We’ve written approvingly many times about the opportunities now available for young people to study bluegrass music and instruments at the undergraduate level at colleges in the United States. Associate and bachelor’s degrees can be obtained from at least a half dozen universities, and music departments at other schools are opening up to the idea of including banjo and mandolin as principal instruments of study.
At this time of year when these programs are finishing up for the year, and students are prepping for exams, we wanted to highlight one stellar pupil, Grace Constable, who is studying guitar in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies program in Johnson City, TN. A primary reason for her attending there is the chance to work directly with flatpicking legend Wyatt Rice, as well as learn all the other basics of music performance she’ll need looking towards a career in the business.
Grace was lured into bluegrass guitar as a young girl by her older sister, Chelsea, who has become a YouTube sensation through her numerous videos online. Chelsea starting garnering attention as a young teen herself, and now has her first solo album of guitar music available online. So what would any younger sibling do but follow in her footsteps.
Big sister plays both electric and acoustic guitar, while Grace prefers to stick to flatpicking. Both are endorsers for Taylor Guitars, and they asked Grace to do a demo at ETSU during this semester. One song from the demonstration was captured on an iPad, and despite the lower resolution video, it is an excellent t example of what she can do while still in school.
She is supported by Chelsea on second guitar, along with Anysley Porchak on fiddle and Max Etling on bass for a take on Tony Rice’s Gasology.
Grace is on the left and Chelsea on the right.
Keep an eye on this young lady. And her big sister too.