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Eastern Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass Pride Band rocks

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Eastern Tennessee State University's Bluegrass Pride Band

Join Daniel Boner, Department of Appalachian Studies, Director of Bluegrass Old-Time and Roots Music Studies, and student members of the ETSU’s legendary Bluegrass Pride Band.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer met up with Boner and students when they were on break while performing at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Music Festival in Bristol, Virginia this past September.

The East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Pride Band is comprised of talented and award-winning student performers, each with many years of musical experience.

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ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band

As one of the Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Program’s nearly 40 bands, the group has performed in seven foreign countries and noteworthy venues including the Smithsonian National Folklife Festival, NATO Headquarters in Brussels, and the Kennedy Center. The band performs by invitation at bluegrass festivals and performing arts centers across the country.

The group became the first collegiate bluegrass band ever to have a charting single in fall 2016 when their original release, Did You Hear Me Say Goodbye reached #12 and #16 on the Bluegrass Today National Airplay Chart.

Since that time the band has also charted another student written and arranged song, Sam Jocelyn’s Ghost, which peaked at #17 on the Bluegrass Today National Airplay Chart in fall 2017. Both songs are widely available for download through major digital distributors.

Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies at East Tennessee State University is the oldest established program of its kind at any four-year institution. Founded in 1982 by Jack Tottle, the program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Roots Music Studies as well as an undergraduate minor.

Students from around the globe are attracted to ETSU for the chance to study and experience the music and Appalachian culture of East Tennessee.

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Foundation at Hearst Castle

Funding for Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer is provided by the Foundation at Hearst Castle
Conserving the past to inspire future generations of dreamers and preserving the legacy of Julia Morgan. Experience authentically curated historical events that recreate what it was like to be a guest of William Randolph Hearst.

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Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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