MAY 15, 2022

PO Box 223, Willis VA 24380

The Sandra Smith Music Scholarship Concert

Celebrating 50 Years of Service

by Kellean Gale

A Celebration honoring Sandra Smith’s 50 years of service to Floyd County was held on May 7th, at pm at First United Methodist Church in Salem. The All Floyd County Alumni sang the Floyd High School Alma Mater and the Hallelujah Chorus. Organist Michael Bower, Director of Music at St. Agnes Cathedral, New York, accompanied the Alumni and provided an organ concert.  

Michael L. Bower, a former student of Sandra Smith, is an international concert organist and the conductor and organist at St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, N.Y. He is a native of Floyd, Virginia, and a student of Sandra Rector Smith, who was his first organ teacher and gave him his early exposure to great choral masters. 

Spearheading the benefit was Naomi VanCleave.  Melissa Gallimore McDaniel and Shelia Lusk, and Terry Hubbard coordinated the reception. Vicki Sowers conducted the alumni choir. The two women are Melissa Gallimore McDaniel (red hair) and Sheila Gallimore Lusk (black hair). Both former students and part of the organization team for this event. 


$6,427 has been collected for the Scholarship fund.   Donations are still being accepted. Please make checks to Floyd County Cares and designate them for the Sandra Smith Music Scholar Ship fund.   E. Main Street Suite 108 Floyd VA.

A Colonial Dance at the Preston Plantation, Smithfield

by Michael Gale

Why hold a Colonial Dance at historic Smithfield? The answer is simple there is no more appropriate place to hold a colonial event than a 250-year-old authentic colonial home that was once at the edge of Colonial America. 

Three things that influenced what people do for fun in Colonial America.  They were social  standing, location, and gender. For wealthy planters, the social class helped them find amusement in more expensive forms of entertainment than the ordinary citizen could afford. Among these forms of entertainment were horse racing, drinking, and dancing. It was dancing that everyone could participate in, no matter their social standing. There were two forms of dancing in the colonies, the formal dances of those with more money and social standing and the lighthearted dances of the ordinary people. A noted Dance Master, Phillip Fithian, noted Virginian fondness for dance, saying, “Virginians are of genuine blood. They will dance or die!” Many wealthy had ballrooms built into their homes. For the elite, dancing was an opportunity to show off their wealth.  

Since dancing was the favorite pastime of nearly everyone, all types of dances and music became a part of the entertainment. English Country dancing, thought to be the oldest form of folk dance, is still being danced today and in Colonial times would have been a popular opportunity to socialize. 

On Saturday, May 7th, English Country Dancing once again grraced the Smithfield plantation.  A small group of ordinary people, not professional dancers, came to Preston Plantation for three hours of delightful music and dancing in colonial attire. The evening was cool and damp but didn’t stop the dancers from an evening of socializing and dancing. Some of the dances were Hole in the Wall, Jamaica, The Ship’s Cook, The Indian Queen, Mutual Love, and the Virginia Reel. 

Renee Metcalf taught all dances to those who attended and had not experienced English Country Dancing. The group will be retuning this fall on October 8th for another dance and invites anyone interested to attend and join in the dancing. Experience and colonial attire is not required.

For more information, contact If you want to learn the dances, we meet most 2nd and 4th Saturday 4:00 pm-6:00 pm at Turman Sports Complex 401 Kyle Weeks Rd. Willis, VA 24380


The Floyd Beacon Reduces the Monthly Cost of Website Subscriptions

The Floyd Beacon is reducing the monthly cost of web subscriptions to $3.95 per month! Working with our website team we have determined that we can hold costs lower than anticipated. We thank our early subscribers for their support. They will see the new price automatically with their next billing cycle. Thank you all for your support of our work! The Floyd Beacon.

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Come home to the Floyd Beacon, a locally owned and operated paper shining light on community and government.  Join us on the Front Porch for civic news or Around the Table for community news. Visit on the Back Porch for our community involvement section of the paper. Submit your birth and wedding announcements or classified ads at an affordable cost. Budget-friendly advertising options for anyone to strengthen our local economy. For information about advertising, email us at:
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