Remembering Helen White

Pat Jarrett/The Virginia Folklife Program

The Virginia Folklife Program is deeply shocked and saddened at the news of the passing of our good friend Helen White. Helen channeled her tireless passion for the music and people of Southern Appalachia to create the Junior Appalachian Musicians program, first in schools across western North Carolina, and then in our own state. Through her sweat, perseverance, and guidance, the school-based program has brought the joys of traditional music to countless school children, and its impact will be felt for generations to come. Helen was a fine fiddler and singer herself, and to say that she’ll be missed at the many musical gatherings she regularly attended would be a tremendous understatement. Helen was a sweet and generous soul, and had a smile that could light up any room. Today we are heartbroken as well as grateful that the Blue Ridge Mountains had Helen White.

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