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An overhead view of Flagg Mountain in Weogufka. Photo submitted
Photo of an American kestrel by Jason Ganz, courtesy of the National Audobon Society.
Meg Ford is a classically trained violinist originally from Birmingham. She graduated from The Alabama School of Fine Arts and Birmingham Southern College where she majored in music composition. She will be one of three musical acts performing Sunday for “Birds, Beats & Bach.” Photo submitted
Haleigh Black and Davis Little are an acoustic guitar and violin duo who have recently returned from their Scotland and Ireland tour. Their music is inspired by diverse musical genres and cultures around the world. This duo will be one of three musical acts performing Sunday for “Birds, Beats & Bach.” Photo submitted
Iron Giant is a contemporary music collective based in Birmingham featuring multi-instrumentalists Sam Herman, Betty Huffman, Seth Noble, and Justice Wallace. Established in 2011, the ensemble has performed with Glenn Kotche of Wilco, Norman Westberg of Swans, and others. Their eclectic repertoire includes chamber music, ambient and post-rock, as well as meditative improvisation. They will be one of three musical acts performing Sunday for “Birds, Beats & Bach.” Photo submitted
Special to the News
On Sunday, September 24, a special program showcasing Alabama musicians and experts in conversation about the mountain’s ecology and natural history will be hosted at Flagg Mountain, a property owned by the Alabama Forestry Commission.
“Birds, Beats and Bach” will offer entertainment and education on Alabama’s “first mountain.”
Musicians stationed at three sites around the top of Flagg Mountain in Weogufka State Forest will perform works from the classical repertoire and original compositions as visitors stroll between stations.
Experts from Alabama Audubon, the Alabama Trails Foundation and the Alabama Forestry Commission will be on hand to share information about the natural history of the mountain and eastern Alabama, including montane longleaf pines and the mountain’s diverse bird and plant species.
“We hope ‘Birds, Beats, & Bach’ will introduce more people to Flagg Mountain,” says Cindy Ragland, executive director of the Alabama Trails Foundation, one of the event co-sponsors. “The beauty and diversity of the mountain make it a special and valuable place in our state, and we hope this program brings new and returning visitors to experience it.”
Two 45-minute sessions, one at 2 p.m. and one at 3 p.m., will be offered on September 24. The program is free thanks to generous support from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, but registration is required and is limited to 50 for each session.
To register, visit alabamatrailsfoundation.org/bbb23. Information about parking, handicap accessibility and other details will be provided with registration.
In case of rain, the program will be rescheduled to October 22.
Performers include Meg Ford, a classical violinist who has worked with Alabama Audubon and WILD Alabama and currently serves with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham; Haleigh Black and Davis Little, a violin and acoustic guitar duo whose work explores the intersection of art and nature; and Iron Giant, a four-member percussion group known for its original compositions.
Naturalists include Alabama Audubon’s executive director Scot Duncan and programs coordinator Andrew Lydeard.
Duncan is the author of “Southern Wonder: Alabama’s Surprising Biodiversity,” an award-winning book that explores and celebrates the state’s remarkable environment and diversity. Lydeard is a naturalist, ecologist and biologist, as well as an avid nature photographer whose work can be seen at Andrew’s Bird Club.
Weogufka State Forest is located in Coosa County. Flagg Mountain is the first mountain of more than 1,000 feet in the Appalachian Trail system and “mile one” of the Pinhoti Trail. At its top is a newly restored 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps fire tower.
Montane longleaf pines, many species of birds, and breathtaking views of surrounding counties are among Flagg Mountain’s treasures. For more information, visit forestry.alabama.gov/Pages/Management/WeogufkaSF.aspx.