Bluegrass at Harvard

Harvard University has scheduled an academic event on February 6 focused on bluegrass music. The one day seminar is entitled, Fire On The Mountain – A Bluegrass Symposium, and will feature a keynote address and panel discussions including a number of prominent bluegrass musicians and educators.

Things kick off at 10:30 a.m. with an opening keynote from Berklee’s Matt Glaser, and will run throughout the day, capped by an early evening concert. Presenters and panelists include legendary musicians Sam Bush and Bobby Hicks, noted banjoist, producer and record company exec Alison Brown (a 1984 Harvard grad), luthier Lynn Dudenbostel, historian Neil Rosenberg, and Jack Tottle, founding director of the bluegrass program at ETSU.

Topics for the panels include a look at the history and traditions of bluegrass, the craftsmen and the instruments who make the music, and where the genre is moving in contemporary music.

A pair of current Harvard students will also be featured. Forrest O’Connor, a senior music major who is doing his undergraduate thesis on luthiery, proposed this topic to the administration, and has been involved at every level of planning and implementation. He is the son of fiddle/violin master Mark O’Connor, and founder of the Harvard College American Music Association. Clint Miller is set to graduate in 2011 with a Philosophy degree, and is a blues and bluegrass guitarist. Both will perform in the evening concert.

The Symposium will be hosted by the Harvard Committee on Degrees in Folklore & Mythology, along with the Office for the Arts (OFA), the Office of the Provost, the Undergraduate Council, and the Harvard College American Music Association (HCAMA)

There is no charge to attend, nor reservation required. Full details can be found online.

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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.