Balsam Range and Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble Bringing Collaboration to MerleFest
Arden, North Carolina (April 17, 2018) — Balsam Range will soon bring their latest project with Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble, “Mountain Overture,” to the stage at MerleFest, one of the country’s premier music festivals, in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
MerleFest, founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson the son of music legend Doc Watson, considers itself a festival of “traditional plus” music, showcasing the Appalachian style and others like Americana, country, blues and rock. The unique blend creates a special experience for musicians and fans alike.
This makes MerleFest a fitting place for Balsam Range and Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble to showcase their “Mountain Overture” collaboration in a live setting.
“Mountain Overture,” from Mountain Home Music Company, takes the band’s most-loved songs and elevates them, pulling together the rustic and symphonic for a profound effect. The music scores, arranged by Wes Funderburk and Shelley Washington lift the heartfelt tale of “Trains I Missed” (IBMA 2011 Song of the Year), intensify the sentimental longing of “Blue Mountain,” and draw out the melancholia of “I Hear the Mountains.”
Balsam Range and Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble will perform Friday, April 27 — the day “Mountain Overture” is released — on the Watson Stage. Fans can get a preview of what they will hear on Thursday, April 26 when “Mountain Overture” streams at The Bluegrass Situation.
About Balsam Range
Balsam Range, formed in 2007, has become one of the genre’s most award-winning acts in recent years, garnering 10 International Bluegrass Media Association Awards on the heels of six critically-acclaimed albums. The group has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. Their previous outing, Mountain Voodoo, debuted at #4 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart and remained on that chart for 45 weeks. Three singles from that album reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart, including “Blue Collar Dreams,” which spent three consecutive months at the top.
About Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble
The Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble is a 14-piece version of the typically 36-piece Atlanta Pops Orchestra. This condensed ensemble was established during the 70th anniversary season of the Atlanta Pops Orchestra in 2015, in order to take advantage of new opportunities for the Atlanta Pops to perform in situations that are more conducive to a smaller group of musicians. These have included collaborative performances with Zac Brown Band’s founding member John Driskell Hopkins at nightclubs, restaurants and churches, with the Joe Gransden Big Band at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center 2017 Holiday Gala in Atlanta, GA and with Balsam Range at the 2016 & 2017 Art of Music Festivals in Lake Junaluska, NC. The Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble is comprised of string, woodwind, brass and rhythm section musicians from the Atlanta Pops Orchestra.