GSC News

Glenville State College Bluegrass Band Performs Nationally and Close to Home

For Immediate Release February 18, 2013

Contact: Annette Barnette
Public Relations & Marketing Director
Glenville State College
Glenville, West Virginia
(304) 462-6391

Glenville WV- The Glenville State College Bluegrass Band has been on the road a lot in the past several months and plans to do the same throughout this new year. Band members made appearances at numerous festivals and toured memorable locations that are all part of bluegrass history.

The band traveled to Nashville, Tennessee last summer and visited the famous Ryman Auditorium,

The Bluegrass Band at the Ryman Auditorium

The Bluegrass Band outside the historic Ryman Auditorium. Pictured from left to right: Ryan Spangenberg, Brittany McGuire, Richie Jones, Toni Doman, Laiken Boyd, and Megan Darby

former site of the Grand Ole Opry. While in Tennessee, GSC Bluegrass Band members stayed at the home of classic country music star Tom T. Hall and his wife Miss Dixie. They began work on recording their first CD in Hall’s studio with the assistance of GSC alumna Rebekha Long, who was the first graduate of the GSC Bluegrass Music Degree Program. The CD was released on October 23rd at the annual GSC Bluegrass Concert during homecoming week and is now available for sale at the campus bookstore.

The bluegrass band members also performed at last year’s Memorial Day celebration in Burnsville, West Virginia (Braxton County) letting them give back to a local community.

Ryan Spangenberg, a GSC senior bluegrass music major from Madison, Ohio, toured with the band last year. “Touring with the bluegrass band has been a very good opportunity for me because it demonstrates real life scenarios like those facing a professional touring band. We learned how to properly organize every aspect of a tour including transportation and budgeting living expenses for a group of musicians. I must say, overall, touring with the GSC Bluegrass Band has been a very enlightening experience,” said Spangenberg.

Megan Darby with board.

Megan Darby receiving Wall of Fame Board.

GSC Bluegrass Degree Program Director Megan Darby attended the Bill Monroe Bean BlossomBluegrass Festival in Bean Blossom, Indiana last summer and spoke to attendees about the GSC Bluegrass Program. In honor of the program she was given the Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Wall of Fame board by Gary Hibbs. The board, which is over eight feet long and double-sided, was auctioned off for nearly $500 and has been signed by bluegrass legends like Earl Scruggs, Jack Cook, and Jesse McReynolds. The board is now proudly displayed in the GSC Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

On another 2012 venture, the bluegrass band took a trip to ROMP: Bluegrass Roots and Branches Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky. That festival is hosted by the International Bluegrass Music Museum and features renowned performers such as Vince Gill and the Lonesome River Band. As a result, a partnership offering internship positions to bluegrass students at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky is in the works and may begin as early as this summer.

Stonewall Resort

The band at the Stonwall Resort. Pictured left to right: Laiken Boyd, Carol Belknap, Buddy Griffin, Rex Putnam, Richie Jones, and Jordan Young

Most recently, some of the band members played holiday tunes in the Grand Hall for guests staying at the Stonewall Resort (Lewis County, West Virginia). The band performed on February 7th at the Pioneer Grille restaurant in Glenville, West Virginia (Gilmer County) and will continue to perform on the first Thursday of every month through May.

“These performances in West Virginia and other states give the band members real life hands-on experience of what they are learning about in the classroom. The appearances also helped us spread the word about the Glenville State College Bluegrass Band and that GSC is home to the world’s first bluegrass music degree program,” said Megan Darby, GSC Bluegrass Degree Program Director. Darby continued, “Our band members are also planning a ‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’ tour, which involves a performance in the hometown of each band member. The students will be responsible for planning, setting up, arranging, and advertising the events in their hometowns. We hope to have the shows’ schedule prepared by early summer.”

For more information on upcoming performances or about GSC’s Bluegrass Music Degree Program, contact Darby at Megan.Darby@glenville.edu or by phone at (304) 462-6347.

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