A love for her native mountain music has lured an established fiddle player to Morehead State to study at the only university in Kentucky that has a degree in traditional music.
Meghan Bryant began her musical journey at only 6-years-old and finds the time to double major in elementary education, and traditional music at the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music. She works her double major while performing at the Kentucky Opry in Prestonsburg.
“I liked that you could get the traditional music degree here,” Meghan said, “because it’s the only school in Kentucky where you can get it. Plus, it is kind of close to home.”
Raymond McLain, the Director of the KCTM, said Bryant is from an area of the state rich in traditional music and her upbringing is important.
“Meghan grew up in a part of the country, and in a family where she was exposed to the very best music,” he said.
Bryant grew up hearing her father play bluegrass style banjo. At around 6-years-old, he encouraged her to play an instrument.
She chose the fiddle.
“Not a lot of people listen to it or play it now,” Bryant said. “I think that’s sad, because it’s the music that’s from where we’re from and that makes me want to learn it more. I want to keep playing it and not let it die out.”
In March of 2019, Meghan received a hand-crafted fiddle from master carver Mac Barnes.
“I believe Mac Barnes gave her that fiddle because she will make the best use of that instrument as she possibly can,” said McLain.
For her other major, in elementary education, she hopes to become an elementary school music teacher, while continuing to perform and give private music lessons to continue the legacy of the music of the region.