Music festivals run through length of the Shenandoah Valley

Jane and Marvin Bond

You’ll find music in the air everywhere as summer rolls to its conclusion in the Shenandoah Valley. Festivals and special concerts dot the landscape from Winchester on the north to Staunton on the south.

The Patsy Cline Music Festival, Sept. 2–6 in Winchester, honors Cline, who grew up in the area and was the first female solo performer elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Patsy-Cline-Showcase-534592Events include a free kickoff with music and other entertainment on Sept. 4 at Apple Blossom Mall and the Sept. 5 Block Party, with entertainment, in front of the Patsy Cline House. On Sept. 6, the Drifters and Bill Haley’s Comets will be among the bands at the Rockin’ in the Park Concert. (

The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival returns to Orkney Springs with five concerts in August and September. The U.S. Air Force Strings entertain on Aug. 6 and The Lettermen play on Aug. 7.

The weekend concludes on Aug. 8 with Gimme Abbey, a Beatles tribute and a Rolling Stones tribute in one show.

The Oak Ridge Boys bring their country music to the festival on Sept. 5 and the season comes to a close Sept. 6 with the Bluegrass MiniFest, featuring the popular Seldom Scene and four other bluegrass bands. (

The Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton celebrates the lives and homelands of those who settled the early frontier, and also celebrates American Roots Music with mini-bluegrass concerts from 5:00–7:00pm Aug. 2, 16, and 30. The concerts feature favorite Washington-area bands, and tickets include admission to the museum’s outdoor exhibits. Food and wine are also available. (

The Staunton Music Festival, Aug. 14–23, presents nearly 30 concerts, lectures, and workshops with 60 of the world’s finest chamber musicians performing in historic venues. There are free concerts each day at noon and ticketed evening performances. (

Non-musical fun

Shakespeare’s plays aren’t musicals, but Staunton’s American Shakespeare Center presents rollicking versions of classics such as Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Joan of Arc (Henry VI, Part 1) through November. It all takes place in Blackfriars Playhouse, which is the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater in London.

Accommodation packages are available at
a number of Staunton lodgings, allowing
visitors to see several plays over a weekend. (

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