GSC Bluegrass Band members Jordan Young, left, Robbie
Story and Photos by Drew Moody
Mann and Ryan Spangenberg join for a tune Tuesday night
The Glenville State College Bluegrass Band
took charge of the stage from the moment the
first note sounded, giving an energetic professional
performance Tuesday night.
Transitions between numbers were effortless, giving
nearly all the members ample time in the front-center
spotlight. Well rehearsed and choreographed, it
resembled the kind of performance music lovers might
expect at much larger venues.
In fact, the 2012 edition of the band has experienced a playing schedule rivaling some professional groups, playing over 50 gigs so far this year.
Brittany McGuire, left, Jordan Young and Toni
Doman take center stage to belt out a song
Their well-honed skills are no accident, as director,
Megan Darby, headlined a touring bluegrass band
well before she was old enough to attend college.
She is one of former director Buddy Giffin's proteges.
Despite the ecstasy of his retirement, Griffin, (GSC's
own 'Dean of Bluegrass') maintains a close association
In under two years at the helm, Darby has accomplished
refocusing the bluegrass program, as well doubling the
number of student participation.
GSC Bluegrass Band members are immersed in all
aspects of the music business, not merely mastering
the craft of playing their chosen instruments. It's a
'get your hands dirty' experience whose scope includes
recording, production, promotion and management,
in addition to mastering live performance showmanship.
Joining in three-part harmony on this tune are
Carol Belknap, left, Toni Doman and Laiken Boyd
Last summer the band marked a new milestone
recording their first CD. They were invited to use
the sound studies at Country Music Hall of Fame member
Tom T. Hall's Fox Hollow farm located near Nashville,
Tennessee. "It was a trip these kids will never
forget," Darby said.
Glenville State College is the first college in the
nation to offer a 4-year bachelor of arts degree in
bluegrass music. A certificate program is also
offered. For more information, or to schedule a
performance, contact Megan Darby 304-462-4130
or 304-462-6347. Or, contact her by e-mail at
All monies (100-percent) collected via donation at
concerts, or proceeds from CD sales, etc., are used to
support and expand the bluegrass education program.
Laiken Boyd, left, Ryan Spengenberg, Jimmy Davis,
Richie Jones and Seth Elmore join on this number