In rural areas, life often revolves the local school. Schools are the places where lifelong friendships are formed. Piney Creek Elementary and Glade Creek Elementary are located in those respective communities at opposite ends of Alleghany County. Sparta Elementary is located in Sparta. All are K-8 schools whose students reflect the diversity of the county as a whole. School activities pull together families that may not otherwise interact. Administrators are quick to point out that the success of the schools rely heavily on community support.
The Alleghany Community Auditorium is an example of the collaboration of the school system and community. In 2010, the Friends of the Alleghany Community Auditorium partnered with the Alleghany County Schools to renovate and manage the auditorium. The school system took care of some pressing structural needs such as roof repairs. The Friend’s group has replaced the sound system and added a number of padded seats.
The auditorium has become the center for performing arts in Alleghany County. The performances are varied and reflective of the people who call Alleghany home. There have been plays by the Barter Players and the Alleghany Community Theatre (ACT). The Hillbilly Comedy and Variety show is an annual favorite. Musical acts range from the Highland Camerata which preformed Handel’s Messiah to the Western Piedmont Symphony to Alleghany’s Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM). At some point during the year, there is something for everyone on the auditorium’s stage.
The next phase of renovations is the improvement of the auditorium’s lighting. There will be a benefit concert on April 4, 2015 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm to raise funds for this next project. The line-up is an all-star cast of local and regional musicians anchored by Wayne Henderson and Helen White, and the Loose Strings Band. Local celebrity, Wes Brinegar, will serve as emcee. By any measure it is an entertainment deal at $10 admission. Emphasizing the family nature of this evening, children under 6 will be admitted free.
There is an adage that “the value of the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.” Our schools reinforce that notion as much by necessity as by design. There is a vision by some that the Alleghany Community Auditorium can be more than most can imagine. On April 4, 2015 we have a chance to get a glance at that vision.