Surry Community College screening classic film ‘Songcatcher’


Staff Report



DOBSON — Surry Community College is hosting a free screening of the classic film, “Songcatcher,” open to the public on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Reeves Building, Room A-121 on Surry’s campus at 630 S. Main St., Dobson.

“Songcatcher,” produced by Lions Gate Films and written by Maggie Greenwald, is a historical drama set in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, and is being shown as part of Surry’s Appalachian Film Series. The film starring Janet McTeer and Aidan Quinn takes place in 1907, and follows an urban music professor as she migrates to a rural mountain town where her sister lives and discovers a trove of unique music practiced by the local mountain people. The film features the struggles and hardships of these rural families, as well as the simple beauty of their music culture. Songcatcher examines themes of Appalachian mountain life, the rural and urban cultural divide, and even deviance from social norms of the time period. A brief discussion of the film led by Sociology Instructor Mecca Lowe and Humanities Instructor Frieda Eakins will take place directly after the screening.

The event is supported by the Wright Traditional Music Fund. The fund was established at Surry Community College by Betty Wright and her daughter Tamara Thomas after the death of Hylton Wright, their husband and father, respectively. The Wright family has a longstanding relationship with Surry that began in 1988 by establishing an endowed scholarship. Additionally, Hylton Wright served on the SCC Foundation Board as a member of the Investment Committee that set the organization on the path to its current fiscal strength. The fund was established to promote and preserve the musical heritage of Surry County and the Blue Ridge Mountains since Mr. Wright greatly enjoyed and valued traditional music.

In addition to hosting the Appalachian Film Series, the college hosts an annual traditional music camp for children, and has been a co-sponsor of the Surry Old Time Fiddler’s Convention since its inception in 2010. The college also offers an Appalachian Culture course that takes an in-depth look at the many elements that shaped the culture surrounding this region including its musical influence. An annual performance by outstanding musicians that entertain and educate students with regional music is made possible by the Wright Fund, too; this year’s concert featuring the Slate Mountain Ramblers took place earlier in the semester.

For more information on the free, public viewing of Songcatcher, contact SCC Sociology Instructor Mecca Lowe at 336-386-3554 or lowemj@surry.edu.

Staff Report

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