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The Carolina Bluegrass Band performs traditional and contemporary bluegrass, steeped in local tradition and now appealing to a global audience. The Carolina Bluegrass Band debuted in November 2016, opening for the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers in Memorial Hall. The Carolina Bluegrass Band welcomes bluegrass musicians, as well as musicians from other genres who want to cross over and broaden their musical experience. The band builds on the deep roots of bluegrass here in North Carolina, and students learn stagecraft, sound design, and band management alongside performance.

The band enrolls 10 to 20 students by audition, and welcomes all traditional instruments including acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, bass, and vocals. Students register for MUSC 212.006, a one credit-hour class that rehearses Tuesday evenings from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and is open by audition to music majors, non-majors, and graduate students. The Carolina Bluegrass Band satisfies the “global music” requirement for music majors. No prior bluegrass experience required.

Auditions are held on two days right before the start of classes each semester. Anyone interested in scheduling an audition or needing additional information should contact director Russell Johnson at or 919-274-9615.

For the date and time of our next public concert, go to the Events Calendar and search for “Bluegrass.”

​Performances can be found on the band’s Facebook Page.​
Consider a gift today to support bluegrass at Carolina, click here.


Russell Johnson, Carolina Bluegrass BandRussell Johnson – Director, Carolina Bluegrass Band
Tatiana HargreavesTatiana Hargreaves - Lecturer, fiddle
Hank Smith – Lecturer, banjo