Junior Appalachian Musicians

About us

What is Alleghany JAM

Alleghany JAM (AJAM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Appalachian Heritage by enriching the lives of youth in our community through traditional music. Thank you to our sponsors!

JAM classes (instruction in Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Dulcimer, Bass, Singing, and Clogging) meet after-school​ Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:15-5:30 pm.

Appalachian Arts classes are held Tuesdays, 3:30 to 5:00pm at the JAM House. ​​

Our History

Alleghany JAM was started in the spring of 2000 by Helen White, a guidance counselor and musician, who noticed that the once prolific music traditions of the area were no longer celebrated by the average student or family. She was also deeply concerned about the general cultural isolation of students and their families and saw the reintroduction of the music of the region as an appropriate means of offering positive after school activities for kids that would also generate community pride across the generations. JAM encourages a sense of ‘belonging’ both through offering opportunities for students to play traditional music with others, and through activities that foster an appreciation for their ancestors and place in history. 


Until 2017, JAM was housed by Sparta School, but it received no direct funding from the school system. In 2016, Alleghany JAM became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  In 2018, JAM moved from the school into a near by house and further established itself as a separate entity. 


Since its inception, Alleghany JAM over 1200 students have participated in Alleghany JAM, and it has become a well-respected entity within and beyond the county. It is funded through grants, donors, and fundraising events. Today it serves students in grades 3-8 teaching classes in guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, dulcimer, dancing, and singing.