PRJ 1012 Student Projects

This series includes papers and fieldwork materials from various courses designed and taught by Laurie Sommers at VSU from 1995 to 2005: MUS 448/648 Folk and Ethnic Music in the United States; MUS 245 Introduction to World Music; PERS 2690, Multicultural America; PERS 2695 World Music Traditions. Content varies widely and focuses exclusively on musicians and musical traditions. The strongest work comes from HON 3990B Folklife and Fieldwork, where two teams of students developed semester-long field projects on the Cherokee Tribe of GA spring powwow (St. George) and Jewish traditions in Valdosta respectively. Several independent studies also are included which provide more in-depth coverage of their respective topics: Suzanne North's study of the cultural dynamics at Latin Night at Maria's Lounge in Valdosta; Kuanita Murphey's study of African American 7-shapenote conventions in and around her home county of Randolph (which later became a chapter in her MA Thesis for the Dept. of History, VSU); Gretchen Geisinger's study "On Solomon's Porch" of continuity and change in the community culture of her home town of Jakin.

Music, Chapter 5, in "From The Bush Arbor to the Sanctuary:The History of the Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church " Master’s Thesis in History, Valdosta State University, by Kuanita Murphy, Copyright 2004, used with permission. This chapter was an outgrowth of a 2003 independent study with the South Georgia Folklife Project on African American Seven-Shape Singing Conventions in Murphy’s home area of Randolph County, Georgia; Murphy’s original fieldwork materials are part of the South Georgia Folklife Collection. Listen to excerpt from Watts style lined hymn singing of “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone,” from the Devotional Service led by Deacon Charles Jones and Deacon Joe Jarrell, Georgia/Alabama Singing Convention, New Salem CME Church, Benevolence, Georgia, February 23, 2003.

Interview transcript excerpt of fiddler Henry Rutland, interviewed November 21, 1995, Moultrie, Georgia, by Kristin Olson for Music 648, Folk and Ethnic Music in the United States, Laurie Kay Sommers, instructor. After Olson’s initial interview, the South Georgia Folklife Project involved Henry Rutland in numerous public programs. Listen to a radio program on the Rutland fiddle tradition. Listen to the Twin Fiddles--cousins Henry Rutland and George Custer--with guitarist Paul Massey, playing “Garfield,” composed by Henry Rutland, at the Hymns and Hoedowns Concert, April 7, 2005.

Excerpts from Event Study: Cherokee Tribe of Georgia Spring Powwow, March 5th and 6th, 2004, by Jackie Caldwell Folklore and Fieldwork Honors Capstone, Spring 2004, Laurie Kay Sommers, instructor. Note: the collection also includes recordings of the powwow drum, Redbird Singers, from the October 1, 1999 Cherokee Tribe of Georgia Powwow, recorded by Laurie Kay Sommers.

Excerpts from Sunday Morning Hymn Leading with a Shape-Note Twist, Dasher Church of Christ, Lowndes County, by Billy Esra, PERS 2690, Fall, 2000, Laurie Kay Sommers, instructor. Listen to the Dasher Church of Christ Fourth Sunday Hymn Sing, “Are You Washed in the Blood?” May 23, 2004, recorded by Laurie Kay Sommers as a follow-up to Esra’s initial interview with song leader Marty Broome.

Excerpts from On Solomon’s Porch, an oral history of cultural life in Jakin, Georgia by Gretchen Geisinger, Independent Study, 1999, Laurie Kay Sommers, Instructor.

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