Alan Bibey at Berklee

Alan Bibey teaching mandolin students at Berklee (April 2014)Master mandolinist Alan Bibey spent the early part of the week at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Masachusetts.

He had been invited up as part of the school’s program to bring top touring professionals to work with students in their Traditional String principal for mandolin, guitar, fiddle and banjo. This relatively new program allows students with either a background in bluegrass or old time music, or ones who want some grounding in it, to pursue one of the many music majors offered at Berklee.

Alan said that he enjoyed his time there, and was especially impressed with the high level of dedication and virtuosity among the students in the program.

Alan Bibey teaching mandolin students at Berklee (April 2014)“I was really inspired by the excitement about music at Berklee and in the city of Boston for that matter. These college-age kids and even the teachers have the passion that I remember as a youngster, but I think gets lost sometimes as we get older.

Just walking in the building you see and hear all different types of music being listened to and played. All the music color in the air was awesome!!

The students and staff were all so gracious. I got to chat with Matt Glaser for a while. He’s an incredible musician and wonderful guy.

The students I saw were all so talented and just cool to hang out with. So a big thanks to Joe Walsh for setting it up, to everyone at Berklee for having me, and to the super mandolin players for showing up to study with me. I hope I get to go back soon.”

Berklee is planning a summer program this year with a focus on roots music, with some of the faculty in the Traditional String department, and a few guests. Alison Brown, Darol Anger, Viktor Krauss, Matt Glaser, Joe Walsh, and Mark Simos will all be teaching during the American Roots Weekend, June 20-22.

The program is designed for high school musicians, 15 years of age or older. Younger students can attend, but don’t have the option of staying in the Berklee residence hall. Older students are also welcome.

Find full details online.

Bibey also mentioned that the next Grasstowne project is on the way.

“We are finally putting all the finishing touches on Grasstowne 4 this week including Shannon Slaughter!! We have over come a ton of obstacles to make this project come to fruition, and can’t wait for everyone to hear the project with long time members Justin Jenkins and Kameron Keller. These guys are monsters on their instruments and Im so thankful for them.”

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.