2010: Fire on the Mountain: A Bluegrass Symposium




Thompson Room, Barker Center

12 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

Harvard University


For pictures from this event please click here.



Free and open to the public; no tickets required.

(Directions & Important Information)



Sponsored by the Committee on Degrees in Folklore & Mythology, the Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA), the Office of the Provost, the Undergraduate Council, the Department of Music, and the Harvard College American Music Association (HCAMA)


(Note: this is a draft schedule; some aspects may change, or be clarified, as the event approaches.)



10:30 am     Welcome and Coffee


10:45 am     Introductory Remarks                      

                          Deborah Foster & Forrest O’Connor


11:00 am     Keynote Address


                          Matt Glaser (Berklee School of Music, American Roots Music Program)



11:30 am     Bluegrass: Its Roots and Branches

                        Historians, ethnomusicologists, and academically inclined performers consider the 

                        history of bluegrass: its diverse (and controversial) roots, its major proponents, its 

                        evolution, and its possible future.


                         Neil Rosenberg (Memorial University of Newfoundland)


                         Jack Tottle (East Tennessee State University)


                         Michelle Kisliuk (University of Virginia)

                         Alison Brown ’84 (Bluegrass musician, Compass Records)

                         Garry West (Bluegrass musician, Compass Records)                               


                         Scott Alarik (moderator) (Folk music writer, Boston Globe)                               


1:00 pm      The Video Oral History Project

                         The International Bluegrass Music Museum’s role in preserving the history and 

                         growing the future of Bluegrass music worldwide. Presented by Gabrielle Gray, 

                         Executive Director, and Drs. Richard Brown and Peter Salovey, Museum Trustees.



1:15 pm      Light Lunch for Attendees



2:15 pm      The Instruments of Bluegrass: Craft to Sound

                         Renowned guitar- and mandolin-maker Lynn Dudenbostel discusses his craft (and 

                         the ways in which it relates to bluegrass), and displays actual samples of his work. 

                         Afterward,  Forrest O’Connor presents his undergraduate thesis on luthiery, and Sam 

                         Bush test-drives a Dudenbostel F-5.


                         Lynn Dudenbostel (Dudenbostel Stringed Instruments)


                         Forrest O’Connor ’10 (Harvard University)


                         Sam Bush (Bluegrass musician, TG2 Artists)



3:00 pm      Coffee Break



3:30 pm      Contemporary Bluegrass: A Discussion with Musicians

                        Leading bluegrass musicians consider (and demonstrate examples of) songs in the 

                        bluegrass repertoire that have heavily influenced them. They also discuss their careers,

                        creative processes, current projects and future plans.


                         Alison Brown ’84 (Bluegrass musician, Compass Records)


                         Sam Bush (Bluegrass musician, TG2 Artists)


                         Bobby Hicks (Bluegrass musician)


                         Jack Tottle (moderator) (East Tennessee State University)



5:00 pm      Dinner Break



7-8:30 pm  Evening Performance


                        Clint Miller ’11(Harvard University) opening


                        Alison Brown ’84 (Bluegrass musician, Compass Records)


                        Sam Bush (Bluegrass musician, TG2 Artists)


                        Bobby Hicks (Bluegrass musician)