Series celebrates America’s music

The Warren-Trumbull County Public Library will celebrate America’s musical history with a six-part program beginning next week.

“America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway” was produced by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint and the Society for American Music.” The Warren library received a $2,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor to pay for the series and is one of only 50 libraries nationwide to receive the grant.

Cheryl Bush, public relations manager for the library, said, “Trumbull County always has enjoyed the programs we do at the library, especially about music and film. We just thought it would be a really fun topic, fun and educational.”

Each session will focus on different genres, and documentary films and television series will be used to illustrate each topic.

Locally, each session will be introduced by Kenneth J. Bindas, professor and chair of the history department at Kent State University. Bindas used to teach at Kent State University at Trumbull, and he said he got to know Jan Vaughn, assistant director of the library, during his tenure there.

“Jan and Cheryl put together the grant for this music series and knew my expertise was in music, so they ask me to do this,” Bindas said. “My role is to introduce each clip or documentary, set the context for understanding … After we watch the clips, we’ll have a discussion of what the film was trying to say and the influence it had on culture.”

Bindas and Bush said they hope people will try all of the programs and not just sample those that focus on musical styles they already enjoy, but the series is designed so viewers can drop in and see only the programs they want.

“If they come and see the documentary films, they are just so entertaining and informational, I think they will learn a lot and enjoy learning about a genre they didn’t know about.”