Junior Appalachian Musicians of Swain County (J.A.M.)

The Junior Appalachian Musicians Program of Swain County at Mountain Discovery Charter is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. Mountain Discovery Charter School has hosted the program since 2003. J.A.M. at MDCS serves 35 to 40 students a year and meets after school three to four days a week.

Jonathan S. Wertheim is the Program Director. He teaches three levels of guitar, vocals, and bass. Ellen Petty teaches three levels of mandolin and vocals. Both have collaborated on the MDCS Advanced String Band since the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Mr. Jonathan has also taught songwriting, piano, and recording. Ms. Ellen has also taught banjo.

In addition to its NCAC Traditional Arts Programs for Students Grant, J.A.M. at MDCS was awarded a Fender Music Foundation Grant for 2013-2014. This grant allowed the program to add seriously needed acoustic guitars and several microphones. Thanks to the Fender Music Foundation and Robert Huntley. Additional thanks to Michele Gellick for writing the grant.

Many thanks are due to the North Carolina Arts Council and Folklife Specialist, Sally Peterson for their ongoing support. J.A.M. at MDCS would also like to thank Ryan Buchanan, the Buddens, the Holcombes, the Quillens, Dalton and Jenn Pitney, Mackenzie Puckett, Harvest Clark, Crim Bassett, Kristin Schrader, Carter Petty, and all of the host teachers at MDCS.

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