The Friends of the Free Library of New Hope & Solebury will present a special Delaware Canal Festival 2014 Concert featuring the Long Hill String Band on June 22. The band specializes in Old Time Country Music, an American music form that predates bluegrass.
The 4-6 p.m. event will be hosted at the New Hope Arts Center at the corner of Bridge and Stockton streets. Tickets are $20 at the door, and $15 in advance, and can be purchased at the Library at 93 W. Ferry St. or here online. Refreshments will be available. The concert will be a major fundraiser for the Friends of the Free Library, which depends on benefit events for almost 50% of its operating budget.
Karl Varnai is a board member of the Friends, and also a member of the Long Hill String Band. “This is a family fun event to learn about living history,” he said.
“Old Time music is similar to jazz in that it involves a lot of improvisation, and every musician interprets their part differently,” continued Varnai. “It’s basically the heritage music of the U.S. — early Appalachian, Irish, Scottish, German, Italian, Swiss, and the African influence — that was being played along the Appalachian Trail from pre-Revolutionary times up to the Civil War.”
Born in Hungary, Varnai began taking violin lessons at age eight. After he emigrated to the U.S. at age 11, he continued to play violin. Some three decades later, Varnai’s violin became a fiddle after hearing Old Time at a jam and becoming enchanted by its unique sound. He went on to found the Long Hill String Band to help keep the musical form alive.
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