Special 4-part Course: Why You Love Country Music, Even if You Don't
In partnership with Osher, Lifelong Learning, and the City Library, this three-part course will teach you all about country music’s roots in ballads, hymns, and the blues. Train your ear with musicologists and songwriting experts to explore where country music came from and how it reflects and influences American society today. The course culminates with a bonus film screening featuring highlights from Ken Burns’ new documentary series, Country Music, along with live music by local music artists and bands from other genres covering their favorite country music songs.
This class is open to all "lifelong learners" who want to learn about what makes country music a truly American art form.
Registration required. Opens Aug 8
Call 801-581-7155 or visit osher.utah.edu -- enter code "KUED" to register for free, or pay the $1 donation to support our costs.
Wednesday, September 11 | 3:15 – 4:45
"What Rock Owes Country"
Instructor: Dr. Michael Hicks
During this class, we will take inventory of the ways in which country music fed sixties groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. We'll trace the essentials: instrumentation, guitar licks, the fast two-beat groove from Hank Williams and the legendary "Million Dollar Quartet" of 1956 through "rockabilly," Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, and even George Jones – a huge influence on none other than Mick Jagger.
Wednesday, September 18 | 3:15 – 4:45
Song Sessions Presents: "Everybody Has a Song…Find Yours”
Instructors: Anna Wilson and Monty Powell
Facilitated by multiple Billboard #1 and Grammy award-winning singer/songwriters Monty Powell and Anna Wilson, this class will guide you as you write an original song with the group that tells your story, taking you on a musical journey focused on the theme of storytelling. Together, you will unlock your creativity and learn storytelling techniques used by professional composers to condense and communicate a powerful, unforgettable message.
Wednesday, September 25 | 3:15 – 4:45
Instructor: Dr. John Costa
This class will unfold the history of country music’s crossover into mainstream America from various angles. We’ll look at cowboy culture as exemplified by Gene Autry to the multi-styled musical hybrid that would inspire the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. We’ll discuss singles that gained attention by addressing controversies and poking fun at current trends including the new mainstream trend of 1970s country rock as first anticipated by Gram Parsons (the father of country rock) and popularized by artists such as Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles. We’ll discuss Nashville’s mainstream crossover with country western’s first national TV variety show, Hee Haw and we’ll touch on the current country music trend of another hybrid: its synthesis with pop sensibilities and modern celebrity-brand status.
*All class registrants will be provided with a reserved seat at the Tribute Concert and highlight screening of Ken Burns' Country Music on Thursday, September 26 at 7 PM. This event is considered the fourth portion of this course.