Honors Program

Fine and Performing Arts Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Dr. Nathaniel J. Olson

Thesis Professor Department

Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Studies

Thesis Reader(s)

Benjamin D. Bateson


In the creation of my thesis project, I aimed to record a collection of music that highlights my influences and creative voice as an artist within the bluegrass/acoustic music genres. In collaboration with friends and colleagues that I have met during my time at East Tennessee State University, I have successfully recorded a project that surveys my current influences and creative voice as an artist, instrumentalist and composer. One goal I had for this project was to highlight compositions that I have written on acoustic guitar. Before attending ETSU, I did play some acoustic guitar, though I was primarily a banjo player. Since then, I have developed a passion for the guitar and have worked to advance my skills as a guitarist. My project includes two pieces that I composed on the guitar, and these compositions are examples of my exploration of harmony and rhythm. I feel that these pieces fit into the “New Acoustic” subgenre of bluegrass and bluegrass-adjacent music. I also chose to include two songs that fit more into the “progressive bluegrass” subgenre. On these two selections, one cover and one original, I played five-string banjo. These two pieces highlight my current interests and influences from genres like Jazz, Indie, and Pop music. The last two pieces included are songs that come from the bluegrass genre, and represent my progress as both an instrumentalist and vocalist. Also on this project, I experimented with different audio recording techniques. I have been studying audio production as my concentration within the Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies major. This project allowed me to be creative as an audio engineer as well as a musician.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.