Online Registration

C8 American Roots Music

Description: In each session of this course, a local expert will share information about and examples of a particular musical tradition that is uniquely American. These traditional musical forms include Shaped Note and Harmonia Sacra singing, Irish and Scottish musical traditions, the Blues, Jazz and Rock and Roll. Presenters will trace these forms from their beginnings to the present day and explain their musical and cultural impact.


Sam and Jan Showalter
have been Harmonia Sacra (H.S.) singers from childhood; Sam, a medical doctor, manages the Joseph Funk House LLC, and is the Executive Director of the non-profit Harmonia Sacra Society.
For more than twenty years

Mel Lee,
who holds degrees in history and counseling, produced and hosted radio programs featuring traditional and heritage music; Irish and Scottish musical traditions are a special interest.

Greg Versen, is a retired professor of the JMU Social Work program. He draws from his own Mississippi roots in developing and hosting WMRA's "Blues Valley," where he is known as "The Professah."

Andrew Connell, a clarinetist and saxophonist who has performed with noted artists, is an associate professor of ethnomusicology at JMU with a special interest in jazz history.

Jim Bishop (who claims to be the world's oldest teenager since the demise of Dick Clark), took time from his career as a journalist and public information officer to host several radio shows featuring oldies from the "Golden Age of Rock and Roll."

Suggested Readings and enrichment
will be distributed to class members.


Payment Information: Payment is due at time of registration and must be made by credit card (AMEX, MasterCard, Visa and Discover.) There is a $5 credit card convenience fee assessed at the time of payment. You will be redirected to the payment web site after clicking submit. Please have your credit card ready. Once payment is successfully completed, you will receive a payment receipt and a registration confirmation by email.

Withdrawal/Refund Policy: You may cancel your registration up to one week before the class start date, and receive a full refund (minus any credit card processing fees.) After that date, no refunds will be given.

For registration questions, please contact Lifelong Learning Institute at or 540/568.2923.

There are no scheduled sessions at this time. Sign up to be notified when this course is available.

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