The purpose of the Trunk of Tunes is to familiarize West Virginia students with the rich, early music tradition found in our state. Though not heard in mainstream gatherings, the music nonetheless has an active and strong following of folks who enjoy playing and passing it along to others. This tradition of handing down tunes has allowed the music to remain alive since the arrival of those first settlers. Those that play and enjoy the music have a deep regard for the skill and ambition of past and present musicians and the history that the music represents, not only in the continuance of the tunes themselves but also the events, people, and places that the tunes often portray. The term “root music” is often used in describing the music of the early settlers, as it was this music that provided the foundation that evolved into music genres such as bluegrass, country, jazz and blues, honky-tonk, and rock-and-roll, which in turn grew into much of the new music enjoyed by mainstream society today. Thus the goal of the Trunk of Tunes is to raise students’ awareness and provide knowledge of what was in order to more fully appreciate what is, today.
This program is made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 through the West Virginia Humanities Council. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Lynette Swiger - Curriculum Development
Marianne Jenkins - Videography
Katie Jenkins - Videography
Makayla Schindler - Video editing
Francene Kirk - Video and text editing
Fairmont State University Office of Grants
Fairmont State University Office of University Relations and Marketing
Fairmont State University Library
Fairmont State University Office of Technology
West Virginia Humanities Council
Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center Staff