ETSU welcomes Aynsley Porchak and Dan Eubanks to bluegrass faculty

The Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program at East Tennessee State University has announced the hiring of two touring professionals in the bluegrass world to positions on their faculty. Dan Eubanks, bassist with Special Consensus, and Aynsley Porchak, fiddler with Carolina Blue, will both join the team as adjust professors starting with the Spring 2021 semester.

Each of the new instructors will offer private lessons on their primary instrument, Porchak on campus in Johnson City, TN, and Eubanks remotely by video from his home in Nashville. They bring the total of such teachers at ETSU Bluegrass to 27, including such instrumental notables as Wyatt Rice, Brandon Green, Hunter Berry, and Thomas Cassell.

Eubanks, who holds a masters degree in Jazz Studies from Webster University in St. Louis, MO, says that it is an honor to join such a stellar team.

“I’m so excited and honored to be a part of a program I have admired so much since I became aware of it, and the brilliant graduates that have come through it, to join the ranks of successful professionals in the roots music world, not to mention the world class faculty. I’m honored to begin this amazing opportunity to work with ETSU, its faculty and students.”

Porchak, who has bachelor’s degrees in both Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Studies and English from ETSU, plus a masters in Appalachian Studies, feels humbled to join the faculty at her alma mater.

“I feel very blessed and honored to be named a Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies adjunct faculty member. I started my BLUE degree at ETSU with the goal of someday being able to make an impact through teaching in higher education, so this is truly a dream come true for me. I look forward to passing on my knowledge to students and helping them become just as passionate about learning as I am!”

Program Director Dan Boner is happy to have both of these folks on staff.

“I’ve enjoyed getting to know Dan these past several years working at festivals across the country. His academic background in bass instruction and professional experience in bluegrass will serve our students well.

Aynsley has been my twin-fiddle buddy going back to when she first started at ETSU. Her technical prowess is second to none. I am curious to hear what she and her students come up with together.”

The program also wants to remind everyone of their newest faculty opportunity, an Artist In Residence position, starting this Fall.

“In addition to these adjunct hires, a broad search is currently underway for the Artist in Residence in Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Studies. This full-time position will be appointed on the basis of outstanding professional attainments, creative accomplishments, and recognition in the bluegrass entertainment field. The appointment is for one academic year and is renewable. Those interested may apply at”

More information about bluegrass at ETSU is available 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.