A 501(c)3 Non-Profit

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Heritage music offers a tangible look into the past of the Appalachians. Without it, all is silent. In 2020, it was. The quiet that was necessary for safety and well being, was deafening. Heritage music is part of the Orchard mission—to preserve and protect the regional culture.
And, with your help, we will do that in the next two years. We will "Bring Back the Music."

Traditional music and dancing are a huge part of our collective Appalachian culture, our history, our mission. Seems like a lifetime ago, but when the music left, there was a quiet hanging over the red barn. When we could kick up our heels again, we did so on the Olin Hefner Pavilion, adjacent to the barn. With our heads and hearts together, we made a two-year plan to renovate/innervate the pavilion with a new walkway, new addition and new enclosed space. Of course, with all great plans, snags snag, and bumps in the road bounce. Lumber prices skyrocketed and many contractors move on to other things.

A small hiccup that cleared our lungs. A season's worth of music that helped us understand the needs of the performers. And an audience who responded with applause. Gave us time to think. And we did.

Folks liked the open air, not so much the occasional storm, but those were rare. Bands appreciated being able to have their music "spread through the fields" although they would have loved a sound system. And more folks enjoyed the opened-up space in the red barn.

Initial delays have set back the project a year, but the wheelchair accessible ramp was finished in November and the addition will come this season. We decided to keep that open air feeling and make the addition a walk out deck where folks can stand . . . or sit . . . and enjoy the music, the sweet smells of the O, the views of the surrounding mountains. And the pavilion proper will be wrapped in a zippered  transparent vinyl—views available on all four sides.

The grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina helped us secure the ramp and the matching grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area will go far in completing the addition, setting up the electricity throughout. The enclosure, however, still remains an image in the back of our minds. Estimates are $25,000. We’re asking that you dig deep, and help us reach our goal to “Bring Back the Music” to the Orchard.

In our vision, there'll be room for dancing, a sound system, lighting, plenty of seating, a walk out deck for additional seating, dancing, just watching the views, a wheelchair accessible ramp to and from the pavilion. Now . . . take a moment and help us make it happen.

Let's make it a reality. Let's Bring Back the Music and let the strings vibrate around the O again!

If you've enjoyed listening to live music from regional bands; if you want those valued traditions to continue at the Orchard at Altapass, please donate. Help us continue saving the good stuff for another quarter century and move forward into the future by remembering the past.

pavilion elevation drawing

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Bringing Back the Music

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We would like to thank

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina for their grant, which will be used to construct a wheel-chair accessible ramp connecting the side deck walkway of the red barn to the pavilion addition.
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area for a matching grant which will enable the start of phase I of the renovation project—the construction of a roofed 10' addition across the back of the Olin Hefner Pavilion.
The generosity of our individual donors and their appreciation of the Orchard's mission to preserve, protect, and educate the people about the land, the heritage, and the culture of its peoples. Thank you.


1025 Orchard Road

Spruce Pine, NC 28777

Blue Ridge Parkway
(mile marker 328.3)



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MAY 2022

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