Denison Bluegrass Ensemble Gives Folk Music Performance
Date of Event: December 5, 2002
Posted: November 22, 2002
Organized in the spring of 2000, the Denison Bluegrass Ensemble has grown to more than 20 students interested in the performance of traditional American folk music. They will give a concert at 9 p.m. on Thursday (Dec. 5) in the Burke Hall "BlackBox" Theatre. With its increased enrollment, the Ensemble has divided into two separate bands - The Granvillbillies" and the "Big Red Necks." Each band will perform its own set and then unite for several tunes at the end of the concert, which is free and open to the public.
Andrew Carlson, assistant professor of music at Denison and a recognized performer on the "fiddle" as well as a classical violinist, leads the ensembles. He requires the student players to learn all of the music by ear (no printed music) to help them absorb the style as they learn the specific notes, rhythms, etc.
The song selection ranges from traditional bluegrass, old-time fiddle music, country gospel, "new" grass and early country and western. Instrumentation includes fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, bass and vocals.
Carlson joined the Denison faculty in 2000 and teaches violin and music history and also directs the Baroque Orchestra. He earned his bachelor and master of music degrees at the University of Georgia and his doctorate at the University of Iowa. He served as concertmaster of the University of Iowa's Symphony Orchestra and its Chamber Orchestra.
In addition to his experience as a classical violinist, Carlson began learning traditional fiddle music from his grandfather at age 5. He has won numerous fiddle contests and has twice been named the Georgia State Champion Fiddler and also was named the 2000 Ohio Grand Champion Fiddler. As a studio musician and string arranger he has recorded for Warner Bros., Atlantic, Elektra and Polydor. Seven of the numbers on his newest recording, "Beyond Boundaries," are his own compositions.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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