Songwriters in the Round to feature music, Q & A with local talent

All are invited to an interactive experience with a few local legends at Eastern Mennonite University’s upcoming Songwriters in the Round event on Thursday, Feb. 13. Aspiring songwriters and Americana music aficionados will particularly treasure hearing from Trent Wagler ‘02 of The Steel Wheels, Charlottesville singer-songwriter Devon Sproule, and guitar-vocalist duo Clymer & Kurtz, comprised of Maria Clymer ‘00 and Christopher Kurtz ‘00, will perform, speak on their work and creative process, and answer audience questions.

The event is sponsored by the EMU Music Department and student organization Composer Collective, and is free to the public. The event begins at 8 p.m. in the MainStage Theater in University Commons.

The Composer Collective “serves as a space for musical creation and collaboration,” said student co-president Silas Clymer. The club organizes jam sessions, composer guest speakers, and recently, a field trip to a local recording studio. This is the group’s second public event, following the live music and collaborative painting event Good Weather Groovin’ that was held on campus in the fall.

“We’ve got some very talented local artists, who also happen to be really cool and interesting people, lined up who are willing to share their process with us,” Clymer said. “It will be a chance for everyone interested to learn something new.”

More on the featured musicians

Trent Wagler is the lead singer, guitar and banjo maestro, and primary songwriter of the popular roots music band – founders of the Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Mt. Solon, Va. 

On their last November, the Steel Wheels were introduced as a “progressive string band widely praised for their four-part harmonies over fresh, modern tones made on traditional acoustic instruments … never resting in one creative place too long.”

Wagler was last on the campus of his alma mater in 2017, when the Steel Wheels packed the front lawn with over 1,500 attendees for the EMU Centennial 福彩app下载官网下载coming show. Wagler also gave an EMUTenTalk that weekend.

music is lilting, by turns plaintive and gleeful; melodically complex while coming off as effortless. She was raised in eco-villages in Canada and Louisa, Va., and when not touring, calls Charlottesville home. 

The Boston Herald praised her sound as “a jazzy folk that doesn’t sound like any other singer-songwriter music of her generation. It’s both down-home and uptown, a delicate, Appalachian stringed-swing.”

The duo are also based in the Shenandoah Valley. Mel Lee, former radio host on local stations WMRA and WEMC, says that, “while incorporating stylistic elements from a variety of musical genres, they appear to be concentrating on creating a sound that is uniquely theirs.” Clymer & Kurtz received the Arts Council of the Valley’s Advancing the Arts Creative Inspirations grant in the fall of 2019.

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