International music festival “Bluegrass” on July 20-21, 2010

The first in history of Vologda land a music festival of traditional American music in bluegrass style took place on July 20-21, 2010.

On July 20, 2010 a festival of traditional American music in bluegrass style was opened in Consistorial court of the Vologda Kremlin.

The holders of the festival under the support of the US Consulate General in Saint-Petersburg were Vologda Oblast Government, Regional Department of Culture and Cultural Heritage Preservation and administration of the Vologda state museum-reserve of history, architecture and art.

“Today we will witness a beautiful, vivid, emotional and highly professional meeting of two cultures – Russian and American”, - underlined in the greeting speech a general director of the Vologda state museum-preserve of history, architecture and art. - A dialogue of two cultures will have a vivid progress if the countries are united by the idea of friendship and cooperation”.

“The Vologda residents never before received such a gift, never Jamboree took place in the Kremlin”, - shared his impressions Senior Vice-Governor Ivan Pozdnyakov. – It’s a gift for music fans. I think it’s a real happiness to see Pete Wernick for those who appreciate music art”.

Sheila Guoltni, US Consul General, noted gladly that there were a great number of groups playing bluegrass in Russia and a lot of fans of such a style..


The audience witnessed an emotional “bluegrass jamboree” – a concert of musicians playing their music in small parts. American banjo-virtuoso Pete Wernick and his group, a country-group “FINESTREET” from Saint-Petersburg and Vologda musicians “Petrovich Band” appeared on the Vologda Kremlin stage. A young group from Obninsk city “Cheerful diligence” played in a stirring and spontaneous way.

The musicians told that they were glad to play in Vologda and Alexey Smirnov, a soloist of “FINESTREET” group, noted: “A true Russia can be found in such cities as Vologda”..

On July 21, 2010 – a second day of the festival – Vologda Oblast museum of Architecture and Ethnography in Semenkovo village turned into a big concert stage. All comers arrived there to enjoy a traditional American music in bluegrass style.

Opening the festival the artists of the folklore group “Semenkovo” expressed their hope to make “Bluegrass” a start of a long friendship of two cultures - American and Russian. Again the audience enjoyed a talented show of the American musician Pete Wernick and his group, a country-group “FINESTREET” from Saint-Petersburg, “Cheerful diligence from Obninsk city and Vologda musicians “Petrovich Band”.

After the concert the musicians gave master-classes to all interested. A virtuoso player of country and bluegrass music from USA Pete Wernick and his wife Joan told children coming from different Vologda music schools how they became keen on country music. Joan showed some secrets of a guitar playing and Pete – a banjo playing.


Besides music master-classes the guests who came to the festival could receive new knowledge and skills – museum workers taught different folk crafts: birch bark plaiting, making a decorative toy, art painting.

A sunny music in bluegrass style harmoniously sounded on Vologda land. The festival became a vivid music summer event.

Anastasia Druzhinina
Anastasia Lavrentieva