In 2002 Charlie and Mary Bast, who were owners of the White Mountain Lodge, together with musicians Ted Cox and Martha McQuaid produced the first Music from Greer. The original artists, from Oklahoma and Arizona, usually 14 in number, performed every evening for a week-long chamber music festival. During the first two years, concerts were held in the dining room at Kettle Kate’s (now the Neon Moon). By 2004 the enthusiastic audience had grown too large for Kettle Kate’s, and that year and the next, concerts were held in large tents erected south of Greer Land and Investments. Our little community hosted an audience of 300 at the final performance of the 2005 season!
In 2006, with the completion of the Ragel Family Community Center, Music from Greer had a new home but lost its founders when the Basts sold their Lodge and moved away from Greer. The format of the 2006 series was changed to weekend concerts in July and August and featured a string quartet/piano quartet and a wind quintet. Many of the musicians in the two groups had played in Greer during the years of the seven-night chamber music series and were happy to return to Greer once again to make “music with altitude.”
Music from Greer has continued to expand the variety of entertainment offered to the concert-goers of the White Mountains and visitors. While the string quartet/piano quartet – now called “Quartet Greer” – and the wind quintet – the Paloma Winds – continue to be the featured artists, additional weekend concerts have been added. In 2007 a generous gift of funds to purchase a grand piano has allowed us to invite such performers as Tawna Flake and David Peterson, fiddler and pianist; Ronnie David, pianist; Ji Sun Lee, pianist, and Michael Lich on guitar and banjo; Tyler Kobylinski, pianist; and Kyle Malkin and his group, Suite Strings.
Greer Arts and Entertainment, Inc., the parent of Music from Greer was incorporated in 2004 and the Internal Revenue Service granted its status as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation in 2006. Tom Tilford of Greer is currently President of Greer Arts and Entertainment, and Board members are Lou Bagnara, Treasurer, Gerald Lorch, Secretary, Sue Sutter, and Jane Lenci.