The Band Concord to play at music festival

The Band Concord members from left to right: Jason Agola Andrew Steger, Spencer Pugh, Alex Winemiller, Braden Burns

The Band Concord will kick off two nights of music at Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs this weekend.

At 7 p.m. today, the young five-member Blacksburg band will play the festival for the first time.

Andrew Steger, who plays mandolin and banjo, said he has done a little research to familiarize himself with the area, and Spencer Pugh, who does vocals and plays guitar, said he’s excited to be surprised by what the valley has to offer.

Steger said they haven’t traveled much recently, because they’ve been in the studio working on their new album.

“It’ll be nice to be performing in Virginia,” he said.

Both musicians said they are looking forward to playing at the festival as they prefer smaller venues that provide a more intimate audience interaction. After their show they plan to meet the audience one on one, Steger said.

“The smaller venues definitely have a close, intimate feeling,” he said.

The band dates to 2012 when freshmen college neighbors Pugh and Steger decided to form a band. Pugh said they found their bass player, Alex Winemiller, after posting about their idea on Facebook. Winemiller met violinist Jason Agola and brought him into the band.

Their last addition was their drummer, Braden Burns. Pugh said he went to high school with Burns and had told him back then that if he ever formed a band he would bring Burns on as his drummer.

“It’s kind of funny that it worked out that way,” Pugh said. “I think we all solidified when we went into the studio for our first demo album ‘Youth’.”

All five band members are in their 20s, and Pugh said their songs have a folk pop feel with more emphasis on the lyrics than music.

“That’s where every song starts with us,” he said. “We love the energy and we love the story.”

Pugh said he uses a mixture of personal experiences and imagination when creating song lyrics.

“I love telling stories and placing my own consciousness into certain made-up situations. I know a lot of things come from personal experiences and even that of others, but for some reason I picked up a knack for writing about others’ experiences and placing myself in those situations,” he said.

When writing lyrics, Steger said he has an easier time using personal experiences because they “are so real and they pull a listener in a lot better than my made-up stories.”

Pugh said their varied musical backgrounds also provide a mixture of different styles and sounds to their music.

Said Steger, “We are looking forward to playing Shenandoah.”

Also performing tonight is another Virginia group – The Hunts, an indie-folk band from Chesapeake.

The family band is comprised of five brothers and two sisters – Josh, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin, Jamison, Jenni and Jessi Hunt

Playing Saturday will be the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, joined by a rock ensemble that includes conductor Glenn Quader and vocalists Elizabeth Lawrence and Robb Foster. The orchestra plans to set aside their usual traditional pieces and instead focus on American rock songs.

If You Go:
•    When: 7 p.m. today and 8 p.m. Saturday.
•    Where: Shrine Mont Conference Center in Orkney Springs
•    Fee: To purchase tickets, visit the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival at http://tiny.cc/ih12cy

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com