Galax JAM (VA)


Galax, Virginia is most famous for being the world’s capital of old time mountain music. This city in between the Southwestern Virginia counties of Grayson and Carroll is a hotbed of old time and bluegrass music, and has been since before its commercial start in the 1920s. Galax is most famous for its annual fiddlers convention which has been popularized as the largest and oldest fiddlers convention in the world. Some of the noteworthy musicians (of many) hailing from the Galax area are Ernest “Pop” Stoneman from the Stoneman Family, The Hillbillies (whose name dubbed early country music as ‘hillbilly’ music), the Lundy family, the Ward family, and countless other old time and bluegrass musicians from past to present day. Many youth in the area learn to play and dance from family members or other folks in their communities, and others are learning through the JAM program at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

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The Galax JAM program is held two days per week on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30 – 5:30 at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts in downtown Galax and teaches old time music to kids aged eight and up at Galax City Schools and the surrounding area, including home schooled students. Fiddle, clawhammer banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, singing, dance, and band classes are offered. The students perform for the community through many opportunities during the year, including RexFest, HoustonFest, the Blue Ridge Music Center, and several other student showcases.

For more information about Galax JAM, please contact:
Marianne Kovatch
Chestnut Creek School of the Arts
100 N. Main St.
Galax, Va. 24333
[email protected]

Current Instructors:
“Jamie Collins – Guitar
Terry Gleason – Singing
Stanley Widener – Mandolin, Banjo
Stu Shenk – Fiddle, Banjo


Advisory Board Members
Sandra Truitt Melton, Chair
Rebecca Cardwell
Johnny Williams
Marianne Kovatch
Pat Andrews
Betty Vornbrock

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