“For a lot of them, 12 weeks ago was the first time they ever played any bluegrass music," Johnson said. "And I think it is just fantastic that they have an opportunity to learn bluegrass music on campus and play with other musicians."
The band was greeted by a full house as many people came to support their friends and family members in the band, including first-year Carly Christensen.
“I mostly just came for my roommate, but my mom is really into bluegrass so I don’t mind listening to it," Christensen said. "The way they play the instruments is interesting to me.”
First-year Shawna Sheperd came to support a suitemate and said she was impressed by how the band, which she didn't know too much about, performed.
“I was very surprised by how great the band was," Sheperd said. "I was very impressed with the vocals and how they pulled everything together.”
Among the musicians were first-years Tanner Henson and Andrew McClenney.
Henson, who plays a variety of instruments, has been playing the guitar and fiddle since he was 11 years old.
“I started playing because my grandpa had my great-great-great-great grandpa’s violin and it was a decorative piece," Henson said. "And one day he told me that if I learned to play it, he’d give me the violin. I decided it was a pretty good deal for 11-year-old me, so I learned to play."
McClenney, who played the bass every song of the concert, said his experience with bluegrass music was very limited before he came to UNC.
“I played with a church group for a couple of months, but I’m primarily a jazz player,” McClenney said. “I’ve been playing for a long time, so I am used to playing longer sets, but it’s a lot to memorize.”
Since bluegrass is an eclectic music style, Johnson said people get into it for many different reasons.
“Some people listen for the instrumentals. For me, it was a particular person, the man that we consider to be the father of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe,” Johnson said.
“A lot of people play the music because they love it. I didn’t get into music to get rich and famous, and so far, it’s worked pretty well.”