Greg Cahill checks in

Greg CahillWe heard yesterday from Greg Cahill, banjo player and road manager with the well-traveled Special Consensus – and in his spare time, President and Chair of the IBMA Board of Directors.

Greg has long been out in front when it comes to getting bluegrass music before audiences of young people, and school performances are a regular feature of Special C tours.

Just a brief note to let everyone know bluegrass music is alive and well in the wilds of WY and MT.

The Special C completed our annual visit with WY students and community members in Casper and Thermopolis last week and it was very rewarding to see so many young people so enthusiastic about bluegrass music. We presented our in-school program (with two student fiddler members of The Casper Fiddle Club) last Wednesday afternoon at Southridge Elementary School and then met with the Fiddle Club members after the presentation.

The Fiddle Club membership includes many Southridge students and other community members, ranging in age from about 8 to 83 (playing all of the bluegrass instruments). We had them perform a few songs with us during our evening concert. The next day we visited Hot Springs County High School in Thermopolis and presented another program to the student body before meeting with the Bluegrass Academy members (sponsored by the Lights On program).

The Bluegrass Academy is an annual 12 week program that includes teaching students and community members of all ages how to play and sing bluegrass music. We asked them to perform a song with us during our evening concert as well and received a very enthusiastic response from the audience.

We headed to Polson, MT, on Friday to do a concert at Polson High School, with proceeds donated to the local youth home, and then to Red Lodge, MT on Saturday to play a benefit concert for the Search and Rescue program. A very rewarding and enjoyable tour for us – even in spite of the below-zero temperatures and snow!

Wishing everyone a very safe and enjoyable holiday season…

In my own limited experience, I have found that middle and high school audiences respond quite warmly to bluegrass music. Hats off to Greg and Special C for making this so much a part of their tours.

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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.