More than 30 performers sign on for first Minco music festival

Walter E. "Jack" Rollins

KEYSER, W.Va. — With more than 30 performers and a similar number of vendors, the Minco Music Heritage Festival is set for its inaugural celebration June 21-23 in Keyser.

The event will be held throughout the community with performers on stages at two locations. The festival will celebrate the diversity of music in the region and especially two members of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame who called Mineral County their home.

Walter E. “Jack” Rollins was a composer of popular music in the 1940s and ‘50s who wrote tunes such as “Frosty the Snowman,” “Smokey the Bear” and “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.” He also wrote over 200 other songs that were performed by notables such as Hank Snow, Gene Autry, George Jones and Eddy Arnold. He is buried at Queen’s Point Memorial Cemetery in Keyser.

Don Redman was born to a family of musicians in Piedmont in 1900. He began playing the trumpet at the age of 3 and at 6 joined his first band. After attending Storer College and Boston Conservatory he joined the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra in New York City. He was known as an arranger, composer and performer during the golden age of jazz.

Both men will be honored during the festival. Champ Zumbrun is a collector of Rollins memorabilia and will be performing a Rollins tribute at the Indie on Main while the Potomac State/Community Jazz Band will perform a set of Redman material interspersed with a retrospective of his life.

The festival will also include music workshops, food and craft vendors and other events with a wide variety of musical genres, including jazz, country, bluegrass, old time, classic rock, Americana, blues, folk and gospel. A complete schedule is available at www.mincomusic.weebly.com.

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