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Appalachian Trail Conservancy

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Evening Programs at Appalachian Trail Biennial Conference Feature Music, Inspiration and Adventure

Winchester, VA, June 27, 2015 --( Experience live music, comedy and informative and inspirational presentations about the great outdoors during the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Biennial Conference “Hiking Through History,” held at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Events start at 8 p.m. each evening beginning Sunday, July 19 and ending Thursday, July 23. For those not already registered for the conference, tickets for comedy and musical performances are $10 per person and evening presentations are free. Shenandoah University students and staff are admitted to the comedy and musical performances free with school I.D.

Alan DeValerio will kick off the week’s entertainment on July 19 with “An Evening with George Burns.” Listen as DeValerio relives the life and career of Burns, a legendary comedian. From childhood, through Vaudeville, and his days in radio and TV with Gracie Allen, DeValerio has created a one-man show that pays tribute to an endearing entertainer in show business history.

On July 20, the Gary Smallwood Band will perform a blend of classic rock, country rock and soulful blues rock. Gary has shared the stage with or supported acts like Robin Trower, Mahogany Rush, The Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet, Johnny Winter, Little Feat and many more. Also on July 20, Mathew Kirk, who holds the current speed record for an unsupported thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), will talk about his accomplishment in “AT < 60–An Unsupported Thru-hike in Record Time.” In addition, award-winning writer and habitual hiker Leonard Adkins will present “Pulaskis, Relos, and Hobnail Boots: A Pictorial History of Virginia’s Appalachian Trail.”

Newgrass and bluegrass band Drymill Road will take the stage on July 21. Featuring upbeat banjo, perky mandolin and harmonizing vocals, this spirited music will take the audience down the tranquility of a back road or into the heart of a raucous party. Presentations on July 21 include “Best Foot Forward,” Scott Rogers’ inspirational tale of overcoming the loss of his leg to live out his dream of hiking the A.T., and “The Gaucho Way—Exploring Wild & Remote Patagonia,” by retired Maryland State Park Ranger Tammy McCorkle.

Wall & Frye will rock the crowd on July 22 with high-energy interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Elton John, Kenny Loggins, The Eagles, The Beatles, Joe Cocker, Marvin Gaye, Bob Seeger and Rod Stewart. That same evening, John Grabowska will show his award-winning film “The Ends of the Earth–Alaska’s Wild Peninsula,” and talk about this little-known and spectacular part of the United States.

Rounding out the week’s entertainment on July 23 is Trilogy, a unique and musically versatile band that covers everything from classic rock, modern country and blues to Top 40 songs. Also on July 23, Kent Knowles from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia will entertain and inform using live raptors during “Raptors of the Shenandoah Valley.”

All musical performances will be held in the Ferrari Room in the Brandt Student Center at Shenandoah University. The comedy performance will be held in the Armstrong Concert Hall, and Monday and Tuesday presentations will be held in both the Armstrong Concert Hall and the Hester Auditorium in Henkel Hall. Presentations on Wednesday and Thursday will be held in the Armstrong Concert Hall.

The ATC’s Biennial Conference is co-hosted by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and the Mountain Club of Maryland. In addition to entertainment, the event will feature guided hikes on the nearby A.T., Civil War trails and other trails close to the university; educational workshops related to the A.T., hiking, local history and outdoor recreation; and excursions that will highlight the historic events that took place in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas. Register or get more information at

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit

Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.885.0481
Fax: 304.535.2667
Contact Information
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Javier Folgar

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