Academy for the Arts opens on Aug. 18, offers lessons from top local musicians

ViolinLesson (1280x870)

From a press release:

New Academy for the Arts Opening in Downtown Asheville

Downtown Asheville will soon have a new seedbed for music and artistic discovery. Housed in the one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings of the city, the Academy for the Arts (AFTA) at First Baptist Church of Asheville will open its doors on Monday, August 18th.  AFTA will seek to empower students of all ages and backgrounds in reaching their greatest potential both as artists and as human beings. Believing that arts have a nearly-unique power to connect people across differences and diversities of every kind, AFTA will offer the opportunity for people to know, to encourage, and to value one another on the common ground of aesthetic excellence. The ample parking and gorgeous space of First Baptist Church provides a unique and inspiring setting for these goals to be realized.

In its initial phase the academy will focus on music, offering private instruction in voice, piano, organ, harp, all orchestral and band instruments including strings, guitar, fiddle, mandolin and banjo. Highly-skilled teachers will hold at least one university degree from renowned institutions such as East Carolina University, Indiana University, Cincinnati Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory and the Julliard School. A representative list of the faculty includes retired concertmaster of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Mary Daniels Chapman; current ASO members Karen Pommerich, violin and viola, Frances Duff, cello, Vance Reece, bass, Bud Holmes, tuba, and Leila Lattimore, harp; flutist and founding creator of Pan Harmonia, Kate Steinbeck, and celebrated Asheville soprano, Simone Vigilante. In the arena of bluegrass and folk traditions, teachers include popular artist Josh Goforth and well-loved guitarist, Jerry Sutton.

First Baptist Church is hosting the academy in the historical tradition of churches and other faith-communities inspiring, providing for, and offering material, emotional, and spiritual support for the arts and artists. While a core value of AFTA states the belief that “growth in artistic ability expands a person’s capacity to experience the sacred dimensions of life,” neither students nor teachers are expected to adhere to any religious belief. As other opportunities for learning artistic crafts diminish or disappear, AFTA will offer our community the resources and experiences which will cause both the arts and persons to thrive, thereby giving gifts of beauty and meaning to the world.

For more info, faculty bios, concert schedule and registration visit

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.