Youth bluegrass camp at Glenville State College

This past weekend the bluegrass program at Glenville State College in West Virginia held their sixth and final youth music camp of the year for students in the Glenville community. It was led by Megan Darby, Assistant Professor of Music at Glenville, along with students in the bluegrass degree program there, and a number of mentors from local high schools.

The school hosts regular concerts and jams at their Bluegrass Music Education Center, which is visible to anyone going through downtown Glenville, just off campus. By inviting the public to join them for these live musical experiences, Glenville State believes that they are not only encouraging young people top consider studying bluegrass at the school, but also developing future patron and supporters of the program.

They had 18 students, ranging in age from 5-12 years old, who were each taught chords and licks used to play familiar songs. Given the season, their theme was Christmas music, and each camper was shown something appropriate to their age, skill level, and experience.

Darby, known as “Miss Megan” to her students, tells us that since launching a degree program in bluegrass at the college, they make a point to be visible to local residents.

“This year myself and the bluegrass program felt it was critical to have a strong presence in our community during this festive time of the year, especially now that our Pioneer Stage, Bluegrass Music Education Center is located on Main Street in downtown Glenville. We helped raise money, recruit help, and worked ourselves to decorate the city square, park, street and corner, including our center. We coordinated with the Fireman’s Christmas Parade and afterwards Santa joined us for a community bluegrass jam.

Like at our other workshops, we strive to encourage our campers to recognize aspects of Appalachian culture, and to be proud of our heritage. Students of all levels participated.”

Proceeds from these camps goes to benefit the bluegrass degree program, which can now be taken online. A full, four year degree can be obtained entirely from the comfort of your home.

Megan says the response from both the school and the local community is quite encouraging.

“Right now we have great support from our President Dr Tracey Pellett and it’s so fun having him engaged in traditional bluegrass music. Thanks to all who are supporting our Bluegrass Education Center.”

Here are some photos from this past weekend, and a video of Silas Powell and the Powell Family Band playing one with the campers.

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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.