Geology of Cashiers, Highlands & Panthertown. He will enlighten us about the geology of these mountains, among the oldest in the world. There will be a tour of the ancient white oak grove and dinner as we continue getting acquainted and enjoying the trees. 

Due to our preservation of these ancient oaks, In May 2021, The Mountain was inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network. This is the only national network in the U.S. of protected, old-growth, native forests where people of all generations can experience biodiversity and the beauty of nature.

The trees here have their roots spread across granite cliffs and show the effects of the harsh environment through their small, gnarled forms. Their stunted forms are resilient toward the intense winds that shear across the mountain bald. These trees have been dated to 400 and 500 years old by Clemson University dendrologists. This old-growth forest is approximately 10 acres and is protected as part of our environmental stewardship initiative. The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, with four eco-systems, is an environmentally focused retreat center at the top of Little Scaly Mountain.

Terry has taken several photographs of the dwarf oaks and created beautiful cards, which are for sale in The Mountain gift shop or online
Volunteer Work (and Play) Weekend
April 15-17
Reduced Fees for Volunteer Projects

One of our goals at The Mountain is to provide more opportunities for adults and youth to work together on projects. 
It is a great way to get to know one another better as we learn one another's stories, and to discover the many talents and interests of people of all ages who love this special place.

Please join us for a variety of projects which contribute to the functioning of The Mountain -- sprucing up various spaces, inoculating logs with mushroom spores, repair and construction of facilities, sharing ideas for programming. 

There are so many possibilities. Please join us as we work together to make a difference and celebrate another year of success at The Mountain!
Please review our calendar for many other Mountain programs, or come for a personal retreat for individuals or groups. As you plan to participate in Mountain events, consider extending your stay a few days to enjoy just being at The Mountain as well as exploring this area around Highlands.
When you are at The Mountain for these and other programs or personal retreats, Steph looks forward to welcoming you to The Mountain and getting to know your Mountain story.
The Mountain’s rich history, mission and programs are what has drawn me here and it is my privilege to build on, and continue the hard work, love and caring for The Mountain that all of you have been a part of. I am honored to be entrusted to lead this amazing organization. So, first, thank you!

I am equally excited to begin this new venture for myself and my partner Victoria. We are grateful for this opportunity to be surrounded by such good and caring people. To have the opportunity to live and work in a UU community is a dream come true for us. I look forward to learning from all of you and immersing myself in the magic of this very special place. I can’t wait to meet all of you over this year and very much look forward to hearing your stories and memories so that I can be more focused on ensuring that The Mountain carries on its legacy. I have hit the ground running, and hiking, and meditating, and laughing and singing together as we continue to impact lives to make this world a better place. 
Interested in getting more news and updates from The Mountain? Join our Mountain Matters News Letter. Keep up to date on Mountain ongoings and upcoming events!
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