Grassers volunteer to help make Clemson Bluegrass Ensemble a success

Andrew Crawford, Ryan Wilson, Shawn Lane, Patton Wages, and Tyler Williams (front) at Clemson University

With classes set to start next Friday (August 25), Ryan Wilson is looking forward to launching the first ever Bluegrass Ensemble in the Music Department at Clemson University. The ensemble will give elective course credit to both music majors and students at large, and there is still time to register to participate before next Friday.

Ryan will serve as Musical Director for the group, and has enlisted some help from his bluegrass buddies to ensure that things get off on the right track. A bass player himself, who performs regularly with The Tyler Williams Band, Wilson is also a student in the Audio Engineering Department, and a school employee who works at their Performing Arts Center.

Coming in to help with this first ensemble are Andrew Crawford, Tyler Williams, Patton Wages, and Shawn Lane. Wages plays banjo with Volume Five, and will assist students on banjo, guitar, or mandolin; Lane is the mandolinist/fiddler with Blue Highway, and will work with those two instruments, as well as guitar and vocals; Williams is a first rate singer who will work with vocalists primarily; and Crawford will help with guitar, mandolin, and reso-guitar. Wilson will guide the group overall, and personally work with the bassists.

All of these talented professionals have agreed to volunteer their services at various times throughout the semester to help Ryan get things off on the right foot. Even busy music professionals understand the importance of having bluegrass taught at the college level, and will donate their time to that end.

There is also a plan afoot to host a faculty concert with all these artists sometime early this semester, along with students from the ensemble. Watch the Clemson Music Department calendar for more details.

Ryan says that everything is lined up and ready to go.

“I’m very excited about this, and am really looking forward to working with these amazing musicians on a weekly basis, growing a remarkable band!”

Well done all, and best of luck to the Clemson University Bluegrass Ensemble!

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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.