Roanoke, VA: Where Music Is Made Matters
I've written before about how where music is made matters. Not only can music add flavor to a city as it does in Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans; but musicians can also be harbingers of future growth as we've seen in places like Austin and Brooklyn Heights, New York.
The conditions needed to grow a music city and music's potential to lead a city's transformation have become particularly apparent since my wife Katy and I moved to Roanoke, Virginia late last year. There's a diverse music scene of surprising quality beginning to take shape here driven by a long tradition of music making, affordable living, and a few dedicated individuals like Katherine and Ed Walker, Gary Jackson and Stepahnie Koehler of the Kirk Ave Music Hall, The Jefferson Center's Dylan Locke, Chris Stup of education hub The Music Lab, Cyrus Pace, who with VH1's Save The Music Foundation is bringing music into the schools, Beth Deel and Wendy Schuyler who chronicle the scene as well as help present it, and David Stewart Wiley who bucked national trends and grew the Roanoke Symphony's audience by as much as 316% for certain programs.
Last week, I had the privilege of sitting down to discuss Roanoke's future as a music city on 101.5 The Music Place, the city's great new eclectic AAA radio station. Roanoke marketing guru Bruce Bryan played host to Roanoke Time's talented music writer Tad Dickens for 30+ minutes that you might find interesting if your trying to build a music scene in your hometown or lucky enough to be within driving distance of Roanoke, VA.