Denison Bluegrass Ensemble Gives Folk Music Performance
Posted: October 31, 2005
Organized in the spring of 2000, the Denison Bluegrass Ensemble brings together students interested in the performance of traditional Appalachian, country, bluegrass and progressive acoustic music. They will give a concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 12) in the Burke Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public; Associate Professor of Music Andrew Carlson and Associate Professor of English Richard Hood direct the Bluegrass Ensemble.
Carlson requires the student players to learn all the music by ear (no written music) to help them absorb the style as they learn the specific notes, rhythms, etc. Instrumentation includes fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, bass and vocals.
Interest in the class has steadily grown, resulting in two separate groups within the ensemble performing at the concert: "The Granvillbillies" and the "Big Red Necks." Each band will perform a set on its own and then join for several "finishing" tunes. Members of the Ensemble include: seniors Chris Davis (Newark), Emily Hickman (), Craig Howard (Getzville, N.Y.), Bethany Hurst (New Concord), Greg Mecoli (Union), Travis Moles (Cincinnati), Ethan McGory (Westerville), Matt Morrell (Medford, Ore.) and Curtis Plowgian (Gurnee, Ill.); juniors Jenna Lawson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Rachel Liber (North Canton); and sophomores Nellie Schrantz (St. Johns, Mich.) and Jimmy Sheppard (Columbus). Jacob Hawkins and Tyler Ashcraft also play with the ensembles.
Carlson is a recognized performer on the "fiddle" as well as classical violin. He has won both Ohio and Georgia "Grand Champion Fiddler" contests and has written a text on fiddling for classical violinists. He has recorded with the REM band among others and released "Beyond Boundaries" in 2002.
Hood is primarily a banjo player but also loves to play the bottleneck guitar. He is an authority on the history and techniques of southern mountain music and a member of the Bristol Brothers whose CD "old Style" was released on the Dynamic Records Label.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Denison Bluegrass Ensemble in concert, 8 p.m., Saturday (Nov. 12), Burke Recital Hall (240 W. Broadway). Free and open to the public. Call (40) 587-6220 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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