Wayne Henderson and Helen White at WTA’s Gateway

Wayne Henderson and Helen White“You got who!” That was what Richard Adams said when he learned that Wayne Henderson was going to play at the Gateway. “Do you know who he is? He is big time!” he added. To support Richard’s declaration the Shenandoah Valley Electric Coop put him on the cover of its magazine. If you read that you learned who he is and if you are a fan of flat picking guitar playing and traditional music you already knew who he is. For those who know him or wish they did, now is the time to get tickets for the Wayne Henderson and Helen White Concert at WTA’s Gateway on Saturday, September 14. It will be a chance to see and hear two outstanding musicians in the best listening room in the Valley at 329 West Main in downtown Waynesboro. The performance is at 8 pm.

Wayne Henderson was born in Grayson County, Virginia, where he lives today. He is a full-time instrument builder and musician. Though he has lived in Virginia all of his life, Henderson has influenced many regional musicians, through both his music and craft as an instrument builder. His unique style of playing comes from using a thumbpick and fingerpicks, making his playing sound like flatpicking, with fast, accurate, and clean notes. He has won more than 300 ribbons at fiddlers’ conventions and was featured in three of the “Masters of the Steel String Guitar” tours. He has traveled internationally with the United States Information Agency, visiting seven Asian countries. He performed at Carnegie Hall and the Smithsonian Institution and for “America’s Reunion” during the 1992 presidential inauguration. In 1995, he received the prestigious National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Most often he prefers to stay home, where he plays at his guitar shop and for local events

Every year, on the third Saturday in June, Henderson throws a music festival at the amphitheater in Grayson Highlands State Park (not far from Henderson’s home in Rugby, VA). The low-key festival attracts music and guitar fans from all over the country. Attendees hear great music, jam with each other, and–all the while–help support traditional music in the region. A portion of all proceeds goes to scholarships for young musicians in the area.

Joining Henderson will be Helen White, the founder and regional coordinator of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program which introduces Appalachian children to their musical heritage. An award-winning singer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer in her own right, Helen has toured extensively with Wayne in the U.S. and Europe. Both are frequent instructors at major traditional music camps across the country. As a guidance counselor and musician, Helen White became aware of the need for quality afterschool programs for children. (So Helen found the perfect solution: matching local old-time musicians with elementary school kids to pass on the traditions and keep the regional music alive. And thus, the JAM afterschool program was born.

The advanced tickets for the Saturday September 14 performance are $10 with remaining tickets available for $12 on the night of performance at the Gateway box office. . Advanced tickets may be purchased online at www.wtagateway.com or by calling the box office (540-943-9999) Tuesday thru Friday.