Ranky Tanky

photos by Peter Frank Edwards


The Band
Kevin Hamilton – bass
Quiana Parler – vocalist
Clay Ross – guitar, vocals
Charlton Singleton – trumpet, vocals
Quentin Baxter – drums

Grammy Award-winning Ranky Tanky released their eponymous debut on Oct. 20, 2017. By December of that year, the group had been profiled on NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” and their album soared to the #1 position on the Billboard, iTunes, and Amazon jazz charts.

“Gullah” comes from West African language and means “a people blessed by God.” “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It” or “Get Funky!” In this spirit, this Charleston, SC-based quintet performs timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston, SC are “rank” and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown.

South Carolina natives Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton, and Clay Ross first came together in 1998, fresh out of University, to form a seminal Charleston jazz quartet. Now, united by years apart and a deeper understanding of home, these accomplished artists have come together again, joined by one of the Low Country’s most celebrated vocalists, Quiana Parler, to revive a “Heartland of American Music” born in their own backyards.

The soulful songs of the Gullah culture are brought to life by this band of native South Carolinians who mix the Low Country traditions with large doses of jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B. Fresh out of college, trumpeter Charlton Singleton, guitarist Clay Ross, bassist Kevin Hamilton and drummer Quentin Baxter originally worked together as an in-demand jazz quartet on the Charleston scene in the late 1990s before splitting off to each make their way as freelance musicians, working with names like Houston Person, Freddy Cole, Cyro Baptista, and René Marie. Gaining years of valuable experience while developing a deeper appreciation for the South Carolina Gullah tradition they came from, the band reformed with the dynamic vocalist Quiana Parler to celebrate the bone-deep mix of spirituals and gutbucket blues that mark the Low Country mainland and Sea Islands – music made by a self-contained culture of descendants of enslaved Africans that introduced such indelible parts of American songbook as “Kum Bah Yah” and “Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore.”

Related link: rankytanky.com


State Farm Road Concert Lot – THIS IS AN OUTDOOR EVENT. Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets; remember, the venue is a parking lot, not a grass field. Ponchos and rain jackets recommended; ponchos also available for sale onsite.

ADDRESS: 235 Dale Street, (off of State Farm Road, adjacent to Intramural Field at the Greemway), Boone, NC 28607

ESTIMATED SHOW LENGTH: 90 minutes; no intermission

FOR INFORMATION OR TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Contact theschaefercenter@appstate.edu, call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046, visit in person the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, 733 Rivers Street, Boone, NC, or purchase online.

View here

1. Bring your own lawn chairs
2. Concert takes place rain or shine
3. No umbrellas (ponchos will be available for purchase)
4. Food trucks (The Cardinal, Village Inn Pizza, Fried Pies)
5. Beverage tent (beer, wine, soda and water)
6. Apparel and merchandise tents (App Summer and artist items for sale)

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability, contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.


  • 2-person pod: $70*
  • 4-person pod: $130*
  • 6-person pod: $180
    (Pricing remains the same even if pod is not purchased for maximum number of occupants)
    *When 2 and 4 pods are sold out, 6 pods will be sold to those groups at the lower prices. Must call the box office for that special arrangement.

Saturday, July 31, 2021 | 8pm
Gates open at 7pm


Kevin Hamilton (Bass) is a celebrated artist in Charleston’s vibrant jazz scene. He has performed internationally with diverse ensembles such as The Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Houston Person, Gregory Hines, and Rene Marie. Kevin Hamilton joined the U.S. Dept. of State’s OneBeat program in 2012 and holds a degree in music theory and composition from the College of Charleston.

Quiana Parler (Vocalist) has one of the most sought-after voices in the South Carolina Low Country and has graced some of the most prestigious stages in the nation. Through a top placement on the hit TV show American Idol, she was discovered by Clay Aiken, with whom she toured nationally for seven years. Quiana has performed with Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Miranda Lambert, worked with producers David Foster, Adam Anders, Phil Ramone and Walter Afanasieff, and appeared on national television shows The View, Good Morning America, and Jimmy Kimmel Live, among others. Currently based in Charleston, SC, she performs locally and nationally with her 10-piece party band, Quiana Parler & Shiny Disco Ball Band. www.quianaparler.com

Clay Ross (Guitar, Vocals) has established himself as an in-demand sideman and innovative bandleader on the international music scene, winning multiple grants through the U.S. State Department and touring worldwide as a Cultural Ambassador. Now signed to the Motema Music label, he currently tours worldwide, leading his NYC-based band Matuto. “Mr. Ross is a very deft guitarist with a rich vocabulary of folk, blues, and jazz at his disposal…” – Wall Street Journal www.clayross.com

Charlton Singleton (Trumpet, Vocals) is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, a 20-piece jazz ensemble of some of the finest professional musicians in the Southeast and the resident big band in Charleston, SC. He has toured across Europe and throughout the United States, and has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of most talented entertainers in the world. Outside of music and entertainment, he is a devoted husband and proud father of two. www.charltonsingleton.com

Quentin E. Baxter (Drums) is a Grammy-nominated musician/producer currently on tour with Freddy Cole and Rene Marie. A prominent figure in the jazz community of his native Charleston, he is the Co-Principal of Charleston Jazz Initiative, a founding board member of Jazz Artists of Charleston, and an Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies at the College of Charleston. www.baxtermusic.com

Anna Deveare Smith



“An album (Good Time) to put a smile on your face and get your feet tapping. Who could ask for anything more?” — All About Jazz

“This is not music for sitting still. (Good Time) is a combination of jazz, soul, gospel, and funk that is a celebration of life, freedom, and movement. Good Time is the perfect title for this album because listening to it is pure enjoyment. — Americana Highways


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Weicholz Global Film Series presents


In Japanese and Mandarin with English subtitles
Japan/China, Not Rated, Directed by Kei Chikaura (2018), 116 min
Starring: Yulai Lu (Liu Wei/Chen Liang), Tatsuya Fuji (Otousan, the Soba Master), Sayo Akasaka (Hazuki)

Cheng Liang is a young Chinese immigrant living illegally in Japan who gets caught up in a theft ring, stealing water heaters and the like from homes and businesses in order to survive. Desperate for legitimate work, he buys and assumes a false identity at a considerable cost. With his new identity, Liu Wei gets a job in a traditional Japanese soba restaurant run by an aging soba master and his kind daughter. He starts his new life in Japan while always fearing to have his real identity disclosed and to be deported back to China.

1. Read his Complicity lecture HERE.
2. Read about this year’s theme, Human Migration Stories from Around the World, in his essay HERE.
3. Q&A with Dr. Pfeifer: If you have questions or comments after viewing Complicity, submit them HERE and Dr. Pfeifer will be happy to respond. His responses will be posted within the document. 

Other films in the series include:
Quo Vadis, Aida?
The Road to Mandalay

Virtual stream: A private link to access the film will be emailed to registrants one hour prior to the event time. The link will be valid for 24 hours, expiring on July 29 at 7pm.

Run Time: 116 minutes

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Box Office at
800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046.

$5 per household

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | 7pm ET (virtual)


If you have questions or comments after viewing COMPLICITY, please submit them HERE and Dr. Pfeifer will be happy to respond. Select questions and answers will be posted directly to this event page.

Canadian Brass


“This intimate, personal and otherwise fresh take on the immigrant experience in a place that resists immigration like an island stuffed with Arizona sheriffs has rewards enough to keep us engaged in this kid’s story, start to finish.” Movie Nation

”Kei Chikaura’s debut feature is a beautiful study of the human condition and our search for connections despite cultural differences. …In a world where hatred and a ‘them and us’ approach to life is bringing ugly traits into the open, Complicity tells us the world can be a beautiful place despite our differences.”  Daily Record

Complicity portrays its young Chinese man’s apprenticeship under an elderly Japanese soba chef with welcome restraint and true-to-life complexity. …This film is an international co-production par excellence, while being a heartfelt paean to Japan-China understanding. …Complicity implies involvement in a crime. The film, though, is cause for celebration.” The Japan Times

“Delicate and patient in its approach and very traditional in its structure right up until the end. Complicity is rich in poetic representations of Japanese food culture and rural life.” Eye for Film


Nominated for the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival; winner of the Audience Award at Tokyo FILMex; major nominations at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival.

Rosen-Schaffel Competition: 10th Anniversary Celebration


featuring Andrew René and Morgan Short

This event is dedicated to the memory of An Appalachian Summer Festival’s longtime friend, generous supporter and competition benefactor Mark Tafeen.

This performance and other classical music events at An Appalachian Summer Festival are supported by the Rosen-Schaffel Endowment for Classical Music Programing. Created by Nancy and Neil Schaffel, the endowment honors the legacy of Nancy’s parents, Arnold and Muriel Rosen, and their lifelong commitment to the fine arts, as well as their important role in the founding of An Appalachian Summer Festival.

The Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists has also received generous support from the Bruce J. Heim Foundation, and Mark and Nancy Tafeen.

An Appalachian Summer Festival, in partnership with the Hayes School of Music, proudly presents this special program celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists. Central to the festival’s founding principles is a belief in the importance of supporting young American artists, and promoting the professional endeavors of young artists pursuing careers in the fine arts. The competition is known for the pivotal role it has played in launching the careers of some of our state’s most promising young artists. This program honors the competition’s history, founders, and participants, and will feature performances by previous winners Andrew René and Morgan Short, as well as exclusive interviews with selected contestants and competition sponsors Nancy and Neil Schaffel.

Program Selections:
Suite in Bb major HWV. 440 (1733)                                   George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), arr. Morgan Short
“Zitti, Zitti Trio” du Barbier de Seville (1820s)                 Nicolas-Charles Bochsa (1789-1856), Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

Morgan Short, harp

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen                                   
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
“Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht”
“Ging heut’ morgen über’s Feld”
“Ich hab’ ein glühend Messer in meiner Brust”
“Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz”

Andrew René, baritone

Livestream: Online at Appalachian Summer Festival YouTube Live. Following the scheduled premiere, this event will be available to view through August 8 on the App Summer YouTube channel.

SHOW LENGTH: 60 minutes

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Box Office at
theschaefercenter@appstate.edu or at 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046.

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.

Virtual: FREE

Sunday, July 25, 2021 | 7pm ET (virtual)

ANDREW RENE (baritone) has participated in vocal competitions and professional engagements, including performances with the Virginia Opera Association, the Bay View Association, Opera Raw, Piedmont Opera, the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the Princeton Festival. The summer of 2015 marked his third year of attendance at the Bay View Music Festival, where he performed the role of Marcello in their production of Puccini’s La bohème. In 2017, he returned to sing the role of Escamillo in Carmen. During the summer of 2018, he performed the role of Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with the Brevard Music Center. He recently won first place in the Heafner-Williams Vocal Competition, the Opera Guild of Charlotte Competition, and the Rosen-Schaffel Young Artist Competition.

His previous roles include John Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul, the Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Riolobo in Catàn’s Florencia en el Amazonas, Harlequin in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Father Palmer in Silent Night, Sam in Trouble and Tahiti, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Golaud in Impressions de Pelléas, and the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff. In 2018, he played the Celebrant in Bernstein’s Mass, and, in 2019, he played Albert in  Massenet’s Werther, and Garibaldo in Handel’s Rodelinda, all produced by the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute. During the summer of 2019, he performed the role of Marcello in Puccini’s La bohème with Opera Wilmington.

Mr. René received his undergraduate degree from Capital University where he studied with Élise DesChamps and Brian Banion, and, recently, his Master of Music degree from the A.J. Fletcher Institute of Opera of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Dr. Marilyn Taylor and Robert Overman.

Canadian Brass
MORGAN SHORT (harpist) is an exclusive Classics Alive Artist represented by Jean Schreiber Management. As an international prize-winning harpist, she is quickly building a reputation as a gifted soloist having 18 concerto engagements to her credit. Morgan won her first concerto competition at age 16 performing the Debussy Danses with the US Navy Concert Band. She received the Ambassador Middendorf Award, and has since won the Grand Prize in a dozen concerto competitions, awarding her the opportunity to solo with numerous orchestras across the country.

Winner of the Kathleen Price Award, her 2019 debut with the North Carolina Symphony performing Handel’s Concerto in B-flat Major was received with great enthusiasm, as the audience was “stunned by the uniquely beautiful sound of the instrument, which Short played with remarkable dexterity and sensitivity,” while “carrying the audience on a thoughtful and brilliantly executed musical journey.” (Classical Voice of North Carolina and Wesley Schulz, Associate Conductor, North Carolina Symphony)

A month later she performed Debussy’s Danses with both the Eastern Music Festival and the Appalachian Music Festival. Morgan’s harp playing was described as “exquisite” by Classical Voice of North Carolina. “This was French music with a real French flair and the results were breathtaking to experience.” According to Gerard Schwarz, Music Director of the Eastern Music Festival, “Morgan is well on her way to having a career as a harp soloist.” (Greensboro News and Record)

Her most recent competition awards include First Prize in the American Harp Society National Competition (Advanced Division), First Prize (Strings) in the Ronald Sachs International Music Competition, and Grand Prize in the Classics Alive Artist Management Audition in Los Angeles, Grand Prize and Audience Prize in the Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Emerging Artists, Grand Prize in the Alexandria Symphony/Mary Graham Lasley Concerto Competition, Finalist in the Anne Adams Award National Competition sponsored by the American Harp Society, and Semi-Finalist in the Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra Concerto Competition. Other honors include a 2019 Harp Fellowship at the Eastern Music Festival and an invitation to present a multimedia concert at the 2019 American Harp Society National Conference.

Notable performance venues include: Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium for a NY International Music Festival as guest artist for VTech at age 15; Arthur Zankel Music Hall, NY, as a featured soloist for the Saratoga Harp Colony; Mora Ferenc Museum (Hungary) and Galeri Caernarfon (Wales) for three international harp competitions and participation in a harp documentary.

Morgan actively freelances as an orchestral harpist and has served as Principal Harpist for the New River Valley Symphony and numerous orchestras in North Carolina and Virginia performing in several operas and over two dozen fully staged Nutcracker performances. Additionally, she is a Substitute Harpist for the Charlotte Symphony. She has worked with renowned conductors: Gerard Schwarz, Steven White, Stefan Sanders, James Ross, Wesley Schulz, Grant Cooper, Miriam Burns, Andrew Sewell, Larry Rachleff, and Xian Zhang, among others.

Morgan’s 2019-2020 solo engagements included a recital for the American Harp Society Piedmont Chapter, and the First Friday’s Music Series at Ferrum College, along with two additional performances of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Alexandria Symphony under the direction of James Ross. In a recent podcast, Maestro James Ross remarked that Morgan performed this work with great “panache” and “power” at the 2019 Mary Graham Lasley Scholarship Competition.

Morgan received a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance and a Minor in Arts Entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (2020). She is currently a Dean’s Scholar at the New England Conservatory pursuing a Master of Music in Harp Performance with Jessica Zhou, Principal Harpist of the Boston Symphony.

You can follow Morgan: @MorganShort.Harpist or subscribe to her YouTube Channel.

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Rosen-Schaffel Competition, we take a look back at past winners as they reflect on their experiences, special memories and how the competition impacted their careers.

Andrew René — First Place, 2019

Morgan Short — First Place/Audience Choice, 2018

Eva Wetzel — First Place/Audience Choice, 2017

Hunter Bockes — First Place, 2016

Jacob Cook — Third Place, 2015

Amber Carpenter — First Place, 2014

Molly Reid — Third Place/Audience Choice, 2013

Julian Rose — First Place, 2012

Bradley Plesz — Second Place, 2011

Parsons Dance

photos by Lois Greenfield

TWO IN-PERSON SHOWS! 4PM & 8PM (matinee features special children’s price)


Generous support has been provided by Barbara and Larry Freiman.

Known for their remarkable athleticism and stunning ensemble work, Parsons Dance brings exuberance, joy and passion to any stage. Flawlessly fusing the gestures and movements that comprise modern dance with the discipline and precision of a classical dance company, the company is internationally renowned. Stunning works, like the iconic “Caught,” exemplify this company’s innovation and huge audience appeal.

“Nascimento” (1990)
“Balance of Power” (2020)
“Side Effects” (2021)
“Caught” (1982)
Preview of “The Road” (2021)


Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts – Limited in-person seating available for live indoor performance. Due to social distancing requirements, seats are grouped primarily in groups of two to six. Please call the box office for special seating requests.

ESTIMATED SHOW LENGTH: 75 minutes; no intermission

FOR INFORMATION OR TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Contact theschaefercenter@appstate.edu, call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046, visit in person the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, 733 Rivers Street, Boone, NC, or purchase online.

View here

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.

In-person 4pm: $40 adults, $25 students
In-person 8pm: all tickets $40

Thursday, July 8, 2021 | 4pm (in-person); doors open at 3:30pm
Thursday, July 8, 2021 | 8pm (in-person); doors open at 7:30pm

Parsons Dance


“This is a ‘dance your heart out’ (at all times, no excuses) kind of enterprise” —The New York Times

Leslie Odom, Jr.

photo by Jimmy Fontaine


We regret to inform you that, due to an unforeseen conflict with his touring schedule, Leslie Odom, Jr. will be unable to keep his performance date with An Appalachian Summer Festival 2021. We understand that this change may be very disappointing for his fans and are sincerely sorry. While we hope to reschedule Mr. Odom’s appearance for a future festival, we are working hard to replace this summer’s July 17 date with another exceptional artist.

Please hold on to your tickets for a short time while we actively work to fill the date with another event. You will soon have the option of either applying your tickets to the new performance or requesting a full refund.

For questions, please contact the Schaefer Center Box Office at 828-262-4046 or email TheSchaeferCenter@appstate.edu. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.


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