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Convocation Sept. 4 features musician and luthier Wayne Henderson

BOONE—Master luthier and musician Wayne Henderson from Greyson County, Va., will speak Thursday, Sept. 4, at Appalachian State University for fall convocation.

View larger image© Cameron Davidson

Henderson was the inspiration for the 2014 Common Reading Program selection “Clapton’s Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument” by Allen St. John.

The convocation ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in Holmes Convocation Center on campus. The public is welcome.

St. John’s book, published in 2005, chronicle’s Henderson’s work as he builds a guitar for Eric Clapton.

The book was selected for its focus on the region’s music, crafts, folklore, storytelling, and other aspects of Appalachian culture, according to Associate Professor Colin Ramsey, who directs Appalachian’s Common Reading Program.

Henderson was the recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to guitars, he also builds mandolins. Musicians who have owned his instruments include the late Doc Watson and blues guitarist John Cephas, Gillian Welch, Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and bluegrass musician Peter Rowan.

In addition to performing at music venues in the High Country and South, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian and internationally for the U.S. Information Agency.

The Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition, established in 1995, provides scholarships to aid local young musicians in continuing their educations. Through the 2014 festival, scholarship awards totaled more than $116,000.

Begun in 1997, Appalachian’s Common Reading Program invites incoming freshmen to read a common book as part of their orientation to the university. By participating in the Common Reading Program, entering students participate in a common intellectual activity that helps them develop a sense of community and introduces them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian.

Past common reading selections include “Farm City,” “Mudbound,” “The Glass Castle,” “Freakonomics” and “American Dervish.”

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