‘Queen of Bluegrass’ to take the stage on Feb. 24

Rhonda Vincent is a popular bluegrass artist and will be performing at WCU on Feb. 24. Photo by Amy Miller.

Rhonda Vincent, proclaimed the “Queen of Bluegrass” by The Wall Street Journal, and the band, The Rage, will be performing at the Bardo Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m.

Rhonda Vincent is a Grammy-nominated music artist and an eight-time International Bluegrass Music Association vocalist of the year. She is sought as a guest performer by many bluegrass and country artists for her fast-paced vocals and multi-range. She has performed with artists such as Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson and Tanya Tucker.

Vincent got her start in music as a member of her family’s band, The Sally Mountain Show, in which she sang gospel songs as early as five-years-old. She quickly learned how to play several instruments, including violin, mandolin and guitar.

In 1985, Vincent competed in and won the the TV series, “You Can Be a Star,” that aired on the original version of The Nashville Network. Afterwards, she signed a recording contract and began performing professionally, her first performance with Jim Ed Brown.

According to the artist’s official website, she will be touring in the U.S. until September before starting a small tour in Europe and then returning to the U.S. to continue her U.S. tour halfway through September. She will be continuing to travel and perform through November and has already planned several tour locations for 2018 as well.

In addition to performing, Vincent runs workshops on music as well as teaches people about bluegrass music. On Feb. 23, she ran a leadership session and music workshop with students from East Tennessee University and live streamed part of the event on her official Facebook page.

Vincent, being a bluegrass artist, fits right in with the WCU campus and the culture of Jackson County, says Denise Homewood, director of the Bardo Arts Center.

“I’ve tried to connect Rhonda with our community because of our bluegrass music region. We tried to reach out and connect the community with her background,” explained Homewood.

Vincent is well-known in the world of bluegrass and the Bardo Arts Center staff are expecting a packed house.

“We are nearly sold out. We have sold 700 seats and we have a max capacity of 900. We typically sell about 100 tickets the night of, but this one will probably be more. Everyone should come early if they haven’t bought tickets yet,” said Homewood.

Tickets for the event are available at the Bardo Arts Center box office and can also be bought online. WCU students and children are $8; WCU faculty and staff are $20; and adults and seniors are $24.