Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF) has an exciting season planned for 2018, for both the general public and Garrett County Public School students. Read more about our 2018 season below:


The Seldom Scene

The Seldom Scene is an American bluegrass band formed in 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland. The Scene has been instrumental in starting the progressive bluegrass movement as their shows include bluegrass versions of country music, rock, and even pop. What does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For The Seldom Scene, it’s taken not only talented musicians, a signature sound, and a solid repertoire, but also a sheer sense of fun.

Concert is this Sunday, August 4th starting at 6:00 pm at Wisp Resort

Visit to purchase your tickets.

GLAF presents Chautauqua Then and Now coming July 2019

–by Mary Callis, Executive Director, Garrett Lakes Arts Festival

“So said President Theodore Roosevelt of the education movement known as Chautauqua. The origins of Chautauqua (pronounced “Shuh-TAW-Kwa”) can be found in the Chautauqua Lake area of southwestern New York State, where the movement began in 1874. Initially organized by Methodist minister John Heyl Vincent and businessman Lewis Miller as a Methodist summer retreat, Chautauqua quickly grew to be a popular source of adult education as the lectures presented the latest thinking in politics, economics, literature, science, and religion.

Chautauqua by the National Park Service

Courtesy of National Park Service.

By 1900, more than 400 summer communities had developed from the original Chautauqua model, and touring companies presented lectures, debates, and performances at sites throughout the country. However, the growing popularity of radios, movies, and cars in the early twentieth century led to the gradual decline in the Chautauqua movement.

In Maryland, where the tradition dates back to the late nineteenth century when Chautauquas took place at Mountain Lake Park in Garrett County and at Glen Echo Park in Montgomery County, Maryland Humanities launched the modern Chautauqua in 1995 at Garrett College. Since then, this popular program has spread to other parts of the state, educating and entertaining thousands of Marylanders every summer.” (from the Maryland Humanities website).

Chautauqua in Mt. Lake Park, MD

Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives

GLAF (Garrett Lakes Arts Festival), Garrett College, and Maryland Humanities worked together in 1995 to restart Maryland Chautauqua. To celebrate the upcoming 25th modern day Maryland Chautauqua, GLAF, with help from a grant from the Maryland Historical Trust, will be returning to historic Mountain Lake Park July 5-7, 2019, with a three-day re-creation of Maryland’s early Chautauqua events.

This three-day celebration of the original Maryland Chautauqua will include a schedule of daily lectures, historical re-enactments, musical presentations, and more. Re-enactors of notable historical figures from those earlier Chautauqua years will also be on hand to celebrate our return to earlier times. A special addition to this program will be the opportunity for participants to share their own personal stories and connections to the development of Mountain Lake Park and the Chautauqua influence.

While the daytime schedule will focus on re-creating and commemorating some of the earlier Chautauqua programs, the regular program for the 2019 Maryland Humanities Chautauqua presented by GLAF will continue to be scheduled as evening performances, and those will also be held in Mountain Lake Park.  The Chautauquas were restarted in 1976 in North Dakota as a humanities program, incorporating the now-standard format of a monologue by a scholar/re-creator acting as a historical character, then interacting with the audience while still in-character, and then coming out of character to answer audience questions as a modern scholar. The Maryland Humanities Council restarted the Maryland Chautauqua at Garrett College in 1995 through the efforts of Steve Herman, former President of Garrett College, and was the only site in Maryland until 1999, when it began at Montgomery College. Presented through GLAF (Garrett Lakes Arts Festival), the Garrett County Chautauqua remains one of the highest attended venues in the Maryland Humanities Chautauqua line-up.

Garrett County has remained a leader of the Chautauqua Movement in Maryland, both in its nineteenth-century origins and in its modern resurgence.In July 2019, this small town in Garrett County hopes to recapture the magic and history of those first years.

February will start the 2018 performance and educational season with band, chorus, and theater students from both Northern and Southern High Schools traveling to the Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown to see the semi-staged production, in Italian with English subtitles, of Puccini’s Tosca. Last year the students were well-acquainted with the opera Carmen before they arrived at the theater, and interacted with the performers during a post-performance discussion; Tosca promises to be an equally successful experience for students.

April will bring Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble to Garrett College as part of GLAF’s educational outreach to school students, focusing on Irish roots and American branches of music and dance. For the general public, the group will perform in conjunction with local historian Al Feldstein’s presentation on 19th century Irish immigrants who helped construct the C&O Canal and B&O Railroad in Allegany and Garrett Counties.

In May GLAF will feature Ukrainian classical pianist Alina Kiryayeva, who will perform her program “Moving Pictures” for the general public and for public school students at the Garrett College auditorium. This program of masterworks featured in famous movies and cartoons will delight audiences of all ages.

GLAF’s traditional Maryland Symphony Orchestra’s performance will be in June. This year the concert will be Space: the Final Frontier, and will feature selections from Gustav Holst’s The Planets, music from the movies Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Superman, taking us on a journey through the cosmos.

July 5 through 7 will again bring Chautauqua to the Garrett College auditorium. Currently presented by the Maryland Humanities in six venues throughout Maryland, Chautauqua’s first performances were in Garrett County over 20 years ago. To support this year’s “Justice” theme, reenactors will portray Eleanor Roosevelt, Frederick Douglass, and Thurgood Marshall.

Pianist Thomas Pandolfi will return to the Wisp on July 29 to perform music of Burt Bacharach and Barry Manilow. Last year his Rhapsody in Blue concert was nearly sold out; GLAF is pleased to feature him again.

Bumper Jacksons, honored as “Best Folk Band” at the Washington Area Music Awards, will bring their own unique, playful style as they mix their hot and sweet painting of America’s story from the streets of New Orleans to Appalachian hollers. Unafraid to scrap together new sounds from forgotten 78’s, the Bumper Jacksons elegantly balance paying homage to the  to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, playful style. Come and join them on August 12th at Wisp Resort.

River City Brass, a GLAF favorite, will be returning to Garrett College on December 15 for their holiday concert. Based in Pittsburgh, this band consists primarily of a wide variety of brass instruments. Their showmanship and renditions of favorite holiday music will be enjoyed by an audience of all ages.

GLAF’s 2018 season promises to be exciting, with some old favorites and some new performances. GLAF is partially funded by grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, Garrett County Arts Council and Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area. More information about GLAF can be found the website