THE BANJO GOES HIGHBROW
The Banjo Goes Highbrow is a highly entertaining and unique concert program featuring classical music for banjo as it would have been performed in the concert halls and parlor rooms during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. A fun and enjoyable alternative to traditional classical music concerts, this concert program serves to bring together audiences who might not otherwise be enticed to attend classical music events. While classical music on the banjo may seem somewhat of a novelty today, this has not always been the case. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in an effort to elevate the banjo from its rather crude mid 19th century minstrel show associations, banjoists developed a repertoire that included everything from arrangements of operatic overtures to transcriptions of virtuoso violin works. Between the years 1880 and 1915, more than 10,000 compositions and arrangements were published in the United States and in England for what is now referred to as the "classic 5-string fingerstyle banjo." Using gut-strung, open-back banjos and bare fingers to pluck the strings, banjoists of the time developed a right hand playing technique modeled after that of 19th century guitarists.