Whitney Hale


College: Fine Arts

Fiddler Roger Cooper, Morehead String Band to Play UK

Published: Oct 11, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 11, 2012) — Traditional fiddle and old time string band music lovers should check out the next two concerts in the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series. Performing first is traditional fiddle player Roger Cooper at noon Friday, Oct. 12, in the Niles Gallery located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. The following week, the Old Time String Band, part of the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music Program at Morehead State University, will take the stage at noon Friday, Oct. 19. Both concerts are free and open to the public.


Master Fiddler Makes First Appearance at Niles Gallery


The Ohio River has played a major part in shaping Kentucky's cultural landscape, which

includes the fiddling music of Lewis County. Generations of travelers and settlers have contributed to what we know as a distinct tradition. One distinguished artist who embodies the fiddle traditions of the area is Roger Cooper.


Roger Cooper made it his mission to learn from all the traditional fiddlers in Lewis County. When he was 12, Cooper played the guitar behind fiddler Joe Stamper on Vanceburg radio station WKKS. He spent years mastering the tunes as he heard them and by playing them at contests, dances and concerts. Cooper has recorded several albums, including "Essence of Old Kentucky" on Rounder Records.


The fiddle player is committed to sharing his knowledge with other musicians. Cooper currently teaches advanced fiddle at the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School and has completed Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeships with three Kentucky fiddlers.


To see a performance by Cooper, watch him play at the Kentucky Historical Society's Master Series Fiddle Concert on YouTube at http://youtu.be/26JSHB8sj_w.


Morehead's Old Time String Band Keeps It Traditional


Morehead State University's Old Time String Band will perform and share what they have learned about mountain music. They are directed and instructed by Jesse Wells and Raymond McLain, the director of the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music.


The Kentucky Center for Traditional Music houses not only the outreach program, but also the university's Traditional Music Program and Traditional Music Archives. The center's Traditional Music Program is among the fastest growing academic traditional music programs at any school of higher education. The Traditional Music Archives contain large collections of traditional music for public access. The collections include examples of traditional Appalachian music and culture.


The Sounds of Our Heritage Outreach program provides performances, presentations, lectures, demonstrations and workshops, all given by the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music faculty. The outreach is also home to Morehead State University classes and student bands. These students perform under the direction of their instructors on the Morehead campus, as well as across the region.


Raymond McLain will direct the band for this UK performance. McLain, a musical ambassador of the U.S. State Department, has been entertaining audiences form more than 40 years in 50 states and 62 foreign countries. For 21 years, he performed as part of the McLain Family Band and was featured internationally at thousands of festivals and concert halls, as well as a soloist in hundreds of appearances. McLain also played with Jim & Jesse’s Virginia Boys for 10 years and more recently as part of a duo with Canadian harmonic player Mike Stevens. As a soloist, Mclain's recordings include "Kentucky Mountain Banjo" and the award-winning "A Place of My Own."


To see a performance by the Morehead State University Old Time String Band, watch them on YouTube at http://youtu.be/B-RfCL4l_HQ.


Presented by the UK John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series celebrates the old time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. This year's concert series showcase 13 different performers, duo and groups from the Kentucky area ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The Niles Center is a collaborative research and performance center of the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.


For more information on either Roger Cooper or the Morehead State University Old Time String Band concert or on the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center by e-mail to Ron.Pen@uky.edu or visit online at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/niles




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu

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