Dr. Gregory Reish
Center for Popular Music, Music History
Gregory Reish, Director of the Center for Popular Music (CPM) and professor teaching Music History at MTSU, is a scholar, teacher, and performing musician with expertise in a wide range of American vernacular styles. He earned a BM in jazz guitar from The University of Miami, and an MA and PhD in historical musicology from The University of Georgia. Before assuming duties as Director of CPM in July 2014, Reish was Associate Professor of Music History and Head of Core Music Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and has also served on the faculties at SUNY-Buffalo State College, The University of Hawaii at Hilo, and The University of Georgia.
Reish received a Fulbright scholarship to Italy for his groundbreaking research on the Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi, about whom Reish has published several articles and book chapters. His more recent scholarship focuses on the stylistic evolution of bluegrass and old-time music. He is now in the final stages of preparation for a book on American vernacular guitar styles from the mid-19th century through bluegrass and country music of the 1940s, and has also begun a book-length study of the evolution of the country string band.
In addition to his scholarship, Reish remains an active and accomplished performer of bluegrass, old-time, and related musical styles. As a noted singer and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, ukulele, dulcimer, harmonica) he has performed across much of the United States and in 2007 made a six-city solo tour of Japan. He believes strongly in the intersection of musical scholarship and performance, and is well-known for his engaging lecture-recitals, workshops, and other historically thematic programs.