POSAM garners 1st ‘We Fan The Flame’ award

PICKENS — After a year of individual honors, the Pickens Fan the Flame program changed in March to recognize groups for their contributions toward making Pickens what it is today.

The first to receive the honor is Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music — better known as POSAM.

One of several submissions received in March, the POSAM entry reads “the purpose of the POSAM organization is to assure the perpetuation of our Appalachian music and dance heritage in the upstate of South Carolina. Through the Young Appalachian Musicians (YAM) program, the primary subsidiary of POSAM, music instruction and instrument rental are provided in after-school and evening programs as the root effort to assure continuance of our Appalachian heritage.”

The nominated activity is the Young Appalachian Musicians (YAM) program. The YAM program provides music lessons and instrument rental to students in after-school programs and community evening instruction. The after-school programs provide lessons and rentals at a subsidized cost to assure that all interested youth within the affiliated schools have the opportunity to be a part of the program.

Thankfully, the schools provide the location for the after-school lessons, which helps assure that interested students, who might otherwise not be able to make a special trip out in the afternoon or evening, have the ability to participate.

As a “stand-alone program,” the money needed to help subsidize lesson and rental cost comes from grants, fundraisers and dedicated community supporters. Additionally, the well-received YAM evening program that is offered provides the opportunity for people of all ages to learn to play an instrument and join in the fun.

POSAM was formed in 2008, during the early beginnings of the YAM, as the governing entity for a program that started with approximately 50 students in after-school sessions at Holly Springs Elementary.

Today it has more than 300 students in after-school programs in eight schools, as well as community evening instruction.

The involvement of the youth has also brought about the involvement of families, friends, and adults. The interest in the music, and the youth’s amazing ability to pick it up and perform it so well, is bringing the Pickens community together and has established a vibrant mutigenerational pastime that is enjoyed on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

The YAM program sponsors the YAM Winter Jubilee and the POSAM Memorial Music Festival bringing entries and recognition throughout a multi-state area.

We Fan The Flame recognizes group contributions that make Pickens a better place to live and is presented by the Pickens Revitalization Association and the city of Pickens. The award program is open to any civic, school, charitable, religious, cultural, non-profit, business, senior youth, association or similar organization. Entries should be submitted to the PRA by the 15th of each month and will be considered throughout the year. Entry forms are available at