Goforth entertains students, kicks off Storytelling Festival

Published 9:46 pm Friday, January 24, 2020

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By the time Josh Goforth finished a fiddle solo during the classic “Sally Gooden” on Friday, the entire audience of students gathered at the Trojan Center Theater had already erupted into applause.

The storytelling event was performed free of charge for students of Pike County High School, Goshen High School, Pike Liberal Arts School and Troy University.

Goforth mixes his storytelling in between musical pieces including the use of instruments such as the fiddle, banjo and guitar – he can play 20 different instruments.

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“Bringing storytelling and music together is just natural to me,” Goforth told the crowd. “It comes from sitting on a porch and listening to people. They would tell about 20 minutes of stories and then play a few tunes and then tell another 20 minutes of stories. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but as I got older, I realized how well they went together.”

Goforth performed the ballad “the silk merchant’s daughter” for the students acapella, telling the story of a young wealthy woman whose poor boyfriend is sent to war and her journey disguising herself as a man to find and marry him.

Goforth asked the students what they thought was important to a good story; they answered with plot, characters, setting and imagination. Goforth focused on that imaginative aspect, encouraging kids to transport themselves into the stories to enrich their enjoyment and continue the tradition for generations to come.

The performance kicked off the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival, which continued on Friday night at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge as Goforth joined “the dean of storytelling” Donald Davis, Barbara Mcbride-Smith and Bil Lepp on stage.

The four tellers will continue with performances on Saturday morning, afternoon and evening. Limited tickets are still available for the evening performance, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Trojan Center Theater.