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This One Is For the Children 

If you have been a part of or heard the buzz going around about Moundsville, WV's historic Strand Theatre, you know things are happening there. They have been using it to produce plays, show movies, and here recently, host bluegrass events that have certainly left concert goers with some warm, happy feelings. Earlier this month, Donna Ulisse came back for a repeat performance of her Christmas show which is like no other.

If you have been in our audiences in the past and want more, or if you have wanted to come, but missed out, you are in luck. Mark you calendars for February 2 at 7:00 p.m., because we are doing it again. This will be the first concert at the Strand Theatre in which Crandall Creek will be the headliner, and they are well worth the $10 tickets. Sadly, we have seen a great talent leave the band, but we are excited to hear the two new editions to the band's lineup.Along with Crandall Creek, we will be graced with performances from One-A-Chord, a quartet of Christian men who sing Christian and Doo Wop oldies a Capella style. One of the Ohio Valley's gems, Roger Hoard, will be doing some solo selections.

All of our concerts have a cause, as does this one. We will again be taking nonperishable food items at the door that will be given to Feeding Body and Soul Community Kitchen. Proceeds from ticket sales and sales of silent auction items will be given to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Do yourself a favor, and don't miss this certain to please night!

Not Your Ordinary Christmas Show 

When you hear of a Christmas concert coming to a nearby venue, what do you think of? How about if you heard it was a bluegrass Christmas Show? Many would probably think, "We just heard Ms. Vanderpump's 4th grade music class sing Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and I'm Getting Nothin' for Christmas! Do we really need to hear these same tunes screeched out on a fiddle?"

Well, Donna Ulisse and the Poor Mountain Boys just rolled into Moundsville, WV yesterday afternoon. Their plan? Play another Christmas show at the Strand Theatre. Last night was nothing like what you would expect from a Christmas show. With the exception of a song or two at the beginning, the set that this amazing band out of Nashville, TN played was comprised of all original songs written by Donna herself.The story is certainly not her own, but she tells the story of the announcement, conception, and birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ like never heard before. These songs were written from the perspective of the players in the story as though they were normal, everyday people, and guess what. They were! The lyrics of each song paints such a vivid picture in the minds of the listeners. Then of coarse, there is the typical bluegrass sound you would come to expect from a bluegrass band. The Story, lyrics, and music come together to present a Christmas show like no other. Thank you, Donna and the Poor Mountain Boys for such a magical night.

Of coarse, like our previous concerts, Crandall Creek was there to grace the audience with their musical stylings. They opened the show with one song, Don't Cry Mary, written by Jerry Andrews. It is such a beautiful song that will bring tears to many eyes. Crandall Creek again took the stage after Donna's performance to finish out the night, playing some well known and loved songs as well as some newer songs also written by Jerry. It is always a great time and performance when the bands join together on stage to play together, and Donna and her band did not disappoint. How fun it was to watch the two bands collaborate.Crandall Creek is a young band, and by that we mean, hasn't been playing together long. Only two of the five can be classified as young. However, they are gaining traction in the bluegrass world. Their performance was stretched out by audience request, and rumor has it, they have been booked a couple places in the near future.

Once again, we cannot do these shows without the support of our sponsors, the local community, and our audience. Thank you Wheeling Hospital, Bordas and Bordas Law, Dr. Charles Wylie, and Dr. Harold Pickens for your monetary support. Thank you Moundsville Pharmacy for sponsoring our program. Thank you concert goers for coming out and supporting us!

Finally, thank you to the Feeding Body and Soul Community Kitchen for the work you do in our community. We hope and pray that the food donations and proceeds raised from the concert will be a blessing to many this Christmas season. God bless us all!

It's Christmastime at the Strand Theatre 

Donna Ulisse will return to The Strand Theater in Moundsville, WV on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 and perform her landmark Christmas CD All The Way to Bethlehem. She wrote all of the album and tells the story of the birth of Christ from the perspective of all of the characters in the greatest story ever told. After the intermission, she will return to the stage and perform some of her bluegrass hits. Advance tickets are available through Jerry Andrews at 304-281-5776 and are available at the door for $10.00, $5.00/Ages 5-12, Free Admission for Children under 5. Ulisse is a key figure in the bluegrass, folk and acoustic music scene as a singer and songwriter. Her co-written single “It Could Have Been The Mandolin” topped the Bluegrass Unlimited chart at #1 for two months in a row in 2016. She also was named 2016 IBMA Songwriter of the Year. Her eleventh album “Breakin’ Easy” was released September 22, 2017 by Mountain Home Music Company and was produced by bluegrass legend Doyle Lawson. 

As a songwriter she has had songs recorded by bluegrass artists Claire Lynch, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Doyle Lawson, Larry Stephenson Band and many more..Her song “Butler Brothers” was on the 2014 Grammy winning album Streets of Baltimore by the Del McCoury Band, and she also co-wrote the Volume Five hit “I Am A Drifter” which won IBMA Song of the Year for 2017. She authored the book The Songwriter in Me: Snapshots of My Creative Process and is a sought after songwriting instructor at workshops across the country when she is not touring with her band performing at festivals and concerts with her band.

Also appearing on stage on Dec. 2 is Crandall Creek. Crandall Creek is a bluegrass band made up of talent from the local area. Lilli Gadd is featured on the upright bass and vocals. Wyatt Kidd plays fiddle, banjo, guitar and anything else you can stretch a string between. Bob Meade and Jerry Andrews are featured on guitar and vocals. Doug Baker will delight you with his guitar. This will be the band's third time performing on the stage of the Strand Theatre.

Proceeds from ticket sales and silent auction items will be given to Feeding Body and Soul Community Kitchen. As all of our previous concerts, nonperishable food donations will be collected at the door.We would like to thank all of our sponsors and the community for your continued support.

Once Again... 

Last night, another great and successful event occurred. If you haven't been to one of the bluegrass concerts, you really need to check these things out! Even if the concert was the worst music you could imagine, the causes are ALWAYS worth it. However, that cannot be said of the concerts that are being held in Moundsville, WV at the Strand Theatre.

Crandall Creek just keeps getting better and better. It will not be long before word gets out about this group and they start getting booked other places. In fact, that has already started, as they were invited to play at Independence Hall in Wheeling, WV for the Veterans' Day Memorial that was conducted there. They are little known, but could easily be a headlining act.

The actual headline act last night was Jakob's Ferry Stragglers. This band is truly amazing. They literally played more than a couple hundred shows this year, and there is still time for them to put in more. They are obviously in demand, and it shows! This band has some incredible vocals along with some of the tightest instrumental performances you can find.

All music aside, the true focus of the night is just giving back to others. This is what we believe we are on this planet for, to help each other. We are proud to give proceeds of our concerts to other organizations like Helping Heroes. Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors, and anyone who contributed in any way. There really are too many to mention.

Please keep in mind, Donna Ulisse will be back at the Strand Theatre on December 6th at 7:00 p.m. If you caught her Christmas show last year, you know you don't want to miss it. If you missed it last year, and you have any interest in the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, this concert will blow you away with the imagery the songs will develop in your mind. Like all of our other concerts, the proceeds from this show will go to another good cause, the Feeding Body and Soul Community Kitchen. Watch for more information coming. We hope to see you there, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Oh, What a Night! 

If you didn't get to come to the concert on October 6, boy, did you miss out! First of all, it was a successful night for our beneficiaries. A good crowd which translates into ticket sales, several silent auction items that went for fair prices, and a big load of non-perishable food items collected at the door is what the night was all about. So, congratulations to Mr. Jerry Andrews on putting together such a spectacular event that really delivered.

Thank you, to our sponsors, Trout Unlimited, Bluegrass Music Endeavors Foundation, and Chevron Corporation. The night couldn't have happened without you. Also, a big thank you to the businesses that donated items for the auction. The sales of your items made a big impact on the amount that could be given to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.

If anyone ever needs a venue for a show, you cannot go wrong with booking at the Strand Theatre. It is an intimate setting with a lot of beautiful character, a great sound system, and they are so easy to get along with. Thank you, Dave Knuth and to your staff.

Finally, there was the music. One would not know, just by listening to Crandall Creek, that they are not a professional band. Their performance was tight and something each member should be quite proud of. Then there was Volume Five. It is no wonder they were awarded IBMA's Emerging Artist of the Year AND Song of the Year awards. One should not pass up the chance to see these guys. They are truly friendly, down-to-earth gentlemen. They surely gave the crowd their money's worth. The topping on the night was when they invited Crandall Creek to do a couple songs with them before the close of the show. The two groups together were electrifying. It was a bluegrass event that concert-goers will not soon forget.

If you feel like you missed something, no need to fret. Jerry is working on two more concerts. Don't make the same mistake twice. Keep watching for information to be coming out for Jakobs Ferry Stragglers on November 18 and Donna Ulisse performing her Christmas show on December 2, both at the Strand Theatre.

Benefit Concert and Silent Auction 

Come join us on Friday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. for another great night of Bluegrass music and silent auction to benefit a wonderful cause. BMEF proudly presents Volume Five, live at the Strand Theatre in Moundsville, WV. Come hear one of this year's nominees for IBMA Best Emerging Artist. They'll be performing their big hit from this past year "I Am A Drifter" which is also up for IBMA Song of the Year!  Opening act will be Crandall Creek.

Proceeds from this event will benefit a cause near and dear to BMEF founder, Jerry Andrews' heart. Project Healing Waters is an organization that works with veterans with PTSD by taking them on relaxing trips to connect with nature and learn how to fly fish. We owe our veterans more than we can repay.  We will also be taking nonperishable food items at the door to help the local food pantry, Body and Soul Soup Kitchen. For tickets or info, contact Jerry Andrews at 304-281-5776. Please also see the Event/Tickets tab for more info. Hope to see everyone there!

Volume Five

Catch this video clip below of Volume Five performing their hit "I Am A Drifter"


Crandall Creek

Lilli Gadd from Wheeling WV, Jerry Andrews, Wyatt Kidd, and Bob Meade from Moundsville, WV

BMEF to raise money for veterans! 

December 30, 2016 
BMEF is happy to announce our next show on March 25, 2017 at the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center at Wheeling Park High School. Thanks to a grant from Trout Unlimited Upper Ohio Valley Chapter 434, 100% of the ticket sales and items from a silent auction in the venue lobby that night will go to The Wheeling Program of Project Healing Waters. This organization is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.  Donna Ulisse & The Poor Mountain Boys from Nashville, TN will headline the show. Also appearing will be Wheeling Park High School Bluegrass Band and Roger Hoard.  For full details, click on the "Shows" tab. 

Donna Ulisse Christmas Concert a success! 

BMEF would like to thank everyone who attended the December 3rd Christmas concert by Donna Ulisse & The Poor Mountain Boys. Donna performed her full landmark album All The Way To Bethlehem which tells the story of the birth of Christ from the perspective of each character who was a part of the story. Her band members read the scriptures which inspired each song and she shared with the audience how that scripture caused her to write each song the way she did. Thanks to a generous grant from Chevron Appalachia as well as Williams Energy & Lantz Law Offices, we were able to divide 100% of the ticket sales between Appalachian Outreach, The Salvation Army, Body & Soul Soup Kitchen and House of Carpenter II. We also had a food drive and were able to collect some non-perishable foods that people brought to the concert to divide between the organizations.

Jerry Andrews, founder of BMEF and Donna Ulisse after a successful Christmas concert. 

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park hosts BMEF fundraiser for flood relief! 

On Saturday, October 22, 2016, Donna Ulisse & The Poor Mountain Boys arrived at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park to perform a show at the Last Run Restaurant. The show was free and open to the public in the park and there was a donation jar passed many times with all money raised going to Appalachian Outreach in their flood relief efforts. There was also an auction of several items with all funds raised also going to Appalachian Outreach. 

Photo: Donna Ulisse & The Poor Mountain Boys before their show at Cass, WV fundraiser.