Governor Proclaims 2019 Year of Music

RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed 2019 The Year of Music to recognize North Carolina’s influence on America’s most important musical genres and to celebrate, support and sustain the state’s strong music heritage.

“From bluegrass to the blues, from gospel to funk, from beach music to indie and hip hop, North Carolina is the birthplace of many musical styles and iconic performers,” said Gov. Cooper. “The Year of Music celebration not only recognizes North Carolina musicians that are now cultural icons but the nearly 25,000 North Carolinians who work in music occupations.”

The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council have developed The Year of Music to create greater visibility for the music and the musicians of the state and for the unique people that are important to understanding, preserving and promoting the state’s music story.

The proclamation was announced yesterday by First Lady Kristin Cooper at the North Carolina Executive Mansion in conjunction with the release of the Oxford American’s annual Southern music issue on North Carolina.

Throughout 2019, DNCR will celebrate all aspects of our state’s music industry from the composers, the musicians, the venues, listeners, and the communities that nurture and preserve our richest music traditions.

“Music is universal in North Carolina, regardless of where you live in the state,” said Susi H. Hamilton, secretary for the North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. “North Carolinians are the heroes of many musical genres in America, reflecting our rich cultural heritage, our innovative spirit and the collaborative nature of our musical communities.”

The year-long celebration features:

  • Daily posts of North Carolina multimedia music stories at
  • Exclusive monthly live streams of performances.
  • Commissioned North Carolina artist pairings.
  • Curated “Tiny” concert films.
  • North Carolina musician stages at MerleFest, Wide Open Bluegrass, NC Folk Festival, and other major festivals around the state.
  • Educational programming and performances.

North Carolina is home to the first state-supported orchestra in the nation, the North Carolina Symphony, and the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina and the African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina are among the first cultural tourism projects that focus on music in the country.

North Carolina has long been an innovator of musical institutions.

 “Musicians from North Carolina, both past and present, have made brilliant, often groundbreaking, contributions to many of America’s most important musical genres,” said Wayne Martin, executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council. “It is now time to embrace our music for its key role in the creative economy and for its importance in shaping the cultural identity of the people and communities of our state.”

For more information on the Year of Music visit



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