RIP Al Berard (1960-2014) - master musician, Traiteur, friend

Songs Old and New

Bluegrass, Singer-Songwriters, and Cajun Music

from UL Lafayette’s Traditional Music Program

The Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is pleased to feature students in a free concert, Songs Old and New, on April 17, 2014 at 7:30 pm in Burke-Hawthorne Theater on the university’s campus. All are invited to attend.

Vermilion Express, the university’s newest musical ensemble and the first to focus on bluegrass music, will kick off the show with a mix of traditional, contemporary and progressive bluegrass, featuring some tight three-part harmonies and a new composition from the band. Dr. Len Springer, fiddler for the Louisiana Purchase Bluegrass Band, directs the group with assistance from banjo master Bryan Sims.

This semester’s songwriting students will follow with fresh work crafted under the guidance of singer-songwriter Johanna Divine, who held her classes in the studios of KRVS-FM. “These are some of the most motivated and fearless songwriters I’ve ever worked with,” says Divine.  The class will perform both full-band and solo works for the show.

The Angelle Aces, UL Lafayette’s Cajun music band, will anchor the show with some new arrangements of Cajun standards. Founded in 2011 by Wilson Savoy and Mark DeWitt, the group is currently directed by fiddler and bassist Mitch Reed, who fits the rehearsals in between road trips with BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet.

“Many thanks to Yvette Landry, who taught the songwriting class last year and came up with the idea for this show” says Mark DeWitt, Professor of Music and holder of the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music. “So now we’re going to try it out. It has been a joy to visit Johanna’s class this semester and witness the creative process in action. The bluegrass students are so excited about what they are doing, they were dancing while playing at their rehearsal yesterday. The Angelle Aces have come together nicely as a combination of town and gown, current students with some community members who auditioned and registered for the class to play Cajun music. It’s going to be a fun show.”

The mission of the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is to stimulate interdisciplinary research on the foundations and diversity of traditional music worldwide and to advance the preservation, instruction, and performance of traditional music with an emphasis on traditions that have developed in Acadiana. The program began in the Fall of 2010. It is now possible to earn a B.A. in Music with a concentration in Traditional Music as well as a Music Minor with a Traditional Music emphasis. New classes and programs continue to be developed with involvement from musicians in the community.

New B.A. in Music with a Concentration in Traditional Music

Visit the UL Lafayette and School of Music websites to learn about the Traditional Music Curriculum.

For more information, please contact:
Mark DeWitt
(337) 482-1020(337) 482-1020 
dewitt@louisiana.edu