The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, in partnership with Linebaugh Public Library and the city of Murfreesboro, has been awarded a grant to mount a six-week “Celebration of America’s Music” program.
The series will feature documentary film screenings, scholar-led discussions and concerts by local musicians of 20th-century American popular music.
“America’s Music” seeks to enlighten and entertain audiences with images, thoughts and sounds on America’s great music. Musical genres covered include blues and gospel, Broadway and Tin Pan Alley, swing jazz, bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll and rock, mambo and hip hop.
Murfreesboro’s celebration is one of 50 sites nationwide selected to host this program series. “America’s Music” is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint and the Society for American Music. It has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“We are thrilled to participate in this exciting program, which will explore and give sound to the nation’s great music,” said Dale Cockrell, director of the Center for Popular Music.
“America’s Music,” designed for a general audience, will introduce genres of 20th-century American popular music that are deeply connected to the history, culture and geography of the United States. Older and younger Americans alike will have the chance to recognize how the cultural landscape that they take for granted today has been influenced by the development of the popular musical forms discussed in this series.
Starting on Thursday, March 21, Linebaugh Library will host weekly, free film viewings on popular music, followed by a discussion led by Dr. Felicia Miyakawa of MTSU’s School of Music. The Friday following each Thursday film viewing will feature a concert by local musicians performing in the style covered the day before. Among the performers lined up are The Olive Branch Church Choir, the cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” two bluegrass/old-time bands (Sweet Fancy Moses and Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass Playboys), the MTSU Jazz Combo, DJ Amerigo Gazaway (and B-boys), and 2nd and Vine (an MTSU faculty rock band).
The Center for Popular Music’s mission is to promote research in American vernacular music and to foster an understanding and appreciation of America's diverse musical culture. The Center maintains an archive of research materials stretching from the early 18th century to the present and develops and sponsors programs in vernacular music.
Anyone is welcome to use the CPM’s collections and services for research and scholarly pursuits.