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Susquehanna Life

Bluegrass and Americana Music at the Weis Center

Sep 12, 2016 01:43PM ● By Erica Shames

Bluegrass band the Coal Town Rounders and Americana singer-songwriter Van Wagner will perform on Thursday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center. The performance is part of Bucknell University’s Family Weekend festivities.

The performance is the kick-off event for the year-long series about coal, Coal Collections: Local, National and International Stories, coordinated by the Weis Center and the Place Studies program of the Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment. A reception will immediately follow the performance in the Weis Center Atrium Lobby.

The performance is sponsored, in part, by the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau, The News-Item and Catawese Coach Lines Inc.

Free Shuttle Service Available

A free shuttle will be available for this performance from Shamokin and Mount Carmel, courtesy of Catawese Coach Lines. The shuttle will depart from Weis Markets in Shamokin at approximately 5:15 p.m. and from Divine Redeemer Church, Mount Carmel at 5:30 p.m. The shuttle will return between 10-10:30 p.m.

Parking lot shuttles will also operate from Bucknell’s primary parking lots to the Weis Center from 5:15-10:30 p.m.

About the Musicians


Grafting their passion for Appalachian music and harmony singing to 21st century sensibilities, Northeast Pennsylvania-based quartet Coal Town Rounders are making their own moves in a genre that’s heavy on the tradition. With a foundational repertoire of bluegrass material you’d expect in a group twice their age, the band is poised to expand the reach and relevance of traditional music with their unique and hard-driving sound. Performing live around a single microphone lends a timeless quality to an old-time approach and showcases the human element of interaction inherent in acoustic music. 

Following the release of Numero Uno, their 2013 EP of traditional bluegrass tunes, the band has been well received by audiences throughout its home state of Pennsylvania, the northeast, and stretches of the Midwest. They have shared the stage with a range of nationally touring acts including Emmylou Harris, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Lumineers, The Grascals, and The Roys, and budding groups such as Cabinet, The Tillers, Wood & Wire, and The Barefoot Movement. 



Americana singer-songwriter Van Wagner teaches Environmental Science at Lewisburg High School and was selected as Conservation Educator of the Year in 2005 from Schuylkill County and in 2007 and 2009 in Union County. In 2012 he was awarded the Sandy Cochran award for natural resource education from the Pennsylvania Forestry Association. In 2015 the Red Cross presented Van with the Robert N. Pursel Distinguished Service Award. Outside of the classroom, he educates audiences with his music and programs on Pennsylvania History. His music has been featured on the History Channel, WVIA television, as well as Country Music Television (CMT).  He has released 20 original albums and published a book entitled "Coal Dust Rust and Saw Dust."  His music and programs not only entertain but inspire audiences to become involved in learning more.

Opening Act at 6 p.m.

Patrons are encouraged to arrive at 6 p.m. for a free opening act in the Weis Center Atrium Lobby called Hard Coal: The Concert.

Hard Coal: The Concert will feature the sometimes folksy, sometimes haunting, always beautiful music that Guy Klucevsek composed for the play Hard Coal: Life in the Region along with singer/performers from the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.


Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists.  This outstanding composer, accordion virtuoso, and improviser has been a major contributor to the accordion renaissance of the last 25 years.  His music reverberates with the sounds of the ballroom, the beer garden, and the concert hall, fusing elements of regional accordion styles with jazz and avant-garde music.

Hard Coal: Life in the Region is an original work co-created by James Goode and Laurie McCants of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, in collaboration with choreographer Karen Bamonte, composer Guy Klucevsek, and designers Rand Whipple and Bucknell’s own Elaine Williams.  Premiered in 1999, the play-with-music was about the difficult and luminous legacy of anthracite coal mining in Pennsylvania, drawing upon newspaper articles, instruction manuals, recipes, disaster records, oral histories, journals, and interviews with miners and their families.


Tickets are available in the main auditorium only; the balcony will be closed. Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors 62+, $10 for youth 18 and under, $10 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), $10 for Bucknell students (limit 2), and $10 for non-Bucknell college students (limit 2).

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 570-577-1000.

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

For more information about this performance contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at

The next performance in the Weis Center’s 2016-17 Season is a free world music and classical event by Bosnian accordionist Merima Kljuco and guitarist virtuoso Miroslav Tadic: Aritmia on Wednesday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center Atrium Lobby. Tickets are not required.

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to or search for the Weis Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. 

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