When Mark O’Connor and Dailey & Vincent came to campus this week, bluegrass buffs at Denison got an intimate look behind the scenes of professional music-making. Students were treated to two informal sessions with the world-class virtuosos before the musicians performed on Wednesday night in Swasey Chapel as part of Denison’s Vail Series.
Mark O’Connor and his string quartet kicked off their master class by jamming with professors Andy Carlson and Casey Cook before giving tips and answering questions – lots of them. At the end, the entire group of 30-plus musicians—students, staff, and pros alike—took the stage at Herrick Auditorium for an old-time jam session.
Daily & Vincent and their crew joined another group of student musicians for a relaxed gathering with lots of laughter (these guys were funny) amid some more technical questions like, “What’s the best way to double a note?” (Turns out the answer is to use a second singer with a higher or lower register.) They topped it off with a poignant rendition of “Bury Me Beneath the Willow.”
Editor’s note: one night after their Vail Series performance, Dailey & Vincent cleaned up at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, winning entertainer of the year for the third straight year.