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Old Time String Band

Sandol Astrausky & Roderick MacLeod, directors

Fiddlers, banjo-players, mandolinists and guitarists play the high, lonesome sounds of traditional Southern Appalachian Mountain music in Brown's old-time string band. All members of the Brown community with intermediate or better skills on their instruments are welcome to join. While a number of music departments with ethnomusicology programs now feature old-time string bands, Brown's was the first. Founded by Jeff Todd Titon, whose book Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes (University Press of Kentucky, 2001) is a valuable resource for players and scholars alike, the old-time string band celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2006-07. Guest teachers such as Mike Seeger, Bruce Greene, Bruce Molsky, Bob Carlin, Andy Woolf, Alan Jabbour, and Clyde Davenport have sat in with the string band as artists-in-residence over the years. Several student members have honed their skills here and gone on to become respected musicians in the old-time music community across North America. Rather than rehearse towards a performance, the old-time string band takes the jam session as its model, with the goal of learning tunes, getting better at playing them, and simply enjoying each other's music and company. In good weather (see photo) the band occasionally plays in public where people may stop to overhear the music. Prerequisite: audition. May be repeated once for credit. S/NC. Half course credit.


At play: Breanna Byecroft '05, Charlie Hunter '08, Emily Miller '05, James Ruchala (grad student), Noah Weiss '05, Scott Linford '06.