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People's University: Appalachian Music & Folklore, Fiddle

August 16, 2016
7:00pm - 7:00pm

Calendar Event Photo

Class 3, August 16:  West Virginia Fiddle

The fiddle holds a special place in the musical heritage of West Virginia.  Multi-instrumentalist Doug Van Gundy will discuss the history of the fiddle and how it found its way to Appalachia, provide background on some of the most influential traditional players of the recorded-music era, and perform examples from the deep catalog of West Virginia fiddle tunes (with brief forays into clawhammer banjo and unaccompanied ballad singing).



Doug Van GundyInstructor Doug Van Gundy grew up in Elkins, West Virginia, He studied fiddle with the late Mose Coffman of Greenbrier County through the National Endowment for the Humanities folk arts apprenticeship program of the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College. Doug has been performing and teaching old-time fiddle and banjo for more than twenty years.  He has played solo shows at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and at Buddy Guy’s Legends Club in Chicago, as well as other venues across the country.  His music is deeply rooted in the oldest traditional music of his home state of West Virginia, and has taught workshops throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England.  His playing has been featured on three CDs and many documentary films and television commercials. Doug is also a member of the two-man string band, Born Old, with Paul Gartner. They were recently featured on National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage program, and have played at both the Appalachian String Band Festival (Clifftop) and Vandalia Gathering annually for over a decade.  Their repertoire consists of traditional old-time music from the central Appalachians as well as early country classics from the great artists of the 78 rpm era, including The Carter Family, Charlie Poole, Uncle Dave Macon, and others.  Additionally, Doug is a nationally-known poet, and author of the collection, A Life Above Water, published by Red Hen Press.  He teaches in the low-residency MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where he is also director of the undergraduate Honors Program.

Click here to hear Doug play fiddle.


RSVP by email or call 304-232-0244.


The People’s University is a free program for adults who wish to continue their education in the liberal arts, featuring courses taught by experts in each subject that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in subjects such as history, philosophy, and literature. There are no grades and patrons are welcome to attend all or only some programs.

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