Video: THE APPALACHIAN CELEBRATION – A Place for the Humanities

Watch with Windows Media Player.

The BLAIR SIGNATURE SERIES presents THE APPALACHIAN CELEBRATION – A Place for the Humanities, April 12 in Ingram Hall at the Blair School of Music.

The Pa’s Fiddle Project The Little House® books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) are rich in references to music and music-making. Among the 127 songs embedded in Wilder’s stories are parlor songs, stage songs, minstrel show songs, patriotic songs, Scottish and Irish songs, hymns, spirituals, fiddle tunes, singing school songs, play party songs, folk songs, a Child ballad, broadside ballads, Christmas songs, catches and rounds, and references to “cowboy songs” and “Osage war dances.” There may be no books in American literature that document family music-making so thoroughly. And, above everything, there was always Laura’s “Pa,” a born entertainer who missed few occasions to sing and play his fiddle, an instrument that accompanied the Ingalls family through times good and bad and came to symbolize the endurance of the family unit in a threatening frontier world.

The Pa’s Fiddle Project, conceived and coordinated by Dale Cockrell, Professor of Musicology at the Blair School of Music, has three aims. The first one is musical, and it involves the production of vital, engaging recordings of all the songs in the Little House books. Second, the scholarly aspect of the project will result in a critically edited score of the family songbook as represented in Wilder’s stories. Finally, the third aspect is educational, as schoolchildren across the nation will learn the great American music that both entertained and informed Wilder’s childhood in the 1870s. Through a joining together of humanistic scholarship, musical performance, and educational efforts, the hope is that our futures will be the richer for knowing better our past.

The Pa’s Fiddle Project Concert is part of a series of special events in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Vanderbilt University’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. The center promotes interdisciplinary research and study in the humanities, social sciences and, when appropriate, natural sciences. Because cooperative study in higher education is crucial to the modern university and the society it influences, the center is designed to intensify and increase interdisciplinary discussion of academic, social and cultural issues.

The Program:

Arkansas Traveler/Devil’s Dream
The Pa’s Fiddle Band

Devil’s Dream (1923)
Jep Bisbee, fiddle; Beulah Bisbee-Schuler, piano

Sweet By and By
Andrea Zonn; The Pa’s Fiddle Band

Money Musk
The Pa’s Fiddle Band

Highland Mary
Deborah Packard; The Pa’s Fiddle Band

The Girl I Left Behind Me
Pat Enright; The Pa’s Fiddle Band

Old Dan Tucker
Elizabeth Cook; The Pa’s Fiddle Band

The Gum Tree Canoe
Buddy Greene; The Pa’s Fiddle Band

Barbara Allen
Deborah Packard; The Pa’s Fiddle Band

Captain Jinks
Dale Cockrell; The Pa’s Fiddle Band

The Blue Juniata
Pat Enright; The Pa’s Fiddle Band

Irish Washerwoman
dancers from The Oak Hill School, 4th grade
The Pa’s Fiddle Band

Oh! California
Andrea Zonn; Alison Brown
The Pa’s Fiddle Band

Reader: Terryl Hallquist, Associate Professor of Theatre, Vanderbilt University

Master of Ceremonies: Dale Cockrell, Professor of Musicology, Blair School of Music

The Pa’s Fiddle Band:
Alison Brown; Matt Combs; Rachel Combs; Pat Enright; Buddy Greene; Karen Krieger; Andy Todd; Andrea Zonn

Dancers from Mrs. Durham’s 4th Grade; Oak Hill School, Nashville, Tenn.:
Caroline Bennett; Sam Fleming; Drew Gordon; Caitlin Hatcher; Madeline Jenkins; Maggie Jennings; Lee Lee Johnson; Thomas Koch; Griffin Link; Melissa Markham; Jackson Mayhall; Russell Morris; Kathleen Richardson

The performance is co-sponsored by Gaylord Entertainment and by Vanderbilt University’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

Contact: Cindy Steine