The Gsc Bluegrass ProgramBy David Finley | February 21st, 2013 | Category: News | No Comments »
The GSC Bluegrass Program
While many students at Glenville State College are native or have been raised in West Virginia, there remains some who have not heard the beautiful music of the mountains, bluegrass. This music is a mixture of Appalachian ballads imported from the home countries in Europe, combined with later influences from African American jazz elements.
Founded on August 3, 2007 at GSC, this uniquely original program was the first of its kind offered in the country. This program was built around the philosophy of the preservation of traditional bluegrass music, where students are immersed with legendary music from artists like; Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, and many more. This program strives to produce students to learn and gain skills to become successful individuals in the related field. Students will have a wide variety of opportunities such as; how to run and set a sound system, great ways to market your band, organizational skills for a successful bluegrass band, stage performance skills, and much more. The bluegrass program is currently under the direction of Glenville graduate, Mrs. Megan Darby. The bluegrass board of advisors includes a variety of legendary and respectful musicians; retired Director, Buddy Griffin, Jesse McReynolds, Mac Wiseman, Little Roy Lewis, Lance Leroy, Mac Samples, Dr. Ralph Stanley, and many others.
If you have a desire to perform for an audience, you might consider joining the GSC Bluegrass Band. The band consists of a core group of students who are enrolled in the certificate and/or degree programs, as well as other students who are invited or wish to participate in the group. Performance with the Glenville State College Bluegrass Band satisfies the students’ ensemble requirements for the degree and certification. Both the bluegrass curriculum and the bluegrass band require auditions for admission into the respective programs.
This past summer the Bluegrass Band traveled to Nashville Tennessee to visit the Ryman Auditorium, former home of the Grand Ole’ Oprey. 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, which was released on October 23rd at the annual GSC Bluegrass Concert during homecoming week, is now available for sale at the campus bookstore.
Most recently, some of the band members played holiday tunes in the Grand Hall for guests staying at the Stonewall Resort in Lewis County, West Virginia. The band performed on February 7th at the Pioneer Grille restaurant in Glenville, West Virginia in 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.”
If you have the talent and desire to be involved in the bluegrass program at GSC, or for more information on upcoming performances feel free to contact Darby at Megan.Darby@glenville.edu or by phone at (304) 462-6347.