Ferrum News

Over 70 Collectors, Scholars and Musicians to Attend Fifteenth Annual Banjo Gathering at Ferrum College


  Participants will explore the instrument’s journey from West African folk roots to concert halls across the United States.  

Ferrum, Va. (September 28, 2012) – The banjo’s intriguing history will bring experts from across the nation to the Nineteenth Century Banjo Gathering at Ferrum College, October 4 – 7, 2012.  Over 70 collectors, scholars, and musicians will explore the instrument’s remarkable journey from West African folk roots to concert halls across the United States. 

For fifteen years, the Nineteenth Century Banjo Gathering has reshaped the world’s thinking about banjo history and participants bring dozens of banjos from their private collections to go with discussion topics. Three collectors’ exhibits – The Appalachian “Mountain” Banjo, The Mid-1800s Banjos of William Esperance Boucher, and The Banjos of Blue Ridge Legend Kyle Creed – will be included during the 2012 Gathering. Event speakers will shed light on how minstrel banjo performers helped shape American-Japanese diplomacy in the 1850s.

The Nineteenth Century Banjo Gathering runs from Thursday evening, October 4, through Sunday morning, October 7 in Franklin Hall on the Ferrum College campus. The conference registration fee includes two meals.   

The banjo exhibits will be open to the public Friday, October 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, October 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Admission to the banjo exhibits is free.

For more information, contact the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum at Ferrum College by calling 540.365.4412 or email bri@ferrum.edu

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