RIO GRANDE — A professor from the University of Rio Grande School of Arts and Letters is preparing to perform a special concert on campus.
Associate professor of music and fine arts coordinator Dr. Chris Kenney will perform an acoustic concert, “Acorn House and Friends.” Kenney said the group will perform an acoustic jam on their favorite songs, including music by Pete Townshend, Neil Young, George Harrison and Bob Dylan.
The concert will take place at 8 p.m. April 2 in the Berry Fine and Performing Arts Center.
“This concert is a chance for us to perform some of our favorite songs we normally wouldn’t get to play,” Kenney said. “I asked them to bring in some of their favorite songs, so we will have a mix of everything form Bob Dylan to some Johnny Cash.”
The guest musicians will be David Droll, Jane Droll, and Rio graduates Nathan Wood and Nathan Richards. All of these guests will play instruments Kenney has built himself. The instruments include acoustic guitars, an acoustic bass guitar, a mandolin and even an ukulele.
“After I delivered the mandolin I built last summer, I thought it would be nice for all of us to get together and play as a group. Then I thought it would be fun to make it slightly more formal and do the performance on the stage,” Kenney said. “I’m excited to bring my friends in and share the experience with them. We don’t often feature this type of music at Rio and we need to showcase as many genres as possible. I want our students to learn as much as they can. The more they know the more they can do with their degree and find an avenue for their musicianship.”
Kenney began building instruments eight years ago. He said he began woodworking as a hobby, and was inspired by his work with music to begin building instruments.
“When I moved into my current house, it had a detached garage that I converted into a workshop. I’ve always been interested in woodworking, but this was the first time I had the opportunity or space to do anything.” Kenny said. “I am mostly self-taught, but as someone in academia, I tend to do a lot of research. I started building furniture and other things, then with my music background, I combined the two and built my first guitar.”