News Column

Get to the root of American music

September 16, 2013


Sept. 16--America's music is as diverse as the people who live here.

Every region of our country has its own take on genres and styles, specific but still part of the whole picture. Today, those styles and techniques are shared more easily than ever before, making terms like rock, blues, Latin and jazz harder and harder to outline as artists pull from all of them to create new music every day.

The "America's Music" program at the Laramie County Library combines live music, books, workshops and more in an effort to explore where American music came from and where it is going.

The heart of the program is a documentary film series designed by the Tribeca Film Commission in New York. Featuring filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Ken Burns, the six-week series was selected from hundreds of films.

Each screening will be accompanied by a lecture and discussion from Dennis Coelho, a local folklorist who specializes in community music and may be better known for his time in the Chugwater Philharmonic String Quartet and other local bands. Coelho also worked at the Wyoming Arts Council and was a teacher at East High School before retiring in 2005.

Coelho said the Laramie County Library was one of the few facilities in the west to receive the series with most of the screenings taking place at universities.

"People will find that these films are all very well done, best of the best, really, and they cover a wide range of musical styles in American culture," he said in an email interview. "Some of the material was even new to me, but still very interesting."

Each film deals with a particular genre and a specific point in time. Some focus on the community around the music while others look at the techniques used to create the music.

There are many other events and activities for all ages planned around the series. Sessions include a Do It Yourself Home Recording class on Sept. 19 and Cheyenne Symphony Director William Intriligator will give a talk on classical music's influence on rock on Sept. 23.

Additionally, the library will be showing off handcrafted instruments and vintage album covers throughout the building into November.

Visit the library's website at for more information about the dates and times of the films and other activities.


(c)2013 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.)

Visit Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.) at

Distributed by MCT Information Services

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters