Cecil Gurganus’s Mentorship during the Pandemic: Assisting a Classical Musician Learning Old-Time Fiddle and its Community


Maako Shiratori (Appalachian State University)

My presentation includes performances of Old-Time fiddle tunes learned by ear from respected musician Cecil Gurganus — such as “Hangman’s Reel” and “Sourwood Mountain.” Cecil played years with fiddler Ora Watson, a NC Folk Heritage Award recipient, who performed at the Watauga Co senior center — sometimes with Doc Watson. Cecil continues to be an integral part of the mountain music community and has taught local fiddling styles to young people at the Jones House Cultural Center. As a classical (baroque) musician, who moved from Japan in 2019, I will share my ethnography working with him and his comments about my playing.

Part of 22-07 Scotland to NC Mountain Community Values and Fears Inside Out in Literature, Ballads, Black Fiddler Dance Music, and Apprentices and Mentors (with media and music), Tuesday, October 19, 11:15 am–12:45 pm