Monday, November 23, 2009

ETSU Adds Four Year Bluegrass Degree

By Rex Barber
Press Staff Writer

Laura Ford had wanted to study bluegrass music since she was 14.

In January, the East Tennessee State University student will be able to major in the genre. ETSU announced Friday the creation of a new bachelor’s of art in bluegrass, old time and country music, the first such four-year degree program in the world.

“I think it’s amazing,” Ford said. “I’ve been waiting on it a long time. I’m from here in Johnson City. And it’s just a dream come true to be a part of the university and just to be part of the bluegrass major.”

She remembered seeing the ETSU Bluegrass Band as a child and telling her father she wanted to participate in that when she got older.

She was accepted into the ETSU bluegrass program when she was 14. A minor has been available in bluegrass at ETSU for a while, and Ford was pursing that while majoring in art. She will switch those programs now.

“It’s made my semester,” she said.

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