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TELL ME A TALE: Goforth opens festival with a show for students

Messenger Photo/Jonah Enfinger Grammy winner Josh Goforth headlined a performance for students from Pike County on Friday. The event opened the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival weekend, which continues today at Troy University.

Messenger Photo/Jonah Enfinger
Grammy winner Josh Goforth headlined a performance for students from Pike County on Friday. The event opened the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival weekend, which continues today at Troy University.

Students from local high schools and Troy University packed the Trojan Center Theater on Friday for a free concert by Grammy-nominated singer and storyteller Josh Goforth.

The free performance gave students just a small taste of this weekend’s Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival, where Goforth will return alongside several other performers to entertain the crowd.

Hundreds of students from Pike County High School, Charles Henderson High School, Goshen High School and Troy University crammed into the theater to hear Goforth’s blend of storytelling and folksy country music.

Goforth has performed at stages as large as the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall, but he said the size of the stage and the audience doesn’t make much of a difference to him.

“It doesn’t really matter how big the stage is and whether the audience is big or small,” Goforth said. “My job is to teleport the audience together to another place, so as long as all of us are teleporting together, it really doesn’t matter.”

Goforth said his routine allowed him to adapt to the short time limit for the performance and the crowd made up of mostly high school students. “I’m lucky because most of my pieces are pretty short– about three to five minutes because I sing,” Goforth said. “I try to stick to music with a few quips in between for the high school kids.”

Goforth is not new to the festival as he has performed for the past three years, but he is newer to the profession than some of the other performers as he only began storytelling professionally about three years ago. “I’ve been doing music professionally since I was 15,” Goforth said, “but I just melded into storytelling. Storytelling was always a part of my performance but I hadn’t really thought about it until about three years a go when I got invited to a festival.”

Goforth said the Pike Piddlers festival  keeps him coming back for more.

“The festival has been so kind to me,” Goforth said.

Goforth will return to the stage on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the first of three installments of the storytelling festival. He will return with different stories for each of the next two concerts at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.  Each concert will be held at the Trojan Center Theater, which is located on the second floor of the Trojan Center on the Troy University main campus. Tickets are still available for morning and evening performances.