Aynsley Porchak to Carolina Blue

The dream for every college student – and every parent back home mailing the checks – is to find a job in their field right after graduation. It doesn’t always work out that way, but when it does, it’s generally because of a really talented student going into the right business.

For recent ETSU grad Aynsley Porchak, it could hardly have gone better. On Saturday afternoon (December 16), she accepted her bachelor’s degree in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies, and started a new job as fiddler with Carolina Blue the same weekend.

In addition to her diploma, Porchak has already performed for several years as part of the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band, made up of outstanding students in the program, and she has the distinction of having won the top prize in both the US and Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle competitions. She is Canadian by birth, but plans to remain in the states while completing a Masters Degree in Appalachian Studies at ETSU, and performing with Carolina Blue.

An unusually skillful and versatile musician, Aynsley has demonstrated her mastery of contest fiddling, and with an ETSU degree under her belt, is likely to do the same in the bluegrass world.

Here’s a video she shot last year at school playing through Dale Potter’s classic tune, Fiddle Patch, with department director Dan Boner on guitar.

She tells us that she’s ready to get started on the road.

“I’m very thankful and blessed to be given this opportunity to play with Carolina Blue! These are fantastic musicians and even better people, and I’m looking forward to all the exciting things that I know are to come!”

Best of luck to Aynsley Porchak as she enters the world of professional music!

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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.