Donna Ray Norton & Susan Pepper

Friday October 20, 7:00 pm
First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta
470 Candler Park Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
General Admission: $20
AAFFM, First E. Members and Frank Hamilton School Students: $15

Workshops by both performers Saturday, October 21, 9:30 am at the Frank Hamilton School, Legacy Park, Decatur.
Discount available for attending both the concert and the workshop
(See details below.)

Sheila Kay Adams must cancel her scheduled performance in this concert due to illness.
In her place will be her cousin, ballad singer/folk storyteller Donna Ray Norton.

Donna Ray Norton tells authentic stories from Madison County where her ancestors go back for at least 13 generations. Her stirring voice has a special beauty and grit. She is known for her humor and ability to connect with audiences.

Susan Pepper shares old and new songs on dulcimer, guitar, banjo, fiddle and voice. She is featured in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Traditional Artist Directory and has performed ballads alongside North Carolina ballad keepers at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day, the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival and the Library of Congress.

The concert will take place Friday, October 20, 7:00 pm at First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, 470 Candler Park Dr., Atlanta.
It will consist of ballads, banjo and dulcimer music from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Southern Appalachian traditional balladry and music are descended substantially from oral and musical traditions from Scotland, England and Ireland and led to the development of modern country and bluegrass music.
Concert admission is $20 per person for the general public, $15 for AAFFM and First E. members, and FHS students and staff.

Two workshops by these artists will be presented simultaneously Saturday, October 21, 9:30-10:45 am, followed by a jam at 11:00 am, at the Frank Hamilton School, Legacy Park, 520 S. Columbia Dr., Decatur. The cost of each workshop is $20.

  • Susan will offer an Intermediate Clawhammer Banjo Workshop, teaching some of Sheila’s banjo songs. Like Sheila, Susan combines clear-noted banjo sounds of Madison County with Round-Peak clawhammer influences.
  • Donna Ray will conduct a Ballad/Folk Song workshop for all levels. This interactive workshop will offer students a deep dive into Appalachian ballad singing and the beautiful vocal ornamentation that makes this tradition unique. Donna Ray delights in passing on songs she has learned from wonderful singers of an older generation in Western North Carolina over the past couple of decades. Singers will walk away from this workshop with a couple of new songs in their pockets and strategies for approaching traditional singing. 

Register for both the concert and the workshop for $30, $25 for AAFFM and First E. members, and FHS students and staff!
Although payment for both the concert and workshops may be made at the door, advance reservations for both the concert and the workshops are highly recommended to guarantee your seat.
Reservations can be made and tickets can be purchased at

For more information on the concert, contact Chris Moser at 770-482-1209 or
For more information on the workshops, contact Maura Nicholson at 770-880-5525 or

These activities are funded in part by a grant from SouthArts (Southern Arts Federation) in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Georgia Council for the Arts.