Itinerary

Rome Music

Points of interest, music festivals and venues in Northwest Georgia

There must be "something in the water" in Rome's Northwest Georgia rivers. Music — whether it is bluegrass, blues, symphonic music, choral music, rock or opera — is truly a major part of this city's DNA. The Rome Symphony Orchestra is the oldest symphony in the South, having been founded in 1921. Some of the world’s greatest opera singers have been educated at Rome’s two senior colleges, Berry College and Shorter University. Tenor Michael Hendrick, soprano Indra Thomas, soprano Theresa Hamm Smith and soprano Cecily Nall have performed in the world’s operatic centers, and perhaps one of the most renowned opera singers of today, Mezzo soprano Jamie Barton, was trained at Shorter University.

Each year, the Armuchee Bluegrass Festival attracts picking fans from all over to its tree-lined venue. Downtown Rome features venues that showcase rock and roll, blues, country, Americana and more. Schroeder’s New Deli’s courtyard has been the host to legendary national acts, and more recently, The Brewhouse Music and Grill on Broad has become a center for exciting live music. PRCA Rodeo bullfighter Kevin J. Ellis states, "If you love music, Rome, Georgia's the place to do it!"

Below, use the itinerary to find must-see music venues, festivals and more points of interest, and listen to music by local artists in the "Our Rome Picks" playlist.

  • Points of Interest
    Rome Symphony Orchestra
  • Venues
  • Music Festivals
  • Points of Interest

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Points of Interest

1. Rome Symphony Orchestra

Led by Maestro Sam Baltzer, this community orchestra serves as a hub for talented musicians throughout the Northwest Georgia region. RSO concerts feature classics, outdoor concerts and their very popular holiday concerts. The orchestra makes its musical home at beautiful Rome City Auditorium, a venue within walking distance of many of downtown Rome’s excellent eateries.

2. Berry College

The Fine Arts Department at Berry College presents a roster of concerts that are a music lover’s delight. From solo instrumentalists and vocalists, chamber groups, choral groups, wind ensembles and jazz ensembles, the students, faculty and guest artists at Berry College produce world-class events. Campus venues include historical Ford Auditorium and the Georgian Berry Chapel.

3. Shorter University

Shorter University's Brooks Chapel is the home to its on campus musical events, and audiences can thrill to choral music, solo recitals, and the hall’s splendid organ. Talented students, faculty, and guest artists regularly offer excellent musical events to the delight of a loyal and enthusiastic audience.

Mentioned in this Itinerary

Venues

1. Rome City Brewing Co.

Originally an opera house built in 1880, Rome City Brewing Co. has hosted a number of national acts, including Old Dominion, country star Sam Hunt, Velcro Pygmies, Zac Brown Band and recently Confederate Railroad. Sunday night blues jams are very popular and regularly feature the blues band The Unusual Suspects.

2. Johnny’s Pizza

Johnny’s is a home to acoustic music on Rome’s Broad Street and is a regular stop for Rome singer/songwriter Scott Thompson. Singer Jon Byrd is found at the microphone regularly to the delight of his many fans.

3. Dark Side of the Moon/Moon Roof

These two venues are affiliated with Rome’s Harvest Moon Café. Moon Roof, specializing in acoustic acts, sits in an open balcony overlooking historic Rome and features its own separate bar. Dark Side of the Moon is Rome’s newest music venue, and the space has featured cool jazz and regular performances by Rome’s young and very popular jazz singer Greg Robbins. The Berry College swing dance club also meets for impromptu dancing to jazz hits.

4. 400 Block Bar

The 400 is an upstairs Broad Street venue attached to Rome’s upscale La Scala Restaurant. The 400 showcases solo and small ensemble Americana and blues acts, and claims to be “the longest running live music venue on Broad Street!”

5. The Rome Little Theatre

The Historic DeSoto Theatre, home of Rome Little Theatre, is the first theater in the Southeast to display sound, or “talkie,” movies. This small proscenium-style venue hosts a number of musical concerts throughout the year and recently showcased Atlanta blues legend Tinsley Ellis.

6. Schroeder's New Deli

Owners John and Charlie Schroeder may very well be the godfathers of live music in Rome, Ga. The famed Deli Courtyard has been host to some of the most cutting edge artists on the circuit, and John has a reputation for nurturing regional and local talent, as well. From the experimental rock of Glenn Philips, The Supreme Court, to poetry readings, the pizza and music of Schroeder’s New Deli makes it a prime Rome destination.

Mentioned in this Itinerary

Music Festivals

1. Armuchee Bluegrass Festival

This venerable festival is the real deal, with live bluegrass music both onstage and in numerous jams throughout the site. Meeting in late May, camping on the grounds is available, and the arena is situated just north of Rome in Armuchee, Ga.

2. Chiaha Harvest Fair

Each October, the Ridge Ferry Park stage at the Chiaha Harvest Fair is programmed with a day-long slate of artists from Northwest Georgia, including Little Country Giants, High Strung String Band, Russell McClanahan, singer/songwriter Julie Gribble, violinist Tim Reynolds and more.

3. Rome River Jam

Held in September at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds, Rome River Jam features a variety of country music stars. Past performers have included Cole Swindell, Tracy Lawrence and Blackberry Smoke, among many others.