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Heritage music offers a tangible look into the past of the Appalachians. Without it, all is silent. Last year, 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. And after this past year of change, there is a need to “bring it back.” A hallmark at the O for over 20 years, people miss the music. We miss it. We don't want to go another year without it. Folks who only come out on weekends to hear the music of generations past; those who travel from around the state to kick up a heel or two, tap a toe; those who make the O a destination to meet up with friends and share a song or two. The camaraderie, the friendships, the family, and their time at the Orchard when the apples just aren’t ready yet or worse—gone for the season. These experiences need to return.

We put heads and hearts together and came up with a plan we call “Bringing Back the Music”. After much deliberation and with thumbs up from the Blue Ridge Parkway, we determined that the existing Olin Hefner Pavilion, with a change here, another there, and a modification between, could provide the ideal venue for traditional music performances and other heritage events that could be held down the road.

We anticipate a two-year, dual phased project with an estimated cost for the first phase around $30,500 (construction supply prices have risen substantially in the past year). We received a grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to cover the cost of a wheelchair-accessible walkway between the red barn and the pavilion—safe passage between the two buildings; no walking in the road. And we were awarded a matching grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area to cover around half of the remaining cost. It is a match grant, and we need your help with the other $15,000+. We’re asking that you dig deep, and help us reach our goal to “Bring Back the Music” to the Orchard.

Please check out the 2-year plan below and a schematic of the proposed completion. Then . . .

take a moment and imagine that pavilion with the addition on the back, the ramp taking you from the red barn, dancing with Bill or watching your favorite band from a seat in the audience. Doesn't have to be a dream.

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.

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Bringing Back the Music

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Year One

  • Extend the "back" side of the pavilion by 10'
  • Add roof
  • Floor to ceiling wall where stage will be
  • Railing around 3 sides
  • Knee/half wall across front (for road dust)
  • Electricity throughout
  • 6' wide walkway, roofed

Year Two

  • Wall remaining sides of pavilion
  • Install windows on 3 sides
  • Build locked storage area behind stage
  • Build sound booth opposite stage
  • Ceiling fans
  • Locable entrances/exits



1025 Orchard Road

Spruce Pine, NC 28777

Blue Ridge Parkway
(mile marker 328.3)



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2021 HOURS

May 8-May 31

June 1-October 31

Subject to change

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