Films, Lectures & Concerts Part of ‘America’s Music’ Series

by Diane VanDyke

From soulful blues to rhythmic hip hop, the various genres of American music truly reflect our diverse population and evolving culture. To take a closer look at music, the community is invited to a six-week film and discussion series—“America’s Music: A Film History of our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway—hosted by Montgomery County Community College at its Central Campus, Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, with interactive simulcasts to South Hall, Room 216, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

Each program focuses on different genres of music and includes films with scholar-led discussions. Some of the programs also will include related concerts. The series is both entertaining and informative and will allow the audience to learn more about music and its role in our history and society. The programs are perfect for classes, clubs, organizations or anyone who wants to develop a deeper appreciation of America’s music.

The full schedule includes:

The Blues and Gospel Music
Saturday, Sept. 21, 1-3 p.m.
Films:  “Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues,”
Episode 1: “Feel Like Going Home,” and “Say Amen, Somebody”

Rock ’N Roll
Saturday, Sept. 28, 1-3 p.m.
Films: “The History of Rock ’n Roll,” Episode 6:  “Plugging In”
MontCo Rocks concert featuring American Babies and Sunset Villains in Blue Bell starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Visit to order tickets. Concert is presented by MCCC Office of Cultural Affairs, Montco Radio, and David Ivory Productions, Inc.

Broadway and Tin Pan Alley
Saturday, Oct. 5, 1-3 p.m.
Films: “Broadway:  The American Musical,” Episode 2: “Syncopated City”

Latin Rhythms from Mambo to Hip Hop
Saturday, Oct. 26, 1-3 p.m.
Films:  “Latin Music USA,” Episode 1: “Bridges” and “From Mambo To Hip-Hop: A South Bronx Tale”
Poncho Sanchez concert in Blue Bell starts at 8 p.m. preceded by 7 p.m. panel discussion, Cubanidad: Race, Identity and Politics in Afro-Cuban Culture. Visit for tickets.

Country and Bluegrass
Saturday, Nov. 9, 1-3 p.m.
Film: “High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music”
Followed by 3 p.m. FREE matinee concert with guitarist Ernie Hawkins in Blue Bell only.

Swing Jazz
Saturday, Dec. 7, 1-3 p.m.
Films:  “International Sweethearts of Rhythm” and “Ken Burns’ Jazz,” Episode 6: “Sing, the Velocity of Celebration”
Followed by FREE 3 p.m. Swing Fever Dance Band concert in Blue Bell only.

For further details, please visit or contact Cultural Affairs Director Helen Haynes at 215-641-6439 or Music Department Coordinator Andrew Kosciesza at 215-641-6336. For details on Montco Rocks, contact Music Instructor Michael Kelly at 215-619-7363.

“America’s Music: A Film History of our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway” is a project of the Tribecca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. “America’s Music” has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.” Montgomery County Community College was one of 50 organizations selected to participate in this nationwide project.

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