The Traditional Arts & Music Camp for Young Appalachian Musicians (TAM YAM) provides youngsters instruction playing traditional mountain music with string instruments.
But more importantly, the heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains is being passed down to another generation.
Poll Knowland, Table Rock State Park manager, welcomed campers in the third through eighth grades to the park and talked about the importance of passing along mountain heritage. “The camp preserves and promotes the musical and cultural heritage of the Upcountry of South Carolina by introducing another generation to Blue Ridge traditions,” said Knowland.
Betty McDaniel, founder of the Young Appalachian Musician program, is the TAM YAM camp director.
“The goals of the camp are to expose these children to traditional arts and music, enrich their lives, and inspire them to cherish and carry on Appalachian traditions,” McDaniel said.
Among the activities are lessons in traditional acoustic music and Appalachian dance; singing mountain ballads and traditional songs; Southern Appalachian cooking, and the primitive practices of Native Americans.
Classes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students were taught by exceptional local musicians.
Bobby Trotter, Marshall Goers and Susan Ware-Snow taught guitar; Charles Wood, banjo; Steve McGaha, mandolin; Becky Stovall and Morgan Knowland, fiddle; Janet Hardin, dulcimer; and Herman Towles taught string bands.
Renowned singer Lib Porter shared her voice and knowledge of traditional song and verse and her husband, Frank Porter, taught children about rocks and minerals. Clogging and square dancing classes were led by Lindsay Jones.
Nature studies were guided by Tricia Kyzer, and Tina Kelly conducted arts and crafts activities, Appalachian cooking skills were displayed by Rozelle Garrison, and Lisa Cassell led the campers in traditional games. Roger Lindsay brought his collection of Native American artifacts and shared his extensive knowledge of their primitive technology.
Lindsay also demonstrated fire-making and the use of ancient weaponry including the bow, blowgun, and spear thrower (atlatl). This year there were also three Junior Counselors (high schoolers) and eight Music Assistants (middle/high schoolers) who helped the staff.
Like the popular Young Appalachian Musician (YAM) program, TAM YAM Day Camp is sponsored by Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music Inc. (POSAM), a charitable non-profit organization, and all contributions are tax deductible. For more information on the YAM program, visit www.YAMupstate.org. To join the booster club YESIYAM, or otherwise contribute to the program, donations may be sent to: POSAM, c/o Betty McDaniel, 792 Holly Springs School Road, Pickens, SC 29671. For further information call (864) 878-4257 or e-mail email@example.com.